Obesity which generates poverty For us Greece doesn’t mean anything, but it should, because it’s our mirror, it’s amazing. An obese State against a static society, plus exorbitant cost and benefits, malpractice and a debt of 400.000 million Euros (between the State and the bank), is the result of the above mentioned. What’s more, it has a fiscal deficit of 13.6% of the GDP, according to the rules of the European Union; each member cannot exceed 3%. All the above suggests that cost overruns and lack of competitiveness promotion unbalances the economic rule of the game impoverishing the society. What’s awesome is that countries such as Spain, Portugal, Ireland or Italy have as a common denominator: excess of public expenses and bureaucracy, low management in the recovery of taxes, weak institutions, etc., which derives in a high unemployment percentage, such as Spain’s case which has already recognized a 20%. However, the most striking is that when talking about the Greek tragedy some commentators have the audacity to say that the problem is having a hard currency and not one which they can prey; all this, instead of focusing the real problem and aim to enlisting the fiscal discipline in a zero base budget, in strong institutions and the investment promotion. None of the countries in crisis, show the Chilean economy’s design as an example for countries which nowadays are in crisis because they have given priority to economic management policy, to savings waste and speculation rather than having a good practice. In Ecuador, a country that managed having a strong way of savings, was relinquished and its investments were pursued, and harassed the few left, the rules of game were changed, and the consequences were going from a manageable unemployment to another that neither the official figures (which I don’t believe) are able hiding them. But, as the averages are evil, according to our calculations in the coastal area they are close to 15%. While China grows to more than 11%, and Chile in spite of the earthquake will grow to 5% because of the good practices, we propose disguising the truth a growth of 2% (less than population’s growth). Why the catastrophe? The answer is that while the other countries promote investment, here, we kill them. While they promote agreements, here we have confrontations; while in those countries there is an alliance between workers, government and businessmen, here they are confronted, slandered and glared; the irrelevant is taken in mind but not the important matters. Until when must we bear the populism and socialists try out? ¡They are always awful! Hopefully the time will come in which he have a statesman that thinks about serving the people and not to use them?
Ing. Joyce Higgins de Ginatta
Guayaquil, April, 2010
On April 8th, was held a “Women’s Forum”, organized by Citibank to celebrate 50 years of operation in Ecuador. This event gathered recognized women, who shared their experiences in different performed positions.
From left to right: Heather M. Hodges, USA Ambassador; Joyce de Ginatta, President of FIE; Diana Barragan President of BPD Ecuador; Consuelo Carranza, Communication Specialist and UNICF’s Foreign Relations chapter Ecuador; Diana Torres, General Manager of Citibank Ecuador; and Augusta Bustamante, Manager of Social Responsibility Group Pichincha Bank Diners Club.
From left to right: Joyce de Ginatta, Heather M. Hodges, Diana Torres, Juanita Vallejo, Augusta Bustamante and Diana Barragan.
2010 ENTERPRISING WOMAN The Latin American Association of Entrepreneur Women, AIME-Loja, conducted the ceremony “2010 Enterprising Woman” which took place on April 28th at the Gran Victoria Boutique Hotel.
Standing from left to right: Teresa Toscano, Beatriz García, Ana María Valdivieso, Mónica Valarezo, Martha Machado, Thalia Espinosa, Pepita Sotomayor, Sonia Sotomayor, Jaqueline Samaniego, Carmita Vivanco, Consuelo Sanchez, Rudy Bastidas, Amanda Davila, Angie Ojeda, Teresa Guerrero, Mireya Villavicencio, Elsa Celi and Lola Ruilova. Sitting from left to right: Ana Victoria Eguiguren, Ruth Loaiza, Joyce de Ginatta, Cecilia de Bailón, Luz Acevedo, and Patricia Cisneros.
From left to right: Consuelo Sanchez de Cordova; Ana Victoria Eguiguren de Valdivieso, 2010 Enterprising Woman; Monica Valarezo, Woman Entrepreneur 2009; Amanda Davila de Gonzalez, AIME’s Vive-President; Luz Acevedo de Guerrero, AIME’s President; Joyce de Ginatta and Jenny Montero.
Wealth cannot be fix Ing Guillermo Arosemena A., Business Consultant. The philosophy of leftist’s foretellers of XXI century’s socialism has a fundamental error in believing that wealth distribution is about taking away the ones which have to give it those who have nothing. They assume that wealth is fix, that since it can’t grow, there is to standardize the size of the slice so that all are equal. It’s a mistaken premise, because it assumes that humans are unable to producing more and to create new goods and services. For them the figure of an enterprising doesn’t exist, that person with freedom to start businesses. Ecuador has thousands: who started Papelesa did it with very little and currently gives work posts to thousands of employees. The same thing happens with Computron, Avicola Fernandez and many more which arose in the last thirty years, not to mention the large companies that began half century or more ago. The inaccurate way of calling “pelucones” the today’s’ (“rich people”), were poor some time ago; the situation has been so in Ecuador and the rest of the world during the last 250 years and will be the next 250. Within the gloomy world in which humanity lived, Adam Smith, more than 225 years ago, suggested that it was possible to make wealth grow and wrote about how doing it. The country’s which in a certain way have followed Smith’s advice have seen wealth grow. The examples are plenty. Between 2002 and 2008 Chile’s exports increased I millions of dollars: from 17.400 to 66.430, in Hong Kong from 201.927 to 353.300, the Mexican, from 160.669 to 267.500 and the Malaysian, from 94.068 to 169.900. Since these growth rates are well above to those of the population, these countries and many more, significantly increased wealth. The same thing has happened both with industrial production as with automobiles. In two decades, the annual world’s production rose from 40 million to 70 million units, refrigerators, kitchens, air conditioners, motorcycles, bicycles and hundreds of consumer and industrial goods have increased significantly. The economic “cake” has grown and therefore the slices, when observing that the income per habitant has risen in a spectacular way in not less than 15 countries of the Third World, while others left poverty. “All a person receives without having worked for; another person must have worked for it, without receiving. The government cannot deliver anything to anyone, unless he has taken it to someone else. When half the people come to the conclusion that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half is convinced that it is not worth working for somebody to take away what they have achieved through their effort, that….my dear friend…. ….is the end of any Nation”. “You can’t multiply wealth by dividing” Dr Adrian Rogers, 1931.
