Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bolivarian Dreams: Venezuela the Numbers.


Let us see what the numbers say about Hugo Chavez's Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela.

Economy
The Venezuelan economy shrank in 2002 by 8.9%, because of the strike, and 2003 by 7.7%, but in 2004, the economy grew by 17.3% in gross domestic product, 17.8% in the non-oil sector, 18.6% in the private sector, and 11% public sector growth.

Poverty
42% in 1999
47% in 2004
38.5% in the first half of 2005
Extreme poverty went from 18% in 2004, to 10% in the first part of 2005.

Education and Health Care
1998 3% of GDP invested in education.
2005 7% of GDP invested in education.
1998 57% of children enrolled in schools.
2005 70% of children enrolled in schools, now offer free lunches,all day classes,
and uniforms.
20,000 Cuban doctors and dentists, staff free clinics.
25% discount for groceries, at state run stores.
See: Resource Center of the Americas in Minneapolis, MN

24 comments:

Unsane said...

Gosh--impressive.

Reidski said...

Oh, I wonder why his people love him and supporters of George W Bush want him assassinated?

Talking about Bush - is it my imagination or did I really read a quote recently in which he questions whether atheists should be considered citizens?

Renegade Eye said...

I found this URL about Bush and atheism.

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/bush.htm


Bush atleast was not at church Sunday.

Reidski said...

"After all, religion has been around a lot longer than Darwinism."

Superb thinking there from your glorioius leader!

Chairman eDog said...

...and he makes the trains run on time.

Chairman eDog said...

"After all, religion has been around a lot longer than Darwinism."

That sounds about right. I don't recall any neolithic tribesmen writing about homo erectus, but they did bury their dead with little trinkets. You see, this is the problem with atheists. Much like religious extremists they don't seem to understand what the theory of evolution actually says, or more precisely what it doesn't say. Evolution doesn't and can't ever deny the existence of God. Oh sure, evolution calls much of the Old Testament into question, but so did Jesus, so it shouldn't offend Christians or excite atheists in the least.

Renegade Eye said...

Edog makes sense.

I hope they don't take my leftist, socialist membership card away.

Reidski said...

While I do agree that the thinking behind religion had been around a lot longer than the thinking behind Darwinism, I'm absolutely certain that that is not what your glorious leader meant by his statement.

On that score, Edog makes sense. But, to equate evolution with religious fundamentalism, well, he talk big stupid nonsense words from his big stupid nonsense dog-face.

Oh, and he doesn't make the trains run on time, that's the track workers, the signallers, the train drivers and all the other rail industry workers who do that!

Renegade Eye said...

I was only agreeing, that religious people can stay religious, and believe in evolution.

Unsane said...

You know what has been around longer than Darwinism? Leprosy.

Renegade Eye said...

Chavez does more than watch train scheduling. He has helped create a qualitative better life for most in his country.

It's never dull when Edog posts.

Reidski said...

I thought Edog, with his mention of the trains, was referring to Bush,.... d'oh!!
And why does unsane always, with one small little sentence, always say more than the rest of us wordy tossers? Leprosy - that's fuckin funny!

Renegade Eye said...

Unsane is one of the people who come on this blog, and make my brain feel like mush.

She has a story to tell.

Viks said...

Nice!

Yeah, can't Darwinism and Religion go together? - I have a feeling they can!

*takes a few steps back and runs away*

CB said...

"Accepted science" is disproven daily, yet with holes the size of Noah's arc being blown through Darwinism hourly, its adherents cling to it with Pat Robertson-like zeal after the head of your Bolivarian protagonist...speaking of which... is 50% poverty like being half-dead? China's economy is exploding too, yet the under-reported story is that mass protests have grown faster than their economy. It seems as they gain wealth, they are less content with the strong central government. Protests have gone from an already astounding average of 10,000 per year to 74,000 per year last year. We'll see how comrade Chavez does on that score!

CB said...

I don't know if I did it properly, but I used your article and your commenters postings to discuss the rise of left wing governments.

Renegade Eye said...

I haven't had an original idea ever anyways.

sonia said...

There are three problems with your post about Chavez:

1. You fail to mention that with the price of oil in stratosphere, Venezuela's economy should have grown much faster than it did. Going from 42% of poverty in 1999 to 38.5% today is a pathetic accomplishment considering that the oil revenues has tripled if not quatrupled.

2. Chavez's way of fighting poverty - by spending money on education, health care and subsidizing food and other consumer products, will lead nowhere if it's not accompanied by a robust investment in job-creation (and so far it isn't). You can have a population of PhDs and MBAs with perfect teeth and in perfect health buying milk that cost 1 cent a gallon, but if they are all unemployed, Venezuelan economy will go bankrupt as soon as the oil runs out.

