Thursday, 7 April 2011

This is a short essay I wrote entitled "The Economy of Portugal", which Proffesor Paul Klugman, The 2008 Nobel Prize winner in economics, allowed me to publish in The New York Times Economical Theory blog that he writes. It is an incredibly great honour as only about 70 are allowed for each of his essays that he publishes there. His essay's called: "The European Straigtjacket."

Why are there seemingly so many people in the world so measurelessly broken with fright and weeping anguish over a mere €4.252 billion and €4.913 billion euros of bonds that have to be purchased, by the Republic of Portugal in April, and then in June, respectively? It seems so strange that there is so much attention paid to that particular country. Perhaps the just resigned Prime Minister of Portugal, Jose Socrates was correct in saying that much of the high bond yield demands on the markets find their origin in the journalistic obsession occurring at this particular point in history. Sadly, it is only too clear, that the people typically granted the authority to write and be widely read internationally on the subject of the Portuguese nation know very little about it, and I should know as I am a Portuguese person, yet living in Canada, who has spent over a year there spread over the entirety of my 30 or so years of age. I always feel like a child who is learning to walk, when I go there, simple and goofy. I am still wise enough to know, yet, that it is indeed a great society. Maybe there are too many people involved in the media universe who do not like working too hard at penetrating into new realms of truth. Or perhaps, those who purchase against the country, or by other means, work against it's finances, with the intent to gain more money from it, should feel moreso that they are simple. And is it possible that the Portuguese trouble many an unsophisticated mind because they are a particular kind of society that others who do not understand quite alot, fear?   Here are a few random, important statistics on Portuguese finances:   It recorded the highest bank deposit month in dollars for the month of January, 2011 since records began in October, 1989.     It has the highest improval of performance in the OECD and its partners (70 countries total) for the top 15 year old students in mathematics between 2003 and 2009,and the #4 most improved of all overall students, and as ranked of all overall students, is just below Austria and the US, and before Spain and Italy.   For science performance, it is the 3rd most improved from between 2006 to 2009 and overall is ahead of Denmark, Belgium, France, and Austria.   For reading performance, the 15 year old students are the 8th most improved from the years between 2000 to 2009 of the 70 countries tested, and overall, just below the US and ahead of Belgium, UK, Germany and many others.   Productivity improvements are likewise, remarkable: R&D spending between 2001-2008 went from 0.80-1.51% of GDP,the percentage of full-time researchers went from 3.5-5.5 per 1000 employed, and tertiary graduation rates in population at graduation age went from 27.6%-42.6%, in the same time period.   Note: This financial data is sourced from the The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) ; PISA 2009 results and the OECD country statistical profile: Portugal 2010 report.   The low growth in the GDP has been sustained for about ten years now, and it wouldn't seem to not be as such now, it simply does not make much sense. Why does not the EU government simply go ahead and purchase outrightly the €4.252 billion and €4.913 billion for the April and June bonds at issue, and if that's too reasonable, maybe they could buy them, and have Portugal pay them back at the average rate of all the European Union national bonds issued at this time, the payment to be due for the end of the same time period that the bonds of the Portuguese Republic were originally issued to expire for: it would do Europe a lot of good,and would save alot of resource, never mind mention also for those outside of Europe.   This all seems like an enormous waste of time and a massive drain on productivity and hencewith, development, like one flagellating themselves in the hope of being heard by some little god that they don't know anything about.

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