Saturday, January 20, 2007

Chalk one up for Tor 

Last year I did a post on the Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom where they appeared to me to have dummied up some of Venezuela's economic growth statistics. I asserted they had taken the 2005 numbers, which showed positive growth of over 9% in the Venezuelan economy, and by slieght of hand switched it to a negative 9%.

Long time commentor Tor looked into to it and asserted that they were using the GDP numbers from 2003 when Venezuela did indeed have negative 9% growth in its GDP (mainly thanks to the opposition led oil strike).

I thought that odd as the report came out in April 2006 which means that Venezuela's economic statistics for 2004 and 2005, when it had rapid economic growth, were already out. So I continued to believe it more likely that they were getting the numbers wrong for a more recent year rather than being so far behind.

It would appear I am a little too cynical. As Tor pointed out, they just released their 2007 index and in it they use the 2004 GDP numbers (showing growth of 17.4%) which would confirm the numbers used in the 2006 index really did come from 2003. So indeed, Tor was right. Considering I my prediction of Chavez winning the December elections with 62% of the vote turned out to be correct I am in a good position to wipe the egg off my face on this issue and keep my blogger dignity in tact.

Anyways, from now on I know this Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Index isn't so much dishonest as painfully far behind the times. That index is in part edited by the famous Chavez hater Maria Anastasia O'Grady who has consistantyly refused to accept Chavez's electoral victories. Well, if he knowledge of Venezuela's economy is a full two years behind the times no wonder she doesn't understand why the guy is so popular.


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