sábado, octubre 11, 2008

Financial Crisis: Similar Solutions, Old Recipes

Financial Crisis: Similar Solutions, Old Recipes
What would economists Hayek, Keynes and Myrdal recommend?

Alfredo Ascanio (askain)
Published 2008-10-12 11:57 (KST)

"The United States has a special role to play in the response to this crisis," President George Bush has said. "That's why I convened the meeting this morning here at the White House and that is why our government will continue to use all tools at our disposal to resolve this crisis."

The question that we do in this article is this: President Bush, Barack Obama and John McCain are following some of the ideas of important economists who for years recommended possible solutions?

Let's see the thought of three famous economists to know whether there were similar solutions to solve the crisis of 2008.

Economists Hayek, Keynes and Myrdal changed the content of the economy of their time. But what would be the recommendations of these economists in relation to the current financial crisis.

During the year 1939, Hayek said that the root cause of the crisis lay in excess of interventionism and suggested that it was better to establish a restrictive monetary policy and cancel some subsidies that were not important, to achieve a government austerity.

On the contrary, the Swedish economist Myrdal, a supporter of social democracy and state intervention, and would recommend now to avoid conflicts of classes through some Strict controls. He said that the causes of the problems are circular and cumulative, and then stabilize Automatic a crisis is impossible. The changes are cumulative and ever produce news; at least that is what history teaches us. Besides the crises are intertwined with each other, and the basics know what is the factor most relevant and less relevant.

Myrdal said that the political predilections and value judgments for a type of economy shows us that there was always that connection between ideology and economy. The public can express their preferences, but the politician has to make explicit assumptions of its value when seeking solutions to a crisis. The politician wants equal social opportunities? The politician wants a democratic form of government? The politician wants the harmony of interests or a harmony created by state intervention?

Another reflection of Myrdal is that if market forces operate freely, the expansion of a geographic place in a country produces stagnation of other places, there is a need to promote greater regional equality, stimulating the driving forces for coordination and control the forces that produce economic delays.

The crises are not solved by individuals or institutions that produced the crisis, but by the demands and pressures of those most affected, at the version of the current crisis which are located in the Main Street, as "the people is the measure of all things".

If the crisis is a problem then it is necessary to resolve it. The solutions are usually structural changes often drastic depending on the size and complexity of what has happened and the articulation of its components. Resistance to change in some institutions such as banks and the same Wall Street is a normal behavior in already established institutions.

J.M. Keynes says that capitalism has many defects to be corrected without affecting private ownership of the means of production. To this economist national income and the size of the occupation may depend on the consumption, the efficiency of capital and the interest rate, then it is necessary to monitor and encourage these variables and special the investment.

If growing income then increases consumption but not in the same proportion because people also saves. The entrepreneur is a speculator shareholder with fear of risk and then he is a cautious person. But financial advisors are the technocrats who know how to play if the stock market, these experts are the decision makers of the purchase and sale, according to the fluctuations of the stock market.

When the crisis is in banking and financial sectors then it is necessary to create demand and stimulate the system, including establishing a policy of cheap money to stimulate private investment and partly solve unemployment. They also had to encourage savings and investment of the people.

The state wrapped in a severe financial crisis has to be a big investor to promote and sustain employment, then it is necessary to reduce the interest rate to stimulate private investment, promoting public investment and nationalize companies that went bankrupt.

These actions will prolong the vitality of capitalism, saving the production regime, encouraging spending and investment. If in the future appears inflation is due to lower civilian spending and prices control in some way.

Alfredo Ascanio is a professor of economics at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela.

Obama vs. McCain on Energy

Obama vs. McCain on Energy
Renewable energy: a long-term vision

Alfredo Ascanio (askain)
Published 2008-10-12 09:16 (KST)

The stock markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia continue to decline, for example, the fall in Japan was 9.6 percent. In some Latin American countries with stock exchanges also have had significant problems and also their currencies (the Mexican peso and the Brazilian real).

"The US structural problem persists, despite the reduction in interest rates and the plan to rescue the institutions at risk, and that causes volatility in the markets," said economist Roberto Dotta in Sao Paulo.

The price of oil drops and now is lower than the level of $90. Against this background, OPEC decided to convene an extraordinary meeting on Nov. 18, to discuss "the global financial crisis, the global economic situation and its impact on the oil market."

But a major topic for discussion at future is alternative energy sources. Is more optimistic this subject that the issue of the crisis that is wrapped in a disheartening pessimism. Discuss another issue psychologically serves as a catharsis.

So the issue of renewable energy alternatives has been a core issue of presidential campaign. Hence the importance that both candidates have given to this important problem.

If the oil has been a disturbing element of global economies of consumer countries, it is logical to put more interest in a policy alternative that can assure a better future.

During the Presidential debate, each candidate had positive things to say about renewable energy.

McCain: "We have to have all of the above, alternative fuels, wind, tide, solar, natural gas, clean coal technology. All of these things we can do as Americans and we can take on this mission and we can overcome it."

Obama: "We've got to deal with that [energy] right away. That's why I've called for an investment of $15 billion a year over 10 years. Our goal should be, in 10 year's time, we are free of dependence on Middle Eastern oil."

And, just as they had positive things to say about expanding the use of renewable energy, they had equally negative things to say about oil.

John McCain said: "We've got to eliminate our dependence on it."

Obama added, "We have three percent of the world's oil reserves and we use 25 percent of the world's oil. So what that means is that we can't simply drill our way out of the problem."

The big oil companies do not want to put all eggs in one basket. The truth is that the big oil companies have already closed more than a decade channeling billions of dollars in the energy sector alternative. Of course they know, better than anyone that the end of the oil age is upon us.

Here's how they see the future of energy: demand growth per annum 2005 - 2030 (estimates in percentages):

Total primary energy 1.8
Wind 13.8
Solar 20.9
Biofuels 9.2

On April 1, 2007, top executives from the five biggest US oil companies were called to a meeting in Washington to discuss the affairs of the investment in alternative energies and their role in it. And these were some results:

Chevron: "Chevron has invested more than US$2 billion in alternative energy. We expect to invest more than $ 2.5 billion from 2007 through 2009 in the same areas."

Conoco Phillips: "While oil, natural gas, and coal will remain vital components of energy supply in the short term, other supplies are needed. These include renewable such as wind and solar power. Conoco Phillips believes we must continue to balance investment in the search for new Technologies and diverse energy sources with responsibility and continued care for the environment."

