27 de março de 2012

Irra, porque razão fico sempre irritado com a evidência empírica da pulhice, ainda por cima a pequena, quando intelectualmente já a descontei há muito?!

Think twice about that financial advisor: The correct advice pretty much fits on a single sheet of paper that is available for free at the public library. Moreover, the products one should recommend buying are inexpensive, and are widely-available at leading websites. Thus the predicament of the modern financial advisor. Thus also the predicament of her unsophisticated customers. If the right advice is simple and free, at-best the expensive and complicated advice she will sell you will be overpriced, and probably more than a little wrong. Moreover, if the correct products to buy are cheap, no-load index funds that generate little sales commission, your advisor has obvious incentives to offer you something riskier or fundamentally more costly.
Thus, we have the results of an important, if cosmically unsurprising experiment: “The Market for Financial Advice: An Audit Study,” by Sendhil Mullainathan, Marcus North, and Antionette Schoar. These respected authors used an audit methodology in which trained auditors met with different Boston-area financial advisors and claimed to have different existing investment portfolios and different personal strategies for retirement savings…. [O]ne might hope that the financial advice industry would “de-bias” its customers in a more sensible direction, encourage people to diversify their portfolios through low-cost index funds. Instead, the advisors audited in this study pushed their customers towards costly, actively-managed funds that happen to generate lucrative fees…. These disgraceful findings are not the result of a few bad apples blighting the name of their industry.  Rather, the majority of audited advisors are following a predatory business model that harms many of their customers…

25 de março de 2012

Anomalias em devir ...

Must-Read Trenberth: How To Relate Climate Extremes to Climate Change | ThinkProgress

The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be…. The air is on average warmer and moister than it was prior to about 1970 and in turn has likely led to a 5–10 % effect on precipitation and storms that is greatly amplified in extremes. The warm moist air is readily adverted onto land and caught up in weather systems as part of the hydrological cycle, where it contributes to more intense precipitation events that are widely observed to be occurring.

Seasonal Jun-Jul-Aug 2010 sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies relative to 1951–70. Record high SSTs were recorded in the locations and at the times indicated with record flooding nearby.

24 de março de 2012


WMO: The global temperature increase rate has been “remarkable” during the previous four decades, according to the preliminary summary. The global temperature has increased since 1971 at an average estimated rate of 0.166°C per decade compared to the average rate of 0.06 °C per decade computed over the full period 1881-2010.

22 de março de 2012

Anomalias: "neste momento é como se fosse ficção científica"

A spring heat wave like no other in U.S. and Canadian history peaked in intensity yesterday, during its tenth day. Since record keeping began in the late 1800s, there have never been so many temperature records broken for spring warmth in a one-week period--and the margins by which some of the records were broken yesterday were truly astonishing. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, commented to me yesterday, "it's almost like science fiction at this point." A few of the more remarkable records from yesterday [....]

21 de março de 2012

Da relação entre o ciclo solar e o aquecimento global

Figure 1: Solar cycle length (red) vs Northern Hemisphere temperature (blue) (Stauning 2011).The number of sunspots has a minimum and a maximum. The solar cycle length can be found in two ways. Either as the difference between two successive dates on which the number of sunspots show a minimum or as the difference between two successive dates on which the number of sunspots shows a maximum. The first number is indicated in the legend as “min-to-min” and the second as “max-to-max” in red color.The temperatures on the minimum dates and the maximum dates are indicated in the legend as “min-to-min” and “max-to-max” in blue color.
Solar cycle length (red) vs Northern Hemisphere temperature (blue) (Stauning 2011).The number of sunspots has a minimum and a maximum. The solar cycle length can be found in two ways. Either as the difference between two successive dates on which the number of sunspots show a minimum or as the difference between two successive dates on which the number of sunspots shows a maximum. The first number is indicated in the legend as “min-to-min” and the second as “max-to-max” in red color.The temperatures on the minimum dates and the maximum dates are indicated in the legend as “min-to-min” and “max-to-max” in blue color
Figure 1: Solar cycle length (red) vs Northern Hemisphere temperature (blue) (Stauning 2011).The number of sunspots has a minimum and a maximum. The solar cycle length can be found in two ways. Either as the difference between two successive dates on which the number of sunspots show a minimum or as the difference between two successive dates on which the number of sunspots shows a maximum. The first number is indicated in the legend as “min-to-min” and the second as “max-to-max” in red color.The temperatures on the minimum dates and the maximum dates are indicated in the legend as “min-to-min” and “max-to-max” in blue color.
Figure 1: Solar cycle length (red) vs Northern Hemisphere temperature (blue) (Stauning 2011).The number of sunspots has a minimum and a maximum. The solar cycle length can be found in two ways. Either as the difference between two successive dates on which the number of sunspots show a minimum or as the difference between two successive dates on which the number of sunspots shows a maximum. The first number is indicated in the legend as “min-to-min” and the second as “max-to-max” in red color.The temperatures on the minimum dates and the maximum dates are indicated in the legend as “min-to-min” and “max-to-max” in blue color.

