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The idea that the colonies were money losers is an empirical claim, which in the case of the Netherlands as in case of the UK is completely off base. Some colonies in Africa in the late imperial age may have been money losers, but most colonies definitely were money producers. Just start looking into the kind of active industrial destruction the British enacted in their Indian colony to enhance their early domestic textile production to get a historically accurate idea (in place of an a-priori reasoned free marketeer idea) of the situation.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Sep 9th, 2009 at 06:40:11 PM EST
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I recall having recounted to me, (but don't have the reference), the story of how the British East India Company succeeded in convincing the residents of Calcutta to purchase cotton cloth made on British power looms in place of their own home spun.  They rounded up the home weavers and cut off their thumbs!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 10th, 2009 at 12:42:10 AM EST
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