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Pedro Magalhães

Hayek era mas é um grande comuna

Li há bocado um post onde se falava da predilecção de Pedro Passos Coelho por Friedrich August von Hayek e ocorreu-me partilhar isto convosco:

We find it unquestionable that in an advanced society government ought to use its power of raising funds by taxation to provide a number of services which for various reasons cannot be provided, or cannot be provided adequately, by the market.”

(…) protection against violence, epidemics, or such natural forces as floods and avalanches, but also many of the amenities which make life in modern cities tolerable, most roads … the provision of standards of measure, and of many kinds of information ranging from land registers, maps and statistics to the certification of the quality of some goods or services offered in the market.”

The assurance of a certain minimum income for everyone, or a sort of floor below which nobody need fall even when he is unable to provide for himself, appears not only to be a wholly legitimate protection against a risk common to all, but a necessary part of the Great Society in which the individual no longer has specific claims on the members of the particular small group into which he was born.”

On the other hand, it is merely common sense that government, as the biggest spender and investor whose activities cannot be guided wholly by profitability, and which for finance is in a great measure independent of the state of the capital market, should so far as practicable distribute its expenditure over time in such a manner that it will step in when private investment flags, and thereby employ resources for public investment at the least cost and and with the greatest benefit to society.

Building regulations, pure food laws, the certification of certain professions, the restrictions on the sale of certain dangerous goods (such as arms, explosives, poisons and drugs), as well as some safety and health regulations for the process of production and the provision of such public institutions as theaters, sports grounds, etc., certainly assists intelligent choice and sometimes be indispensable for it.”

(…) there is some reason to believe that with the increase in general wealth and of the density of population, the share of all needs that can be satisfied only by collective action will continue to grow(…)

Such a program as has been described [Social Security] would involve some coercion, but only coercion intended to forestall greater coercion of the individual in the interests of others; and the argument for it rests as much on the desire of individuals to protect themselves against the consequences of the extreme misery of their fellows as on any wish to force individuals to provide more effectively for their own needs.”

(…) the situation is different where the aim is the provision of amenities of or opportunities for recreation, or the preservation of natural beauty or of historical sites or places of scientific interest, etc.

In other words, it is the character rather than the volume of government activity that is important. A functioning market economy presupposes certain activities on the part of the state.

Of course, in some respects, the state uses coercion to make us perform particular actions. The most important of these are taxation and the various compulsory services, especially in the armed forces. Though these are not supposed to be avoidable, they are at least predictable and are enforced irrespective of how the individual would otherwise employ his energies; this deprives them largely of the evil nature of coercion. If the known necessity of paying a certain amount in taxes becomes the basis of all my plans, if a period of military service is a foreseeable part of my career, then I can follow a general plan of life of my own making and am as independent of the will of another person as men have learned to be in society.

I rest my case. Bom fim-de-semana e boas leituras.

P.S.- Muito útil este artiguinho.


  1. Ola, sou um seguidor do vosso blogue. Adoro a qualidade e o rigor dos vossos artigos, que estimulam sempre muito a minha reflexão.
    Mas por favor, publicam mais!!

  2. Libertas says:

    Hoje temos sondagens da Eurosondagem e Aximage.

    Parece-me que a da Aximagem tem nºs disparatados para os partidos marxistas.

    A Eurosondagem confirma que os marxistas estão em queda, mas por mais contas que faça, não consigo concluir que PSD+CDS façam maioria.

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