viernes, 19 de diciembre de 2008

Suba de aranceles de Impos, alla van, ellos y despues nosotros

New York 'iPod tax' incites media bleating

It's a sign of the digital times: New York's governor proposes a state budget that slashes spending on education and healthcare, lays off hundreds of workers, and increases taxes on everything from cigars to beer to luxury yachts, and most media reports focus on the proposal's misleadingly monikered "iPod tax."

Think we're exaggerating? Check out this partial list:

The blogosphere dutifully followed the mainstream-media herd:

  • Fountainhead Zero: New York State Budget Crisis: iPod Tax"
  • CrunchGear: "NY governor proposes iPod tax (among others) to make up budget shortfall"
  • Modern Conservative: "New York State Budget Crisis: iPod Tax?"
  • Newsvine: "Gov. David Paterson unveils dire New York State budget that includes... the iPod Tax"
  • osmoothie: "New York blasted with 88 new taxes, including an 'iPod tax'"

People, people, people...

There are three reasons to be miffed at the iPodification of the proposed New York State budget by the media. First - and least important - the iPod is being singled out by lazy headline writers as the target of the tax. Not so. Those who have actually read the budget proposal will note that it refers to "digitally delivered entertainment services" and not merely wares from the iTunes Store. We're talking everything from instantly downloadable Netflix gratification to porn-by-the-pound from

Second, taxing downloadable digital content is not news. Over two-and-a-half years ago,Cnet reported that "15 states and the District of Columbia now tax downloads of music, movies and electronic books." A follow-up article this year added that "In 2008 alone, at least nine states have considered digital download taxes, and at least five of those states have enacted them into law." Taxing the download stream has become a mainstream revenue stream.

Third, and finally, is simple fairness. Financially, New York State is in the toilet. Tax revenue from Wall Street? Gone. Tax revenue from tourism? Crippled. Local real-estate taxes? Evaporating. Paterson's proposed budget tears a bloody $3.5bn chunk out of the state's healthcare budget and sharply increases tuition at the State University of New York and City University of New York systems at a time when students can't even find jobs asking "Do you want fries with that?" because fewer and fewer New Yorkers can afford those tasty artery-cloggers. It lays off 521 state workers while unemployment skyrockets and cuts nearly $700m from aid to schools.

And the discussion centers on the part of the proposal that levies a four-cent tax on a 99-cent tune from the iTunes Store? Puh-leeze...

A little perspective would be welcome. 

martes, 16 de diciembre de 2008

alla vamos, por favor, ver la fecha

pero, antes un solo parrafo

Protection, meant to be a good servant, becomes a dominant and costly master.

The new American tariff

Jun 21st 1930
From The Economist print edition

The signature by President Hoover of the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Bill at Washington is the tragi-comic finale to one of the most amazing chapters in world tariff history, and it is one that protectionist enthusiasts the world over would do well to study. The reason for tariff revision was a desire to restore a balance of protection which had been tilted to the disadvantage of the agriculturalist. But so soon as ever the tariff schedules were cast into the melting-pot of revision, log-rollers and politicians set to work stirring with all their might, and a measure which started with the single object of giving satisfaction to the farmer emerges as a full-fledged high tariff act in which nearly 900 duties have been raised, some extravagantly. Such is the inevitable result of vested interests working through political influence, ending in signature by a president, antagonistic to the bill, under compulsion of political necessities. No one, except the interests who fancy their own pockets may benefit, wanted the tariff; big business in the East is against it; the economists of America have condemned it in unison; the motor manufacturers have implored Mr Hoover to use his veto; and the fear of its economic consequences at home and abroad was mainly responsible for the heaviest slump of the year in Wall Street. Yet it is now the law of that land, and we have the spectacle of a great country, at a moment of severe trade depression, and faced with a growing necessity to export her manufactures, deliberately erecting barriers against trade with the rest of the world. Here, indeed, is a classic example of what happens to a country which once starts on the slope of protection. Protection, meant to be a good servant, becomes a dominant and costly master. President Hoover, we see, endeavours to coat the pill by suggesting that the "flexible" provisions will be used to mitigate the effects of the tariff, where it may be found to be irksome. This hope is surely illusory, as similar hopes held out in the past have proved to lie. In the first two years of President Coolidge's administration a number of duties were raised, but only two reduced—namely, on the vital items of bran and live bobwhite quail. We are compelled to accept the view expressed some years ago by Dr Taussig that "the interests involved in tariff-making are so powerful, and can exert such influence on the party in power, that disinterested and non-partisan administration of the flexible provisions is a vain dream." If there is any comfort to be derived from this latest chapter in tariff folly, it is the belief that American eyes will be forcibly opened to the fact that they are faced by areductio ad absurdum. Incidentally, every week brings new evidence of the realisation by American business leaders of the dangers of the fiscal path which America is treading. In a contribution to the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Mr Edward A. Filene, while disavowing Free Trade convictions, argues powerfully that a lowering of American tariffs is essential for the stimulation both of world trade in general and American exports in particular.Magna est veritas et prevalebit.

viernes, 12 de diciembre de 2008


Para salir de lo diario (y los chinos), esta Islandia, donde filmaron una pelicula de Bond, y, creo van a enviar a alguno de aca muy rapido, no se si para calmar a los Islandeses o a los Ingleses
el articulo es largo, vale la pena practicar el ingles, hasta dice, donde dice que debemos pagar las deudas?

un par de exceprts del mismo, por favor, no se rian, lo dicen los Islandeses, no yo

On the chilly afternoon of December 1st a few hundred of them, shouting “David out, David out”, gathered at the Arnarson statue and marched down the hill to the central bank. In the lobby, they were met by riot police, who eventually defused the situation.

