Friday, May 27, 2005

Facts, put in their place 

I mentioned this in a comments post but it deserves a post of its own. Over the past couple of days we have seen lots statistics about how rapidly the Venezuelan economy is growing and how much unemployment has been reduced.

Today though an article by Mark Weisbrot, who is an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic & Policy Research, was published that tied everything together and showed what this means for the Venezuelan people. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the article:

It is sometimes asserted that Venezuela under President Hugo Chavez Frias (1999 to the present) has been an economic failure, as compared with the past. For example, a recent news article in the Washington Post referred to "Hugo Chavez, the populist Venezuelan president whose giveaways to the poor have slowed economic progress." These claims have no basis in fact. From 1970-1998 per capita income in Venezuela fell by 35 percent. This is the worst economic decline in the region and one of the worst in the world -- much worse even than what happened to Africa during this period.

Since the present government took office, per capita income growth is about flat, and will be positive at year's end. So the Chavez government can at least claim credit for reversing the terrible long-term economic decline in Venezuela, according to the undisputed data measuring economic growth.

Just this opening segment debunks much of the incessant opposition distortions and falsehoods that we hear on a daily basis. But that is just the beginning. This article is a must read – go read it


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