Royal Dutch Shell: "Our solar power activities are focused on advancing our proprietary thin-film technology. With our joint venture partner, Saint-Gobain, we are building a 20 MW thin-film solar plant in Germany. The Showa Shell joint venture is operating a 20 MW thin-film in Miyazahi, Japan and building a second thin-film factory with a capacity of 60 MW."

Incidentally, Shell is also a major wind developer. The company participates in wind projects with a capacity of over 1,100 MW or enough to power more than a half million homes.

The company's alternative energy priorities for 2010 include:

A 3 GW wind power capacity (enough to power over 2 million home)
About 800 MW of solar capacity (enough to power half a million home)
The development of new biofuel projects across the globe

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA)...

The world's primary energy needs are projected to grow by 55 percent between 2005 and 2030.
Chinese and Indian crude oil imports will almost quadruple by 2030, creating a supply crunch no later than 2015.
Coal demand will rise by 73 percent between 2005 and 2030.

Because of this unprecedented demand for energy, the IEA found that $20 trillion of investment in supply infrastructure is needed to meet projected global energy demand, but alternative energy.

In fact, from 2006 to 2007 alone, new investment in alternative energy soared a full 60 percent... to $148.4 billion.

And what about the investment growth rate for exploration and development in oil and gas? Nothing, not even a 1 percent increase.

Therefore, if the world is so desperate to get more energy (especially oil (with Chinese and Indian imports expected to quadruple by the year 2030), why is it puts more emphasis to the alternative energy, and so little on oil and gas? Because the smart money is invested in low-risk products. And no matter how they behave today supply and demand for oil, because in the long-term supply and demand will be more important for alternative energy.

That's why Big Oil, the big institutional investors, and all those hot shot venture capital firms are injecting hundreds of billions of dollars into the alternative energy sector.

And if you don't believe it, take a look at these findings from a 2008 UN report on global trends in alternative energy investment (in 2007):

Early-stage venture capital investment surged 112 percent to $2 billion.

Research and Development spending on clean energy and energy efficiency was $16.9 billion.

Alternative energy companies more than doubled the amount of money they raised on the world's public markets in 2007, raising $27 billion.

Financing of sustainable energy assets grew by 61 percent to $108 billion.

$30 billion was under management in core clean energy funds.

Even developing countries are shifting investment priorities. New clean energy investment in China, India, and Brazil grew from $1.8 billion in 2004 to $26 billion in 2007. That's a growth rate of more than 1,300 percent in only three years... at the same time spending remains flat for oil and gas exploration and development.

Of course, the total investment that'll be plowed into alternative energy by 2030 won't even come close to the $20 trillion the IEA expects we'll need.

Truth is, most analysts believe alternative energy will only cover about 5 percent of that total investment. But that still comes in at $1 trillion. That means alternative energy investors like, Chevron, Conoco Phillips and Shell are looking at a 30.6 percent annual growth rate for the next 22 Years.

Even in today's market, which is more volatile than anything we've seen in nearly 80 years, those who are properly positioned to take advantage of the coming energy crisis will continue to make a fortune in alternative energy, said Nick Hodge, the managing editor of the Alternative Energy Speculator.

On the long term it will be economically feasible to develop major projects in alternative energy? Even with an oil price of $80 per barrel does not allow alternative energy sources are highly profitable.

If the price of oil continuing to decline, and global oil reserves down significantly, other alternatives will be explored. When did this happen? It is not known with any certainty, because this matter depends on many variables, and also of research and technology development; but to observe the behavior of major investors may suspect that something will happen but did not know the exact date.

Alfredo Ascanio is a professor of economics at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela.

The Local: las noticias de Alemania pero en inglés

El diario digital THE LOCAL le permite conocer lo que pasa en Alemania sin conocer su idioma sino solamente inglés.Aunque el diario INDEPENDIENTE que viene de Inglaterra si está escrito totalmente en inglés:

  • HACER CLICK AQUI
  • viernes, octubre 10, 2008

    The Wealth of Nations: An Interdisciplinary Approach

    The Wealth of Nations: An Interdisciplinary Approach
    Another way to analyze the subject at a time of crisis
    Alfredo Ascanio (askain)
    Published 2008-10-07 13:07 (KST)

    Why are some countries are rich and others poor? How is overcome poverty? More than 200 years ago Adam Smith in his book "The Wealth of Nations" tried to find a recipe, but the answers to previous questions are very complex.

    The complex problems have many components and therefore there are many theories on the matter. There is no single recipe. However it is possible to transfer an interdisciplinary causes and effects of a science to another.

    The current population now is 10,000 million and the material wealth of mankind (GDP) is roughly US$100,000 billion in constant US$ of 1990 (real GDP), then the estimated real GDP per person, expressed in US$1,990 is more or less than $10,000 and this is due in particular the success of the industrial revolution and the birth of the modern enterprise, which enabled the sustained increase wealth of humankind, which had not been reached with the agricultural revolution.

    The accumulation of knowledge and technologies and solid institutions has enabled the industrialization of some countries. But there is still no coherent theory of historical analysis which tells us the transition of agricultural societies to industrialized societies. What we do know is that the skills and diversification of the tasks affecting the future.

    The climatic factors also have influence and are the countries with temperate a climate that favor individuals and benefits their industrialization. The real per capita GDP, expressed in logarithm, is highest in the extent to which countries deviate from Ecuador and its climate is more temperate. In countries with tropical climates is more costly maintenance of physical assets that are deteriorating rapidly and there are more problems with diseases and pests. In countries with temperate climates entropy is lower.

    Another factor is the possibility of development and trade using the sea and the major rivers. The flat fertile lands are a good complement to raise agricultural productivity.

    A Biochemical process regulated by molecules of DNA in the genes has led to evolutionary biology to interact with the progress. Many problems and solutions depend on the skills and human genes have impacts in the way that men organize their institutions. The effect on the phenotype of individuals impact the behavior and the culture, they have to do with evolutionary biology and ways to manage a business.

    Civic responsibility and honor encourages the individual to assume more efficient practices.

    The economy tries to manage scarce resources to produce wealth and with the function of financial instruments is a key element when they are handled with rationality. Countries with the lack of working capital and higher productivity usually cannot make an efficient economic activity. The use of capital and labor should be harmonious and also must produce value added at the macro level.

    Capitalism is a fabulous, but it must be controlled by the state to avoid chaos, anomie and speculation or monopolistic behavior. It is also true that what is called the "etoeconomy" or economy based on ethical behavior, can overcome the limitations of economics as science.