Ordinary citizens instead borrowed from their banks in cheaper currencies such as yen and Swiss francs to buy even the most modest homes and cars.

She blames the country’s reckless bankers for the ruin of the economy. “If I met a banker,” she says, “I’d kick his ass so hard, my shoes would be stuck inside.”

In Iceland there are still many misgivings about repaying the huge debts incurred, as there are about other aspects of the IMF programme.

In his unassuming whitewashed offices near the central bank, Geir Haarde, the prime minister, appears sympathetic to some of these concerns. “There is still a lot of legal argumentation saying we should not pay” the debt to Icesave depositors, he says, though he stresses that his government has agreed to reimburse them.

He suggests that the government also thought long and hard before turning to the IMF.

Para que se sigan ilustrando, si quieren


martes, 2 de diciembre de 2008

quienes no leen la historia, etc (o algo asi)

Podre o no molestar con China, pero creo que en los proximos 10 años comeremos arroz, nos guste o no

para muestra, algo de historia

China in History — From 200 to 2005

By The Globalist

For all the raging debates about China’s future, what about the country’s past as a guidepost? Especially if one looks back further than the past 60 years, amazing perspectives emerge. And then, there are all the historic achievements of China right in our own time — from reducing poverty to achieving stellar economic growth.

How did ancient China view the world?

Ancient Chinese claimed to hold a “Mandate of Heaven”, according to which they had a valid claim to preside over everyone else by virtue of their unequivocal political, cultural and moral authority.

(University of Southern California)

The world's earliest surviving large-scale census was undertaken in China's Han Empire in A.D. 2 — and counted 57,771,400 people. 
(Joanna Waley-Cohen, "Sextants of Beijing")

For how many centuries did China have the world’s largest economy?

China has been the world’s largest economy for 18 of the past 20 centuries.

(Financial Times)

What else distinguished China?

China was not only the largest economy for much of recorded history. Until the 15th century, it also had the highest income per capita — and was the world’s technological leader.

(The Economist)

What is but one example of China’s technological leadership?

Around the year 1000, the Chinese made a series of major technical advances related to their improved knowledge of geography, astronomy, mapmaking and shipbuilding. Among other advances, they invented the compass — which radically improved their ability to navigate.

(Franklin Institute)

Which effect did that have on world commerce?

China became a leading maritime power around the year 1000, when Chinese shipbuilders began to build massive oceangoing junks. These ships were up to 300 feet long, had a capacity of 1,250 tons and were capable of undertaking long-distance voyages.

(Joanna Waley-Cohen, "Sextants of Beijing")

China was not only the largest economy for much of recorded history. Until the 15th century, it also had the highest income per capita — and was the world’s technological leader.
(The Economist)

Did the state play a major role in commerce even back then?

Customs duties on imports ran at about 10%.The central government maintained monopolies on the most profitable goods, such as ivory, coral, rhinoceros horn and crocodile skins. It banned any private traffic in a number of luxury commodities — and retained an option for preferential purchase of anything imported.

(Joanna Waley-Cohen, "Sextants of Beijing")

When did China’s economic might reach its high point?

China's share of world output peaked in 1820 at about one-third of the global total — a share that had fallen to only 4.5% by 1950.


What has happened since then?

China’s share of world GDP had rebounded to 11.5% by 1998 — well above its 1913 share of 8.9% — largely as a consequence of economic reforms enacted in the 1980s.


How many Chinese have been lifted out of absolute poverty since 1981?

From 1981 to 2001, 422 million Chinese people moved out of absolute poverty.

(Columbia University)

China became a leading maritime power around the year 1000, when it began to build massive oceangoing junks that were capable of undertaking long-distance voyages. 
(Joanna Waley-Cohen, "Sextants of Beijing")

How much did an average Chinese plant worker earn a month in 2004?

As of 2004, the average Chinese plant worker earns around $80 a month, less than an American on minimum wage makes in two days.

(Wall Street Journal)

Are China’s economy and export sector expected to continue booming in 2005?

In 2005, China is expected to run a trade surplus well in excess of $100 billion — compared to just $32 billion in 2004.

(World Bank)

And finally, how administratively advanced was China over 2,000 years ago?

The world's earliest surviving large-scale census was undertaken in China's Han Empire in A.D. 2 — and counted 57,771,400 people.

(Joanna Waley-Cohen, "Sextants of Beijing")