Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bravo Chavez

Populist leaders have always been a scary mixture of good and bad. Chavez’s attempt to gain even more power for himself is scary as is enlarged public ownership of business. However, his championing of the cause of the poor is admirable. The proposed constitution would have shortened the workday from eight hours to six, created a social security fund for millions of informal laborers, and promoted communal councils where residents decide how to spend government funds.
You have to have some respect for a man who can say he may have been too ambitious in asking voters to let him stand indefinitely for re-election and endorse a huge leap to a socialist state. I have not heard that from our own over-reaching president.
One can be heartened to see democracy working in more of Latin America.

1 comment:

Dingiswayo said...

I believe that one of the most enduring problems the world will continue to face is how to sustainably uplift the standards of poor people. This challenge is especially greater in developing countries of which Venezuela is one. The problem is that Chavez has defined the agenda so narrowly and forcefully that the opinions of many are either for him or against him. I wish he would acknowledge that the issues are complex and there is something to be said for taking very long term sustainable solutions, that do not create debt for future generations. One day he will be gone and he will leave behind a bloated public sector and a huge deficit. As a citizen of a developing country, i have seen his type before, and i am very wary.