Archive for February 2nd, 2006

7 Years of Failure by Teodoro Petkoff

February 2, 2006

7 Years of Failure by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

To be rich is bad, says Chávez. It is worse to be poor, says common sense. When so much wealth on one side goes together with so much poverty on the other side of a society, there exists an inequality that cries out to God. There exists a huge injustice, which, logically, is merciless with the poor, not with the rich. That is what happens today in our country. The difference between those that earn the most and the least income has widened even more in this period of Government. The abyss that separates the richest from the poorest has become unfathomable. We have the worst distribution of income in all of Latin America. Social inequality has accentuated during the “pretty revolution” that today, coincidentally, is having its seventh anniversary. The seven years of a huge failure, which coincides with the largest income that this country has known in all of its history.

Not even that beauty salon, with its make-up room, in which the National Institute for Statistics has become, can conceal that frightening reality. The allowances from the “misiones”, equivalent to half a minimum salary (some 200 thousand Bolivars), without any doubt have relatively increased the income of the poorest; because for those that have nothing, that in itself is an aid, but the legal and illegal deals that are being made today in the heat of the oil windfall, have increased to sidereal heights the already high income of the richest, among which we now count a new layer of multimillionaires, bolivarians, but because of the Bolivars.

The growing inequality blocks the equality of opportunities. Rich and poor people don’t start from the same starting gate in the race of life. The latter do it from far behind and the disadvantages of their condition gives them fewer years of school, least of all preparation and dexterity for work, much capacity to enjoy the spiritual goods of life, worse nutrition, and places them in a habitat that is in itself the denial of civilized life. The opportunities are not the same for a kid that lives in Carapita that for the one that does it in La Castellana. The great failure of this Government is that in seven years it has built a country with more inequalities than what it found, in which opportunities are even less for the more humble and the least sheltered.

In order to build a country of equality and justice it is necessary that people have an honorable job, a dignified education and decent social security. That requires the creation of jobs, promoting investment that creates jobs, instead of destroying them, as has been the case in the last seven years. That requires an emphasis in pre-school and primary education that demands the best quality from educators and a program so that no kid is left out of pre-school and primary school. There they are, the kids of the street as a terrible testimony of the failure.

Everyone has to count on a social security system that guarantees pensions that are decent and equal. This Government has seven years of debt with social protection. It is an undignified failure of a Government that claims to be one at the forefront of social justice.

Seven years should have been more than sufficient to have advanced in all of these aspects. Other countries have done it. We have gone backwards. Failure is the name of the game.