Archive for 13 de Março, 2008

Portugal’s economy is 64.3 percent free, according to our 2008 assessment, which makes it the world’s 53rd freest economy. Its overall score is 0.2 percentage point lower than last year, reflecting worsened scores in four of the 10 economic freedoms. Portugal is ranked 26th freest out of 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is slightly lower than the regional average. Portugal enjoys very high levels of business freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, property rights, and freedom from corruption. The average tariff rate is low, but non-tariff barriers include distortionary EU subsidies on agriculture and other goods. Business formation is efficient, although other commercial operations are often slowed by bureaucracy. Inflation is low, and the government actively promotes foreign investment. Case resolution is slower than the EU average, but the judiciary is independent and free of corruption.Portugal has very low scores in government size, fiscal freedom, and labor freedom. Total government spending equals almost 50 percent of GDP, and the labor sector is highly restrictive in all areas, from maximum workweek hours to employment severance procedures.

After the 1974 “Revolution of the Carnations” that overthrew its long-running dictatorship, Portugal embarked on a course of rapid democratization and adopted a strong Euro-Atlantic outlook. It joined the European Union in 1986, liberalizing many parts of the economy and improving its infrastructure with the help of EU funds. However, Portugal has suffered in recent years from low educational achievement, sluggish growth, and fiscal imbalances. It also faces challenges from the loss of its comparative advantage in cheap labor following the accession of Central and Eastern European countries to the European Union. Portugal’s main exports include agricultural produce, wood products (especially cork), and canned foods.

Business Freedom – 79.6%

The overall freedom to start, operate, and close a business is relatively well protected by Portugal’s regulatory environment. Starting a business takes an average of seven days, compared to the world average of 43 days. Obtaining a business license requires more than the world average of 19 procedures and 234 days. Bankruptcy proceedings are fairly easy and straightforward.

Trade Freedom – 86%

Portugal’s trade policy is the same as those of other members of the European Union. The common EU weighted average tariff rate was 2 percent in 2005. Non-tariff barriers reflected in EU policy include agricultural and manufacturing subsidies, import restrictions for some goods and services, market access restrictions in some service sectors, nontransparent and restrictive regulations and standards, and inconsistent customs administration across EU members. Pharmaceutical regulations and non-transparent government procurement also add to the cost of trade. Consequently, an additional 10 percentage points is deducted from Portugal’s trade freedom score.

Fiscal Freedom – 61.3%

Portugal has a high income tax rate and a moderate corporate tax rate. The top income tax rate is 42 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 27.5 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT), a property tax, and a vehicle tax. In the most recent year, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 36.3 percent.

Freedom from Government – 32.6%

Total government expenditures, including consumption and transfer payments, are high. In the most recent year, government spending equaled 47.4 percent of GDP. The government has slowly pushed forward public administration reform as part of its effort to reduce the budget deficit.

Monetary Freedom – 79.4%

Portugal is a member of the euro zone. Inflation is relatively low, averaging 2.8 percent between 2004 and 2006. Relatively stable prices explain most of the monetary freedom score. As a participant in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, the government subsidizes agricultural production, distorting the prices of agricultural products. The government also influences prices through state-owned enterprises and utilities. Consequently, an additional 10 percentage points is deducted from Portugal’s monetary freedom score.

Investment Freedom – 70%

Foreigners may invest in almost all sectors that are open to private enterprise. Non-EU investment in defense, water management, public-service telecommunications, railways, and maritime transportation requires approval; non-EU investment in regular air transport and television operations is also restricted. The government’s “Simplex 2007” plan aims to simplify business investment and approval measures. Privatization of parts of the state airline, a utility, and a paper company are also scheduled. Residents and non-residents may hold foreign exchange accounts. There are no controls or restrictions on repatriation of profits, current transfers, payments for invisible transactions, or real estate transactions.

Financial Freedom – 50%

Financial institutions may offer a variety of services, and regulation by the central bank is improving. The sole remaining state-owned financial services firm, Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), is Portugal’s largest financial group. CGD and four large private banks account for about 80 percent of assets. Consolidation continued in 2006 with the merger of the largest and fourth-largest private banks. The government influences the allocation of credit through a program to assist small and medium-size enterprises. CGD also owns two of the three firms that dominate insurance. Capital markets and the stock market remain relatively small. The stock exchange participates in Euronext, the common trading platform linking the bourses of Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.

Property Rights – 70%

The judiciary is independent. The court system is slow and deliberate, and the number of years it takes to resolve cases is well above the EU average. Portugal implements the WTO’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and European intellectual property protection standards and has increased the penalties for violators.

Freedom from Corruption – 66%

Corruption is perceived as present. Portugal ranks 26th out of 163 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2006. Foreign firms no longer identify corruption as an obstacle to investment. Portugal has ratified the OECD Anti-bribery Convention and recently passed legislation to bring its criminal code into compliance with it.