Indústrialização e globalização - algumas leituras

Fui colecionando, a este propósito, alguns artigos. São todos muito interessantes, e carreando muito material para reflexão: o bold é meu .

It is hard to estimate how much more it would cost to build iPhones in the United States. However, various academics and manufacturing analysts estimate that because labor is such a small part of technology manufacturing, paying American wages would add up to $65 to each iPhone’s expense. Since Apple’s profits are often hundreds of dollars per phone, building domestically, in theory, would still give the company a healthy reward. 

But such calculations are, in many respects, meaningless because building the iPhone in the United States would demand much more than hiring Americans — it would require transforming the national and global economies. Apple executives believe there simply aren’t enough American workers with the skills the company needs or factories with sufficient speed and flexibility. Other companies that work with Apple, like Corning, also say they must go abroad. [....]

Wages weren’t the major reason for the disparities. Rather it was costs like inventory and how long it took workers to finish a task. [....]

In the past decade, the flow of goods emerging from U.S. factories has risen by about a third. Factory employment has fallen by roughly the same fraction. The story of Standard Motor Products, a 92-year-old, family-run manufacturer based in Queens, sheds light on both phenomena. It’s a story of hustle, ingenuity, competitive success, and promise for America’s economy. It also illuminates why the jobs crisis will be so difficult to solve.

Politicians say we have the most productive workers in the world. They don't know what they're talking about. 

Alternatively, companies can cut costs by seeking out cheaper suppliers around the world—to use the business school term, they can engage in global supply chain management. A U.S.-based computer company can lower its costs by moving its customer call center from South Dakota to India. Walmart can shift its clothing purchases from a Chinese shirt manufacturer to a cheaper supplier in Vietnam. Apple can find a cheaper offshore supplier for its iPhone display screen. 

But here’s the rub: both of these corporate strategies— domestic productivity improvements and global supply chain management—show up as productivity gains in U.S. economic records. When federal statisticians calculate the nation’s economic output, what they are actually measuring is domestic “value added”—the dollar value of all sales minus the dollar value of all imports. “Productivity” is then calculated by dividing the quantity of value added by the number of American workers. American workers, however, often have little to do with the gains in productivity attributed to them. For instance, if Company A saves $250,000 simply by switching from a Japanese sprocket supplier to a much cheaper Chinese sprocket supplier, that change shows up as an increase in American productivity—just as if the company had saved $250,000 by making its warehouse operation in Chicago more efficient.[....]

[....] David Ignatius is one of the people who works in this industry. His Post column today urges readers to contemplate the awful thought that, quoting Francis Fukuyama:"What if the further development of technology and globalization undermines the middle class and makes it impossible for more than a minority of citizens in an advanced society to achieve middle-class status?”It is very useful to the One Percent to pretend that their wealth and the near stagnation in living standards for everyone else is just the result of "the further development of technology and globalization." However this has nothing to do with reality. Globalization has hurt the living standards of the middle class... In the same vein it is not technology by itself that has made some people very rich. It is largely government granted patent and copyright monopolies that have made people rich. These polices are becoming increasingly inefficient mechanisms for supporting innovation and creative work. [....]

