terça-feira, março 23, 2004
Are We Serfs?
Mais um artigo comemorativo do 60ª aniversário da 1ª edição do livro "The Road to Serfdom" de Hayek. Neste artigo Robert L. Formaini tenta explicar o paradoxo do crescimento económico no actual clima de sobreregulação.
Economists and other social thinkers may have underestimated the market's ability to adapt to, and to avoid, regulation.1 Many regulations, although they might well continue to do long-run economic harm, become obsolete -- often quickly -- as technology and markets adapt and/or avoid their impact. Many regulations are not enforced, and many are only slightly enforced. Markets are very dynamic and capable of dodging regulation as easily and as often as good halfbacks shed even the most determined tacklers. In other words, as Stigler also pointed out, regulation on paper and regulation in practice are two very different things. If this is not true, then how has our economy been able to absorb, with relative ease, the tens of thousands of regulations passed in just the past decade or so?
Apparently, firms have the capacity to avoid, or to deflect many regulations even as they continually cut their costs and squeeze out ongoing productivity increases. This avoidance technique can involve many behaviors, but the most common seem to be technological advances (or apparent advances) that change market definitions just enough to enable firms to evade existing regulation, the outsourcing of capital and/or jobs to cut overall production costs, and the inventive use of existing technologies to improve the efficiency of firms' supply chains. More drastically, firms can sometimes move their operations altogether to avoid taxes and regulations. The world is now, whether it wants to be or not, a set of competing nations much as America is a set of competing states and localities; the major competition is for capital. The tools used are the same as well: tax cuts and subsidies, cheap resources, and cheap labor.
posted by Miguel Noronha 4:51 da tarde
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