Wednesday, November 3, 2010

State University in San Pedro Sula overtaken by a student political front

An article by Diario Tiempo relates how the State University in San Pedro Sula (UNAH-VS) closed down because one of the student political parties (or "student fronts") called Frente Revolucionario Universitario (FRU) decided to close it down. Two points that FRU students mention as the "justification" for closing down the state university in San Pedro Sula: 1) the minimum salary increase given by government and 2) the part-time law government is in the process of approving at this point in time. FRU students claim that their acts are in support of the working class in Honduras. (See article in Diario Tiempo here ). So,  FRU students decided to close down the university in a protest that has  nothing  to do with education or the university. Furthermore, even if it  had  something remotely to do with the university, it does not matter,  as  this is an illegal act by a student organization.

I thus demand from the University Rector, Ms. Julieta Castellanos, that she investigate who was responsible to call for this action and who were physically implementing such decisions. The intellectual authors should be put in probation and/or expelled, those physical authors should be put in probation.

The message should come from the rector that actions of this type will not be tolerated in the future. Honduran taxpayers are supporting the state university for students to go and learn, not to lose time and/or graduate mediocre professionals that are unable to even sustain an argument without recourse to violence or intimidation.

Actions as those shown in these two photos DURING Zelaya's stay in the Brazilian embassy should not be tolerated at all.

And the private sector response to the irresponsible column by Mr. Marvin Ponce

Interesting response by the Executive Director of COHEP, Mr. Alejandro Alvarez in La Tribuna...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More than an increase, a war declaration on the working class...the world according to Marvin Ponce

...and the saga of one the prudent and visionary fathers" of the country continues. The Vice-President of the Honduras Congress, Mr. Marvin Ponce in his article published today argues that the recently passed increase to the minimum salary is in fact a declaration of war againts the Honduran workers.

Class warfare, oppression by the capitalist burgoise, exploitation of the working class....where have I heard this before? Well, Mr. Ponce in one more irresponsible action is seeking to further divide the country, in essence going beyond the rift caused by Zelaya's actions... rather than thinking how to improve productivity, increase wealth creation by all, to find alternatives for the working class to improve, the only thing that Mr. Ponce can recommend is more of the same...with leaders like these we might as well go back to the 19th century...we are not going forward...

Well, if this character can only recommend property destruction, painting walls, torching vehicles, throwing rocks and other missiles to the opposition, and hitting anybody who disagrees with you, then we are truly going backwards here....

A guest post by Louis Mejia: On the atributes of good governance

Dear Reader:

The following post is a quite interesting perspective on the historical context of development and its relationship to governance and the ability of small countries to truly move from Third World to First (see Lee Kuan Yew's autobiography at From Third World to First: The Singapore Story 1965-2000). This was a response to one of my own posts, published here with permission by the author As many of my readers know, I have been fascinated by the Singapore story, especially after visiting the country earlier this year. Many lessons to learn so that we can build our own model of a country. We can do it. I am confident we can.

Jose Falck Zepeda

A guest post by Louis Mejia

I have been studying this historical vein since I was in college and how nations as small as Switzerland or Singapore can rise to such levels of economic wealth for itself and its citizens and how they could be templates for other nations t...o follow. They have many components. A ruling elite that is not afraid of educating the proletarian class; in fact they encourage it. The building of an infrastructure in anticipation a new generation of a better educated class. Exposure of its citizens to the world at large, sending its best and brightest to the best universities around the world. Have a complete technical base of workers to court foreign investors to set up high tech industries. minimize political unrest. Becoming a regional banking hub. A homogeneous population that can work together towards a common goal that may take a generation or two to complete (yet see fruits of their labors along the way).

I believe legislators in Honduras want to rule with justice, but many factors hinder them. Cultural apathy, cynicism and distrust; Lack of funds to build mentioned infrastructure; Social division between the classes; International distrust of legitimacy of programs; Organized crime and drug trafficking; Large pool of unemployed/underemployed unskilled/underskilled labor; Lack of accountability (which leads to all the lying that Alvarez is writing about), A ruling class that hoards wealth rather than reinvesting it in more businesses and social programs. 

Corruption is tough and difficult to eradicate. It speaks more about greed and morals, fear and justice, religious principles and connections to a society (or a lack thereof). In theory, if a society generates enough wealth then the corruption is hardly noticeable. If a legislator is already wealthy enough AND knows that he has to be accountable for further wealth and benefits generated through questionable means, he is a lot less likely to give in to corruption. But it is the responsibility of an educated people to be interested enough to keep its governors accountable and for more objective media sources that will not have a conflict of interests when reporting the doings of politicians.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The State cannot create wealth

Mr. Federico Alvarez in a quite interesting article attributes Honduras's poverty to two main causes: we are not creating enough wealth and corruption. Interestingly, Mr. Alvarez argues that corrupt governments lie to their people to cover up their transgressions. Furthermore, the worst transgressors are those that start believing their own lies and thus try to make it a "state philosophy." Hmmm...who(m) could that be??? Article is here 
Adam Smith and Karl Marx..Who do you follow and why?

An important annotation in Mr. Alvarez article is that the state cannot create wealth for its citizens. Many countries have understood this simple yet powerful maxim including Singapore, Russia, Vietnam and China. By the way, the later two countries have been used by some leaders in Honduras's left to show the alleged benefits of "socialism" as a state doctrine. Big mistake!! that line of argumentation shows the inconsistencies or even the lack of knowledge about marxism itself (one cannot blame for being bad students of their own philosophy, worse implementers, can't we?) or history itself.

In fact, both China and Vietnam tried to completely build an economy based on the state and failed miserably. Many millions of Chinese and Vietnamese paid blood, sweat, tears and their own lives for this experiment. It was only, when China and Vietnam allowed competition and limited capitalism in their economies, that these economies thrived. Of course they are exploiting the largeness of their economies and the fact that they can still produce with cheap labors and very little union protests...certainly strikes and public demonstrations have been dealt severely in the past.

Maybe some of the "Resistencia" people should go to China and try and organize a public demonstration in Tiananmen squares and see the reaction...