Cuba: Worn out Revolution questioned by Zapata’s death (Part I) Dr. Claudio M. de la Rosa President of SICONSULTA Many governments and political parties who call themselves democratic have reacted very little and even with indifference in front of the heroic death of the bricklayer and plumber Orlando Zapata Tamayo, after 86 days of hunger strike; as well as to the brutal repression of the Ladies in White seeking freedom, to stop the hunger strike of Guillermo Fariñas and the inhumane conditions of hundreds of political prisoners. All the previous doesn’t avoid that the image of the scheme collapsing communist Cuba and being given a massive desertion of old political and intellectual allies. This attitude contrasts with the severe condemnation of Zapata Tamayo’s death and the demands to liberating the political prisoners by the Mexican Senate, as well as from the European Parliament and its homologous of Chile, which severely censure that, followed by the rejection of the socialist deputies. Rosario Green, former Chancellor of the PRI, former Ambassador in La Habana and President of the Commission of Foreign Relations, who always maintained a position in favor of the Castro regime, asked: “How many more must die in Cuba for prisoners of conscience can be liberated?” “Then I saw the degradation of the project, the stinging humiliation to which Cuban citizens were subjected on behalf of a Revolution which already lost its glamour…abrupt end of lost illusions, the sign of failure…”(Juan Cruz) In front of the communist regime’s despotisms and the death of Zapata Tamayo, the intellectuals abandon in growing numbers the old and worn out Revolution. In Paraguay, intellectuals of the left wing condemn the ·”Stalinist habits” of the Castro’s, while Brazilian and Uruguayan artists demand for a political opening. The manifesto “I accuse the government of Cuba” has about 45.000 accessions, emphasizing the Nobel Prize in Literature to Herta Muller and artists of the left wing such as film director Pedro Almodovar, writer Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Historian Ian Gibson; as well as the singers Victor Manuel and Ana Belen, former communist militants. Muñoz states: I signed because I’m in favor of democratic legality and universality of human rights”….Being part of the left wing isn’t to be praising a tyrant….I will never defend a regime in which I myself cannot make a living writing freely”. Songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, also demands urgent changes in the island. Fidel, June 1961: “Which are the rights of writers and artists, revolutionary or not? Within the Revolution, everything, against the revolution, nothing”
The Spanish writer and journalist Juan Cruz disappointed says: “…I went to Cuba in 1990. Then I was able to see the degradation of the project, the hurtful humiliation which Cuban citizens had to go through in the name of a Revolution which had already lost its glamour. I was disappointed because it was an abrupt end of lost illusions, the signal of the failure of a generation and several generations”. History shows that the visit to Cuba (1960) from Jean-Paul Sartre, Philosopher, exalted exponent of the French dramatist and humanist Marxism (rejected the Nobel Prize), generated great amount of leftists intellectuals which visited Cuba and formed a stream of revolutionary romanticism. Vargas Llosa, García Márquez, Cortázar, Fuentes, Goytisolo, Debray, Sontag, Enzenberger, Marguerite Duras and many more. Let’s remember the famous “words of intellectuals” quoted by Fidel in June 1961, with which he draw the lines of the political ground, telling them: “Which are the rights of writers and artists, revolutionary or not? Within the Revolution, everything, against Revolution, nothing”. Fidel continued the deepening of the “great revolutionary offensive” that destroyed small businesses, has Soviet influence, the regime and the creation of Military Units to Aid Production, forced labor camps (1965 and 1968) that locked up 25.000 men, mostly young military age, religious, homosexuals and dissidents or “maladjusted”, accused of being parasites, lazy and anti social. Then within the five year period (1971-76), the artists and intellectuals who did not comply with the parameters “political and moral”, of the revolution were left out. So fell Piñera and Arenas, persecuted for being homosexual, a condition considered by the Government of the Revolution as a “social pathology”. Afterwards in 1971, the poet Heberto Padilla was detained accused of “subversive activities”, which caused `protests and the first major wave of defections of renowned intellectuals. Angry because of Padilla’s detention, a group of writers with the same way of thinking about the revolution sent an open letter to Castro, highlighting among its signers to: Sartre, de Beauvoir, Duras, Sontag, Vargas llosa, Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Alberto Moravia, Goytisolo, among others. Fidel’s response maintained its aggressive parameters and called them “intellectual rats, garbage, agents of colonialism”. About 30 years later, after another blow: Regis Debrez, the preferred and recognized intellectual exponent and defender of the Revolution, became disenchanted and also walked out from Fidel. As time went by disappointment increased and writer Juan Cruz said: “Now there isn’t the need to look too much to realize that the revolutionary project is no longer a relic”, to which the essayist Rafael Rojas added: “The Cuban Revolution was one thing and another, the Cuban totalitarianism”. The questioning mind of the intellectuals of the left wing which didn’t have that ideology, made that many of them, from the first part of the “Cuban Revolution – which showed significant social progress, although darken by the harsh and
fierce policy of punishment to any idea contrary to the communist regime -, began having doubts, which gradually generated an aura of uncertainty among many of them. “I have my doubts that an educational or health system could work efficiently without the rule of law and democratic controls”, warns Muñoz Molina against an unchecked system, that moved stealthily toward the messianic cult of the individual, in which the leader concentrates, influences and holds all the States powers. Similarly in Venezuela, these days, trying to replicate the Cuban model, Hugo Chavez concentrates the three powers, so he will end up saying: “I am the State”, competing with Louis XIV, builder of the absolute monarchy (in the middle of the 1600) which centralized all the power in the king. This is a “regression” which causes a tyrant disguised as a democrat, and with the name of XXI Century Socialism –or neo communism - , seeks presenting it as the “XXI century novelty” the Cuban communist system, which is nothing else than the same ideological mummy in a repainted sarcophagus to look like something new. In one or another way similar cases also occur in Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. Although the political problem caused by Cuban dissidents is great, it’s of greater proportion the serious and deep economic crisis in which Cuba is sunken, and the effect of the international economic recession continues suffocating it and the government admits that 2010 will bring great economic pressure and reduce in social spending. The economic Cuban chaos, increases because of the small economic and inefficient productivity and the severe liquidity crisis due to the scarcity of foreign exchange, which surely will require a radical adjustment to avoid bankruptcy. In front of this situation, the governmental authorities point out that it will be more necessary than ever returning to five-year “planning”, without even wanting to acknowledge that this is the wrong way. The lack of liquidity is an oppressing problem in Cuba. The foreign suppliers wait more than 10 months and even one year without being able to transfer the deposit money in their accounts of Cuban banks because of the lack of foreign currency. There is water rationing and great part of the population receives this service twice a week, and only for three hours. The electricity cuts are severe and now they aren’t called blackouts but “light up” because usually there isn’t electricity. The Government has eliminated subsidies, social gratuities and workers cafeterias. Food has been withdrawn from the rationing passbook, and the States’ shops and workplaces cannot use air-conditioning during much of the day. After years of impassioned speech: “Homeland or Death” and “Socialism or death”, the latest revolutionary slogan coined in Cuba is regrettable: “Savings or Death”. In middle of all the above mentioned, which causes dishearten and thousands of silent internal protests, Zapata Tamayo’s death and the Ladies in White protests bursts in, and gets into trouble the communist regime of Castro and lightens a chain of protests in foreign countries.
Lately, in front of Tamayo Zapata’s death, left wing Uruguayan intellectuals point out in a public letter that the Cuban regime maintains a “Stalinist” line, regarding to one of the most ferocious and inhuman regimes of history. In that letter, they condemn: (I) “the imposition of a single party” dogmatic; (II) “the ignorance of fundamental rights”; and (III) ·the imprisonment of people with courage, who have dared and dare to claim, and intend to exercise their basic rights of assembly, association, opinion and displacement”. These intolerable acts for a democratic individual, drives them to point out that Cuba “has persevered in habits labeled as Stalinists, which weren’t even in force in the last decades of the Soviet Union”; adding that “the prison sentences are severe and the disqualifications such as (worms, traitors, allies of imperialism) are humiliating”. The intellectuals also condemn that the Cuban regime currently seeks for “the systematic construction of a dictatorship announced as a perfect way of “democracy”, which they consider unacceptable “for the high concentration of power shared by people of the same political beliefs and truly absolute for the “maximum chief1”, and for the drastic penalties for “conflictive” citizens which dare to dissent”. “¡Tyrants tremble before men who are able to die for their ideas after 60 days of hunger strike! Adjoin to this example, what was the three day of Christ on the cross, a symbol for centuries of human sacrifice?” Meanwhile, Raul Castro says he prefers “disappearing” rather than accept the United States and Europe’s blackmail, driving on the observance of human rights on the island. For Raul, “hesitation” is synonymous of defeat”, and adds saying:”we will never give in before blackmail of any country or a group of countries, as powerful as they are, no matter what”, recalling that Cuba didn’t give “one iota” in the days of October 1962, when confronting Washington for nuclear weapons, nor when the Soviet empire fell, its main political partner and provider, or when it entered to the current severe recession in which remains mired. With this sort of arguments that support the Cuban positions, the promising new cycle of relations with the United States has been trapped, leaving out President Obama’s’ wish who built bridges since the beginning of his management. Therefore his government recently stated that: “Rather than taking a chance to enter a new era, the authorities continue responding to the Cuban people with a closed fist”. Also, in front of the violation of human and political rights on the island, the European Union Summit with Cuba was recently suspended for “agenda reasons”, while the European Parliament strongly condemned the Castro’s dictatorship. For its part, the Reporters without Borders (RWB) rank Cuba as the third jail in the world for journalists, after China and Eritrea. Since the Black Spring in March 19th, 2003, 29 journalists who went into jail are still there. Currently in Cuba, there is a constant harassment against bloggers and there are arbitrary arrests, as well as mistreatment of political prisoners, because the regime
doesn’t tolerate any information beyond their control. Besides, RWB expresses its deep worry despite serious health problems of their journalist Ricardo Gonzalez Alfonso, sentenced to 20 years in prison, and still remains in prison in Havana. It’s time to put an end to the archaic past of “Homeland or Death, We will Defeat”, “Socialism or Death”, to say strongly and win the future of progress: ¡”Freedom and Life, We will Defeat! This political, economical and social situation which the Cuban communist regime of La Havana is living, is seen as something very especial, and drove former commandant of the Salvadorian guerilla, Joaquin Villalobos, to write that Fidel “was prepared to facing an US invasion, defeat counterrevolutionary rebellions, evade attempts on his life and resist the US embargo, but not prepared fighting with men willing to offer their lives in a hunger strike; nor dealing with a handful of women who protested peacefully….” Villalobos adds: “The revolution is now victimizing and is being defeated by their victims morally. Fidel’s position was justified during a period of time, but in politics there aren’t saints and Fidel is now, strictly speaking, the one and only dictator of the continent. Chavez and others are apprentices. The future of the Cuban regime is the most crucial topic in the Latin American political agenda and its end….could trigger a domino effect on the populist and leftist extremists, which would seriously modify the regional political map”. Without doubt, it’s a new and fascinating episode of the Revolution, which for the first time is seen in a real delicate situation, with its leader without his previous strength in middle of strong contradictions. On Zapata’s death in Cuban prisons, Fidel’s words sound ironic when pronounced in the World’s Inter-Parliamentary Union 30 years ago, responding to the hunger strikes and death if Irish prisoners in British jails: “¡Tyrants tremble before men who are able to die for their ideas after 60 days of hunger strike! Adjoin to this example, what was the three day of Christ on the cross, a symbol for centuries of human sacrifice? ¡The time has come to stop this shocking atrocity through the complaint and the pressure of the global community!”This is a phrase that is in bronze in the Victor Hugo Plaza of Havana. Time is against the Castro’s: make a democratic opening or die politically. The time has come to ending an archaic past of “Homeland or Death, we will Defeat”, “Socialism or Death” to say with vehemence and conquer the future of progress: ¡Freedom and Life, We will Defeat!
