Category Archives: Economy

What happened in Venezuela

Venezuela – a country of 353,841 square miles and more than 31 million people (estimated population for 2016 was 31,028,637, according to the Venezuela’s National Institute of Statistics; 27,227,930 people as of the latest Census which was in 2011) – is currently experiencing a significant shortage of food, drugs and cash, among other vital needs. As Francisco Toro, a Caracas resident and journalist, said on C-SPAN Radio on August 18 (in the following quote I paraphrased what I heard on the radio back then), “there is no food… the situation is rapidly deteriorating… many people are fleeing to neighboring Colombia and Brazil seeking medical help… [in a household survey] many people reported to have lost weight of the likes of 20 pounds due to the little food that they eat about just twice a day – rich on carbohydrates, poor on proteins… there is also shortage of drugs”. With regards to the household survey, he most likely referred to ENCOVI 2016 whose nutrition survey (page 17) reported on the weight loss. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Civil Rights and Liberties, Economy, Politics

The Truth About the North Korean Regime in a Nutshell

 

As you probably have noticed, I have been following the North Korean regime for quite a while. When Kim Jong-il died last year, and was to be replaced by his son – Kim Jong-un – I couldn’t help but notice the mainstream media’s reaction, as well as that of a lot of people. Namely, that they hope that the transition was for good, that Kim Jong-un is the new Deng Xiaoping, or in other words that North Korea will open up and become capitalist and free (or at least more capitalist and freer). This reaction is typical of the ignorance on the North Korean regime. A recent news article on the Huffington Post proves my point. Read defectors’ reactions, particularly:

None of the defectors Reuters spoke to believed the leadership would dare allow reforms that damage its grip. Some thought the Pyongyang elite had been scared by the disastrous 2009 experiment [the currency reform that was reportedly disastrous to the country’s “economy”].

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Movies and Analyses, Civil Rights and Liberties, Economy, Life, Politics

Youtuber pp000610 (Former Soviet Citizen Vladimir Jaffe): A Fraud or Someone Who Looks for the Truth? You Decide

In a previous article, I expressed my disapproval of the Occypy Wall Street (OWS) movement. The organization – like the Tea Party – has no leader. However, unlike the Tea Party, it is full of people who have no clue what change they want and how they want to attain it. On the one hand, there are Ron Paul supporters who are tired of crony capitalism – the close relationship between business people and the government in effort for the latter to enact legislation that is favorable to them without any regard to its impact on the people. On the other hand, there are socialists and communists who demand that the government tax the rich, take over areas such as health care in the form of a single-payer system, and demand that the rich pay college students’ loans, among other things. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Movies and Analyses, Civil Rights and Liberties, Economy, Life, Politics

The North Korea we know little about

If you know me, you know that I like watching and reading about North Korea. It is not because I like it (in fact the more I find out about it the more I get to hate it, as you have probably noticed) but because it is mysterious and the most isolated country in the world. If it weren’t for the few journalists and tourists who were granted visas to the Secret State and documented their visit (sometimes without being allowed), all the footage would be purified the way only the Korean Central News Agency and David Pluth are capable of. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Movies and Analyses, Civil Rights and Liberties, Economy, Life, Politics

A decomposing country

North Korea is in severe humanitarian crisis after floods allegedly destroyed a lot of its crops forcing millions of people to suffer from hunger and malnourishment. I say allegedly because I wouldn’t necessarily blame it on nature but on the tyrant regime of the Kim dynasty that has been ruling this country since 1953. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Economy, Politics

Race to the Top: Failure in Connecticut, success in neighboring Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island

On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the economic stimulus package. It cost the United States a total of $787 billion of which $4.35 billion were appropriated to a fund referred to as the Race to the Top Fund (RTTTF). Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Economy, Politics

The Next 100 Years

American political scientist George Friedman made a forecast in this book that is contrary to what most of us would make judging by what is happening nowadays only. The 21st century, according to him, will be abundant in technological improvements of any kind, demographic crises, and also wars similar to what we have seen in The Fifth Element, Star Wars, and other books and movies picturing the future. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Movies and Analyses, Economy, Politics

Do all World Bank Presidents have money background

When I read about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s possible run for the World Bank Presidency one question immediately occurred in my mind – do all World Bank Presidents have money background? Hillary Clinton was member of the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart, a position that we rarely think of when we initially think of her, and one that is debatable as to whether it could be under the category of money background. We tend to think that leaders of organizations that deal with money – such as the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, for example – have business or bank experience, understand the economy, and that their background speaks for their expertise on how money should be spent. This article aims at answering the aforementioned question – do all World Bank Presidents have money background – and not the competency of the current President and previous Presidents. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Movies and Analyses, Economy, Life, Politics

Transition economies: The case of Bulgaria

Abstract: Nowadays Bulgaria is known as a former communist country that went through a transition period to a free-market economy. On November 10, 1989, a day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party made the decision to strip Todor Zhivkov of his power. Bulgaria and the German Democratic Republic were not the only then communist countries whose governments collapsed in November 1989. Other Eastern Bloc countries went through the same in that month and the months after. What is the transition period? Does it vary on a case-by-case basis? If yes, which kind of transition is the best, if any? How are transition countries compared? What happened in Bulgaria during its transition period from a socialist economy to a free-market economy? How did the Bulgarian economy transition compared to some of the other transition economies?

This paper aims at answering these and similar questions. Part one explains the two different approaches on transition – shock therapy and gradualism – including how successful they were in several countries – Russia, China and Poland, picked on a random basis as positive or negative examples of one of the two approaches. Part two discusses the case of Bulgaria compared to other transition economies. Part three draws a conclusion on the case of Bulgaria from the conducted research. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Movies and Analyses, Economy, Politics

The public sector going private

In one of my previous articles, I concluded that governments differ from corporations. Both differ in their fiscal and electoral process and their structure, while they resemble in their most frequently encountered laws. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Economy, Life, Politics