Calling all economists. I need your help.

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SteveFoerster
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Re: Calling all economists. I need your help.

Post by SteveFoerster » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:25 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:13 pm
It's not a defense of despotism. It is being realistic. I lived half of my life in a dictatorship, but a dictatorship which was nobody's vassal. I would have liked to have had then a democratic government, but while that couldn't be achieved, I was thankful we were truly independent. Today our political system is democratic - which I am thankful for - but we are no longer free to make our own decisions, and are the vassals of Germany and the US...
Which decisions are Portuguese policy makers no longer free to make? Examples, please.
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neverfail
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Re: Calling all economists. I need your help.

Post by neverfail » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:44 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:13 pm


It's not a defense of despotism. It is being realistic. I lived half of my life in a dictatorship, but a dictatorship which was nobody's vassal. I would have liked to have had then a democratic government, but while that couldn't be achieved, I was thankful we were truly independent. Today our political system is democratic - which I am thankful for - but we are no longer free to make our own decisions, and are the vassals of Germany and the US...
It looks to me as though you and Portugal alike were lucky enough to live under an unusually benign kind of dictatorship, Sertorio. Salazar was authoritarian without being Fascist - which is why he fascinates me. This is what Wikipedia has to say:
António de Oliveira Salazar GCTE GCSE GColIH GCIC (/sələˈzɑːr/; Portuguese: [ɐ̃ˈtɔniu dɨ oliˈvɐjɾɐ sɐlɐˈzaɾ]; 28 April 1889 – 27 July 1970) was a Portuguese statesman who served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He was responsible for the Estado Novo ("New State"), the corporatist authoritarian government that ruled Portugal until 1974.

A trained economist, Salazar entered public life with the support of President Óscar Carmona after the Portuguese coup d'état of 28 May 1926, initially as finance minister and later as prime minister. Opposed to democracy, communism, socialism, anarchism and liberalism, the ideology of Portugal was conservative and nationalist in nature. Salazar distanced himself from fascist dictatorships, which he considered a pagan Caesarist political system that recognised neither legal nor moral limits. Salazar viewed German Nazism as espousing pagan elements that he considered repugnant.[1] Salazar also promoted Catholicism, but argued that the role of the Church was social, not political, and negotiated the Concordat of 1940. One of the mottos of the Salazar regime was "Deus, Pátria e Familia"
The fact that he was a trained economist too likely did Portugal no harm: despite the fact that by the late 1960's it was the poorest nation in Europe outside the Communist bloc.

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Sertorio
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Re: Calling all economists. I need your help.

Post by Sertorio » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:48 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:25 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:13 pm
It's not a defense of despotism. It is being realistic. I lived half of my life in a dictatorship, but a dictatorship which was nobody's vassal. I would have liked to have had then a democratic government, but while that couldn't be achieved, I was thankful we were truly independent. Today our political system is democratic - which I am thankful for - but we are no longer free to make our own decisions, and are the vassals of Germany and the US...
Which decisions are Portuguese policy makers no longer free to make? Examples, please.
Just about anything which has to do with the economy and the state's role in the economy and as a provider of public services.

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Sertorio
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Re: Calling all economists. I need your help.

Post by Sertorio » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:53 am

neverfail wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:44 pm

The fact that he was a trained economist too likely did Portugal no harm: despite the fact that by the late 1960's it was the poorest nation in Europe outside the Communist bloc.
By the late 1960's Portugal was growing at a rate of nearly 10% a year, and had no unemployment worth mentioning. We still were a poor country, but moving very fast forward. Except for the political limitations - and the war in Africa -, most Portuguese were rather satisfied with their lot.

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cassowary
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Re: Calling all economists. I need your help.

Post by cassowary » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:54 am

Sertorio wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:53 am
neverfail wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:44 pm

The fact that he was a trained economist too likely did Portugal no harm: despite the fact that by the late 1960's it was the poorest nation in Europe outside the Communist bloc.
By the late 1960's Portugal was growing at a rate of nearly 10% a year, and had no unemployment worth mentioning. We still were a poor country, but moving very fast forward. Except for the political limitations - and the war in Africa -, most Portuguese were rather satisfied with their lot.
Oh, I forgot about that war. Portugal was the first and last European empire. It ended in 1976 when the French, British and others gave up by the early 1960s. You, of all people, should understand if others also want empires.

neverfail
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Re: Calling all economists. I need your help.

Post by neverfail » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:08 pm

cassowary wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:54 am
Sertorio wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:53 am
neverfail wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:44 pm

The fact that he was a trained economist too likely did Portugal no harm: despite the fact that by the late 1960's it was the poorest nation in Europe outside the Communist bloc.
By the late 1960's Portugal was growing at a rate of nearly 10% a year, and had no unemployment worth mentioning. We still were a poor country, but moving very fast forward. Except for the political limitations - and the war in Africa -, most Portuguese were rather satisfied with their lot.
Oh, I forgot about that war. Portugal was the first and last European empire. It ended in 1976 when the French, British and others gave up by the early 1960s. You, of all people, should understand if others also want empires.
I sometimes wonder whether those colonial wars against African insurgents cost so much money that, despite a laudably high economic growth rate in metropolitan Portugal itself, the country still got nowhere and remained the poorest in non-socialist Europe?