In the past 30 years, the UK's manufacturing sector has shrunk by two-thirds, the greatest de-industrialisation of any major nation. It was done in the name of economic modernisation – but what has replaced it? [....]

20 de março de 2012

Encélado, Titã e os anéis de Saturno

Color-composite image from Cassini raw data acquired on March 12, 2012. (NASA/JPL/SSI/J. Major)

Astronomy Picture of the Day, 2012 March 20 - Evolução da Lua

Astronomy Picture of the Day
 Evolution of the Moon Video Credit: LRO, SVC, NASA

Explanation: What is the history of the Moon? The Moon was likely created from debris expelled when a Mars-sized object violently impacted the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. Just after gravitationally condensing, as imagined above, the glowing-hot surface of the Moon cooled and cracked. Rocks large and small continued to impact the surface, including a particularly large impact that created Aitken Basin about 4.3 billion years ago. A Heavy Bombardment period then continued for hundreds of millions of years, creating large basins all over the lunar surface. Over the next few billion years lava flowed into Earth-side basins, eventually cooling into the dark maria we see today. As always, relentless impacts continued, forming the craters we see today, slowly diminishing over the past billion years. Today the cooled Moon we know and love is as dark as coal and always keeps the same face toward Earth. Exactly how the Moon formed initially, and why lunar maria are only on the Earth side, remain active topics of research.

19 de março de 2012

Fica a informação ...

Table 1. Ranking of World official gold holdings (as of Nov or earlier 2011*) 

Source: World Gold Council. Note: * Data are taken from the IMF’s IFS, Dec 2011 edition. Holdings are as of November 2011 for most countries and October 2011 or earlier for late reporters.

14 de março de 2012

Curta e seca

Na linha de citar cartas de economistas, e agora de outro quadrante, esta de Joan Robinson para Ronald Meek é exemplar, a diversos títulos:

When I say I understand Marx better than you, I don’t mean to say that I know the text better than you do. If you start throwing quotations at me you will have me baffled in no time. In fact, I refuse to play before you begin.

What I mean is that I have Marx in my bones and you have him in your mouth. To take an example – the idea that constant capital is an embodiment of labour power expended in the past. To you this is something that has to be proved with a lot of Hegelian stuff and nonsense. Whereas I say (though I do not use such pompous terminology): ‘Naturally – what else did you think it could be?’

Margaret Thatcher responde a Hayek

Brad DeLong (donde retirei a referência) comenta a propósito do que gostaria mesmo era de conhecer a carta originária de Friedrich Hayek. Eu também. Esta carta comprova, além do mais, que a senhora foi e é, verdadeiramente, uma democrata, o que acresce ao facto de sempre ter aceite a realidade do aquecimento global no inventário das qualidades que lhe reconheço.

Letter from Margaret Thatcher to Friedrich Hayek

Thank you for your letter of 5 February. I was very glad that you able to attend the dinner so thoughtfully organized by Walter Salomon. It was not only a great pleasure for me, it was, as always, instructive and rewarding to hear your views on the great issues of our times.I was aware of the remarkable success of the Chilean economy in reducing the share of Government expenditure substantially over the decade of the 70s. The progression from Allende's Socialism to the free enterprise capitalist economy of the 1980s is a striking example of economic reform from which we can learn many lessons.However, I am sure you will agree that, in Britain with our democratic institutions and the need for a high degree of consent, some of the measures adopted in Chile are quite unacceptable. Our reform must be in line with our traditions and our Constitution. At times the process may seem painfully slow. But I am certain we shall achieve our reforms in our own way and in our own time. Then they will endure. February 17, 1982

Alguns gráficos para perceber os problemas político-económicos dos EUA

E no sítio de onde se tirou estes há mais. Cada um destes gráficos exige inspeção cuidada, e nalguns deles existe informação equivalente sobre Portugal.


[....] bad policies are often the result, not of ignorance or malice, but of the incentives created by an institutional structure [....]

