Calling all economists. I need your help.

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

Post by neverfail » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:36 am

cassowary wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:00 am


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.
Cass, that's the sort of figures re. expenditure on defence I would have expected from a belligerent power embroiled in the midst of the Second World War.

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

Post by Sertorio » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:06 am

neverfail wrote:
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?
In 13 years of war in Africa we had 9,000 dead in the military, not all of whom in combat. And we had permanently about 100,000 military in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. In other words, fewer people died in combat than in traffic accidents on the roads in Portugal. The problem was not fear of death, it was delaying the start of one's productive life. As far as I know, only two people I knew were killed in the fighting in Africa, both of whom were career officers.

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

Post by Sertorio » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:20 am

cassowary wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:00 am
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.
The figures were high - but sustainable. What should be noted is that those figures were getting lower every year, which means that the military expenditure wasn't preventing the economy from growing. Both in Portugal and in Africa.

We never saw our overseas possessions as an "empire", although some people referred to them in that way. We saw them as extensions overseas of our country. Please note that during the Napoleonic wars, the Portuguese King and his court moved to Brazil, and the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil was Rio de Janeiro. No colonial situation here. Also, as from 1822, the Portuguese Constitution recognized the right to vote for the Portuguese Parliament to the populations of the overseas territories, without any restrictions due to ethnicity. Definitely not a colonial situation either. I don't know of anything similar happening in the British and French colonies in Africa.

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

Post by Sertorio » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:56 am

Sertorio wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:20 am
cassowary wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:00 am
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.
The figures were high - but sustainable. What should be noted is that those figures were getting lower every year, which means that the military expenditure wasn't preventing the economy from growing. Both in Portugal and in Africa.

Real GDP growth 1961-1973
GDP.JPG
GDP.JPG (22.48 KiB) Viewed 2363 times
The growth in GDP during the whole period of the war in Africa shows that the cost of such war did not prevent the economy growing substantially (see 1971 and 1972)

We never saw our overseas possessions as an "empire", although some people referred to them in that way. We saw them as extensions overseas of our country. Please note that during the Napoleonic wars, the Portuguese King and his court moved to Brazil, and the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil was Rio de Janeiro. No colonial situation here. Also, as from 1822, the Portuguese Constitution recognized the right to vote for the Portuguese Parliament to the populations of the overseas territories, without any restrictions due to ethnicity. Definitely not a colonial situation either. I don't know of anything similar happening in the British and French colonies in Africa.

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

Post by neverfail » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:53 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:20 am

We never saw our overseas possessions as an "empire", although some people referred to them in that way. We saw them as extensions overseas of our country. Please note that during the Napoleonic wars, the Portuguese King and his court moved to Brazil, and the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil was Rio de Janeiro. No colonial situation here. Also, as from 1822, the Portuguese Constitution recognized the right to vote for the Portuguese Parliament to the populations of the overseas territories, without any restrictions due to ethnicity. Definitely not a colonial situation either. I don't know of anything similar happening in the British and French colonies in Africa.
(1) I believe that the French also saw their empire abroad as "overseas provinces" rather than "colonies". This seems to be a characteristic approach of the Latin bloc. of empire building nations.

(2) The King of Portugal and his entire royal court evacuated to Brazil in 1805: after neighbouring Bourbon Spain became an ally of Napoleon Bonaparte and a combined French-Spanish army was marching on Lisbon. It was either flee to Rio or be captured by the French. Luckily Britain , honouring an old alliance agreement inserted some of its own troops into Portugal to stiffen the resolve of the Portuguese army to fight on. Significantly, Britain also despatched a rising young officer by the name of Arthur Wellesley who, a decade later was destined to go on to win the Battle of Waterloo against Bonaparte and become known to history as The Duke of Wellington.. Whilst in Iberia the fighting raged across Portugal before being pushed back into Spain but Wellesley never lost a single battle despite often being outnumbered and outgunned by the Franco-Spanish side.

As for the Portuguese constitution recognising the right of overseas territories to elect deputies to your parliament; Very likely they were haunted by memories of the American struggle for independence of a few decades earlier where taxes were imposed on the American colonies without these having the right to elect MP's to the UK Parliament tom have a say in the matter. Sensible counter-measure but possibly too little too late. Brazil succeededm in then following year 1823 anyway.

(3) The British Parliament granted New South Wales, the foundation colony in Australia, the right to regional autonomy under its own elected colonial assembly inn 1838 - just 50 years after the first settlement. The other colonies were granted the same as a matter of course whilst New Zealand never experienced anything but. This seems to have been in acknowledgement of the sheer impracticality of these electing Members of the UK parliament to represent their interests over such vast distances. Something similar happened in Canada during the course of the 19th century. The present Parliamentary democracies of these three dominions grew directly out of those earlier experiments in colonial regional autonomy.

Again, metropolitan Britain may have learned a lesson from the serial blunders in handling their American colonies in the latter 18th century. Do not treat your colonials in a cavalier fashion. Their loyalty to the mother country has a price.

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