Sunday, April 09, 2006

A virtude não está no meio

Sobre a social-democracia e a inevitabilidade da fuga aos impostos:

No Third Way de Tibor R. Machan

"Socialism was shown back in 1922, in Ludwig von Mises' book by that name, to be an impossible economic system. Von Mises demonstrated that a planned economy cannot allocate resources effectively, so that those who need things and those who can produce them are properly linked up to communicate with one another. Only in a free market is this possible because the price system--whereby individuals pay for what they want from assets they have--serves as the means of communication between consumers and producers.

Since that time all the brutal as well as so called humane socialist experiments have failed, yet it took the collapse of the Soviet Union to finally convince the majority of intellectuals and politicians around the globe that socialism is a non-starter.

Still, even now many people do not get it. They are championing what is called "The Third Way," a system of wealth redistribution that is supposed to keep all productive people working hard despite the confiscation of much of their wealth.


There is, furthermore, an interesting reason why the semi-socialist policies of much of the world can continue, despite their evident failure to do any good and their contribution to massive economic shortages and unproductiveness. This is related to a phenomenon identified some time ago by Arthur Laffer, an economists at the University of Southern California. Laffer identified what has since then come to be called the (bell shaped) Laffer Curve that illustrates the way taxation and other forms of assault by government can continue despite its nasty impact on people's lives. Up to the top of the curve people will tolerate the violence because to fight the tax collectors and regulators costs too much. But after that point--which for different people may turn out to be different--people will being to resist either by rebelling or by refusing to produce.

There is a simple way to grasp this: Imagine that you are burglarized every year once but not enough is taken to make it worth your while to get the police involved, nor do they have the resources to go after the burglars, and preventive equipment such as an alarm system also costs too much. You will probably respond simply by working harder.

However, if a great deal of what you have gets stolen from you and often enough, the effort to resist and track down the thieves becomes worth it or if you fail, you'll just give up and stop producing. The Third Way approach to public policy involves figuring out, with all kinds of trial and error and related machinery, just how much government expropriation the majority of the productive people in society are willing to tolerate without serious--either active or passive--resistance. In most European and other countries, that amount can be quite a lot, since citizens tend to defer to public authority, given their long history of feudal rule where the inhabitants were deemed to be subjects, not sovereign citizens."
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