Incongruities and failures

I see myself in Mariana Mazzucato. The entrepreneurial State is not “the public sector in combat with the private sector, but a State with a catalytic effect and engine of economic development, based on innovation”.

This article is not an analysis of OE 2021, nor is it intended to be. It only appears that people count on it, although in some respects ambition was lacking. We are dealing with an OE of a high social nature. In the pandemic situation we live in, where many groups and professions have their income curtailed, it would be anti natura a socialist-oriented government does not assume health and solidarity, and why not education, as its main priorities.

But do not expect from this budget the “miracle” for the economic crisis. In this area, it should have come with a vision and a framework. A few well-woven pages, where the philosophy of financing future investment was woven, that is, the role of the State, Companies and Community Funds, were enough.

Here, I limit myself to pointing out some inconsistencies and flaws, some simple, others in principle. They would avoid so much hollow, decontextualized and unreasonable talk, of politicians (unintelligent) and, above all, commentators, with recourse to “specialists” in the studies of multinationals, to attack this OE regarding the incentives to companies.

  1. Gray family

A gray family, understood as the population group of retirees, pensioners and pensioners, has already been commented on here a few times. Namely, in the article “Government Forgets Gray Family", in which I mentioned that the return of income to this group was far from being treated on an equal basis with people in active employment.

In maturities above one thousand and a few euros I wrote the “government of contraption”Had not yet returned the salary cuts along the lines of people in employment, a situation that remains. Hence it can be inferred that this is not a case of circumstances awaiting a better release from public finances, but of effective discrimination.

And in this OE 2021 a leftist government discriminates again the graying family in the issue “reduction of withholding tax of the IRS”.

Why is the active person caught by this measure and the retired, pensioner or retired person is not? At all, I don't understand. Or rather, I understand. Pure and blind discrimination. A profound, deeply discriminatory and reactionary attitude. In good Portuguese, it's in the blood.

This discrimination amazes and even led the commenting inspectors to deceit. Only the Secretary of State, Nuno Mendes, tried to justify the unjustifiable" and not true, stating that in this group of taxpayers the retention rate corresponds substantially to the real. It looks bad. Assume that you have taken an attitude that hurts equity principles.

It has very little impact on the measure and some even prefer it as it is. It disgusts me discrimination in principle which, I repeat, hurts a left-wing philosophy. To amputate the country from this “slice” is to throw a lot of people away. It also amazes me that the parties with an emphasis on the left did not even mention this situation.

As raw information, that is, not worked, I note that the total number of pensions in the country was 3,6 million in 2019, reaching 40,5% of the population. In 1970, only 4,2%.

  1. The budget should contain a perspective related to

This OE 2021 was missing a related perspective, important in all OE, but in this one in a special way and, probably in the next ones, as long as there is a pandemic and budgets are out of the ordinary.

What do I mean by that?

That at least with regard to investments in the short and medium term, there should be, in parallel or as part of the budget itself, an analysis of the potential offered to the country in terms of investment financing. Of course, this document could not be the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance alone. With this document, the role of the State, Companies and Funds was clear.


Clarification. It had become known, for example, that the Recovery and Resilience Plan delivered in Brussels contains € 6.000 billion for companies, which is not small (48%) in € 12,5 billion. I know that it is not easy to produce this work because the Public Administration was beheaded of these functions. Does anyone know where the Planning and Prospective Department (DPP) is, for example?

I have already heard the current minister of the Plan talk about these technical limitations and say "preparing technicians in this area is urgent", but it was a while ago ... An excellent field as well "profitable”To invest in the Public Administration non-refundable funds!

If the complementary document had been made, we could be here discussing other topics of greater relevance related to Companies, the Country and the Funds.

For example, why in Portugal (2019 Eurostat) do you work 39,3 hours a week (one of the highest rates in the European Union) when the average is 36,2 and in countries like the Netherlands 32,6 hours? In neighboring Spain only 36,4 hours.

And despite more work, so little is gained in Portugal.

It would be much more useful to address these reasons, including relating the causes to the funding potential, in order to prepare the guidelines and framework.

Certainly, there are differentiated causes of such low productivity in the Public Administration and in the private sector.

In the private sector, there will be multiple factors, the business dimension, the strategy of many companies to bet on price as a factor of productivity instead of product quality and innovation and, above all, the fact that most companies are managed by little qualified entrepreneurs. All of this raises the question: how to adapt the management of funds to changing this reality ?!

There have been activities that have been modernized with the previous funds, footwear, wine, olive oil, textiles, automobile components ... But the country has been experiencing a strong deindustrialization since the last decade of the last century. A new development strategy based on INNOVATION is needed.

And in this line I see myself in Mariana Mazzucato, an illustrious economist, professor of Economics and Innovation in London, a staunch defender of an entrepreneurial, strong and innovative state.

For her, the entrepreneurial State is not “the public sector in combat with the private sector, but a State with a catalytic effect and engine of economic development, based on innovation”.

In reality, the State plays a crucial role in the country's Innovation, through Universities and other Research Centers, and it will always be so. Private capital risks little and the Innovation process itself takes time, causes failures and therefore poses serious risks. Companies use innovation at an early stage.

Mariana Mazzucato even claims that there are innovations that take 20 years or more to achieve success and that all the global mega-successes in the big pharmaceutical companies, on the Internet, etc., only happened because the State was present and played the key role. As an example, the USA points out, where everything is based on the State, whether in the civilian or military.

And regarding the final appropriation of the economic results of the innovation process, another fundamental corporate issue, Mariana Mazzucato "accuses the private sector of taking the profits and the laurels and not sharing them with those who crucially supported them, the taxpayers".

Taking advantage of the time spent on Budgets to debate such important topics would be much more formative and educational than walking adrift focused only on incentives to companies and attracting investment, aiming only at lowering taxes, when global conditions as a whole are determining . State, Companies and Funds this is what remains to be studied and debated in the perspective of a fundamental transformation of our society.

The author writes according to the old spelling.


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