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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

CHAVEZ FOR THUMB-SUCKERS

A story in Britain's The Guardian on "the Venezuelan socialist leader who is tackling poverty." Except that it fails to mention that poverty has GROWN in Venezuela between 1999 and 2004, despite one of the biggest oil windfalls in that country's history. Oh, well..... You can read it in The Guardian.

21 Comments:

Anonymous h a s s a n said...

Welcome to the realm of homegrown "news" outlets and biased analysis: the blogosphere!!

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"...poverty has GROWN in Venezuela between 1999 and 2004...."??

You posted the Guardian article. Can you post the data that supports your statement quoted above?

I'd also love to see how figures for the first five years of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration stack up against the Venezuelan figures you alluded to (i know, apples and oranges on some levels but some of us have tasty thumbs).

I would also like to see how the poverty figures stack up for 2005 (if that data is available and does not threaten to undermine your premise of course).

Thank you.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Andres Oppenheimer said...

The figure is from Venezuela's own National Statistics Institute.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous h a s s a n said...

Thank you Andres.

Did the National Statistics Institute provide any data on 2005 figures?

Is this information available online?

By any chance, is the NSI connected with Mr. Cardona?

Just curious.

Thank you.

Love the blog idea.

7:52 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

The 2005 and 2006 figures are (conveniently) ignored by Mr. Oppenheimer because he knows full well what they show - a MASSIVE decrease in poverty and in particular extreme poverty.

In 2005, poverty decreased from 53% to 35%, while extrreme poverty dropped from 23.5% to just 10%!

Oppenheimer believes the Stats Institute made up these numbers (after telling the truth until 2005 we are to assume). But the (right wing) Economist disagrees, saying (the numbers) "...may be accurate. “There was a 43% rise in income for social class E [the poorest] in 2005, and 18% for class C,” says Luis Vicente León, of Datanálisis, a polling firm. Since Mr Chávez came to power, class E “has practically doubled its consumption,” adds Armando Barrios, an economist at IESA, a business school. Unemployment has fallen from around 20% in 2003 to around 10% today."

And these numbers don't even take into consideration the huge benefits poor people have gained in regards to health care, discouted food, literacy and education.

Oppenheimer got caught on a whole bunch of more (i don't know what else to call but) lies on a piece he wrote on this issue last year, as exposed here.

Poverty DID increase in 2002 and 2003 - after the coup attempt and paralyzing employer lock out, but these events were obviously the result of the opposition.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

como estas andres te escribo estas palabras para decirte que en venezuela no es como lo pinta el 80,5% DE LOS VENEZOLAMOS NO QUEREMOS A CHAVEZ POR NO ES UNA PERSONA CORRECTA SI NO INMORAL ENGAÑOSA Y TORPE SOLO LA ELITE CHAVISTA QUE ES MUY POCA LE CREE SOLO POR EL DINERO PERO NO POR LO QUE DICE PRONTO VA HABER UN CAMBIO TOTAL PARA EL PAIS Y ESO ES CHAVEZ LO VAMOS A SACAR DE AQUI COMO UN ANIMAL Y ASESINO GRACIAS

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EN VENEZULA ESTA SURGIENDO UNA PRESION NACIONAL Y TAMBIEN INTERNACIONAL SOBRE LAS MALAS POLITICAS DE CHAVEZ PARA CON NOSOTROS YA HAY CANDIDATO PERO EL LE TEME POR QUE SABE QUE LE VAN HA GANAR LEGALMENTE EL PUEBLO NO AGUANTA MAS UN PRESIDENTE TORPE Y POPULACHO LO QUE PIENSA ES HACERLE MAL AL PUEBLO EL NO ES ANTIYANKEE SI NO ANTI DEMOCRATA

2:15 AM  
Blogger Andres Oppenheimer said...

Commentator "leftside" makes a well-documented and welcome contribution. Except that he (conveniently) omits to say that, after 2004, Chavez ordered that Venezuela's official Statistics Institute change the methodology of calculating poverty, claiming that the previous figures reflected a "neo-liberal" bias. Following Chavez's orders, Venezuela's National Statistics Institute changed its methodology for calculating poverty, and the poverty figures immediately changed for the better. The reason I did not refer to the new figures is that they are highly suspect, and are not taken seriously by most independent economists.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous mini-me said...

oppenheim arrogantly stated:

The reason I did not refer to the new figures is that they are highly suspect, and are not taken seriously by most independent economists.



