Having voted with my feet, I’m asking Why weren’t taxes an issue in the last election? at Da Tech Guy Blog.
Faustam fortuna adiuvat
American and Latin American Politics, Society, and Culture.
Having voted with my feet, I’m asking Why weren’t taxes an issue in the last election? at Da Tech Guy Blog.
Don’t fall for the trap: Why Obama should not be impeached when he grants executive amnesty.
Linked to by Pirate’s Cove. Thank you!
Today I’m Comparing voting in NJ to voting in FL at Da Tech Guy Blog.
I didn’t go into the local politics in my article, but after decades of political campaigns in four states, I had never experienced such bombardment as the local Florida Crist-Scott campaign this year. You could not escape the campaigns: TV, radio, robocalls, internet (Google ads ran Crist ads in my blog), knocking on doors, campaign workers at the mall, both sides did not let up.
— Ed Driscoll (@EdDriscoll) November 5, 2014
Last night I was in Rick Moran’s Election Night Extravaganza, co-hosted by Jazz Shaw, along with other guests voting law expert J. Christian Adams, political consultant Jeff Kropf, and Rod Kackley and Bridget Johnson of PJ Media. I was on the second hour.
Today at 1PM Eastern I’ll be in Silvio Canto’s podcast on US-Latin America issues with Michael Prada.
Even when the Venezuelan government has not allowed its own numbers to be verified for almost a decade, and stopped reporting various standard economoic indicators several years ago (practices which all started during Chavez’s administration), the numbers that it does report confirm The Economist’s appraisal of the country as Probably the world’s worst-managed economy.
Right now the government,
facing deteriorating economic conditions at home, is quietly slashing imports to cover foreign debt payments amid a severe hard-currency crunch.
Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff write on Venezuela’s Spectacular Underperformance
Maduro, of course, rules over a major oil-exporting economy that is so badly mismanaged that real (inflation-adjusted) per capita GDP today is 2% lower than it was in 1970, despite a ten-fold increase in oil prices.
The relevant reality now is the long-term plight and dwindling standard of living of the average Venezuelan citizen. Over the past 45 years, as Venezuela’s real per capita GDP fell, US per capita GDP roughly doubled and Chile’s per capita GDP nearly tripled. And neutral observers project that 2014 will be even worse for Venezuela – not surprising, given the chaos of the country’s policy fundamentals.
Venezuela repeatedly has defaulted on the moneys it owes on pharmaceutical imports, food, airlines, oil suppliers and joint-venture partners; Reinhart and Rogoff ask
historically there have been many external defaults without domestic defaults, the converse is not true: nearly all domestic defaults are “twin defaults” that also involve external creditors. Will the Venezuelan case be different?
However, Francisco Toro points out that
in the technical sense that’s relevant in market terms, Venezuela is not in domestic default.
. . .
This is the crux of the Great Venezuela Macro Debate of 2013-2014: to what extent can the government’s patent inability to meet its obligations be ascribed to a basic inability to pay, and to what extent is it just the Nth insane distortion you get when the government makes it illegal to pay a penny more than 77 cents for a $10 bill?
So, while we split hairs on exchange rate misalignments and the like, Venezuela undoubtely becomes a land of political killings and gang turf wars.
Related: Venezuela: The Left vs. reality
Carlos Alberto Montaner y Álvaro Vargas Llosa, autores del libro “Últimas noticias del nuevo idiota Iberoamericano”, analizaron en InfobaeTV el rumbo del Gobierno y advirtieron que “camina hacia una catástrofe“. Las trampas del populismo y la “responsabilidad” de la oposición.
En la Argentina se instaló un sistema populista, de gran concentración de poder político; de erosión sistemática de los contrapesos y del control del poder; un sistema económico muy perverso, que consiste básicamente en extorsionar al campo para subvencionar a la ciudad, a través de eso crear un voto cautivo para permitirle al sistema una continuidad”, sentenció el peruano.
Luego advirtió por las dificultades crecientes que enfrentará la economía por la desaceleración que sufrirá como consecuencia de los cambios en las condiciones internacionales. “Hoy tiene un gasto público descomunal y una tendencia a gastarse todas sus reservas, que está provocando una situación de mucha urgencia, muy dramática”. Incluso consideró que una devaluación como la de enero puede no ser suficiente para hacer frente a la brecha entre el dólar oficial y el libre: “A los pocos meses el mercado te demuestra que tus políticas están cayendo en las mismas consecuencias”.
Montaner no fue menos optimista. “Argentina está en un ciclo muy negativo, camina hacia la catástrofe“.
El cubano reconoció que, pese a ese agotamiento que denuncian, el Gobierno goza de un considerable apoyo. “Si la oposición no consigue juntarse, va a ser muy difícil el remplazo y el sostenimiento del remplazo”.
Y explicó que “en el grupo clientelista, los clientes van a mantenerse unidos porque tienen un interés particular, que no es el del Estado, pero la oposición tiene una responsabilidad de sacar al país de esta terrible situación”.