Preto sobre branco: a brutal verdade do capitalismo financeiro (norte-americano) actual

A gravura acompanha o artigo, e como o artigo é brutal, e como o artigo quer ser brutal.
Fui encaminhado para este depoimento no NYT por este artigo do Económico (aqui).

TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. 
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for. 

It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief. 

But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied. 

I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work. 

[continuar a ler:.... é obrigatório]

Astronomy Picture of the Day, 2012 March 14 - Sol de má catadura

Angry Sun Erupting
Image Credit & Copyright: Alan Friedman (Averted Imagination)
Explanation: It's one of the baddest sunspot regions in years. Active Region 1429 may not only look, to some, like an angry bird -- it has thrown off some of the most powerful flares and coronal mass ejections of the current solar cycle. The extended plumes from these explosions have even rained particles on the Earth's magnetosphere that have resulted in colorful auroras. Pictured above, AR 1429 was captured in great detail in the Sun's chromosphere three days ago by isolating a color of light emitted primarily by hydrogen. The resulting image is shown in inverted false color with dark regions being the brightest and hottest. Giant magnetically-channeled tubes of hot gas, some longer than the Earth, are known as spicules and can be seen carpeting the chromosphere. The light tendril just above AR 1429 is a cool filament hovering just over the active sunspot region. As solar maximum nears in the next few years, the increasingly wound and twisted magnetic field of the Sun may create even more furious active regions that chirp even more energetic puffs of solar plasma into our Solar System. 

9 de março de 2012


“Nihil sapientiae odiosius acumine nimio“ (Nothing is more hateful to wisdom than excessive cleverness) 

Petrarca, “De Remediis utriusque Fortunae”

Nota: O economista espanhol de quem retirei a citação numa nota sobre a situação económica espanhola (que vale a pena ler) explica que wisdom, no contexto do que Petrarca diz, deve ser intrepretada como astúcia.

7 de março de 2012

As diferenças entre o sistema de saúde norte-americano e o francês: leitura interessante!

France and U.S. Health Care: Twins Separated at Birth? - Megan McArdle - Business - The Atlantic

By way of introduction, I want to make clear that I have no particular expertise when it comes to healthcare policy. My knowledge is merely that of a layman who follows the news. I'm even well-aware that one of my esteemed co-guest bloggers is Avik Roy, who's one of the most talented health care wonks on the internet, whose work I avidly followed at his previous National Review digs. In fact, this post can be read as an invitation to Avik to enlighten me.

All that being said, from my outlook there's something that I haven't seen discussed and yet seems striking to me: how similar the French and U.S. healthcare systems are. 

On its face, this seems like a preposterous notion: whenever the two are mentioned together, it's to say that they're polar opposites. 

France has been called the best healthcare system in the world by the World Health Organization. And if there's something everyone in the US seems to agree on, it's that US healthcare, well, horribly sucks, although they strongly disagree about why and what to do about it. 

And yet, to me, the similarities are glaring

[continuar a ler, porque a partir daqui é que se torna mesmo interessante...]

4 de março de 2012

A questão da moral nos EUA

ASKED to explain his support for Rick Santorum in Michigan's primary, voter Sandy Munro said, "Now what we need is a strong political leader to do something to get us out of the moral slump that we’re in."

Mr Santorum would agree, having noted that "Satan has his sights on the United States of America." As would Mitt Romney, who has attacked the decay caused by Barack Obama's "secular agenda". Newt Gingrich has gone the furthest, stating, “A country that has been now since 1963 relentlessly in the courts driving God out of public life shouldn’t be surprised at all the problems we have."

But what are these problems? When considering America's moral decline, my first instinct was to look at the crime rate. If Satan is at work in America, he's probably nicking wallets and assaulting old ladies. But over the past several decades the crime rate has fallen dramatically, despite what you may think. The homicide rate has been cut in half since 1991; violent crime and property crime are also way down. Even those pesky kids are committing less crime. There are some caveats to these statistics, as my colleague points out, but I think we can conclude that crime is not the cause of America's moral decline. So let's look elsewhere. Abortion has returned as a hot-button issue, perhaps it is eating away at our moral fiber. Hmm, the abortion rate declined by 8% between 2000 and 2008. Increases in divorce and infidelity could be considered indicators of our moral decay. There's just one problem: according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the divorce rate is the lowest it has been since the early 1970s. This is in part due to the recession, but infidelity is down too.