3. As long as Chavez is selling oil to the Americans, they will probably leave him alone. But if he starts making REAL trouble for Washington, he will be gone faster than Allende... It might be emotionally satisfying to stick it to the Damn Yankees, but is it worth it to laer suffer under a dictator (the one that will overthrow Chavez) that will probably make Pinochet look like Eastern Bunny ? And unless Chavez starts to act more like Lula and less like Castro, that day may come soon...

Chairman eDog said...

But, to equate evolution with religious fundamentalism, well, he talk big stupid nonsense words from his big stupid nonsense dog-face.

Oooh, sticks and stones may break my bones...
Obviously, you're the more rationally minded of us two.

I don't think finding a similarity between aetheists and fundamentalists is the same as equating the two. Both subscribe to articles of faith, but what's interesting in this regard is actually the difference: fundamentalists use bad science--ID--to support an article of faith, while the atheists misuse good science to support an article of faith(or lack thereof), that God doesn't exist. Either way, both are abusing science for their own agenda.

Nanny nanny boo-boo, Mr. Reason.

Chairman eDog said...

Sonia,

There really should be more blogs like yours. How 'bout some nudey pics, Renegade?

CB said...

Rover, I concur with your admonition to Sonia! However, while you have a refined aesthetic appreciation, you blew over the equally impressive eloquence of her expostulation!

My analogy too, was on point. Whether or not you subscribe to ID (most people have never bothered to look at the premise), Darwinism has been unable to answer too many of the challenges against it to hold together as a cogent theory.

Apart from ID, Dr. Michael Behe, a biochemistry professor at Lehigh, studied evolution theory at the molecular level and found that it does not work. He found that life on earth has "irreducible complexity." In other words, life is too complex to have evolved.

The analogy I drew (which I thought was pretty good - if I must say so myself) was regarding the furvor with which adherents of this fatally flawed theory defend it. It is akin to the most ardent Christian apologist.

Renegade Eye said...

Defending evolution is not about defending or opposing atheism. The fight is about introducing ideas of faith, into the science classroom. After evolution what next, psychology, anthropology, biology etc.

According to The National Center for Science Education, "this argument is over 200 years old; it has been thoroughly and consistently discredited by many thousands of scientific observations and experiments and, on this basis, is firmly rejected by scientists. "Irreducible complexity" is a term employed by Behe to argue that evolutionary processes cannot account for at least some of the observed complexity in living things. However, Behe's insistence that complex structures must always retain the same function and must be built step-by-step overlooks many well-known evolutionary processes. While it is true that there are complex biologic features and processes that would not operate at 100% effectiveness or even at all if one part were removed or altered today, legitimate scientists understand that these features and processes were formed by a natural process (that is, evolution by natural selection). Underneath the scientific jargon, it's the Creationist argument.

A good source for the study of the arguments on evolution are at this site. www.ncseweb.org . They have had forums including with Dr. Michael Behe involved in debates. They provide the science needed for credible discussion. Gaps in evolution theory don't prove or disprove anything. Unlike ID, it is open to change, even to be disproven.

Craig's blog has been complimented, for all the leftys who visit it, and have civil discussion.

I guess Sonia will have traffic at her blog.

Chairman eDog said...

I'm afraid, Ren, that the evolution has become little more than a debate between atheists and Christians, and an absurd one at that since the theory vindicates neither. And it's always just evolution. Christians no longer argue that the Earth is at the center of the universe (though scientists, believe it or not, have begun to rethink that), or that the sky is a dome with peepholes to heaven poked through. Atheists, conversely, don't get exercised about studies that suggest prayer can actually heal. No, it's always evolution.

And of course evolution is flawed and incomplete as a theory. Every scientific theory in the world is the exact same way. We use to think the Moon was captured, then accreted from debris in our orbit, then spun off the Earth, and now we think it's the detritus of a massive collision between our Earth and a Mars sized object. We use to think that we had gravity figured out, but now we know we can't explain why it doesn't work in atoms or why it's pitifully weak compared to every other force in the universe, or how it relates to those other forces. And speaking of DNA , we have no idea why mitochondria have separate sets of it(or how they got into cells in the first place), why most of it seems to do nothing, why it's interchangeable between animals as diverse as humans and mice, and why we have less of it than far simpler creatures. Basically there are two types of scientific knowledge: what we know we don't know, and what we think we might know. If science hates religion it's out of envy for the latter's abundancy of absolutes.

But for all the revisions and rewrites scientific theories, none of them have included new evidence of direct intervention by God. We may have updated our theory about the formation of the Moon (and why, for that matter we have tides, a wobbly orbit, and a wonderful supply of ore near the surface of our planet) but the updated theory says nothing of a wicked knuckler thrown by God from a cloud.

I keep getting interrupted, so I'll just leave it here and let you guys try to find a point.

Anonymous said...

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