Democracy in Latin America Guillermo Lousteau H.* In a survey of the Organization of American States, about the 20 years of democracy in Latin America and the expectations, the result shows a deep disappointment with the democratic system: without social progress, with a high index of social inequality and huge margins of poverty. Latin America shows a weak institutional development and a high level of corruption, public insecurity and distrust, as well as social exclusion; worsen by an insufficient treatment of relevant issues in the political debate. In all these aspects and in topics such as unemployment, poverty, informality and impunity, the countries of the region haven’t moved forward enough, and in some cases, they have worsen. Now, in addition, for the first time, we are able seeing an attack to democracy within the same system. The survey states that Latin Americans value democracy and the political rights derived from it. However, the satisfaction of the results is limited, thus undermining the legitimacy of the system. A question arises immediately: What do we mean by democracy? To make a valid analysis on the viability of democracy in the region, it’s important to introduce three elements: 1. The concept of democracy The prestige that democracy has achieved makes no one can oppose it and its difficult pretending for someone claiming to be undemocratic. However there has been a distortion of the concept and no one knows anymore what the conversation is about when democracy is mentioned. Basically it would have to be distinguished between two concepts of democracy, which may be presented as a contradiction: One of them can be presented as a majority rule and the other, as a democracy to guarantee individual freedom. A purely electoral democracy –even with free and fair elections – doesn’t make a democracy full. The basic institutions of the constitutional system created by the Americans, precisely trend to limiting a majority rule. The first of these institutions was the “separation of powers” set out mainly by Montesquieu. As a substantive addition to this principle, the constitution affirms the independence of the judiciary, true containment of individual rights abuse. The real innovation of the constitutional system created by its founders is the constitutional review or judicial review. The basis of every system is constituted by the concept of the superiority of the Constitution, above all the legal body and the role of the Supreme Court of Justice as its last interpreter. This principle puts the Court -composed by a group of judges, not elected, post held for life while having good behavior – above the Congress, which is the authentic
representative of an eventual majority to protect the principles enshrined in the Constitution. The presidential form is predominant in Latin America, as well as in the United States. When comparing both systems, the Legislative power of the first ones, can be seen notoriously weaken, without control of capacity, aggravated because the Latin American presidents assume legislation powers of special nature. That trend of accumulating power ends turning into an authoritarian temptation. Without a barrier of the judicial review, the Latin American majorities are able to imposing over the Constitutional limitations applied by an independent Judicial Power and be modified at wish. The essence of constitutionalism is definitively lost and democracy, so understood, becomes only the government of the majority, without guarantees for minorities or persons individually considered. It isn’t about ruling out the role of the majorities – often subjugated by military governments- but to complementing with respect towards individual guarantees, through limiting governments. 2. Diversity in Latin America The vision which the European Union and the United States have over the region is a stereotypical vision of a unique identity, aimed ideologically to the left. This unified image tends to thinking that whole Latin America are related to this anachronistic ideology and go unnoticed to the countries that even with the problems of under development such as: poverty, inequality, technological backwardness, antiquated institutions and lack of competitiveness, are going through the right path and “are doing things well” The countries which are in the ALBA –that are so important for extra-regional external image- are reduced to just a handful to Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. Within this group, the realities aren’t either the same or the specific circumstances in which they are, could show different outcomes among them, and it’s worth being very careful. Several countries show a better institutional situation and could work with others relatively dropped behind (for example in electoral control or the defense of freedom of expression). The analysis of cases with lack of democracy, such as Venezuela, and Bolivia, would allow early warning of attacks to freedom, what could happen in other countries. If Latin America had a unique identity, it would be tempting to blame their backwardness only to their culture. 3. The dividing line When we divide the region into lefts and rights, we make a mistake which doesn’t allow us getting near to reality. The difference is better defined if we think in terms of democracy and authoritarianism. A possible outline of better analysis would be considering two basic versions of societies based on freedom (liberalism and social democracy) and the authoritarian versions which don’t respect freedom, both from socialism as
fascism. That’s the way of recognizing in Latin America the democratic countries (in the previous expressed concepts, of overwhelmingly elected governments and respectful of the guarantees due to minorities), if they are liberal or social democrats, of those authoritarians, in which the individual guarantees and the full exercise of republican institutions no longer exist. Socialism in countries such as Chile, Uruguay or Brazil, respect the market laws and the democratic institutions and believe in the world’s opening, regarding to the economy of ideas. Democracy isn’t in danger in none of the cases and the electoral renewal is carried out without problems, where it is always possible replacing the ruling party for one of the opposition. Socialism of this kind gives predictability to a country; a change of government is a matter of nuances and not of deep ideological transformations. On the opposite side, governments are seen, although they have been elected by majority, they don’t respect the republican institutions created to defend freedom. They violate the separation of powers and the independence of Judicial Power, and undermine the property rights and freedom of expression. These are countries in which the concept of democracy or republicanism is lost, and decisions get away daily from rationality. The irrationality is evidenced by the vague statements of“socialism of the XXI century”. Considering these three elements as valid, we are still able to be optimistic regarding to Latin America, because the majority of the countries of the region are lined up with democratic systems. *Professor of Political Philosophy at Florida International University (FIU). President of the Inter American Institute for Democracy.
Earthquake: The benefits of an unthinkable subsidiary strategy Ab. Eduardo Urbina M. Postgraduate in Business Administration The violent earthquake measuring 8.8 and the tsunami that Chile suffered on February 27th, caused immense damage along the 500 kilometers of affected territory. In human terms there were 460 fatalities and 100 missing; the last mentioned mainly because of the tsunami.