    The index of the Human Development (UN) is highest in countries that have a GDP per capita real value higher. But the rich country, as a whole, does not eliminate totally poverty and inefficient distribution. The so-called Gini index, or the percentage distribution of the wealth of a nation, is very different from for example the Gini of Nicaragua and the United States of North America (41 and 60 respectively). In Nicaragua 90 percent of the poorest population consumes roughly 50 percent of the total wealth of the country, and 10 percent of the more rich population consumes the other half of the national wealth. In countries with a better distribution of profits 10 percent of the population consumes only between 18 percent and 20 percent of wealth.

    The rate of poor distribution of wealth is related to inequality in access to education and health due to an inefficient state spending. There are roughly 255 million people in the world who earn only US$ 2000 dollars a year, or US$ 5 a day. African countries are poorer in the year 2000 that the poverty they had in the year 1980, but China and India, for example, are closing the gap between rich and poor in a more accelerated that wealthy countries because they removed the populist policies and have accepted the market economy.

    There is a concomitant relationship between freedom and equality of opportunity. If you lose freedom, equality is much harder to achieve. Direct subsidies to the most vulnerable sectors relating to education, health and housing policies are redistributive of wealth and this means that people who receive such subsidies are more tolerant and more interested in participatory democracy.

    Natural resources are another variable related to wealth and poverty. There are countries with great natural resources but are poor and other countries without natural resources but are rich.

    For example in Venezuela until the year 1975 the GDP grew a real value and with that growth also increased the price of crude oil but from 1980 to 2000 continued to grow in real GDP of the country with lower prices for crude oil, even in 2008 the price of crude oil has been high (more than US$100 per barrel), but its effect on the country's wealth and redistributive aspects remain very small and this has to do with a political style of governing, with a high increase of corruption and an inefficient management of the oil industry and petrochemicals.

    The size of the state bureaucracy and its activity is another variable that intervenes in a good or bad wealth generation and its possible distribution.

    From 1990 onwards, in Venezuela with a very large and very inefficient bureaucracy, GDP per capita fell to real value and inflation was even more severe. This perverse relationship between the size of the state and its quality and low productivity of the economy is a worrisome variable.

    The strength of the institutions of high quality contributes to social progress and evolution. A country with many obstacles to legalize property or to solve social problems harms growth, development, progress and evolution. A strong rule and laws is a guarantee for moving forward.

    Other variables are the culture and religion. They are qualitative variables related to ethical values, values of self-expression, self-confidence and secular values.

    The mistrust and lack of support among social groups negatively impact the wealth of nations. The laws are very important for generating wealth and economic freedom, especially in decentralized economies.

    The investment to improve education, verbal skills and even scientific research as a collective value of networks and relationships that fortify attitudes toward work and business; it is an important cultural resource that contributes to progress and benefit sharing.

    The mechanisms to deal with psychosocial problems and crisis makes the best endowed with rich countries can successfully overcome their recessions more quickly and consistently. The learning capacity is greater in countries with strong institutions. But the wars and conflicts are detrimental to the nations. There are also problems when there is injustice internationally. The full freedom and welfare, is an achievement of every nation and not a gift from individuals or powerful countries.

    There is a narrow economic rationality. It is very complex to perceive the risk and uncertainty. Sometimes we choose the first solution we have at hand, without considering possible alternatives; this behavior to achieve a minimum of effort that does not optimize the decisions, Herber Simon called "sufficing."

    The human trial takes shortcuts that deviate from the most efficient. The politicians also have to cooperate in a crisis situation when others want to cooperate, but they have to be moderate and benevolent, because this attitude is beneficial to citizens; in brief, that attitude add synergy and creativity and are key factors for progress and evolution.

    The Economic Culprits

    The Economic Culprits
    Panic is not a good adviser
    Alfredo Ascanio (askain)
    Published 2008-10-01 09:29 (KST)

    During the crisis in the 1930s John Maynard Keynes made a critical analysis of the "laissez faire" because classical economics did not help to find a solution. So what to do for small and medium business can be reactivated.

    If the capitalism (entrepreneurs economy) continues to operate the strict regulation of the state is vital, to overcome the crisis in the short term.

    Businesses and consumers depend on disposable income (own income and credit). Disposable income comes from the national income.But the national income depends on the production of business and government.

    Thus, if the government raises revenue with a rescue plan that is not an expense is an investment.

    These resources can be used in the US because there are no “bottlenecks” that prevent this, assuming that the matter not be politicized because of the presidential campaign.

    The point is that there is a variable that at the time of Keynes did not exist: the high cost of energy due to high oil prices.

    The Rescue Plan should play its own role. How is the behavior of money during the rescue process? Which are the winners and losers in the short term.

    Although the world now is different in the years 2008 to 1930, the self-regulation will be tested to see if it works. The crisis shows that it is necessary to do something rational.

    The crisis is based on three factors: money for the rescue, time and uncertainty.

    One possible culprit of the problem is the use of money in irresponsible speculation and actions to strengthen the wealth itself by relying on Wall Street.

    All of this has surprised us, but the mystery is that the macro economy, says Victor Chick of Berkeley, shows a certain behavior consistent, though sometimes not to our liking.

    After the Rescue Plan is necessary to analyze their effects to be able to correct in time.

    In today's economy, there are many expectations and so the same people whom protest was concerned for their future. But the panic is not a good adviser.



    Alfredo Ascanio is a professor of economics at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela.

    The US Economy, Stagflation, and a Time Bomb

    The US Economy, Stagflation, and a Time Bomb
    [Analysis] Prof. Alfredo Ascanio examines US recession measures
    Alfredo Ascanio (askain)
    Published 2008-09-06 14:30 (KST)

    According to an analysis by Marcelino Pena, an "advocate for the poor," recession is generally defined as two or more consecutive quarterly decreases in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or a general decrease of productivity caused by a slowing down of various sectors in the economy.

    Economists look into four main indicators having a strong effect on the GDP, which are consumption, production, employment and income. The US economy is made up of eighteen different sectors although housing, financial, and US government spending on defense are three economic sectors that are currently having a significant negative impact on the four main indicators and the GDP.

    The US government has taken unsuccessful measures to mitigate recession such as an increase of tax refunds to consumers and business owners and the Federal Reserve insuring assets for the Bear Stearns bank. The US economy therefore will be in a recession for the next six months, or two quarters (summer and fall), of the year 2008 and it will worsen unless the three sectors mentioned are resolved.

