Façam o favor de ler com a devida atenção:
Save the Rust Belt!, por Megan McArdle:
A few heartfelt pleas from native Michiganders who don't want to see their state destroyed. Several emails and comments complaining that I'm a heartless, effete New York type who doesn't understand that if the Big Three go down, some darn fine folks and a beautiful way of life will be destroyed.
I love western New York, which may be the most beautiful place on earth. I love the old cities, the Victorian shells that whisper of much happier days, and the broad, rolling hills, and the broad flat accents of the people who live on them. I love waterfalls softly falling downtown and the Buffalo City Hall. I love the place as you can only love somewhere that your family has been living for 200 years. I would save it if I could. But I can't save it. Pouring government money in has been tried . . . and tried, and tried, and tried. It props up the local construction business, or some company, for a few more years, and then slowly drains away. Western New York has been the lucky recipient of largesse from a generous federal government, a flush state government, and not a few self-made men with happy memories of a childhood there. And still, it dies.
Moreover, it wouldn't be right to save it by destroying someone else's business, killing someone else's town. That's the choice we are facing. At its heart, economics is not about money; it is about resources. Every dollar sent to Detroit buys a yard of steel, a reel of copper wire, an hour of labor that now cannot be consumed by a business that actually produces a profitable, desireable product. It's not right to strangle those businesses in order to steal some air for the dying giants of an earlier day.
Failure: For Our Future, por Will Wilkinson:
We should do what we can to limit downside risk consistent with the goal of producing broad prosperity. And we should feel a pang for those whose expectations are disappointed, whose lives turn out harder than they’d hoped. But the impulse to freeze the system, to try to tape all the cracks and staple all the cleavages, to ensure that nobody has to explain to their kid why Christmas this year is going to be a lousy Christmas, that is one of our greatest dangers. Our sympathy, untutored by a grasp of the larger scheme, can perversely make itself ever more necessary. When we feel compelled to act on our uncoached fellow-feeling, next year’s Christmas is likely to turn a bit worse for everybody. And then somebody has to explain to the kids that they can’t find a job at all. Businesses that would get started don’t get started, wealth that would be created isn’t. And in just a few decades, the prevailing standard of living is much, much lower than it could have been had our sympathy been more far-seeing. There is no justice, and great harm, in diminishing the whole array of future opportunity to save a few people now from a regrettable fate.
On Human Suffering, por Conor Friedersdorf:
Perhaps you disagree with Will. That is, however, irrelevant to this point: asking will to support the Detroit bailout, without changing his mind about human suffering, is the same as asking that he deliberately condemn people to suffering. Or put another way, saying to Will, "How can you stand by without bailing these people out, you callous man," is akin to saying to a doctor enforcing a quarantine, "How can you let that man suffer alone in there without releasing him into human company," even though the doctor believes with all his heart that releasing the man would spread his disease through an entire population that would otherwise not suffer so.
Try to change the mind of Will and like-minded people who oppose an auto-bailout if you think their premises are incorrect — but if you accuse them of being callous, or appeal to their sympathy, you are misunderstanding their position. Indeed it is their very sympathy and humanity, informed by their logic, that prevents them from being able to support a bailout, though they feel for those who would be helped by it just as the doctor feels for the quarantined man. (I should add that this analogy isn’t perfect, because the quarantined man can and should be helped in other ways.)
Em Portugal, desde comunistas a socialistas, passando por sociais democratas e democratas cristãos, todos gostam de falar sobre a sua preocupação para com as pessoas e com os mais pobres/carenciados - e falam dessa preocupação para propôr ideias e medidas de apoio de curto prazo. Visto dessa perspectiva, por vezes, fica a ideia que pessoas que não partilham das suas soluções de curto prazo não só não tem essa preocupação, como estão completamente nas tintas para o conjunto de pessoas mais desfavorecidas. Ora, o que se passa é precisamente o contrário, é por nos preocuparmos com as pessoas e os mais desfavorecidos, com as condições de vida das populações servidas pelos politicos que nos governam, que seguindo aquilo que acreditamos não temos outra hipótese se não ser contra medidinhas de curto-prazo que podem trazer beneficios imediatos a algumas pessoas, mas prejudicam muitas mais a médio prazo (incluindo, por vezes, as próprias beneficiadas no imediato). Claro que retratar o adversário como uma pessoa desumana, fria e cruel, é uma boa forma de ganhar a simpatia popular face ao adversário, mas não é certamente uma boa maneira de ganhar no plano do debate de ideias.