In terms of property damage, they affected the infrastructure of buildings and private homes, 79 hospital and 4.000 educational buildings, roads and electrical systems and drinkable water. The balance of casualties without doubt is minimal, compared to the more than 200 thousand fatalities in Haiti. The reason is easy to understand: Chile supports strong earthquakes and seism periodically for which the building and construction standards are stringent and proven. Therefore its buildings donâ€™t collapse in a massive way which avoids having casualties. In this earthquake, the majority of fatalities were caused by the tsunami and old buildings which collapsed. However, when making the analysis of damages that the Government had to confront, they didnâ€™t involve the damages suffered to important highways, electrical services, telecommunications, dock facilities and drinkable water. The reason was also easily understood: these systems are franchised to the private sector. The country has been pursuing a development strategy based on the principle of subsidies, i.e. that the State should devote its efforts and funds in those areas where the private sector does not interfere (defense, foreign affairs,
justice, military and police, support for the poorest, among others), or where for purposes of disinterest, there are no PRIVATE service provisions. But in areas in which it’s possible having provision which the private sector is able to satisfy the State by constitutional demand shouldn’t be present or try to compete. This strategy started during Pinochet’s Government, was successfully followed by the Governments of the Coalition: Frei gave the drinking water concession and Lagos, prisons and highways Therefore, at the million dollar repair costs should be borne by the respective operating companies and should also replenish their services in the fastest way possible, not only by societal demands and their customers, but also by legal requirement. The government has demanded from the operating companies of roads and super highways, not collecting tolls, if they maintain uninterrupted stretches.This forces them to repairing precise damages. Similarly, not charging for services not rendered or interrupted. It should be noted that internet services always kept working. Curiously, the minutes after the earthquake, the calls were congested, but the internet mobile cell phone services were working. The land line telephones and then the cell, initially saturated by millions of calls, soon recovered their capacities. Drinking water and electricity, in most cases, returned few hours later. Only the sector of the epicenter, which is the Maule Region and Gran Concepcion, has been slow to recovering from the impact of the earthquake and tsunami. Only some private construction and real estate companies have been indebted, since their collapsed or damaged newly built buildings were damaged, however the Construction Quality Act requires them to ensure their buildings for 10 years and must respond for it. But when the evaluation of the damages costs as a State was done, the Government had to undertake them which reach US$ 30 thousand million dollars; with relief, damage costs of roads, electrical services, telecommunication, port and drinking water infrastructures, aren’t included. Those additional costs must be assumed by the private sector, which in the majority of the cases are covered by insurances and neither means a tariff increase to users. In this way the State can concentrate its worries and aid funds to services of its responsibility such as: education and public health, roads and roadwork without concession, and help thousands of poor people which were affected in their goods and homes because of the earthquake and tsunami. Thousands of homes of poor or middle class people, businesses and social infrastructure, collapsed. The State will apply modern and efficient mechanisms to achieve the reconstruction. So, a subsidy will be granted to the owner to self constructing. Another alternative will appeal to an international tender for sale of new pre manufactured homes, with the most modern technology, in which the State will
provide the grant for the purchase of such housing. Thereâ€™s also being tested pre manufactured modular schools, which arrived from Canada, and if successful will allow replacing many damaged schools, for modern, safe and better level constructions. Therefore, the strategy of following the principle of subsidy has had an additional benefit, allowing the State to concentrating the support and re building of homes for the poorest and the most essential services of responsibility which are: schools, secondary schools and damaged hospitals. Otherwise perhaps, the State budget would have had a much higher damages cost to cover the amount and questionable speed of repair concerning to communication, port, drinking water and electricity services.
430 Million Ing. Giovanni Ginatta H.* During XX and XXI centuries, we have experienced several revolutions. The more recent are related to unprecedented technological changes. Some of these points of inflection still aren’t giving return, as the surprises that will surely provide us with molecular biology, once the human genome and other species were able to be described. In the field of electronics, it’s evident that new technologies about information and communication have changed the world, putting massive amounts of information and knowledge in a “click” away. But it doesn’t only offer information but the new and growing social networks, have forged ties of interaction and links between individuals and institutions whose consequences, benefits and danger we have not begun to understand. Therefore, these topics have been a matter of several publications, books, conferences, academic modules and even university careers. Among the social nets, the biggest without doubt is Facebook, a company that started by young people and which nowadays have enlisted around 430 million people. Yes, I’m not exaggerating; there are 430 million people which are users of this social net. Most of them have done it to link up with current friends and rediscover old acquaintances. In this net, messages, photographs and videos are published; notice boards are kept as well as affection/disaffection notes are sent, and a range of communication systems which I still don’t completely understand. The use of these technologies fortunately isn’t legislated (yet) by any central government. There is not (yet) a bureaucracy that seeks to regulate or promote it. Applications are emerging as human initiative and their needs are discovering new horizons. As an example I can state the recent tragedy of Chile’s earthquake, in which many Chileans offered relevant and timely information by using Facebook, Twitter, among others. Many think that in a few years we will laugh about the social nets used in current days by the rapid evolution of these. But where is all this leading to? Certainly spending stuck to a monitor knowing about everyone. Is this productive? Does it add value or will we be in no time only million of zombies hyper connected with a nonsense world? On occasions we are disconnected from our loved near and the same job. There are statistics (see Graphic No. 2) which
show that in countries such as Australia the users are connected for hours. In the world of businesses Are there business opportunities behind networks like Facebook? Just by looking to it you will be able seeing each time more corporation pages and companies of all sizes. What for? It’s simple, they are there to be linked with their clients, hear them and letting them know what news, promotions, projects or situations the company has. In more complexes: Google has created billions of dollars in sales through advertising system which appears each time you do a search. Currently nets such as Facebook also offer publicity systems which appear at the margin of the visited pages. In spite of the critics which think that publicity through nets isn’t effective, there are figures showing that one of five advertisements seen in the web, come from social nets. It’s true! However, the number of users grows more quickly than the income for publicity (during 2009 it only grew 4%), and that’s why analysts expect a grow of 7% for 2010. Any criticism is overwhelmed by the grandeur of the figures. Facebook is larger than any television net that existed in history. Besides, don’t forget that until now TV works by the traditional system of “broadcast”, this is one person talks and the rest listens (and see). In the social nets systems interactivity can be many against many. Besides, the information in the nets allows advertisements to be targeted in the precision of a laser. In addition to the advertising world, one that has generated substantial sales in the net works is the sale of games and virtual gifts. Nets such as LinkedIn have used a strategy of sales and services. The basic subscription is free but there are several additional services that the user requires a payment to level up in the subscription. In the case of small firms there is also a space. For example, the firm Mission Pie of San Francisco, California sends messages and tweets telling their clients that a new peach pie will be coming out soon. Another food business uses the social nets to advertise the daily menu. Can social networks help the talent search markets? Indeed, the response is positive. There are already companies searching good candidates by using networks, but especially in professional nets such as LinkedIn. There are companies which already report savings in their processes of searching talents and employees thanks to the use of social nets. What is left for the future because there are still many things to be determined? The perspectives are still difficult to assimilate. Just as a sample, Twitter now has little more than 50 thousand users, expecting that for 2013 there will be ¡more than one billion users! The previous proves its potential to generating opportunities for the companies….140 characters each time…. *FIE’s Executive Director.