    The Gross Domestic Product in 2007 had been growing at quarterly intervals for the second (3.8 percent) and third (4.9 percent) quarter but a huge drop had occurred in the last quarter (.6 percent). The overall yearly change has been of contraction beginning from 2005, which was at 3.1 percent growth from the previous year to 2.2 percent growth currently at the end of 2007.

    Consumption maintained a steady pace in both 2006 and 2007 but sales have steadily been decreasing from 2006 onwards. Beginning in January 2006 retail sales have declined from 8 percent to about 2.5 percent as of January 2008. Real personal consumption expenditures were at a steady pace of about 3 percent in October 2006 to October 2007 and it dramatically declined to about 2 percent as of January 2008.

    Production however appears to hold steady but the initial start of 2008 shows very poor performance. The Federal Reserve's industrial production index has been modestly stable in 2006 and has shown anemic growth in 2007, but beginning in 2008 a decline starts to appear. Its index capacity shows a performance of about 80 percent for both 2006 and 2007 but again a drop appears at the onset of 2008. On the ISM index-manufacturing fall to about 47 this indicates a general decline in manufacturing.

    Employment numbers at the last quarter of 2007 have likewise been declining significantly while the unemployment rate jumped to 5 percent in December 2007 and increased to about 5.1 percent in March of 2008. Income has also decreased in 2007 compared to the year prior and this decline continued through the first quarter of 2008.

    The GDP will continue to decrease as all four indicators are going into a decline into the second quarter of 2008. Unless the three sectors discussed are resolved, the economy will spiral downward as each of the four indicators worsens.

    Notwithstanding the above would be interesting to recall again the views of the Swedish economist, noble prize, Gunnar Myrdal in his critical essays "Against the Stream".

    The economist pointed out that the Keynesian approach, which had gradually become establishment economics, was certainly heavily biased toward seeing the normal tendency of every economy to fall into a depression, characterized by deflation and unemployment. But Swedish economist Knut Wicksell implied then notion of "monetary equilibrium," away from which there could be a cumulative process directed either toward inflation or deflation.

    Practically nobody tried seriously to spell out the thesis that inflation has arbitrary, unintended, and therefore undesirable effects on resource allocation and the distribution of income and wealth.

    When we now look back at what has actually happened in the postwar era, we have to recognize, besides anticipations, a large number of other factors that spur inflation. They are all of an institutional character and are thus less easily accounted for in simple theoretical models. The change in popular attitude will tend to accelerate an ongoing inflation.

    To check an ongoing inflation with a tendency to accelerate is a very different thing from preserving a stable currency. The result will most often be a high and sometimes rising level of unemployment, while prices are continuing to rise, though less rapidly than otherwise. This is what has been called "stagflation", which is either an actual reality or a threat in all countries.

    Myrdal back again to discuss the issue of "stagflation" and affirms that from the point of view of economic theory, the course toward "stagflation", caused by the tendency of inflation to accelerate and the political necessity not to let it run wild, is characterized by a conflict between goals: mainly stability of the purchasing power of the currency, foreign exchange balance, and full employment; and ensures that what is now required is a very much more complicated theory that also has to work with a great number of institutional factors, all of which could be safely disregarded forty seventy-five years ago.

    In other words therefore, we cannot be satisfied today (2008) with the simple type of theory we could then agree upon and lay as a basis for rather straightforward policy directives.

    In accommodating to the obvious conflict between main goals, the general tendency has been to give little importance to the first goal but rather to accept as normal and natural that prices should go up, though not too rapidly. But relative success in any income policy will depend largely upon mastering institutional factors that have had little place either in the Keynesian or the post-Keynesian approaches.

    In short but now, as forty seventy-five years ago, in order to become instrumental in causing policy change, they would need a minister of finance, a government, a parliament, and behind them a people that were prepared to back such a more exacting policy.

    Finally Myrdal reminds us that there is at present great unanimity that the "quality of life" shall be raised, but no group and few individuals are prepared to abstain, in order to reach that goal, from wanting to raise their consumption. They are all involved in a fierce competition and a striving for compensation that makes the space for the quality of life ever narrower.

    These same attitudes of people in all social classes are driving forces behind inflation, though at the same time all complain about the rising prices. Neither a higher "quality of life" nor a stable value of currency can be achieved without a rather radical change of people's attitudes.



    Alfredo Ascanio is a professor of economics at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela.

    jueves, octubre 09, 2008

    Obama vs. McCain


    9 de octubre de 2008, 01:38 PM

    MILWAUKEE, EEUU (AFP) - El candidato demócrata a la Casa Blanca, Barack Obama, se enfrenta a una virulenta ofensiva de los republicanos, cuyo candidato John McCain no despega en los sondeos a menos de un mes de la elección presidencial estadounidense.

    Desde que la compañera de fórmula de McCain, la gobernadora de Alaska Sarah Palin, acusara el sábado a Obama de "trabajar con un terrorista", los republicanos se sacaron los guantes y no escatiman en ataques contra el senador por Illinois, que marcha adelante en intención de voto según los sondeos.

    Conscientes de la peligrosa dirección a la que los republicanos quieren llevar la confrontación, los demócratas han optado por enviar al candidato a la vicepresidente Joe Biden a la línea del frente.

    "No podemos quedarnos de brazos cruzados y dejarlos actuar", escribió la noche del miércoles Joe Biden en un comunicado a los seguidores demócratas.

    "En vez de concentrarse en los problemas que realmente cuentan, nuestros rivales hacen todo lo que pueden para impulsar esta atmósfera tóxica", aseguró.

    "He escuchado cosas repugnantes en los últimos días, calumnias profundamente ofensivas que oímos cada vez más cuando nos acercamos al día de las elecciones", el 4 de noviembre, indicó el senador Biden.

    Biden calificó el miércoles de "tonterías" los ataques republicanos, en entrevista con la cadena CBS. No obstante, no se toma los señalamientos a la ligera: "Pienso que es relativamente peligroso", dijo.

    Se mostró preocupado por "este tipo de incitaciones, como un hombre que presenta a Barack utilizando su segundo nombre (Hussein) como una suerte de epitafio", dijo, en referencia a un miembro del Partido Republicano de Pennsylvania que el miércoles en un acto de John McCain habló repetidamente de "Barack Hussein Obama".

