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Mexico-Venezuela Comparison

July 2 is election day for the next Mexican president. Recent polls show the statistical tie (margin of error 2.5%) between Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (36%) and Felipe Calderon of the conservative governing National Action Party (34%), with 25% going to the PRI candidate Roberto Madrazo.

In the May-June 2006, Jorge G. Castaneda (former Mexican Foreign Minister under Fox, and currently at NYU) has an essay titled “Latin America’s Left Turn”, in which he attempts to distinguish between what he identifies as good leftists (in Chile) and bad leftists (in Venezuela), although it is more aptly bad and worse leftists. In his discussion of Lopez Obrador, Castaneda identifies him with the bad leftists in the Chavez mold.

While I have heard many accounts of Venezuela’s economic decay under Chavez, Castaneda provides some statistical comparisons between Venezuela and Mexico:

“A simple comparison with Mexico–which has not exactly thrived in recent years–shows how badly Venezuela is faring. Over the past seven years [Chavez’s reign], Mexico’s economy has grown 17.5 percent, while Venezuela’s failed to grow at all. From 1997 and 2003, Mexico’s per capita GDP rose by 9.5 percent, while Venezuela’s shrank by 45 percent. From 1998 to 2005, the Mexican peso lost 16 percent of its value, while the value of the Venezuelan Bolivar dropped by 292 percent. Between 1998 and 2005, the number of Mexican households living in extreme poverty decreased by 49 percent, while the number of Venezuelan household’s in extreme poverty rose by 4.5 percent. In 2005, Mexico’s inflation rate was estimated at 3.3 percent, the lowest in years, while Venezuela’s was 16 percent.” (p. 40)

With immigration reform thought to be on hold until next year in the US, a new crisis is a couple weeks could change that.

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ThinkerToThinker Blogs by Others

PRODOSPHERE is now streaming collecting content from dozens of ThinkerToThinker blogs, including this one. Below is a list of some other top ThinkerToThinker blogs, which I plan to checkout. With a quick check, I saw some I recognized, some new ones that looked promising, and some I know that I will disagree with. Check them out for yourself.

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Links Added

I have started to play with the links and have added several.

From a user prospective, I like the categories.

From an editor’s prospective, it is very easy to move things around.

There a many options for the links that I have not tried yet, but I may play with them more later.

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Hooray for Capitalism & Creativity & Prodos!

Congratulations to Prodos on setting up THINKER TO THINKER!

When I got the email notify about this new service, I could not resist trying it out.

My recent blogging has been on AOL Journals and I am excited to see what this new tool can do.

I’m off to the gym to get the creative juices flowing while singing Prodos’ New Tune ‘If I only had a blog…’!

In the meantime, feel free to check out my other efforts at:

  • The Washington Re-Post
  • for commentary on recent news

  • Frank Wolf Watch
  • for commentary on my Congressman

  • Woods Workbench
  • for playing around

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