Tag Archives: standard of living

Daily Headline – 03/03/13

Venezuela; Hugo Chavez still in hospital

Chavez Venezuelan flagHugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, has been suffering from cancer for some time now and after several rounds of treatment in Cuba he remains in a Venezuelan hospital, unable to speak.

Chavez is seen as a real divisive figure with 45% voting against him at the last elections.

The poor and working class like him because he spends the petrol revenues on social programs and helping improve their standard of living and the wealthy hate him because he spends the petrol revenues on social programs and helping improve the lives of the poor.

Internationally Hugo Chavez is generally supported by the left though not entirely, even among the international left he is divisive.

Personally I am not one for hearsay, I like to look at the stats… and the stats are not good!

Hugo Chavez has been president for 14 years (came to power in 1999) which is by no means ‘too long’ (he is the 24th longest current serving leader) but how has he and Venezuela performed?

HDI ranking – Currently 73rd (2011)

1995 – 53rd
2000 – 58th
2005 – 74th
2010 – 73rd

HDI is the UN’s Human Development Index, it attempts to measure standard of living.

Life expectancy

2010 – 79th (73.8 overall)
2000 – 52nd (73.3 overall)
1990 – 50th (71.2 overall)

Life expectancy is getting better but at a slower rate to other countries.

The truth is something that always seems to be hidden in a web of media bullshit and left/right agendas.

The Guardian, for example, is reporting that the homeless in Venezuela have been given free houses and that lots of money has been spent on social programs and while I don’t deny this, it is clear from the stats that something doesn’t add up. Either the stats from the UN and other ‘trusted’ resources are false or Chavez’s regime is not all it’s made out to be.

What do you think? Is life getting better in Venezuela? Are you from Venezuela? And finally, what do you think will happen once Chavez steps down or passes away?

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Performance check; Evo Morales’ Bolivia

By Leon J Williams

Evo Morales became the Bolivian president in January 2006, his predecessor Eduardo Rodriguez was in power for just six months prior to this and before him was Carlos Mesa who was in power from 2003.

I’ve taken a look at three lots of statistics:
Human Development Index (HDI) 2004 & 2005-2011 (2003 data seems unavailable)
GDP (nominal) (2003-2011) (based on USD in millions)
GDP (PPP) per capita (2003-2011)

HDI

Mesa/Rodriguez era
2004-2005 -43 points
2005-2006 +1 point

Evo Morales era
2006-2007 -5 points
2007-2008 +6 points
2008-2009 +4 points
2010-2011 +7 points

GDP (nominal)

Mesa/Rodriguez era
2003-2004 717
2004-2005 765
2005-2006 1945

Evo Morales era
2006-2007 1773
2007-2008 3310
2008-2009 862
2009-2010 2346
2010-2011 4250

GDP (PPP) per capita

Mesa/Rodriguez era
2003-2004 151
2004-2005 210
2005-2006 144

Evo Morales era

2006-2007 235
2007-2008 256
2008-2009 96
2009-2010 154
2010-2011 244

Although HDI figures are not out for the following period there is date for 2011-2012 for GDP which is as follows:
GDP (nominal) 2689
GDP (PPP) pc 224

Clearly there must have been some turmoil following Evo Morales landslide election victory but even then and thereafter the statistics show clearly that the effects of President Morales policies which have included (but of course not limited to) a series of nationalisations in various sectors.

The worst period for Bolivia in terms of standard of living was 2004-2005
The best period for Bolivia in terms of standard of living was 2010-2011

The worst period for Bolivia in terms of GDP (nominal) was 2003-2004
The best period for Bolivia in terms of GDP (nominal) was 2011-2012

The worst period for Bolivia in terms of GDP (PPP) pc was 2008-2009
The best period for Bolivia in terms of GDP (PPP) pc was 2007-2008

So while it isn’t a complete whitewash for Evo Morales it’s clear that the nationalisations and general policies in Bolivia enacted by the president and his party are having a massive, positive impact on the country and its people.
Evo Morales’ brand of socialism is working.