Sustainable development Ecuador 2010 Rodolfo Rendón B. Ms. PLF*
After the real disaster in the Copenhagen Summit with the Climate Change negotiations and the ineffectiveness and/or execution of its resolutions, compounded by the misguided actions of some of the main scientists in charge of studying the climate changes, the environmental landscape of the world seems apparently being confused. If we add to the previous the intention of the United States and Alaska to liberating the oil exploitation from their coasts, and the boom which has suddenly taken the option to generating atomic energy, it’s a relief that many organizations and institutions persist in their efforts to trace paths to a better world for our descendant. There aren’t only important political figures that could do it for their press/media position, nor the cluster of famous artists which can do it for their fans and their careers, but also worldwide religious leaders which have expressed concern about the direction which the current development model is taking us to. Among others we can mention the Pope who in his message for World’s Day of Peace quoted “If you want peace, protect the creation” and highlighted “the chilling prospect of environmental degradation”; he asked for a double solidarity; with the poor countries and the future generations; and he mentioned that the ecologic crisis demands a deep and visionary revision of the model for development”, as well as “the meaning of the economy to fix their dysfunctions and distortions”. The planet’s health demands it, and over all, men’s cultural and moral crisis”. In Ecuador the environmental issues have expanded (even superficially) in the knowledge and preoccupation of the population –especially young) and has been recognized at political level through the various references in the country’s Constitution and the use and misuse of the politicians, especially with the term Sustainable Development (SD) as a subject that seems giving them luster and sounds interesting to voters. This (SD) concept identified as a “green” position but, understood as a new concept of development and the right of all citizens to satisfy their needs and achieve a good quality of life, and environmentally balanced to preserve equal rights for future generations, has continue developing as a viable model for a country to achieving a better standard of life for its inhabitants and reaching an integral development. The Ecuadorian Constitution, in article 86, second paragraph, of the Environment establishes that “The State will protect the right of its population to live in a healthy and balanced environment, which guarantees a sustainable development. It will ensure that this right is not affected and ensure the preservation of nature”. We also suppose that
together with articles 3 and 23, it is within reason that it’s a country with huge economic potentials: oil and other mineral deposits, fertile soils, vast natural forests, its great biological diversity and the extraordinary variety of ecosystems that coexist in a relatively small territory, facilitating its access to natural resources for their population and provide it with countless opportunities to promote its sustainable development. The geographic location, in which the Andes, the Amazon, Galapagos and the Pacific basin converge, plus the strategic location in the continent because its centrality and topographic complexity, offered to Ecuador , besides of an enormous natural wealth, are exceptional conditions for the development of multiple sources of clean energy and very especial competitive factors. A deep analysis of these factors, added to the other classic ones of production, would allows us stating that the sustainable development isn’t an ecological conservation formula advocated by the green but a project for the country and a comprehensive way to achieving greater production and competiveness, balancing the economic social and ecological factors to reach in general the human being’s wealth and consolidate the democratic way to govern, engaging the participation and assistance of the various social actors. This theoretical approach must be translated into concrete actions and practices such as: *To change the dreadful levels of poorness of our country’s citizens and all over the world in general. *To reach increasing levels of equity when distributing opportunities, wealth, economic surplus and income. *To improve the life quality in urban and rural zones creating equitable opportunities for all the inhabitants. To achieve them, the Ecuadorian State and the society must assume commitments and take actions which could start with the adoption of State policies in long term, generate political agreements to be able reaching them and legal security to keep them, which would be the only easy way out of the slogan and fulfill the constitutional mandate. As an orientation, we have identified the following approaches to areas which we consider being priorities and which were promoted during our management in the Ministry of Environment. 1. Sustainable Use and Management of Natural Capital Eight especially productive areas are favored: 1.1 Biodiversity Because of its enormous economic and intrinsic value, measures must be promoted for its sustainable, knowledge, evaluation and preservation actions.
1.2 Forests Using the forestry potential impelling its value and sustainable management; encourage reforestation in poor or unused soils and establish the needed controls to reduce deforestation. 1.3 Bio aquatic Resources Encourage the use, preservation and strict control of bio aquatic resources in identified areas and using the best technology. 1.4 Soils Encourage land use planning, the recovery of soils and the use of clean technologies in production processes. 1.5 Water and Watersheds To advocating an integrated management, from the sources that generate up to its final discharge, as well as preserve the reserves and quality of the resource. 1.6 Beaches and Bays Promote its territorial planning and land use and sanitation to halt its current degradation, using them in tourism and fishing in the best way. 1.7 Nature Tourism To promote the best conditions to use the Protected and other natural Areas System the sustainable use of this type of tourism. 1.8 Energy To adopt an energetic policy; Rational use of energy from nonrenewable resources and promote clean technology infrastructure generated from renewable resources. 2. Environmental Quality Management 2.1 Clean Production To promote the use of more efficient and less pollutant technological resources which are in force, to accomplish national and international standards, and competitiveness for businesses? 2.2 Transport Accelerate the modernization of transport system with privileges to massive transportation over the individual and control the quality of fuels. 2.3 Infrastructure Works They should be a priority based on a decentralized and autonomous planning at national, regional and local levels, to avoid patronage and waste of funds. 2.4 Sustainable Urban Development Encourage land use planning, promote the concept of eco-cities-region, favoring improved coverage of basic services and control the quality of the environment. Encourage the opportunities for regeneration and recreation for the majority of the population. 3. Sustainable Production Endangered Ecosystems
3.1Galapagos Urgently adopt new strategies based in the concept of sustainable development. 3.2 Mangroves Encourage their recovery and emphasize its conservation 3.3 Wetlands 3.4 Andean Highlands Basic productive elements, especially water. 3.5 The Amazon Encourage a specific sustainable development policy of The Amazon, to cover its land use planning and the “optimal” use of its huge resources. 3.6 Esmeraldas Destruction of the province natural capital must be stopped, promoting the sustainable use of resources and tend to increase employment and provision of basic services for the population. 3.7 Gulf of Guayaquil The degree of deterioration and affectation must be comprehensively evaluated and boost its decentralized environmental management that exploits its potentials and mitigates the causes of current problems. These basic ideas allow us to visualize that the Sustainable Development is possible and necessary not only in a country such as Ecuador but could be the way we are looking to reach. TO THE COUNTRY WE WANT. However, these tasks darken in front of nonsense and blend our day to day living. The “environmental progress” of our new Constitution still aren’t seen by effective actions, but even are a contradiction of actions such as the extractive management which has been done with the idea of maintaining the crude on soil (project ITT) or the urge to a growing development in Galapagos, with its unstoppable touristic growth, symbolized by a so-called ecological airport which expects financing through half a million visitors per year. But the environmental is a long term process, in which we bet not for our interest but of our descendants and therefore the work to achieving a sustainable development mustn’t stop. * Former Minister of Environment in Ecuador * Former President of Fundacion Natura *former Vice-president of Charles Darwin Foundation
Nostalgic Migration and Trade Santiago Ochoa1 The migration is usually a family decision in which the individual leaves the country facing some risks, but leaves his family facing others. Nostalgia is the first feeling and the desire of taking with him a little piece of homeland, increases the Ecuadorian inventiveness. In recent years, trends have remained even with some spikes. The United States and Spain continue being the main destination for our migrants: according to unofficial figures2 at least one million Ecuadorian are living in the United States and eight thousand in Spain. Regardless of the destination, the different habits cannot be forgotten, and in another country people still try to eat/drink the same products and even import them. Manuel Orozco, in Development dimension of migrant remittances (2004) states that 95% of Ecuadorians buy their goods from their country of origin.; 38% travels at least once a years to Ecuador; 50% talk on phone more than 20 minutes per week, 36% spends more than $2.000 in tourism and send an average of $ 290.00 remittances per month. In these last years this trend hasn’t changed, according to the Ecuadorian Migration and Remittances studies –Migration by destinies3 2007-2008, made by the Technical University of Loja, approximately 70% of migrants have contact with their families in Ecuador; communication is done by telephone and internet, mainly among the youngest. Currently it’s very common seeing “telephone booths” in European countries such as Spain, especially because for few Euros, it allows them talking by phone or via internet with Latin American countries. Similarly in the country, the booths and businesses that provide communication through internet have undoubtedly facilitated the increase of Telecommunications and, especially of Internet users, which from immigration boom in 1999 have been increasing significantly as shown in Graphic 1 and 2. 7% of the migrants think about returning to the country and the remittance average (with variations depending of the destination) is of $380 monthly. 46% of migrants in Spain and the United States have returned to the country at least once.
Besides of communication, the desire for closeness with their homeland, are given even in the eating habits. Migrants in their main destinations (United States and Spain), have similar preferences for products exclusively made in Ecuador. Although the volume of exports of Ecuadorian products to the United States and Spain is important (see table below), and the range goes from unrefined oil to food. Itâ€™s amazing that in destination countries, traditional products are on the market and even more traditional such as homemade tamales and humitas, chili, and even guineas pig products, which are commonly known in the countries of destination. Besides, these products arenâ€™t only found in migrant associations and events made by the community, but also in supermarkets, grocery stores and small businesses.
The tamales and humitas are some of the Ecuadorian product which migrants keep eating in their country of destination, which arrive directly through their families or packages (60%), and some others which are already distributed in the same communities (40%).Tuna, are one of the most important exports of
the country, and is consumed not only by Ecuadorians but also by Americans. The same thing happens with spices, which have even position in the market to some Ecuadorian firms. In Spain, the nostalgic trade has a similar behavior as shown in Graphic 4. 27.5% of people surveyed, say that they often eat homemade or purchased tamales and humitas; around 18% use spices; and 15% eat Ecuadorian rice.