    Los estrategas de McCain siguen explotando el facto del miedo ante Barack Obama, un candidato "muy riesgoso para Estados Unidos", según se señala en una propaganda de televisión divulgada el jueves.

    El anuncio de casi dos minutos presenta a Obama como cercano a Bill Ayers, ex militante de un grupo radical de izquierda en la década de 1960.

    Pero la portavoz del senador por Arizona, Nicolle Wallace, indicó que el anuncio televisivo plantea una interrogante válida sobre el carácter de Obama.

    "Si no podemos hacer que Barack Obama diga la verdad sobre las personas en su vecindario, que resulta también que son terroristas, ¿cómo podemos confiar en que diga la verdad de lo que hará cuando sea presidente?", preguntó Wallace.

    En los actos del candidato republicano, se han escuchado gritos del público que califican a Obama de "socialista", "terrorista" o "traidor".

    En 2004, el candidato demócrata John Kerry ignoró los ataques del campo republicano de George W. Bush, que sembraban dudas sobre su pasado militar y su participación en la guerra de Vietnam.

    Barack Obama ha tratado de mantener el debate centrado en los problemas que aquejan a los estadounidenses, sobre todo la economía.

    "Yo puedo resistir otras cuatro semanas de ataques de John McCain, pero los estadounidenses no pueden soportar cuatro años más de las políticas de George W. Bush implementadas por John McCain", dijo el miércoles en un acto en Indiana.

    Mientras, McCain lanzó también una estrategia para ganarse el voto femenino, cuando los sondeos muestran que las mujeres estadounidenses se inclinan por el senador por Illinois.

    En sus recientes actos de campaña, McCain ha insistido en programas que pueden ser interesantes para las electoras femeninas, como la asistencia médica y el acceso a viviendas, que según sondeos, son los temas que más importan a la hora de elegir a un candidato entre las mujeres que no se dicen ni republicanas ni demócratas.

    Según los últimos sondeos a nivel nacional, Obama aventaja entre seis y once puntos a McCain en intención de voto.

    Un video sobre el análisis actual de la crisis

    Economic Crisis and the 'Third Way'

    Economic Crisis and the 'Third Way'
    The reflections of Tony Blair and Ota Sik

    Alfredo Ascanio (askain)

    Published 2008-10-09 15:00 (KST)

    During this financial crisis in America and the world, I have two reflections to share. First, developed countries are seeking new institutional forms for the future, because the crisis also produce opportunities; and second, some emerging countries who want to have a socialist political system or Communist system, are arguing that capitalism and neoliberalism are already in intensive care -- just as Karl Marx envisioned many years ago.

    The analysis of the crisis by politicians of the extreme left is an expression of class struggle in the field of ideas and ideologies. However important political leaders in the 1970s responsibly had already suggested that it was possible to find a "third way".

    Tony Blair supported social democracy in order to ensure the basic values of the center and center-left and so England would not commit itself only with an ideology of either left or right. Blair stressed that his country could achieve a "third way".

    Another leader who also was thinking of a different political system was the Czech Ota Sik. Ota was economy minister during the government of Alexander Dubcek during the year 1968 with the movement "Prague Spring" and then the "Velvet Revolution".

    Ota Sik calls into question the application of the Marxist-Leninist theory that considers very dogmatic. The conclusion of Marx that capitalism would disappear was wrong. Marxist theory of democracy is very superficial, Sik said.

    In this theory Marxist-Leninist was unaware of the importance of freedom and is also known that not all those with capital are evil persons and workers are always oppressed.

    Western democracy has shown that it is not a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and on the contrary, the socialist state is separated from the people and transforms into a repressive instrument made up with an elite power. A state turned into a bureaucratic monopoly.

    Also in his analysis Sik said that while the struggle for wealth distribution and welfare are only the expression of conflicting interests that produces crisis and inflation and losses for society, the economy would not be accepted as a good tool for solving problems.

    The economy in the future will be an accepted science as long as they can be adjusted income, investment and consumption in an indirect way and as long as the democratic consensus can ensure that the collective human interest are the most important and can minimize the interests Individual or partial. The market economy should be a tool to control the evil country's decisions, Sik said.

    Parasitic and speculative capital is a disturbing phenomenon. If a social majority does not allow the monopoly of the state with bureaucratic interests of power, then the country will be able to consolidate democracy and good institutions and may also eliminate political authoritarianism.

    Political regimes cannot be imposed through violence, because they are directed to failure. You cannot change capriciously to the people. Any ideology that does not correspond with the interests and experiences of people always ends in a utopia unworkable.

    The reflections of Blair and Sik, in these times of crisis, are ideas more responsible and without emotion that often can be detrimental to make decisions.

    Today, Oct. 8, in Venezuela we are discussing the problem of the global crisis and its impact on Latin America.

    Six economists from academic institutions in the country went to the Legislature to conduct its analysis, but the government and its Ministry for Planning invited, the same day and using the TV's Channel State, a group of intellectuals from the left and also Communists (some more radical than others), to discuss the crisis.

    The reflections of the two groups were contrasting and without borders for a good consensus.

    This political behavior does not allow search a "third way" either English or Czech style.


    Alfredo Ascanio is a professor of economics at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela.

    miércoles, octubre 08, 2008

    crisis financiera......


    WASHINGTON (AFP) - El mundo se enfrenta a la peor crisis financiera desde la década de 1930 y su crecimiento económico sufrirá una fuerte frenada en los próximos meses, para recuperarse sólo gradualmente a finales de 2009, pronosticó este miércoles el Fondo Monetario Internacional.

    El promedio de crecimiento mundial será de 3,9% en 2008 (5% en 2007) y de 3% en 2009, según las previsiones de otoño boreal del FMI.

    Estados Unidos, en el ojo del huracán financiero, sólo crecerá 1,6% este año, y en 2009 podría acercarse a la recesión, con 0,1%.

    La zona euro subirá 1,3% en 2008 (2,6% en 2007) y un también muy modesto 0,2% en 2009.

    "La economía mundial entra en una fuerte bajada ante el peor shock financiero de los mercados financieros desde los años 1930", explicó el FMI en su informe.

    "La situación es excepcionalmente incierta y sujeta a riesgos considerables", advirtió.

    Tras casi un año y medio de turbulencias, que se originaron en el mercado inmobiliario de Estados Unidos, se trasladaron al mundo bancario y financiero y ahora amenazan con expandirse a la economía industrial, el FMI urge a los líderes mundiales a "estabilizar las condiciones financieras" y a "mantener la inflación bajo control".

