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Take physic, pomp

The Economist, back to its normal LatAm mediocrity

I’ve had occasion to say “yup, good job” about a couple of recent reports in The Economist. This was quite pleasant to do, too, as TE gets about a quadzillion more eyeballs laid upon its pages than this humble corner of cyberspace and the bottom line is that any article that helps tell it like it is down here is fine by me….I mean, even Simon Rosemary has been applauded on these virtual pages in the past when he gets one right.

But back to The Economist and like all good things its good run of articles has come to an end with this piece of junk about Bolivia. Unshockingly it hits all the usual targets, like the fact that it is in fact bad for Bolivia to have a president that’s popular with Bolivians, etc etc (thank God for intellectuals, else we’d never realize these counterintuitive things). There’s every single cliché available, really; Chávez is mentioned…there’s Russia…got a bit of Iran. But then it goes off on a tack about Santa Cruz by saying

“…but in fact Santa Cruz is ethnically mixed and average incomes in the two cities are comparable.”
That made me laugh. Yeah…errr….any of those little brown people in the ruling elite of Santa Cruz, Mr/s. Economistwriter (they don’t do bylines at TE…we’re left guessing as always)? Err…any mention of how the 2008 referendum vote in Santa Cruz went pro-Evo Morales in Santa Cruz ex-city? And then there’s the slave and virtual slave labour (Oxfam and WHO dixit, not I) that line the pockets of blue-eyed-whitey. As for “comparable incomes” what’s the benchmark here, La Paz, New York, Santa Cruz, Buenos Aires and Tokyo? Gotta love those statistics, boys…..
But then it gets really mondo bizarro as TE goes where only dumbasses tread, trying to use a bit of revisionism on the Santa Cruz terrorist cell that was broken up when its integrants decided to stop some government bullets with their chests. They go with the “killed in their beds” line that suggests execution when forensic evidence has proven, no doubt, no flimflam, there was a full-on firefight. TE tells us “the supposed terrorists were an unlikely bunch” which may be true, but they’re also proven far-right wing gunsmiths that are on tape as saying they wanted to kill Evo, his Veep, his security minister and cause a insurgency to break Santa Cruz away from the rest of Bolivia. They were funded by the Santa Cruz elite, they had a cache of weaponry that can officially be classed as “a shitload”, they bombed the house of the nation’s best-loved Catholic bishop and they were staying at the best hotels in town free of charge because……because…….TE doesn’t try explaining any of that. When it comes to TE you expect a bit of lean towards capitalism, but not outright lies and the refusal to let overwhelming evidence stain the pre-conceived thrust of the argument. Y’know, things like photos, sworn statements, audiotapes, computer files….just trivia according to the lying drivelwriter working for TE.

At the end, The Economist (being The Economist) signs off with a nod to Bolivia’s…well, it’s economy. We get some un-named fool who is simply referred to as “one pundit” (hey, maybe it’s Alek Boyd!! Maybe it’s Fausta!! Maybe it’s Goni!!) who tells us, amongst other things, that Bolivia is suffering from “bad economic policy”? Well let’s see what our friend the owl thinks about that, shall we?
Yep, a special jolly good show British version of our friend the owl for the blokes over at The Economist. Here’s a checklist on Bolivia’s economy under Evo Morales:

  • 2007 GDP up 4.6%
  • 2008 GDP up 6.15%
  • 2009 GDP expected to grow “at least 4%”
  • U$8Bn in international currency reserves, which is all-time record levels and represents U$816 per capita.
  • Inflation now under control. The last two months have seen negative inflation thanks mainly to the drop in imported foodstuffs.
  • Expansion of exports despite losing the ATPDEA advantages with the USA. New and very large investment programs in hydrocarbons and metals in exactly the way those economists say you should do these things (except it’s China, Brazil and India invited to the parties, not the US…perhaps related?)
  • An old age pension given to every single senior citizen regardless of sex, status or history for the first time ever. Poverty rates dropping at record speed.
  • Programs that have rid the country of illiteracy by official UN world standards.
  • Free heathcare that is so popular visitors come from “the economic miracle” Peru to get their eyes fixed.
  • etc
I could continue. But perhaps from all that list the “GDP +4% in 2009” is the killer stat, because if achieved (and that seems very likely the way things are going) Bolivia will have the best performing economy in the whole of South America in 2009. So what kind of crow will the author of this most pathetic of hit pieces in The Economist have to eat come the end of 2009 and the magazine’s learned audience starts writing in with “Hey, if Bolivia’s in bad shape what about the rest?”. Or maybe the author is just full of shit…YOU BE THE JUDGE!

Thus, unnamed yet shamed Economist author, for your ridiculously slanted piece on Bolivia that manages to combine a mass of errors of omission with everything you can possible get wrong about the country in the true spirit of neolib hit-jobs in the space of just 740 words, you win this week’s coveted award. Enjoy, dumbass:

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