16 de outubro de 2011

Porque razão os judeus têm tido o sucesso económico que tem tido?

E a resposta abaixo fornece, também, pistas para as razões porque Portugal tratou os seus judeus como tratou, e, implicitamente, o preço que se pagou, e continua-se a pagar - sim, mesmo quatro séculos depois - por isso. Leitura recomendada na sua totalidade.

Why Do Jews Succeed? - Jerry Z. Muller - Project Syndicate

In recent decades, economists have been struggling to make use of the concept of human capital, often defined as the abilities, skills, knowledge, and dispositions that make for economic success. Yet those who use the term often assume that to conceptualize a phenomenon is a first step to manipulating it. And, indeed, “human-capital policy” is now much in fashion. But what if many of the abilities and dispositions in question are a product of history, capable of being understood and explained but not readily replicated?[...]
To the extent that human capital involves character traits and varieties of “know-how” that are transmitted within the realms of the family and the community, rather than by formal education, it becomes both methodologically elusive and difficult to manipulate by public policy.  [....]
Such factors provide a sense of why attention to the history of Jews under capitalism helps us to understand capitalism more generally. It reminds us that much of success in a capitalist society is based on cultural and historical factors that produce qualities such as innovativeness, willingness to tolerate risk, and willingness to defer gratification through savings and education.[....]
Exploring the economic history of the Jews also reminds us that groups that are disproportionately successful are met by different political reactions. Societies long oriented to economic dynamism tend to welcome the economically successful, viewing them as a source of mutual gains.
But cultures that tend to resent the economically successful – either as an affront to equality, or on the implicit assumption that the economic gains of some must be at the expense of others – tend to be more hostile toward Jews and given to conspiratorial theories to explain their economic success. Most societies lie somewhere along a spectrum between these two poles. [....]

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