The Historical Basis for Catalonian Independence

Discussion in 'World History' started by JohannaK, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald 老任森林

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    America ruled from London
     
  2. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    That's simple. Separatism is a desire of population of some territory to disconnect from the original state.

    Nationalism can sometimes be one of motives of such desire - but it doesn't have to and it usually is not the only motive.

    In case of Catalonia the main motive for its separatism is the fact that Spanish economy sucks, while Catalonian economy is great.

    This is why Catalonias are tired of driving the economic growth of the rest of Spain at their own expense.
     
  3. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Super Moderator

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    London's economy is almost into space, whilst the British economy sucks. Does that mean that all the land within the M25 should secede from the rest of the UK?
     
  4. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    I don't talk about what "should" or "should not" be. I talk about what people think.

    People within the M25 think that they should secede? Catalonians do.
     
  5. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    Not only that, we are being economically and culturally mistreated by the central government.
     
  6. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    How exactly? I haven't read the thread, but I haven't really seen anything like this.

    Keep in mind the rule of rational economic debate: paying more taxes because you're doing well does not equal oppression or mistreatment.
     
  7. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Man tell it to Western Australia while we're at it.
     
  8. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    Catalonia is the second Community of Spain in terms of wealth. After the application of a certain "balancing" mechanism, Catalonia becomes the 14th. The opposite is true for Extremadura, which in spite of receiving all of that wealth plus vast quantities of European subventions still has a GDP per capita of about 75% of the European average, or 75% lower, I don't exactly remember how this figure applied.

    Plus the Central Government has repeatedly compromised investments in infrastructure necessary to properly develop the economic potential of Catalonia which have seen massive cuts while the AVE towards elsewhere (be it Galicia, be it Vitoria, be it anywhere, it will NEVER be profitable, so it's a worthless investment in every single case in Spain) went ahead at full speed.

    Plus deficit! Spain now has been allowed by Europe a limit of about 6.5% of deficit, of which the Central Government keeps a 5.3% for itself despite the fact that about half of the spending is responsibility of the Communities (which basically spend in Health, Education, Welfare and the most basic of social services), which must comply with a 1.2% of deficit. Richer communities have a higher deficit, partly due to the compensation methods that leave them behind poorer communities, and the massive spending cuts are simply too brutal for the people to stand, so the Communities are demanding a more flexible limit, Catalonia in particular, and this is one issue in which it has the support of Valencia and the Baleares, coincidentally! Well, not so coincidentally. It's all a matter of deficit levels... :mischief:
     
  9. Arwon

    Arwon

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    You need to define wealth.

    (Also just FYI, subsidy is the usual English word, subvention technically exists but is almost never used)
     
  10. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    Could you explain the method of this balancing mechanism? I don't follow what you mean by is second in terms of wealth, but becomes 14th afterwards. By the usual definition of wealth, that would mean they confiscated most of your stuff, which seems pretty unlikely.

    But redistribution to less wealthy regions makes perfect sense. If Catalonia is doing well, and Spain as a whole has a massive unemployment problem, why shouldn't the central government spend more money in other regions of the country? Catalonia doesn't need the help by your telling.

    That deficit limit does seem out of whack, but then it would seem that all the Communities (is Communities the official term? I keep wanting to say Cortes :p) should share your grievances.

    For the record, Canada has something that sounds like what you're describing, called Transfer Payments. The idea being to maintain health, education, and a few other things, at equal levels between the provinces. The Federal government distributes it based on, and out of, income tax revenue. At the moment Alberta, where I live, is receiving a lot less in transfer payments than it pays in, mostly because we have a lot of young employed people, and very few older and retired folks. But I'm totally OK with that. I'd never think it was a reason to separate from Canada.
     
  11. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    You must have. I'm not the sort of person that subscribe's to a single political viewpoint, let alone any form of communism.
     
  12. Gucumatz

    Gucumatz JS, secretly Rod Serling

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    Again, of course...?
     
  13. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    Precisely that. About 10%of Catalonia's GDP goes away every year and never comes back.

    Of course, I am not objecting redistribution, but the excessive level of it. It must be said that Extremadura and Andalusia are two of the poorest Communities and the latter was the only regional administration to expand their budget last year, while massive spending cuts are curtailing the Welfare State.

    Well, you say States and not Congresses when you talk about the US, right? :p

    They do, but richer communities propose an asymmetrical deficit limit, in which richer communities, which are also more indebted, have a higher limit, and that way the Central Government wouldnt need to Increase the Communities' global limit much. And the other Communities oppose that, because it Would Be Unfair With The Communities Who Comply With The Limit.

    All Federal Countries have or should have that, but again the problem comes when this is abused. Infrastructure investment in Catalonia, except for the ever ruinous AVE, has been almost nonexistant in Catalonia. Wait, I was forgetting the airport expansion. But the Important stuff, like the connexion of port terminals with the railroad network or the second railway between Tarragona and Castello, which in some paarts consists of a single way for both directions.
     
  14. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    It sounds to me like redistribution is exactly what you're objecting to: you would rather money go to improve infrastructure in a place that doesn't need improved infrastructure as much as the poorer parts of the country do.
     
  15. Wir0s

    Wir0s Chieftain

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    Culturaly: Spain and all governments have tried to kill our language, Until 40 years ago, we had just forbidden from using our language, celebrate our traditions, etc ... Not to mention the historical revisionism.

    Economically: We are one of the regions with the highest tax burden WORLDWIDE, almost 10% of our GDP is gone to never return, Spain owe more than 8 billion euros of agreements already signed and demands us 3 billion more cuts without paying their debts?

