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February 02, 2008



wow, que viva Unger and kudos to the Times for the profile.

as a side note, Lula has weathered a remarkable trajectory of criticism, first from Ungerian "criticisms were “mistaken and overwhelmed by political passion.”" and then from the overly optimistic social movements that hailed his election as revolutionary in 2002-2003 (I was at the Porto Alegre WSF where the support was simply breathtaking). In a larger regional context, I would prefer that Chavez learn from his friend about managing endogenous and exogenous alienation.

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Unger is an amazingly clever guy, but, as an Brazilian admirer of his work, I wish he could offer some economic details of his proposals. For instance, he has been suggesting that the payroll taxes in Brazil should be reduced (they should), and replaced by a form of VAT. I believe this proposal would find broad support if Unger could provide details, but, so far, he has only floated the idea, so it has been largely ignored. It would be a shame if he remained only a minister of ideas, none of which came to be implemented.

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