Other areas that might indicate declining virtue are also going against the perceived trend. For example, charitable giving is up after a decline during the recession. The teenage pregnancy rate is at its lowest level in 40 years. And according to Education Week, "the nation’s graduation rate stands at 72 percent, the highest level of high school completion in more than two decades." So where is the evidence of this moral decline? 

[continua. e bastante interessante...]

Astronomy Picture of the Day, 2012 March 4 - Galáxia enviesada

Warped Spiral Galaxy ESO 510-13
Image Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), C. Conselice (U. Wisconsin/STScI) et al., NASA

Explanation: How did spiral galaxy ESO 510-13 get bent out of shape? The disks of many spirals are thin and flat, but not solid. Spiral disks are loose conglomerations of billions of stars and diffuse gas all gravitationally orbiting a galaxy center. A flat disk is thought to be created by sticky collisions of large gas clouds early in the galaxy's formation. Warped disks are not uncommon, though, and even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a small warp. The causes of spiral warps are still being investigated, but some warps are thought to result from interactions or even collisions between galaxies. ESO 510-13, pictured above digitally sharpened, is about 150 million light years away and about 100,000 light years across.

3 de março de 2012

Alterações climáticas, seca e problemas

Syria: Climate Change, Drought and Social Unrest | ThinkProgress

NOAA concluded in 2011 that “human-caused climate change [is now] a major factor in more frequent Mediterranean droughts.” Reds and oranges highlight lands around the Mediterranean that experienced significantly drier winters during 1971-2010 than the comparison period of 1902-2010.  [Click to enlarge.]

From 2006-2011, up to 60% of Syria’s land experienced, in the terms of one expert, “the worst long-term drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent many millennia ago.” According to a special case study from last year’s Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR), of the most vulnerable Syrians dependent on agriculture, particularly in the northeast governorate of Hassakeh (but also in the south), “nearly 75 percent … suffered total crop failure.” Herders in the northeast lost around 85% of their livestock, affecting 1.3 million people.

The human and economic costs are enormous.  In 2009, the UN and IFRC reported that over 800,000 Syrians had lost their entire livelihood as a result of the droughts. By 2011, the aforementioned GAR report estimated that the number of Syrians who were left extremely “food insecure” by the droughts sat at about one million. The number of people driven into extreme poverty is even worse, with a UN report from last year estimating two to three million people affected.

This has led to a massive exodus of farmers, herders and agriculturally-dependent rural families from the countryside to the cities. Last January, it was reported that crop failures (particularly the Halaby pepper) just in the farming villages around the city of Aleppo, had led “200,000 rural villagers to leave for the cities.” In October 2010, the New York Times highlighted a UN estimate that 50,000 families migrated from rural areas just that year, “on top of the hundreds of thousands of people who fled in earlier years.” In context of Syrian cities coping with influxes of Iraqi refugees since the U.S. invasion in 2003, this has placed additional strains and tensions on an already stressed and disenfranchised population.

Mais uma razão para ter áreas marítimas protegidas: para recuperar a imagem do que era.

Daniel Pauly: The ocean's shifting baseline | Video on TED.com

O que é o populismo?

O bold é meu.

Populism can be defined by two key features:

  1. Consensus gathering based on promises of redistribution to the masses.
  2. Concealment of government budget constraints from the voters.

These flourished in Latin America, mostly during boom times.Populist governments that succeed in good economic times can easily implement public expenditure policies which are, in fact, procyclical, as a number of research contributions show (Akitoby et al. 2004, Kaminsky et al. 2004, Talvi and Vegh 2005). Indeed, in Latin America populism is widely understood as excessive public spending during booms. Obviously, fiscal policies should, instead, be  countercyclical in order to fulfill the basic principle of consumption smoothing at the aggregate level and the idea of accumulating public sector precautionary savings as insurance against future recessions. Finding a procyclical pattern of government spending is even more shocking because, in developing countries, the business cycle is much more pronounced and volatile than in developed countries.