No matter the destination, the feeding of Ecuadorians have their roots and in spite of time and distance, arenâ€™t completely lost. Nowadays it isnâ€™t strange finding own habits and making in another country a space that reminds us of our. *1 Master in Economics in Economics at National Autonomous University of Mexico. Currently a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research at UTPL: 2 Calculations with information from embassies and own studies. 3 Individual studies, made in USA and Spain
Education seen as a public good as well as an entitlement Franklin Lopez Buenaño
This issue should be one of the most important in contemporary times, especially since it appears that the countries that have accelerated its development have been emphasizing on education and that the evidence is overwhelming by demonstrating that one of the sources –and perhaps the most important for development- is human capital and entrepreneurship as a source of innovative and creative knowledge. I will analyze from an economic perspective of the public goods and very briefly, from three philosophic perspectives.
Education from an economic perspective The fundamental assumption to analyze the education from this vision is that it’s an economic good, i.e. it is desirable and scarce. Both are necessary conditions to be an economic good. An economic good can have the following four characteristics: Indivisibility (non-rivalry) Excludability Transferability Obligations (that an authority ensures and enforces the right to property)
The first two define whether the good is public, almost public, almost private or private. The last two depend of an institutional frame; this is, about the rules and laws in force in a society. A public good is indivisible but can’t be excluded. An almost-public good is a divisible good and can’t be excluded. An almost private good is indivisible but can be excluded. A private good is a rival good (it satisfies only one person at the time) and is excluded. The non- rivalry may also be associated with the presence of positive externalities. The indivisibility isn’t absolute, depends on both the number of people affected and the existing technology. For example, students in a class are receiving indivisible benefits from the teacher, but still maybe the ones sitting in the front receive more benefits than the ones behind. This difference would be more noticeable if the number of students is really high, depending also on the acoustics of the classroom (technology). The national defense, considered by many as a public good, has the same difficulties. Those living near a conflictive border receive more benefits than those living far-off. The technological development of weaponry also affects the degree of a good’s indivisibility. Exclusivity is a technical characteristic in the sense that a technological innovation can turn the non-exclude into excluded. The pastures were not excludable goods until they invented barbed wire. The whales will be excludable until they invent a device that can trawl and exclude them from their catch to some fishermen. Exclusivity allows the goods provider to charge a price of “admission” In short, even for classic goods such as national defense or fishing, it isn’t easy to label a good as public; therefore, to say that education is a public good-or even an almost public- is daring to go into a field of opinions. However, I’m going to do it in the measure in which I recognize the existence of the diverse criterion about this matter. The State’s role It’s worth analyzing the role of the State (rather than government 2) in the provision of public goods. The fact that a good such as national defense is quite indivisible and not excludable mustn’t drive concluding that the government is the one “called” to provide. The argument used for this purpose is the “free passenger”, therefore it is necessary to “stifle” individuals forcing them to pay for the good. In the event that this argument is true there are still questions of how much and how. Nobody is able to boast of knowing the amount of benefits each person receives from the national defense and- even more difficult- to determine exactly how much would correspond to each one of them for the received benefits. If there is a charge of an egalitarian rate it could be argued that it isn’t fair because they’d be paying more than the least receives and vice versa.
Another problem is the how. Should a tax charge be by per capita or through the income tax? The reader can imagine the difficulties which any of these charge scenarios would confront. Regarding to education, we must be aware that a private system would solve the problem of how much and how, because each education consumer would reveal their willingness to pay according to benefits received and payments schemes would be designed consistent with the desires and motives of education consumers and providers. Therefore, it’s necessary to deciding if education is a private good or not, and if it isn’t to what extent it is a public good and afterwards solve the problem of how much and how. The non-rivalry or indivisibility in education In the measure in which the education benefits spread beyond those which receive them, education would be indivisible (here we could talk about positive externalities). To my knowledge, there have been studies on the externalities of higher education that have shown that there aren’t. For elementary education there have been, but it isn’t clear about high school education. Which are the externalities associated to elementary educations? Although it could seem obvious such as having large groups who are able reading newspapers or having civic consciousness, there are authors who consider that these benefits only favors students and not the rest of the population. Why? What does Mrs. Rosita win if Juan’s son who lives 200 kilometers away can read and write? Without detracting from these arguments, I dare to argue that the literacy of women, for example, has helped reducing violence, that families are better managed, that businessmen don’t have to spend in basic programs, reducing prices to consumers. Children who do not go to school learn bad habits, such as theft, fraud or simply live on handout from passerby. I don’t think that these benefits and more can be diminished or discarded just like that. The non- excludability in education In this feature an opinion can’t be given: it’s a clearly excludable good. The public schools still do it, as they segment schools by geographic area. Accordingly, education is an almost private good. This analysis provides us conclusions about financing. In the measure in which it is excludable, the provision can be done by the private sector with a charge system which can be individual. The students or parents can pay according to their “willingness to pay”. But as it is indivisible it’s required to “internalize” externalities and there lies the problem. The traditional way has been that the government goes for compulsory education, which is financed by general fund taxes. Currently many methods are discussed. The most successful have been the autonomous schools 3. These are managed by parents, teachers and representatives of the public sector. They have an automatic determination clause, i.e. the foundation of the school the objectives are specified, a budget is designed for a fixed period
(usually 5 years) after which the managers hand in a report that meets their objectives. In case these weren’t fulfilled, the school closes. Another method is the education bonds. Each parent receives a bonus from the government, and with it he is able choosing the school for his children. Of course the quantification of benefits are virtually ignored, letting the financing to political process, with all the consequences of searching for incomes and other bad matters highly studied by the School of Public Option. I reiterate, these two solutions are derived from the characteristics of excludability and indivisibility of education. The philosophical perspective I must apologize to the reader because I’m not a Philosopher and my knowledge about this matter could lead to conclusions that to a connoisseur of the subject would seem wrong. However, I believe I have read enough to be able having a strong criterion to venture on the subject. Education: a right or privilege? The definition of right depends on the philosophical assumptions upon which it’s based. They can be practical as those of Jeremy Bentham or John Stuart Mill; they can be liberal as those of Robert Nozick or universality as those of Emmanuel Kant. It’s also important noting the difference among right and privilege. A right is a negative concept, and means that nobody even the government can hinder an action to be exerted. So, education is a right because the government cannot hinder studying. Freedom of expression is a right: the government cannot stop me expressing what I like most. The privilege is a kind of positive right, this is, I can demand the satisfaction of a wish. If freedom of expression is a privilege, the government should grant all the possibilities (includes funding) to express myself. The Ecuadorian Constitution that came out of Montecristi is a paragon of positive rights; even nature (rocks, rivers, fauna and flora) has rights. The practical philosophy would say that education isn’t a right buy a privilege. If the benefit to society is greater than the cost of providing, then, we would give education at all levels that met the criterion of social utility maximization. It’s obvious that the quantification of benefits and costs isn’t easy; there are some economists who have tried it, using, for example, the system of contingency evaluation, which consists of surveys to determine how much a person or family would be willing to spend for an X level of education. In other words, it’s about evaluating the application and there can be a cost estimate and decide according to benefit/cost ratio. However, this method isn’t satisfactory, which should exploit the other two: the liberal and the Kantian. According to Kant, every person has the right of being part of mankind. Unlike the libertarian approach of possession itself –each individual is master of himself and there arises the right to life, freedom and property-, Kant’s philosophy affirms that human being is a purpose not a means. Let’s see the difference. For a libertarian, being owner of its body implies he can sell his organs if he wishes so. For a Kantian, this is using a