    Pero incluso así, la incertidumbre es considerable, señalan los expertos del Fondo.

    "Incluso si se implementa con éxito el plan de Estados Unidos (de rescate financiero de bancos y empresas), el riesgo de una contrarreacción permanecerá probablemente en niveles excepcionalmente altos durante cierto tiempo", advirtió el informe.

    Un video sobre la Campaña Política en USA

    lunes, octubre 06, 2008

    La riqueza de las naciones un enfoque interdisciplinario

    ¿Por qué algunos países son ricos y otros países son pobres? Cómo se supera la pobreza? Hace más de 200 años Adam Smith en su libro La Riqueza de las Naciones trató de buscar una receta, pero todavía las respuestas a las anteriores preguntas están vigentes. Los problemas complejos tienen muchos componentes y por ello existen muchas teorías sobre el asunto. No existe una receta única. No obstante es posible un análisis interdisciplinario para traspasar causas y efectos de una ciencia a otra.

    Es posible que la población actual sea de 10.000 millones de habitantes y la riqueza material de la humanidad (PIB) sea de más o menos 100.000 millardos de US$ en valores constantes al año 1990 (PIB real), entonces el estimado del PIB real por persona, expresado en US$ de 1990, es de más o menos de US$ 10.000 para el año presente y ello se debe, en especial, a la revolución industrial y al nacimiento de la empresa moderna, lo cual permitió el incremento sostenido la riqueza de la humanidad, que no se había logrado con la revolución agrícola.

    La acumulación de conocimiento y tecnologías e instituciones sólidas ha permitido la industrialización de algunos países. Pero todavía no existe una teoría coherente de tipo histórica que nos explique la transición de sociedades preagrícolas a sociedades agrícolas y luego a las sociedades industrializadas. Las especializaciones, la diversificación de las tareas también afectan el futuro.

    Los factores climáticos también tienen influencia y son los países con climas templados los que favorecen a los individuos y afectan su industrialización. El PIB per cápita real, expresado en logaritmo, es más elevado en la medida en que los países se apartan del Ecuador y su clima es más temperado. En los países con climas tropicales es más costoso el mantenimiento de los bienes físicos que se deterioran más rápidamente y existen más problemas con enfermedades y plagas. En los países con climas templados la entropía es menor.

    Otro factor es la posibilidad del desarrollo comercial y las salidas al mar o el comercio realizado a través de importantes ríos. Las tierras fértiles y planas complementan el avance de la agricultura productiva.

    Los procesos bioquímicos regulados por moléculas del ADN en los genes ha dado origen a la biología evolutiva. Muchas habilidades humanas dependen y afectan a sus genes y a sus estructuras sociales. El efecto sobre el fenotipo de los individuos o sea : sus conductas y su cultura, tienen que ver con la biología evolutiva y moldea a las sociedades. La responsabilidad cívica y el honor estimula al individuo para que asuman prácticas más eficientes.

    La economía trata de manejar los recursos escasos para producir riqueza y con ella la función financiera y sus instrumentos es un elemento clave cuando son manejados con racionalidad. Países con ausencia de capital y de trabajo de elevada productividad por lo general no pueden realizar una actividad económica eficiente. El uso del capital y del trabajo debe ser armónico y además deben producir valores agregados a nivel macro. El capitalismo es una fuerza fabulosa, pero debe ser controlada por el Estado para evitar el caos, la anomia y las especulaciones o comportamientos monopólicos. También es verdad que lo que se denomina la etoeconomía o economía basada en comportamientos éticos, puede superar las limitaciones de la economía como ciencia.

    El índice del Desarrollo Humano de Naciones Unidas es más elevado en aquellos países que poseen un PIB por habitante a valor real más elevado. Pero los países ricos no elimina en su totalidad la pobreza ni es tan determinante en una buena distribución mucho mas equitativa. El llamado índice de GINI, o sea la distribución porcentual de la riqueza de una Nación, es muy diferente entre por ejemplo el GINI de Nicaragua y el GINI de Estados Unidos de Norte América (41 y 60 respectivamente). En Nicaragua el 90% de la población más pobre consume más o menos el 50% de la riqueza total del país, pues el 10% de la población más rica consume la otra mitad de esa riqueza nacional. En países con una mejor distribución de los beneficios el 10% de la población consume únicamente entre el 18% y 20% de la riqueza.

    El índice de una mala distribución de la riqueza se relaciona con la desigualdad en el acceso a la educación y a la salud debido a un gasto ineficiente del Estado. Hay más o menos 255 millones de personas en el mundo que ganan sólo US$ 2000 dólares al año, o sea US$ 5 dólares al día. Los países africanos son más pobres en el año 2.000 que la pobreza que tenían en el año 1980; pero China y la India, por ejemplo, están cerrando la brecha entre pobres y ricos de una manera más acelerada que los países ricos, al eliminar los comportamientos políticos populistas y de antimercado y a pesar de su eleva población.

    Existe una relación concomitante entre la libertad y la igualdad de oportunidades. Si se pierde la libertad, la igualdad es mucho más difícil de lograr. Los subsidios directos a los sectores más vulnerables relativos a la educación, salud y vivienda son políticas redistributivas de la riqueza exitosas y esto hace a la gente que recibe esos subsidios sean más tolerantes, menos agresivas y más interesadas en la democracia.

    Los recursos naturales es otra variable relacionada con la riqueza y la pobreza. Existen países con grandes riquezas naturales y son pobres y otros países sin riqueza de recursos naturales y son ricos. Por ejemplo en Venezuela hasta el año de 1975 el PIB a valor real crecía y con ese crecimiento crecía también el precio del petróleo crudo; pero desde 1980 hasta el año 2000 seguía creciendo el PIB real del país con precios más bajos del crudo; incluso en el año 2008 el precio del petróleo crudo ha sido muy elevado (mas de US$ 100 por barril) , pero su efecto sobre la riqueza del país y los aspectos redistributivos aún son muy reducidos; esto tiene que ver con un estilo político de gobernar, con un elevado incremento de la corrupción y con un ineficiente manejo de la industria petrolera y petroquímica.

    El tamaño del Estado y su actividad burocrática es otra variable que interviene en una buena o mala generación riqueza y su posible distribución. Desde 1990 en adelante en Venezuela con un Estado muy grande y con mucha burocracia ineficiente, el PIB per cápita a valor real bajó e incluso la inflación fue más severa. Esta relación perversa entre el tamaño del Estado y su calidad y la baja productividad de la economía es una variable preocupante.

