Wednesday, 24 March 2010


   "Any debate on this?" Yes.
   First, a justification: I have been wanting to blog a little more, namely in reaction to this post by Francesco and this other one by Pedro (Lains), but I have had no time. I will try to find some briefly. So, for the moment, profiting from a quick after-lunch interim, just a quick reaction to this post by Pedro (Pita Barros).

   With respect to the Finnish joke I would just recall the much older and more famous one by Lord Keynes (himself): "In the long run we're all dead". This is not to say that Pedro is not right. It is just to remind everybody how not taking some emergency measures may sometimes not be a solution. Particularly when all alternative solutions are equally difficult. I am not saying either that we should leave the euro. I am just saying that in the short run we are confronted with the following options: the horrible versus the horrible. Consequently, we will have to choose between the horrible and the horrible.
   Which leads me to the long run. Pedro's argument is a long run one. And it is about growth. And I wonder what in the long run is the solution for the restoration of growth in Portugal. If that solution comes from the now quarter-of-a-century old (literally, since 1985) litany of reforming the labour market, reforming Justice, reforming the tax system, reducing the size of the state, reforming bureaucracy, increasing human capital accumulation, reforming mentalities, etc., etc., my question is: should we wait for another quarter-century to complete these reforms?

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