person as a means: be more eager to meet with what is received from the sale of an organ. The dignity of being “human” hinders making from his body, merchandise. Consequently, for a libertarian education isn’t a right or a privilege. To the extent that the government uses force to extracting resources and finance education it’s a violation to the right to property. The fact of having externalities or being indivisible doesn’t justify the plunder of resources. From the Kantian perspective, rights come from a person’s dignity. Each person deserves respect in the measure in which we are autonomous, capable of acting and choosing freely. Rights are therefore negative; they are a privilege if they enhance the human condition. This implies that justice consists providing the means to reward and encourage virtue. For Kant, men are a purpose by itself and not a means. The moral value of an action doesn’t depend of being useful, pleasant, compassionate or convenient. The question then arises: Should education be to make people “better means of production” or to produce better men? The Kantian answer is obvious: Similarly it can be concluded that education cannot be “morally” justified if used to address economic inequalities. Education would be morally justified only if it’s moral per se. That education is “desirable” or useful to promoting development or to redistribute income doesn’t mean it’s moral. How could then, education be morally justified? The answer implies another question: Until to what extent education enhances human dignity? If that would be the case, then, education would be a privilege and therefore anybody would be entitled having education. The principle of praising the human conditions is invoked in USA for example, to force companies providing facilities for the disabled, and emphasizes the prohibition of drug use. For many, school not only imparts explicitly civic education but so does in the practice, when teaching about: manners, honesty, respect to others and the fair play, etc. Its easy concluding that education and above all, the elementary ennobles the human condition. But, can we deduce from these considerations that education should be provided by the public sector? Since resources must be available for education, to what extent can they sacrifice resources that could also enhance the human dignity, such as basic health? Although in his Pedagogy, Kant says that education can be private or public, he expresses a very important issue: the need of having “experimental” schools and that education should rest on principles and not merely be mechanical. Therefore, I argue that charter schools are the best performers in the provision of education. Conclusions In my opinion, from the economic perspective, the government has a role in education. We can’t deny externalities in elementary education. Although I think it is “fair” when the public at large benefits from having a population with a minimum of education, everyone must contribute to its financing. In other words,
it isn’t only trying to remedy the problem of “free passenger”, but it’s about commutative justice, i.e., its fair paying for a received benefit. Education isn’t moral if the purpose is to improve human capital From the Kantian point of view, it seems obvious that a well educated person is definitely a “better “human being, which it’s valid for the government, making it mandatory and therefore devote resources to provide education; as long as the objective is to improving the quality of men and that the educational system obtains that objective. The above can be obtained giving the schools autonomy and achieving to enter in competition offering resumes to meet the needs of the students. How many resources or knowing how to do it isn’t a moral issue or about rights. I should clarify on these findings, that in no time I call for distributive justice, i.e. to equalize opportunities or to reduce economic equalities, because capital and labor are factors of production. If the purpose in education is improving the human capital, so, it’s a means of production and that clearly infringes Kant’s principle of morality. Education shouldn’t be either justified as a factor in accelerating development. This can work from the utilitarian perspective but not from the Kantian. The only morally valid reason is education for education; this is, to improve men’s quality. In other words, an educational system is needed to have the option to be and do what the individual believes should be of. At elementary and high school level, I defend and propose a system such as the autonomous or an education bonus because in this way it’s able to make “better means of production” to those who so desire or educate to “improve the human quality” to those who so desire. It’s known that an individual’s great percentage of “general” culture is acquired from kindergarten until graduating from high school. The United States is known by its reduced and insufficiency of secondary education, and thus the deficiency in general culture, so colleges require that at least 50% of the credits must be in areas outside the major or the chosen career. Regarding to higher education, I’m attached to the economic outlook. It’s a strictly private good which can fulfill the Kantian requirements. 1 A retired professor from Tulane University, New Orleans, USA. 2 State, societies or markets, are entelechies; in other words, the State is a group of inhabitants within a geographical context. The government is made up of governors and is supposedly the representative of the “members” of a s ociety or State. The actors (leaders) have first and last name .The market on the other hand, is characterized for being the description of all the monetary transactions made by individuals. The market players are anonymous. 3 In English they are known as charter schools. 4 I translate the word “Entitlement to differentiate from “right”, because in English they are different words.
Young Talents Promotion Mrs. Patricia Isaías de Estrada In May 2006 I received an invitation to attend the concert of a young violinist who I didn’t know, at the Library of the Union Club. I was curious and went to the place. There were only ten people sitting in the small room around the Library, among whom was Juan Castro y Velazco, who later I would learn was the sponsor of this event. It started with the presentation of the young 18 years old Guayaquilean violinist, Isaac Ormaza Vera, whose purpose was showing his talent to get the necessary funds to travel to Belgium, where he had been accepted in the University of Lemmens, previous an audition. We were surprised after his brief intervention, because despite his age and inexperience, he exuded total confidence and determination in getting what had been proposed. Caught up by the intellectual atmosphere of the place and possessed by a natural instinct to do something, we decided to help him. A few days later,four of the people gathered: Juan Castro y Velazco, Sylvia Smith de Goldbaum and Irene Ycaza de Noboa to plan a working strategy since Isaac’s trip was planned for June of that year and gave us just one and a half months to do so. We organized and decided to present the first concert with Isaac in the Yellow Salon of the Union Club. We were afraid but also had many expectations without being able to predict the acceptance we would have from the audience. But to our surprise, we didn’t only have the expected amount of people, but when it ended, they praised our initiative and encouraged us to continue. Isaac began his journey in June, but the money raised in this recital wasn’t enough to cover all the expenses that his studies would generate, so we decided to undertake a campaign to seek auspices and besides to present concerts and recitals, both with local and foreign musicians, always with the classical music genre to achieve what we intended. Isaac wasn’t only able to travel to Belgium, but also to study for four years in the University of Lemmens, in Louvain, where he earned a degree as a professional musician with top honors and good comments from his teachers.
That’s how Young Talents Fund Society arises, which has been until now our means to perform the various activities that we carry out annually. We have an internal directory with ten volunteers and work intensely to offer between five and seven concerts and recitals per year in different locations of our city, with local musicians and training talents. We work jointed with the Symphony Orchestra of Guayaquil, the Ecuadorian-German Cultural Centre, the Dante Alighieri, Garibaldi Society, among others, supporting and promoting foreign renown and of great experience artists, that have been acclaimed and recognized both by the public and the press. We help talented young people to study master courses not only inside the country, but also outside, and in the same way, in which we helped Isaac, we support economically those who are able specializing in other centers of the world. The volunteer work in the cultural area of our country is very difficult since it has no reception by the community, considering it a minor factor for our development. Unfortunately, this is due to the lack of instruction and cultural absence we have lived for decades in Guayaquil. My experience of work in this area started in 1992 when I was invited to be part of the Board of the Civic Center Foundation, now called, Theater of Arts and Crafts, where I assumed the responsibility for developing and managing Art School, which became the country’s largest and unique approach to the poor children of our city. A more than ten year’s hard work gave me great satisfaction to have helped and encouraged young children, and I’m sure that they had never had a chance to be introduced in the cultural world so important for their growth. Nowadays, Young Talents Fund Society, continues working with much effort with the desire to help as many people as Isaac, yearn to fulfill their dreams, because it is a reality that these young applicants have no State institution to providing economic support in order to receive better training, because it’s a pity that the few existent opportunities not even remotely reach the youth of our city. We aren’t aware that with a little effort we are contributing for these talents to be the professional future and pride in our country. This is how we feel rewarded when we see through time, the results of our work with youngsters which achieve fulfilling their dreams while we offer culture as we walk, delivering to our community, healthy and leisure time.
Women’s role in executive positions* Ing.Joyce de Ginatta President Federación Interamericana Empresarial Around 1960 it was said that women didn’t have the ability holding positions of first line. All this was obviously a myth, a product review of the culture of those days in which a woman was supposed to be home with her children, being a teacher and nothing else; when her high school diploma was considered enough to get a good husband to support her. In short, it was a stage in which the world processed the changes very slowly. Suddenly, in the seventies, with full knowledge of what we were doing, with innovative genes and unafraid to facing the changes, fighting sexism, what people could say trying to stop us and often mocking about us. In my case, at the beginning of the 70’s I took charge of a family business with difficult problems to be solved. So, it was life who gave me a challenge ahead. Coincidentally, the first negotiation to perform at such an early age was with Mr. Gilmore, General Manager of Citibank, with its head office at the time in Guayaquil. My visit and my negotiation were to get a credit line to allow me solving existing problems and expand the firm which marketed exclusively iron for construction. You must consider that construction material business was an activity until then, an inconceivable activity for women, to the point that when an airplane arrived I often wasn’t recognized thinking they would meet a man or a woman with male features, when it was just the opposite. So each time I touched a different spot of the globe, ten minutes later after I was found, they confessed why it had been difficult recognizing me. On one hand, this was a compliment; on the other hand, it confirmed the fallacy of those times believing that young women were unable handling business of the management line. Yes, because knowing or being involved in commodities sale you had to know precisely what, how and when to buy; how to sell and design the business at short, medium and long term. The beginning as a client of CITIBANK was a blessing because it helped me learning how to manage efficiently the company. ¡The borrowed money forced having accountability! Thus I learnt about finance and economy, both internally as externally, in order to locate myself in the context of what should be done. We were few but that’s the way we started. We didn’t like to show up in television, radio or written media. As all women, I loved to stay anonymous, however, within the economic and business circle, I usually stand out. Immediately I began having credibility, because the issue was not making a sale, but having customers for goods and services along the years.
