quinta-feira, novembro 04, 2021

"pedir dinheiro emprestado para importar "

À atenção dos que acham que pedir dinheiro emprestado para importar é um modo de vida sustentável:

"Spain as a frightening example of what not to do

From the mid-1500s the theatre of Europe provided further elucidation in economic theory and policy, setting an example of what a country should not do. Spain had long been an important industrial state. `In Europe, to describe the best silk one once said "the quality of Granada". To describe the best textiles one once said "the quality of Segovia",' wrote a Portuguese economist in the 1700s. By then Spanish manufacturing industry was history and the mechanisms that had diminished its manufacturing capacity and its wealth in tandem were eagerly studied across Europe. Their conclusions on what had happened were virtually unanimous.

The discovery of the Americas led to immense quantities of gold and silver flowing into Spain. These huge fortunes were not invested in productive systems but actually led to the de-industrialization of the country. The landowners primarily profited from the `funnel of gold' from the Americas, as they had a monopoly on the export of oil and wine to the growing markets of the New World. The supply of such goods is highly inelastic, and subject to diminishing rather than increasing returns. To increase production, particularly to make new olive trees yield as old ones, takes a long time. This expansion would produce the opposite of increasing returns, that is, diminishing returns which cause the cost of production per unit to rise rather than fall. The result of the increased demand was consequently a sharp increase in the price of agricultural products. At the same time, nobility owning land were exempt from paying most taxes, so the tax burden fell increasingly on the artisans and manufacturers. Their competitiveness was, on the other hand, already being squeezed by the rapid rise of prices of agricultural goods in Spain. This undid the synergies and division of labour in Spanish cities, causing a de-industrialization from which Spain only finally recovered in the nineteenth century. Successful states protected manufacturing industry, unsuccessful Spain protected agriculture to the extent that it killed manufacturing.


We find the following observation in Giovanni Botero's work on what causes the wealth of cities: `Such is the power of industry that no mine of silver or gold in New Spain or Peru can compare with it, and the duties from the merchandise of Milan are worth more to the Catholic King than the mines of Potosi and Jalisco." Italy is a country in which ... there is no important gold or silver mine, and so is France: yet both countries are rich in money and treasure thanks to industry.'

In various forms, the statement that manufacturing was the real gold mine is found all over Europe from the late 1500s through the 1700s. After Botero we find this expressed by Tommaso Campanella (1602) and Antonio Genovesi (in the 1750s) in Italy, by Geronimo de Uztariz in Spain (1724/1751) and by Anders Berch (1747), the first economics professor outside Germany, in Sweden: `The real gold mines are the manufacturing industries'."

Trecho retirado de "How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor" de Erik S. Reinert.

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