- May 2014
So, the Portuguese purposely deprived Guinea-Bissau of profits by selling their rice at an artificially low price?Yes, many of his sources are being used wrongly.
-He claimed that Guinea-Bissau was "a successful colonial state that had ... initiated sustained gains in life expectancy since bringing the territory under control in 1936".
-His source for this statement was "The Timing and Pace of Health Transitions around the World"
-He claimed that the "successful colonial state" of Guinea-Bissau quadrupled rice production
Problem with the statement:
-Portuguese started colonizing the place since the late 15th century. 1936 was only the year when the Portuguese conquered the last batch of islands from the place.
-The source only mentioned Guinea Bissau's life expectancy in Appendix I which said it faced increasing life expectancy in either the 1940s or 1950s and this Appendix I ended in the year 2000. It didn't say anything about whether colonialism caused this: http://u.demog.berkeley.edu/~jrw/Biblio/Eprints/ P-S/riley.2005_timing.pace.health.transitions.pdf
-He left out how the rice produced in Guinea-Bissau was sold at artificially low fixed prices, so Guinea-Bissau had a rice deficit. It was to the benefit of the colonizers, not the colonized. <---This last part is a common pitfall of many apologist arguments, pointing to increased production but leaving out who benefited from it, and who sacrificed the most for this increased production.
Also, I do agree with your points here. Indeed, the point about life expectancy would be similar to arguing that Israeli rule in the West Bank was beneficial because under this rule life expectancy in the West Bank significantly increased. Basically, this doesn't account for the possibility that life expectancy in the West Bank would have significantly increased even without Israeli rule. Indeed, AFAIK, various countries which were formerly colonies experienced a large increase in their life expectancy after independence.