    Los aspectos institucionales bien sedimentados y de calidad favorecen el progreso y la evolución social. Un país con muchas trabas para legalizar propiedades o para solucionar problemas sociales, entorpece el crecimiento, el desarrollo, el progreso y la evolución. Un Estado de Derecho sólido es una garantía para avanzar.

    Otras variables son la cultura y la religión. Son variable cualitavas relacionadas con valores valores éticos, valores de autoexpresión, autoconfianza y valores seculares. La desconfianza y la falta de apoyo entre los grupos sociales impacta negativamente la riqueza de las naciones. Las leyes y el derecho es muy importante para generar riqueza y libertad económica, especialmente en economías descentralizadas.

    La inversión para mejorar la educación y las habilidades verbales e incluso en ciencias exactas, así como la investigación científica y valorar al capital social, como valor colectivo de redes y relaciones que fortifican las actitudes en el trabajo y los negocios, es un rasgo cultural importante para generar riqueza y distribuirla.

    Los mecanismos psicosociales para afrontar problemas y crisis hace que los países mejor dotados de riqueza puedan superar con éxito sus recesiones en forma más rápida y coherente. La capacidad de aprendizaje es mayor en países con instituciones sólidas. Pero los conflictos bélicos atrasan a una Nación. También existe atraso cuando surge la injusticia internacional. La libertad y el bienestar pleno, es una conquista de cada Nación y no un regalo de los poderosos.

    Existe, no hay duda, una limitada racionalidad económica. Es complejo percibir los riesgos y más aún la incertidumbre. A veces al decidir elegimos la primera solución que tenemos a la mano, sin estudiar las posibles alternativas; esta conducta de lograr un mínimo esfuerzo que no optimiza las decisiones, lo llamó Herber Simon “ sufficing”. El juicio humano toma atajos que se desvían de lo más probable y además los políticos tienen que cooperar en una situación de crisis cuando los demás quieren cooperar y al contrario, pero hay que ser amable, recíproco, comedido y no ser envidioso, por que así se garantiza que el comportamiento individual beneficie al agregado social y entonces la sinergía y la creatividad se transforman en elementos claves para progresar y evolucionar.

    (Este es un resumen muy breve del libro de Klaus Jaffé : La Riqueza de las Naciones: una visión interdisciplinaria, Editorial Equinoccio, Universidad Simón Bolívar ,2007 )

    El Profesor Jaffé es un profesor venezolano con un Ph.D en Bioquímica de la Universidad de Southampton (Inglaterra) y es un especialista en comportamiento animal y sistemas complejos.

    Imaginary interview with Obama

    Imaginary interview with Obama
    The bubble, market speculation, and Main Street
    Alfredo Ascanio (askain)

    Q: The financial crisis has beaten the USA and political leaders. The polls say that there is no trust in political parties and institutions. But the poll, according to Rasmussen Report (October 3), Obama has the approval of 51%, 44% McCain and President Bush 28%. Then Obama for his ethical-political stance is similar to that of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933?

    B. Obama: The ghosts of 1929 returned again in the twenty-first century. But Herbert Hoover is not in power, and Roosevelt never thought to hide a collective economy in a Trojan horse. I want to confront the crisis with some changes that have been very clear and transparent. What we have learned is that neither the "invisible hand of market", or "iron hand" of the state not serves to solve our difficult economic and social problems.

    Q: "If people see that Congress has not acted well, that can beat Obama, but it is not something decisive," said Hayes.

    B. Obama: I have taken away without losing sight of the problem, as rightly said Baum. But when I wrote my book The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, I was thinking about the future that involves repairing a political process that is broken and restoring a government that has fallen out of touch with the people. Unfortunately, the political culture tends to emphasize conflict, the media emphasizes conflict, and the structure of our campaigns rewards the negative.

    Q: But the problems are complex and it is possible that the political culture is different now than in the past.

    B. Obama : it is possible and that's why I give it more importance to common sense than ideology. People are looking for serious solutions to complex problems.

    Q: What has been the inspiration to accept this nomination for president?

    B. Obama: the people inspire me. I'm inspired by the love people have for our country.

    Q: You think the crisis is a short-term solution?

    B. Obama : I think the crisis is not overcome in the short term. People have to understand that the crisis is complex and difficult to resolve quickly. The irrational excesses of banks and real estate companies have made George Soros ensure that our economic model is in intensive care.

    Q: What was the origin of the uncertainty of the economy?

    B. Obama: The Federal Reserve lowers interest to 1% to give greater confidence among economic actors and we all know that cheap money created the housing bubble and the debts of very poor quality that threaten the real economy.

    Q: How Obama sees the future of the American economy?

    B. Obama: I am sure that in future we will have better controls on the market. But we must not forget that the ethics and honesty of our political discourse is key to any solution.

    domingo, octubre 05, 2008

    Bailout: Will it work?


    Bailout: Will it work?

    Experts differ on whether the $700 billion bailout plan will prompt banks to lend and help the economy. But even if it does, it will take time.
    October 4, 2008: 3:12 PM ET

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The $700 billion bailout plan signed into law Friday may get banks to start lending to each other again. But it remains to be seen how long that will take to jumpstart an ailing economy.

    The goal is to unfreeze the credit markets. Financial institutions have become paralyzed with fear and though they have plenty of cash on hand, they've been hoarding it. Without this intra-bank lending, businesses are having trouble getting the financing they need even for daily operations, much less loans for longer-term projects.

    "Hopefully, this will lend a calming effect to the markets," said Joe Belew, president of the Consumer Bankers Association. "We need to take a deep breath, relax and start doing business again."

    Don't expect lending to ramp up overnight, however. It may take weeks for confidence to return, experts said. Or even longer.

    The centerpiece of the bill allows the government to eventually buy up to $700 billion in assets tied to shaky mortgages. Getting the bad paper off banks' balance sheets hopefully will give institutions more confidence to start lending again. (Bailout 101: What the new law says)

    Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has up to 45 days to devise a plan to purchase the assets.

    But one big question is what the Treasury Department will pay for those assets. Too low a price - which is good for taxpayers - and banks may find they still need to take steps to shore up their balance sheets. Some may have to raise additional capital, which has been scarce in this tumultuous market. Investors may remain on the sidelines for a while until things shake out, experts said.