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Sertorio
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Re: Calling all economists. I need your help.

Post by Sertorio » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:20 pm

neverfail wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:08 pm
cassowary wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:54 am
Sertorio wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:53 am
neverfail wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:44 pm

The fact that he was a trained economist too likely did Portugal no harm: despite the fact that by the late 1960's it was the poorest nation in Europe outside the Communist bloc.
By the late 1960's Portugal was growing at a rate of nearly 10% a year, and had no unemployment worth mentioning. We still were a poor country, but moving very fast forward. Except for the political limitations - and the war in Africa -, most Portuguese were rather satisfied with their lot.
Oh, I forgot about that war. Portugal was the first and last European empire. It ended in 1976 when the French, British and others gave up by the early 1960s. You, of all people, should understand if others also want empires.
I sometimes wonder whether those colonial wars against African insurgents cost so much money that, despite a laudably high economic growth rate in metropolitan Portugal itself, the country still got nowhere and remained the poorest in non-socialist Europe?
By the end of the 1960's the war expenses in Africa were 50% paid by local revenues and the ratio of military expenses as percentage of the GDP was decreasing. Which meant that the war no longer was an obstacle to economic growth in Portugal. From a cost point of view we could have kept the war going almost indefinitely. Eventualy we would have won the war in Angola (in 1973 it was almost over) and in Mozambique, and we would have had to withdraw from Guinea-Bissau. The problem was that the population was fed up with the war, and young people were increasingly unwilling of serving three years in the military.

neverfail
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Re: Calling all economists. I need your help.

Post by neverfail » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:31 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:20 pm

By the end of the 1960's the war expenses in Africa were 50% paid by local revenues and the ratio of military expenses as percentage of the GDP was decreasing. Which meant that the war no longer was an obstacle to economic growth in Portugal. From a cost point of view we could have kept the war going almost indefinitely. Eventualy we would have won the war in Angola (in 1973 it was almost over) and in Mozambique, and we would have had to withdraw from Guinea-Bissau. The problem was that the population was fed up with the war, and young people were increasingly unwilling of serving three years in the military.
Three years?

With likely a government funded trip to Africa thrown in as well.

If lucky it would be a return trip. If unlucky a one-way excursion.

Can you blame them for wanting to stay at home in order to get on with their lives, Sertorio?

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cassowary
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Re: Calling all economists. I need your help.

Post by cassowary » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:30 pm

neverfail wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:08 pm
cassowary wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:54 am
Sertorio wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:53 am
neverfail wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:44 pm

The fact that he was a trained economist too likely did Portugal no harm: despite the fact that by the late 1960's it was the poorest nation in Europe outside the Communist bloc.
By the late 1960's Portugal was growing at a rate of nearly 10% a year, and had no unemployment worth mentioning. We still were a poor country, but moving very fast forward. Except for the political limitations - and the war in Africa -, most Portuguese were rather satisfied with their lot.
Oh, I forgot about that war. Portugal was the first and last European empire. It ended in 1976 when the French, British and others gave up by the early 1960s. You, of all people, should understand if others also want empires.
I sometimes wonder whether those colonial wars against African insurgents cost so much money that, despite a laudably high economic growth rate in metropolitan Portugal itself, the country still got nowhere and remained the poorest in non-socialist Europe?
Probably. The colonies must have kept Portugal poor. That was why they gave them up. The colonies could not pay for themselves and had to suck in resources from the motherland Portugal to sustain Portuguese rule. It did not make business sense. Colonies were supposed to enrich the motherland and not impoverish it.

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cassowary
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Re: Calling all economists. I need your help.

Post by cassowary » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:00 am

Sertorio wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:20 pm

By the end of the 1960's the war expenses in Africa were 50% paid by local revenues ...
Hi Sertorio,

Aha. So the colonial empire cost Portugal money and thus "unprofitable". Profit = Revenue from colonies - cost for maintaining colonies.
...and the ratio of military expenses as percentage of the GDP was decreasing.
What's the percentage?

I checked and came up with this link. By 1971, Portugal spent 6.4% to 7.6% of GDP on defense. That's high and a drag on the economy. No wonder Portugal became poor. Defense expediture was 45.9% of the Portuguese budget in 1971.

The only reason why Portugal wanted to keep their colonies was that of pride. It made them feel good to have an empire even though it was not profitable. Reminds me of a friend who wanted to keep an expensive club membership he could no longer afford just to keep up with the Joneses or should I say the Wongs.
Which meant that the war no longer was an obstacle to economic growth in Portugal. From a cost point of view we could have kept the war going almost indefinitely.


Hahaha. The war was driving Portugal broke. According to that link above, Portugal spent 7.6% of GDP on the defence in 1971. How much is Portugal spending today?
At present, Portugal channels the equivalent of 1.32 percent of GDP into defence
.

Shame on Portugal. Only 1.32% of GDP on defense today when you are facing the big, bad Putin the Poisoner when you spent 7.6% to maintain a useless, unprofitable empire? You are not paying your fair share. All NATO countries are supposed to spend 2% of GDP on defense. Trump take note

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