    Moreover, Catalonia has make the 25% of the total cuts in Spain since the crisis began.



    One thing is solidarity and other plunder. Also, having to endure that every day we called from "Nazi" to "beggars", Would you stay with someone like that?


    Also, it turns out that want to decide your future in a peaceful and democratic is fascism for spanish media.

    Canada has negotiated with Quebec, England has negotiated with Scotland. Spain has threatened to send the tanks.

    That's the difference between democracies and banana republics


    P.S. It is a good time for England, to compensate their past betrayals, just supporting us, nothing more.

    It would be a detail, after the shameful Treaty of Utrecht
     
  16. Arwon

    Arwon

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    "present redistributive mechanisms are somewhat imperfect and the subject of ongoing negotiations"

    "this is oppression, we must secede!"
     
  17. Arwon

    Arwon

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    I want to see the detailed official tables on this claim. It doesn't sound particularly unfair.

    You see Western Australian complaints along similar lines here. The thing is, if the overall tax burden of a country is about 35% of GDP (as it is in Spain) you wouldn't actually need taxpayers and businesses in a region to be paying much more tax as a percentage of what gets spent in the region, to let you say roughly 10% of gross regional product is "going away never to return". It's pretty effective spin.

    But these sorts of disparities are entirely possible and appropriate in some cases in some countries, given progressive taxation, and how much of government spending is on welfare and health mechanisms

    For example, in Minnesota, their per capita income is about $42k per person. They pay $15k in per capita federal tax. The federal government spends $7.5k in Minnesota. That means, per person, $7.5k leaves Minnesota "never to return" and they only get back one half of the federal tax they pay. $7.5k per person tax loss out of $42k per person tax income, you could actually say that roughly 17% of Minnesota's Gross Domestic Product leaves "never to return".

    Catalonia has a PIB (producto interior brutal, ie GDP) of roughly €27k per person. If it paid, per person, €2.7k more tax than was spent in Catalonia, then this would make the statement that it loses 10% of GDP true. And not outrageous when you consider that a whole bunch of Autonomous Communities are at less than €20k per person.

    Assume Catalans are paying the average Spanish portion of income in tax (let's call it 33%), that means they're paying €9k tax and getting back €6.3k, a 70% ratio about on par with Western Australia and substantially better than Minnesota's 50%. With progressive taxation, they'll actually be paying more than 33% and thus the ratio will be even higher than 70%. If Catalans are being taxed 45% of their income (€12k per person), then if they're losing "10% of GDP" (€2.7k per person) they're getting back nearly 80% of what they pay. A 55% tax burden means they're getting back well over 80% of tax paid.

    (edited to use an American state that isn't a tax haven and insert Catalonia's actual GDP figure and more maths)
     
  18. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    Partially. They have better infrastructure now, you know. More than they need.

    Exhibit A:


    Black double lines are tolled highways, grey are projected toll highways and blue are free highways. Back in the day, highways were financed through tolling, so out of all projected highways, only the Mediterranean Corridor and the Ebro Valley saw them, since they have traditionally been funneling areas of economic activity (the Basque Country, Catalonia, Valencia). Back in the 80s, the Central Government changed things and decided to build all of those planned radial highways without charges to the user. Later, it has been tried to put tolls in several highways, especially around Madrid. They're all unprofitable. But the mere existance of tolls in transversal connections favour a displacement of activity along the lines of free highways, that is towards Madrid. The whole infrastructure system is thought to favour the economic position of Madrid, which has proven effective by the achievement by the political and administrative capital of the status of economic capital somewhere in the last two decades.

    The whole infrastructure policy of the government is to connect every single provincial capital to Madrid by the fastest land connection possible, which leads to Exhibit B:


    We have already established how the primary exchanges of economic activity in Spain take place along the Mediterranean Coast and the Ebro Valley. these are completely forgotten in favour of radial connections and provincial branches which pursue solely the aforementioned goal and will have no impact whatsoever on the regional economy other that the Central Government probably taking more money to pay for the huge exploitation deficit of this infrastructure which isn't even profitable in the Madrid-Barcelona journey (which was the world's most important airlift until AVE began operating between the two cities).

    On the other hand, we need the infrastructure to remain competitive. Poorer parts of Spain are economically lost for ever, so the government should focus on investing primarily where it will enable its economy to become more competitive.
    Well, when negotiations fail, what else is left?

    PS: It is also quite ridiculous that these very same comunities which are favoured by the balancing methods then gloat about them paying for our highly costly way of life when it's the other way around.
     
  19. Wir0s

    Wir0s Chieftain

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    http://www.jhubc.it/bcjournal/articles/desquens.cfm

    These studies estimate the Catalan fiscal imbalance with Spain to be between 7.5 percent and 10 percent of the Catalan GDP i.e. for every 100 euros of income created yearly in Catalonia, between 7.5 and ten never return. In absolute terms, the deficit is between about 6.7 billion and about 9 billion euros or around 1,240 euros annually per capita (using the median of the estimates, 7.9 billion euros).

    This is a highly abnormal situation when comparing Catalonia to similar regions in other E.U countries.

    http://www.it-intransit.eu/articles/catalonia-has-highest-taxes-spain

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/opinion/a-new-call-for-catalonias-independence.html?_r=0

    The region accounts for about one-fourth of Spain’s exports. But for every euro Catalans pay in taxes, only 57 cents is spent in the region. Before taxes, Catalonia is the fourth richest of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions. After taxes, it drops to ninth — a form of forced redistribution unparalleled in contemporary Europe.
     
  20. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    Damn, I should have checked the figure... It's probably been years since I last did, thus not taking into account the latest version of the LOFCA.
     

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