Isto é muito interessante...

... é uma reflexão de um russo (daí, talvez, uma das razões para uma perspectiva incomum) sobre a democracia. Abaixo um pequeno excerto, com um bold meu.

[....]These analyses are not wrong so much as peripheral, or, to say it more specifically, derivative of more fundamental causes. The consensus seems to be that the challenge to democratic countries arises from external forces. Little to nothing is said about whether democracy fits the contemporary conditions and internal makeup of Western societies today as well as it fit them twenty, forty or sixty years ago. The truth is that changes within Western societies pose the deepest challenges to liberal democracy, changes so intimate to the lives of Westerners that they disappear mostly unnoticed into the flow of everyday experience. If a fish is really the last to discover water, then perhaps the citizens of liberal democratic countries are the least mindful of the conditions that nourish democratic governance, and the least likely to notice when those conditions change. Indeed, while we recognize readily that some social histories conduce to democracy more than others at any give time, we sometimes forget that changes through time can stress political institutions, democratic ones and others alike.[....]

É outro tipo de problema que aflige mais uns países do que outros,

...  mais uns intervenientes do que outros, mas de que todos deveriam ter medo, e por isso mesmo, deveriam tomar as devidas precauções para limitar a sua incidência, por exemplo: estudar mais, pugnar por mais e melhores estatísticas, etc.

"[I]gnoramitocracy—a country in which ignorance-driven political paralysis prevents us from grappling with even our most pressing problems."

Robert H. Frank, The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good

Admito que isto é um problema, mas os problemas devem ser solucionados, e no caso vertente, a solução passa por fazer política, que, como alguém disse, "é a arte de convencer os cidadãos a escolher um dado caminho", mas convenhamos, a maior parte do tempo a política é dar pão e oferecer circo.

[....] Politicians [....]are failing Europe by being forever behind the curve. Why do they find it so hard to lead?

One answer that can be easily dismissed is that politicians simply don’t understand the gravity of the situation. Political leaders need not be economic geniuses to understand the advice that they hear, and many are both intelligent and well-read.

A second answer – that politicians have short time horizons, owing to electoral cycles – may contain a kernel of truth, but it is inadequate, because the adverse consequences of timid action often become apparent well before they are up for re-election.

The best answer that I have heard comes from Axel Weber, the former president of Germany’s Bundesbank and an astute political observer. In Weber’s view, policymakers simply do not have the public mandate to get ahead of problems, especially novel ones that seem small initially, but, if unresolved, imply potentially large costs.

If the problem has not been experienced before, the public is not convinced of the potential costs of inaction. And, if action prevents the problem, the public never experiences the averted calamity, and voters therefore penalize political leaders for the immediate costs that the action entails. Even if politicians have perfect foresight of the disaster that awaits if nothing is done, they may have little ability to persuade voters, or less insightful party members, that the short-term costs must be paid.

Talk is cheap, and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the status quo usually appears comfortable enough. So leaders’ ability to take corrective action increases only with time, as some of the costs of inaction are experienced.

Calamity can still be averted if the costs of inaction escalate steadily. The worst problems, however, are those with “inaction costs” that remain invisible for a long time, but increase suddenly and explosively. By the time the leader has the mandate to act, it may be too late. [....]


Don’t blame the leaders for appearing short-sighted and indecisive; the fault may lie with us, the public, for not listening to the worrywarts.


"The essence of crisis is unpredictability. The crisis that is confidently believed to involve no danger of things getting out of hand is no crisis"

Jacob Kirkegaard


Infrastructure investment only makes sense when there is a clear problem that needs solving and when benefits exceed costs.

Robert Reich define o partido republicano e espera que não governem os EUA - e eu, também não

A party of birthers, creationists, theocrats, climate-change deniers, nativists, gay-bashers, anti-abortionists, media paranoids, anti-intellectuals, and out-of-touch country clubbers cannot govern America. Yet even if they lose the presidency on Election Day they’re still likely to be in charge of at least one house of Congress as well as several state legislators and governorships. That’s a problem for the nation.