Well, why dont you let me make the determination about what is suspect!! I tell you what son, you are very creative in selective blogging arent ya. This aint Hollywood.

12:32 PM  
Blogger ow said...

Mr. Oppenheimer:

"Except that he (conveniently) omits to say that, after 2004, Chavez ordered that Venezuela's official Statistics Institute change the methodology of calculating poverty, claiming that the previous figures reflected a "neo-liberal" bias. Following Chavez's orders, Venezuela's National Statistics Institute changed its methodology for calculating poverty, and the poverty figures immediately changed for the better."

This is not true and you should know it - after all you spoke to the president of the INE who confirmed that they hadn't changed.

Venezuela measures poverty using only cash income and measures that against the amount of income needed to purchase either only food or food and other basic nececities (one to measure extreme povert and the other to measure poverty). This has been the standard way of measuring poverty in Venezuela for some time and remains unchanged. While the president of the INE did say they were looking at possibly developing another measure that would capture the in-kind benefits of social programs he was very clear that that has not yet been done and all these numbers being discussed are from the existing methodology.

2:51 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

This methodology issued was covered in one of my linked citations.

I can't say I know for sure the answer to the question, but it certainly appears to NOT be a valid concern. Venezuelan officials say - and news reports confirm - that the methodology did NOT change.

3:04 PM  
Blogger ow said...

Leftside,

I know, I'm its author as I write that blog :)

But that is why I find it strange that Mr. Oppenhiemer would now be saying the methodology changed. He himself spoke to the head of the I.N.E. and was told that it hadn't. So he should be well aware of that.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous mini-me said...

Ah, but he thinks that we dont have a firm gasp of the facts. Listen folks, all you have to do is watch Lou Dobbs, and you will learn every thing you need to know. Lou honorably educates me about issues affecting Latin America, including a said Herald "immigrant." Lou's information is pointed, hard-hitting, concise, and without bias right wing "immigrant" influence.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Oceans said...

Stastics are helpful, but what is more helpful is to come and see the povery first hand. I've lived in Venezuela off and on since the mid 90's and the escalated poverty does not need statistics. While Chile and Colombia have leaped above the rest of South America in terms of living standards and developed industry. Sadly, Venezuela becomes poorer and poorer, with only more hype telling it's people about how much better things are. One can only view the unmaintained roads, buildings, and public areas, as well as the expanding favelas in Petare to be amazed. One can't help but ask, "Where is all of this oil money?"

12:18 PM  
Anonymous mini-me said...

Oceans,

Why are you coming in here with your illegal alien right wing lies. Please cite supporting documentations to back up your false assertions.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Oceans said...

Mini-me has obviously never been to Venezuela. Like I said, come and see what this country has become...see it for yourself, and then you are welcome to criticize. My perspecitve is global, and unlike some, not supported by a government lobby group. Get off your computer and see the world.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous h a s s a n said...

Andres dijo:

"...Venezuela's National Statistics Institute changed its methodology for calculating poverty, and the poverty figures immediately changed for the better."

Interesting.

Thank you for that.

You also mentioned "MOST independent economists" [emphasis mine] - what are the OTHER independent economists saying?

****

Oceans, your perspective is interesting but, since this is the internet where identities are as fluid and elusive as granitos de arena in a storm, i have to concur with mini-me: do you have anything more "tangible" to corroborate or at least provide some modicum of support for your assertions?

Thank you.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous mini-me said...

oceans arrogantly wrote: Mini-me has obviously never been to Venezuela.



Ah, another right wing immigrant exile, who has the termirity to assume that i am not well-traveled. What i do know is that you are blogging right wing exile falsehoods, along with said right wing "immigrant" exile Herald columnist.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous mini-me said...

Hassan,


Wow man, thanks for agreeing with me. That is the very first time you have ever said that i was correct about something. I have seen your progressive thinkings on other blogs, and have "always" concured with them. But for some reason you never agree with me. But nevertheless, i appreciate your acknowledgement of my hard-hitting analysis about oceans blatant right wing exile comment, in said right wing "immigrants" Herald blog.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous h a s s a n said...

mini-me

You are welcome (i think)

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[smile]

5:19 PM  
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What was it?
hydrocodone addiction

11:33 PM  
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6:30 PM  

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