Labor Freedom – 48%

Inflexible employment regulations hinder overall productivity growth and employment opportunities. The non-salary cost of employing a worker is high, and the rigidity of hiring and firing a worker creates a risk aversion for companies that would otherwise employ more people. Regulations related to the number of work hours are not flexible.


fonte:  Portugal 

Nota: Portugal tem vindo a decrescer de ano para ano. Já esteve entre os 25 primeiros.

Read Full Post »


Tibor Richard Machan nasceu em 18 de Março de 1939. É professor emérito no departamento de Filosofia na Universidade de Auburn, EUA.

O professor Machan é colunista e autor de mais de 100 artigos escolares e mais de 30 livros, mais recentemente a obra Libertarianism Defended (Ashgate, 2006). Deu aulas em filosofia política e ética empresarial na Europa, África do Sul, Nova Zelândia, República da Geórgia, Arménia e na América Latina. Normalmente o trabalho de Machan está dirigido para a filosofia política, em particular a teoria dos direitos naturais. Também escreve frequentemente em ética empresarial influenciado pela ética aristotélica. Machan também escreve no campo da epistemologia onde dá preferência a Ayn Rand e J. L. Austin. Argumentou frequentemente contra o direito dos animais nas obras Putting Humans First: Why We Are Nature’s Favorite (2004) e a sua posição ética completa na obra Classical Individualism: The Supreme Importance of Each Human Being (Routledge, 1998). Tibor Machan também trabalhou no problema do livre-arbitrio e é um céptico do aquecimento global.

fonte: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibor_R._Machan .

Read Full Post »

gore.jpgBelieve global warming is not occurring or has ceased:

  • Timothy F. Ball, former Professor of Geography, University of Winnipeg: “[The world’s climate] warmed from 1680 up to 1940, but since 1940 it’s been cooling down. The evidence for warming is because of distorted records. The satellite data, for example, shows cooling.” (November 2004) “There’s been warming, no question. I’ve never debated that; never disputed that. The dispute is, what is the cause. And of course the argument that human CO2 being added to the atmosphere is the cause just simply doesn’t hold up…” (May 18, 2006; at 15:30 into recording of interview) “The temperature hasn’t gone up. … But the mood of the world has changed: It has heated up to this belief in global warming.” (August 2006) “Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970’s global cooling became the consensus. … By the 1990’s temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I’ll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling.” (Feb. 5, 2007)
  • Robert M. Carter, geologist, researcher at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia: “the accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998 … there is every doubt whether any global warming at all is occurring at the moment, let alone human-caused warming.
  • Vincent R. Gray, coal chemist, climate consultant, founder of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition: “The two main ‘scientific’ claims of the IPCC are the claim that ‘the globe is warming’ and ‘Increases in carbon dioxide emissions are responsible’. Evidence for both of these claims is fatally flawed.”

Believe accuracy of IPCC climate projections is inadequate:

Individuals in this section conclude that it is not possible to project global climate accurately enough to justify the ranges projected for temperature and sea-level rise over the next century. They do not conclude specifically that the current IPCC projections are either too high or too low, but that the projections are likely to be inaccurate due to inadequacies of current global climate modeling.

  • David Bellamy, environmental campaigner, broadcaster and former botanist: a doubling of atmospheric CO2 “will amount to less than 1°C of global warming [and] such a scenario is unlikely to arise given our limited reserves of fossil fuels—certainly not before the end of this century.”
  • Hendrik Tennekes, retired Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute: “The blind adherence to the harebrained idea that climate models can generate ‘realistic’ simulations of climate is the principal reason why I remain a climate skeptic. From my background in turbulence I look forward with grim anticipation to the day that climate models will run with a horizontal resolution of less than a kilometer. The horrible predictability problems of turbulent flows then will descend on climate science with a vengeance.”
  • Antonino Zichichi, emeritus professor of physics at the University of Bologna and president of the World Federation of Scientists : “models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are incoherent and invalid from a scientific point of view”.

 fonte: List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming .

Read Full Post »

maputo.jpg foto da cidade de Maputo.

O “site” Forbes.com publicou uma lista de 25 cidades, que são consideradas as mais sujas do Mundo:

1- Baku, Azerbaijão
2 -Dhaka, Bangladesh
3 – Antananarivo, Madagáscar
4 – Port au Prince, Haiti
5 – México, México
6 – Adis Abeba, Etiópia
7 – Bombaim, Índia
8 – Baghdad, Iraque
9 – Almaty, Kazaquistão
10 – Brazaville, Congo
11 – Ndjamena, Chade
12 – Dar es Salaam, Tanzânia
13 – Bangui, República Centro Africana
14 – Moscovo, Rússia
15 – Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
16 – Bamako, Mali
17 – Ponta Negra, Congo
18 – Lome, Togo
19 – Conakry, Guiné
20 – Nouakchot, Mauritânia
21 – Niamey, Niger
22 – Luanda, Angola
23 – Maputo, Moçambique
24 – Nova Deli, Índia
25 – Port Harcourt, Nigéria

Read Full Post »