    The plan's passage did little to allay fears in the stock market, which sold off once the House approved the bill. Investors, who remain skittish that the bailout plan will achieve its goals, sent the Dow Jones industrial average down 1.5%.

    "Thaws take time," said Diane Casey-Landry, chief operating office of the American Bankers Association, noting that the bailout plan won't instantly eliminate all concerns. "We'll be in the Ronald Reagan mode of 'Trust but verify'."

    Even President Bush told Americans to have patience. "Americans should also expect that it will take some time for this legislation to have its full impact on the economy," he said. "With a smoother flow of credit, more businesses will be able to stock their shelves and meet their payrolls. More families will be able to get loans for cars and homes and college education. More state and local governments will be able to fund basic services."

    Plenty of other problems

    Many economists, however, say the president and other supporters of the bailout were painting too rosy a picture.

    Until the tidal wave of foreclosures ends and home values stop their stomach-churning drops, banks will remain reluctant to lend and the economy won't improve, experts said.

    "This bill doesn't contain any element of stability for the housing market or the real economy," said Christian Menegatti, lead analyst for economic research firm RGE Monitor. "The problems are going to come back and the lack of confidence will come back."

    In fact, nearly one in three financial services executives said they expect credit standards to continue to tighten even if the bailout plan is approved, according to a Deloitte poll taken Thursday. So it will still be tough to get a mortgage or small business loan.

    "We're back to more normal underwriting standards," Casey-Landry said. "People will need to have good credit to get a loan."

    Consumers, business won't want to spend

    As long as the constant drumbeat of bad economic reports continues, consumers and businesses may not be so eager to borrow money anyway even if banks start extending more credit. Friday's dismal jobs report, showing that 159,000 people lost their livelihoods, did little to inspire people to spend.

    "You tell me I can have the credit, but I don't want it," said Amiyatosh Purnanandam, assistant professor of finance at the University of Michigan. "If people are not going to buy cars whether they can get credit or not, it's not going to help the economy."

    This becomes a vicious cycle. If consumers don't spend, the economy fails to improve. The jitters may return to the financial markets, prompting another government intervention.

    That's why many fear the $700 billion rescue may not be the last step.

    "This is a tremendously expensive stopgap measure," said Adam Levitin, associate professor of law at Georgetown University.

    First Published: October 4, 2008: 8:18 AM ET

    Facebook, the second largest social network

    Facebook, the second largest social network on the Web with around 60 million members, is one of the fastest-growing and best-known sites on the Internet today.

    The company, founded in 2004 by a Harvard sophomore, Mark Zuckerberg, began life catering first to Harvard students and then to all high school and college students. It has since evolved into a broadly popular online destination used by both teenagers and adults of all ages.

    Like other social networks, the site allows its users to create a profile page and forge online links with friends and acquaintances. It has distinguished itself from rivals like the larger MySpace, owned by the News Corporation, partly by imposing a spartan design ethos and limiting how users can change the appearance of their profile pages. That has cut down on visual clutter and threats like spam, which plague rival social networks.

    In May 2007, Facebook unveiled an initiative called Facebook Platform, inviting third-party software makers to create programs for the service and to make money on advertising alongside them. The announcement stimulated the creation of hundreds of new features or "social applications" on Facebook , from games like Scrabble to new music and photo sharing tools, which had the effect of further turbo-charging activity on the site.

    As a result, estimates of Facebook's valuation soared during the summer of 2007. In October, Microsoft outbid its archrival Google to invest $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook, which valued the company at a startlingly rich $15 billion.

    Facebook's rise has been marked by several controversies. Three other Harvard students maintain that they came up with the original idea for the service and that Mr. Zuckerberg, whom they had hired to write code for the site, stole the idea and surreptitiously created a rival company. The three students started a rival company, ConnectU, and have sued Facebook in a federal district court in Boston. Facebook has denied the allegations; the case is pending.

    Another Harvard classmate, Aaron Greenspan, asserts that he created the underlying architecture for both companies, but has declined to enter the legal fray .

    In November 2007, Facebook again created a storm when it announced a new advertising system called Beacon, in which users' purchases or activities on some 40 partner sites were broadcast to their Facebook friends. Some users claimed that they were not adequately warned about the feature, and the political activist group MoveOn.org organized a protest group on Facebook, which attracted more than 70,000 members.

    In December, Facebook capitulated to a key demand of the protesters by offering users an easy way to decline to take part in Beacon. — Brad Stone, Dec. 7, 2007

    Growth, Development, Progress and Evolution


    Growth, Development, Progress and Evolution
    The four functions of an efficient society
    Alfredo Ascanio (askain)
    Published 2008-10-05 11:51 (KST)


    Although people use these terms as if they were equal, the truth is these terms are different phenomena.

    Growth is the temporary expansion of the social product.

    Development is the growth of the potential social product that has a country.

    Progress is the increase of goods and services to benefit to society as a whole.

    Evolution is the qualitative change of the economic organization of society (institutional changes).

    America for many years grew and developed, but its progress and evolution have been questioned. Not all people have the same benefits as others. Not all institutions, as the big banks and Wall Street have had any significant changes to social benefits.

    The current crisis is a good lesson for the US to progress and achieve its institutional evolution.

    Obama and McCain are calling for the reform of the Banks and Wall Street, and Obama is asking benefits for people who have lost their home, for people who are paying high taxes and for people who pay social insurance.

    Obama and McCain already know that a country can grow without development, a developed country can grow without progress, and also a country grows, succeeds in its development and the country progresses, but without structural changes in its institutions.

    With this crisis we noticed that some institutional changes destroy or neutralize the potential for growth, development and progress. The evolution is not analyzed with the tools that are used to study the growth and economic development, because evolution is a qualitative issue.

    Social tensions, mistrust in the future as elements of economic decline, because people feel that the gross domestic product grows but the distribution of benefits is not the most appropriate.

    "The progress and growth can be separated. A country can have growth without progress," said economist Julio Olivera of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. This phenomenon is best known in Latin America and in other poor countries of the world.


    Alfredo Ascanio is a professor of economics at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela.
    ©2008 OhmyNews

    Other articles by reporter Alfredo Ascanio

    Una revista Paulista (BRASIL)

    La revista Quarteirao Paulista. viene de San Pablo-Brasil y allí nos enteramos del desarrollo de ese espectacular lugar del Brasil.

    FINANCIAL TIME

    Es bueno revisar en estos días el diario de USA FINANCIAL TIME para enterarnos mejor de la crisis financiera en América del Norte.