Back to English, in other Argentina news:
The contempt decision comes after the country has made several attempts to get around Judge Griesa’s series of rulings that say the country can’t pay its restructured bondholders until it pays the approximate $1.6 billion it owes to its holdout creditors.
Argentina recently passed legislation to switch the jurisdiction of its bonds governed by U.S. law to Argentina, which Judge Griesa repeatedly has said is illegal and can’t be carried out. The country also is trying to remove Bank of New York Mellon Corp. BK -0.85% as the trustee bank that processes payments and replace it with a local Argentine bank, another move that triggered the contempt citation.
“[Argentina] has been and is now taking steps in an attempt to evade critical parts of” U.S. court order, Judge Griesa said on Monday at the federal courthouse in Manhattan. “There’s a very concrete proposal that would clearly violate the injunction.”
Judge Griesa has jurisdiction in this case because Argentina in the 1990s borrowed money from foreign investors under the agreement that any disputes would be litigated in U.S. courts. Argentina defaulted in 2001, and has for years battled hedge funds that refused to accept debt exchanges in 2005 and 2010.
The Venezuelan government continues to deny it,VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT DISMISSES EXISTENCE OF DEADLY ILLNESS
An apparent viral disease causing fever and skin rashes has taken the lives of ten in Venezuela, according to hospital officials. While doctors have ruled out both Ebola and Chikungunya fever, they remain stumped as to what is causing the illness.
According to El Universal, the nation’s largest newspaper, the virus has hit hardest in the northern state of Aragua, where eight people died last week. Maracay’s Central Hospital in the region declared a “state of alarm,” noting that the disease could be either viral or bacterial, but tests have not confirmed its identity. Of the initial eight victims, half were children, all who died less than 72 hours after being admitted to the hospital. One of the ten victims died not in Aragua, but in the capital, Caracas.
As Venezuela and others follow the disastrous Cuban model, the open border presents new challenges.
Monica Showalter’s editorial at IBD:
As Obama Leads Anti-Ebola Charge To Save Africa, Little Done About New Diseases Coming Up From Border
Venezuela has confirmed 398 cases of chikungunya fever, 55,970 cases of malaria and 45,745 cases of dengue fever — all diseases that were either unknown or else had had been eradicated from the country two decades ago. There’s also 9 deaths from a strange new, unnamed hemorrhagic fever in Aragua state.
Meanwhile, in Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica, a monster dengue epidemic is raging through the region right now, with 120,000 cases, and 60 deaths, and public health emergencies declared in those countries.
The reality is, an unguarded border, a welcome-mat approach to illegals, well developed smuggling networks, and zero medical screening are virtually a guarantee of the spread of new diseases — and demand the political will to investigate it.
But the president’s focus is on Africa right now, and on the frightening disease that has caught the media’s attention and which may get his poll numbers up.
Yet the millions of malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS cases far more rampant in those African countries are getting no attention. Nor are the illnesses that could easily come up here from the south.
It points to crass politics — a wag-the-dog bid to divert public attention from the president’s other political problems, and a pander for the Latino vote.
since Political imperative trumps national security.
Deadly Outbreak in Venezuela Deemed ‘Terrorism’
President Nicolás Maduro said he ordered the prosecution of doctors who had alerted the public to the recent deaths of nine people in a public hospital from an unidentified but possibly infectious disease.
Today is question day: Is Populism beatable?
Populism has been the driving force behind both our political landscape and our economic misfortunes. This trait has marked the misguided economic policies of several administrations, with Chavismo just exacerbating the problem. Because, in essence chavismo repeats a well’worn recipe: continue to fuel the spending binge, among other insane policies, with an unprecedented oil boom backing this profligate party.
Populism thrives in societies where the rule of law is undermined or non-existent, with sky-high economic inequalities, a weak institutional framework, and polarization among other contributing factors.
Carlos Rangel’s post offers a start, but my question is, can totalitarian Communism be ousted from Venezuela at this point?
Puerto Vallarta PAN legislative-strategy meeting:
The four-minute video was published this week by Reporte Indigo, a muckraking online publication known for taking on public corruption and politicians of all stripes. The publication’s publisher, Ramón Alberto Garza, said in an interview that the video’s newsworthiness rests in the question of whether the party was paid for with public funds. The PAN officials in the video, none of whom dispute its authenticity, say it wasn’t.
Mr. Garza didn’t reveal where his publication obtained the video, in which a chuckling man can be heard shouting, “The Viagra is going to run out.”
Here’s Garza’s interview, in Spanish,
Garza points out that one of the men caught hot-handed is the man in charge of managing the money allotted to the PAN funds from public funds.
It’s not the first time PAN members were caught copping a grope:
Brazilian police in late June arrested two PAN officials and two other Mexican men for allegedly groping a woman on a street corner after Mexico’s World Cup loss to Holland, then beating her husband when he tried to intervene. The men have been fired from their jobs with a Mexico City district government and remain jailed in Fortaleza, Brazil, charged with assault.
Paco Almaraz did a burnt-out unit skit on them,
Post re-edited for clarity.