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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chavez and Oil

Was in Dominica, pushing the Axis of Poor Peoples.

Chavez is interesting. First for a would be fan of global collaboration, not being able to even speak English is always something I find funny (almost worth a cartoon). At least show your superiority over the American infidels by being multilingual.

Secondly, the 'people' movement in his country and in Cuba is very seductive for politicians looking for a ready made formula for long reigns. Except it has a catch.

The formula is to engage support of poor people by giving them as much 'free' as you can. Free health care, free housing, free education. However that can only exist as long as they are poor. Result. Your poor population stays loyal to you through elections and indeed they stay poor throughout. If by any coincidence they do get affluent, its usually because they migrated away, and then they become grateful financiers to the formula (if they didnt have to leave through the back door that is). And of course the education is canned.

The catch is that you have to have a macro economy ala oil to fund the whole 'poor is good' campaign. After all, to convince people that it is beneficial to be poor with no aspirations to be rich (cause then you become a fat cat working against the state), you need plenty dollars to spend to get that freeness going.

What Chavez is doing is mixing up messages. George Bush has made disliking America almost fashionable. The social inequality of the world is there to see and it is driven by a selfish agenda which Chavez is correct on. However the socialist agenda is no better (even when it is backed up by voting). Domination by a few in a party hierarchy which assumes that most people only need the basics to be happy, is not sustainable either. The pursuit of affluence is natural and is what has driven human development from day one. The grail that is adopted is still one of control. Whether we prefer our economies and our lives to be controlled by Chavez agenda rather than the G8 one is probably the most important question we have to ask ourselves.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fitness

Been tryin to get myself back into shape. I am pretty decent but now I am doing basketball every morning for 2 hrs from 5:30.

Not having played in a while my body feels like its been put through a rack but i am surprised at my ability level though not by my lack of fitness. I am blowing like a horse pulling a plough every 30 minutes. Of course I have gotten better over the last couple weeks but my fitness is still pretty bad.

If I consider myself to be better off physically than the average person who never exercises, then our population is in real trouble.