Technology has changed, but the basic rule which drives a businessman to success or failures haven’t. Although today the world turns to another speed, the daily preparation, reading, studying, research, access to timely and accurate information, as well as the analysis of data for making decisions was equally important then. I always say that every woman holding an executive position needs to make the difference. We need to show that we know what it is, that we are always “before of” and not “behind of”; that things must be solved and do business at the speed of thought- as Bill Gates quotes- and that we have guts executing them. The fact of having the privilege of being a woman doesn’t imply that our achievements are obtained through gender considerations, but of efficiency, leadership, investigation and above all consistent planning to solving problems and see the alternatives of short, medium and long term. It was said or still is that old times were easier. I would say the opposite, because evolution and innovation have been part of success and as important as it was forty years ago until these days, having then the disadvantage of the lack of comfort and chances which current technology offers. Remember that in those times we had the telex, because fax didn’t exist and even more, we didn’t have personal computers or internet. That’s why the research work was heavier. In spite of these difficulties, leaders came up such as: Golda Meier, which was Prime Minister of Israel; Indira Gandhi from India, Margaret Thatcher from the United Kingdom; Angela Merkel, current Secretary of State and Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s former President, among others. All the ones who have entered in the various sectors of the global agenda have as common denominator: know how to carry out things, make the difference and get involved in society, because as Eloy Alfaro said in his message to the nation in 1895: “Men and women indifferent to the misfortunes of the nation, even though they are privately industrious, are the unaware assistants of the misery and corruption of people”. A woman in an executive position cannot close on its plot, not be isolated from civil society and the environment in which she lives. Her participation is important to: avoid trampling on private property and facilities; strengthen justice, because nowadays the legal certainty is a skeleton in the process of extinction; to prevent the divorce between the government, businessmen and workers, putting pressure over each country to have State Policies, accountability; to avoid an obese State; to demand a public-private cooperation, and precisely turn into active beings concerned about a country’s fate. Competitiveness isn’t for now, but for good; and that, is nothing else but a hurried and constant innovation that today more than ever, with globalization we are forced not only hurrying but to run
Here we aren’t talking about university degrees, and I would like stressing that when I started working, I didn’t had them, but I had the each day acquired knowledge; coupled with a personality that wasn’t afraid of changes. I don’t want to demerit university degrees, because I obtained mine while managing the company and took care of my family. Even a few years later I got a graduate degree outside of Ecuador. However, the university degrees don’t generate the necessary attitude a woman needs to confront the challenges that life puts in front of you every day. I forgot telling you why I chose CITIBANK and the reason was that I wasn’t used to asking favors but to demand a quota of credit based on professionalism, ability, budget projection and not looking for a bank which depended on the manager’s mood, in short, a professional and competent bank. Competitiveness isn’t a topic of XXI century neither taking an ISO certification, but constant learning, adaptation and desire of continuous improvement. An outdated and frightful woman, other than negotiator or visionary hasn’t got the profile for an executive position. As a friend, (owner of a head-hunter) told me, that he doesn’t recruit the unemployed, but men and women which remain impressively well in their current positions; he convinces them to leave their posts under better conditions and higher incomes. That is, not the ones seeking work, but those who are doing super well might and be tempted to a higher rank, challenge, etc. This century is the access of women, to first ranks of an institution or a country. Achieving all this is tough and the fact of being a woman doesn’t mean that our achievements are obtained through gender considerations, but because of efficiency, perseverance, efforts and goals with excellence. So, you need credibility, knowing what’s about to be able carrying it out, good communication and guts to execute. A woman isn’t chose because she’s a woman or a man because he’s a man, but because they are the best, and the best always knows what is about. *Lecture at an event organized by CITIBANK to celebrate its 50 years of being in Ecuador. (April 2010).
Ecuador’s Economy Reports Growth in terms of GDP, from 56% in the last three years During 2000-2006, the none-financial public sector spending related to the GDP average was the 25%. During 2007-2009, this spending reached the GDP average of 38.9%, this is, and it increased to 56%. Meanwhile, the average economy grew in the first period 4, 98% and the second one 3, 2%. The spending is unsustainable for such a weak economy. OPF The oil was consumed in public spending During 2000-2006 the average price of exported oil barrel was $ 30, 48 and during 2007-2009 $ 65, 13. Besides doubling the price, all oil funds were consumed, resources had forfeited the contract with OXY and participation of the State in extraordinary profits of oil companies due to higher oil prices. The entire oil boom was consumed in public spending. Today there isn’t such income; the spending is no longer tenable . OPF Reduce the deficit, and not to finance it. In 2007 the Central Bank’s deficit was $ 63, 8 million; in 2008 $ 613, 2 million; until November 2009 $ 1.772 million and the 2010 initial budget was approved with a red number of $ 3.022 million. In GDP terms, in these years the deficit increases from 0, 13% to 5. 6%. Sources have been depleted to finance the deficit, even if these exist, the high expenditure in the future might hold. Ecuador shouldn’t finance the deficit, but reduce it with more spending cuts and revenue. The expense must be compatible with the capacity of the economy to sustain it. OPF Municipalities are dependent on Government transfers According to the Central Bank’s information taken from SIGEF, in 2008 the Central Governments transfers to all the country’s Municipalities reached $ 1.377 million, 66% of total revenue. Tax revenue was $ 258 million, 12%. OPF Provincial Councils are more dependent on Government transfers According to Central Bank`s information taken from SIGEF, in 2008 the country’s Provincial Council’s transfers reached $ 671 million, 89% of total revenue. Tax revenue was $ 5.5 million, 0, 7%. OPF Central Bank Balances System continue to November 2008 In the Monthly Statistical Bulletin of Information No. 1897 to March 2010, the Central Bank presents the System Summary Exchange Balances, Financial Reserve, Operations and Other Operations, until November 2008. Official voices said they have been updated. OPF
World’s Economy Reports United States: Bernanke affirms that economy in USA will suffer severe damage if the deficit isn’t reduced The head of the FED urged the White House and the Congress to develop a plan to face up the country’s red numbers, that reached a maximum of $ 1, 4 billion in 2009. Cutting the deficit involves unpopular measures such as raising taxes or cut some government programs. “No credible projection suggests that the future growth rates are sufficient to reduce the deficit without significant changes in fiscal policy”, added the head of the FED. EFE Chile announced intention to issue bonds for $ 1.500 million Chile’s Secretary of the Treasury, Felipe Larrain, announced the intention to use this year international markets through the issuance of debt bonds to ten years in pesos and dollars. He highlighted that Chile returns to bonds market where they had been absent since 2004. Ministry of the Treasury Chile’s sovereign funds In December 2009 the Pension Reserve Fund (PRF) accumulated $ 3.421 million and the Fund for Economic and Social Stabilization $ 11.285 million. The investment of these two funds generated profits for $ 2.979 million. The funds perfected fiscal institutions which began in 2001 with the implementation of structural balance rule. This requires adapting the structural revenue expenditure. Thus, the level of public spending rule out cyclical fluctuations of economic activity, the price of copper and other factors that determine the strength of the government tax revenue. Ministry of the Treasury The cost of guarantee Greece’s and Portugal’s debt mark historical records. The cost of guarantee the Greek debt marked a new maximum when reaching 700.4 basis points, due to the uncertainty of the support mechanism, which lead to the Credit Default Swaps (CDS) to the highest level in history. The Portuguese debt default reached 305 basis points, representing an annual cost of 305.500 Euros to insure 10 million Euros. Europe Press EU and Central America try again to close a commercial agreement The EU and Central America had planned returning to the negotiating table in Brussels to try to close the commercial chapter, mainly focused to the market access. The agreement governs the relationship between the EU with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. AFP Germany will help Greece when all conditions are fulfilled It’s important that Greece recovers the confidence of markets and competitiveness, this requires the adjustments of the IMF plan, expressed German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who pointed out that the previous mentioned country would help Greece when given the conditions. AFP.