Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Oxfam Warns Unjust Society Not Sustainable

The recently published report has a number of interesting stats including:
  1. 1% of the world's richest are wealthier than the remaining 99%
  2. 8 men are as rich as the planet's 50% poorest
  3. income growth for the bottom 50% has been zero over the last three decades while the top 1% have enjoyed a corresponding increase of 300%
  4. it takes 10 years for the poorest person in Vietnam to earn what the richest person there makes in a day
The report also highlights how politics may be highjacked so that rules are written in favour of the 1%. I guess a bit like the Sithanen flat tax which has caused 22,000 Mauritians to be thrown into poverty over the first five years of Shaitanomics while incomes for the bottom 10% have risen five times slower than the corresponding income for the top 10%. There's also a trillion-rupee GDP shortfall and the very dumb policy of 'competitive depreciation' which has quickly dumped us into a recession -- in USD terms -- a mere three months after the December 2014 polls.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Voters Pick Unsuccessful Candidates Wisely

These are the eight unsuccessful candidates in the 1982 elections that got the highest vote shares in their constituencies. They would have no doubt been a much better opposition than the one we got. Picking additional candidates like this will make sure we have an opposition of minimum size when we need it the most and dovetails nicely with a common sense return to 40+2 single member constituencies. This would also satisfy the UNHRC ruling in a thoughtful way without compromising any of the incredible advantages of our FPTP system. While avoiding the PR-related mess we witnessed in Rodrigues.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

iPhone is 10

It's 9h41am in San Francisco on January 9, 2007 when Steve Jobs starts introducing the product that will change everything. Mike Lazardis, co-CEO of BlackBerry, is puzzled for a few months until he opens one and stares at its guts. And doesn't find anything that makes him happy: he understands that he might now have to compete against a Mac. Microsoft derides the touchphone in public. But Gates would eventually use one.

Blackberry would still go on to more than double its market share to 20% over the following couple of years. By which time the iPhone would have seized 17% of the global market. And help Apple become the most valuable company in the world.

More than a billion iPhones have been sold so far. A little bit more than the 10 million that Jobs had expected to sell by the end of 2008.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Mauritius in 2017

Thousands will again be denied a place in a secondary school because of a badly designed learning experience. Our roads will kill another 140. Eight or nine amputations will be performed every week or about 400 for the full year. Mauritius will shutdown around Saint Valentine as soon as we get some heavy rainfall. The CWA will announce harsher cuts right after. We will send a team to the IMO for the first time and get ready to participate in PISA 2018.

Roughly 1,000 people will be thrown into poverty. Every three months. Thanks to the trickle-down economics which has been going on for a decade now. The flat tax trap will cause the GDP shortfall to reach a trillion rupees about half of which would have happened on Lepep's watch. This will make government increasingly unpopular. Voters will keep on getting smarter. And that will be bad news for our political class. The water supply will improve as Bagatelle dam comes into operation in the second half of the year. Potential tragedy of a horrific number of fatalities during Porlwi by Light.

Quite a few of the bad events don't need to happen or can be mitigated. Like how does Mahebourg by Light sound? We could also avoid several road deaths if Lepep recognises that it might have acted in haste and brings an improved point system back.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Amri Was Known To German Authorities

Which is prompting some to wonder if this is not a failure to connect the dots. Mr. Amri was the middle-east refugee who drove a truck into a Berlin crowd killing 12 and injuring over 50. Parallels have been drawn with the Nice attack which happened six months earlier when another driver slammed a heavy truck into a large crowd causing 86 to lose their lives and almost 450 injuries.

Merkel is under heavy pressure after welcoming a million refugees last year. The options that Germany is looking at includes deporting high-risk individuals back to their home countries. Federal elections are due between August and October 2017. And the Chancellor will be seeking a fourth term.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Rise and Rise of Shraddha Kapoor

Quite impressive how much she has grown as a performer and an actress in just one year. Here she is on stage in 2016 while two of the three stars of Piku enjoy the moves. ABCD 2 was produced by ace choregrapher Remo D'Souza and also starred Prabhu Deva who needs no introduction. Which might explain some of her rapid progress. But there is a lot more going on here. Ms. Kapoor played in Rock On 2 and may soon be sharing the screen with none other than Hrithik Roshan. In the meantime we're going to see her in OK Jannu while she appeared in the action flick Baaghi earlier this year. The other thing that you want to know is that her maternal grandfather is cousin to one Lata Mangeshkar. And Asha Bhosle.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Meet Lucien Jeunesse

He was the animator of a popular daily radio show called Le Jeu des Mille Francs in the 1970s. I think it started like at 8pm. Our grandmother asked us to stay absolutely quiet while Mr. Jeunesse was on the air as she followed the program religiously. And probably used it to test her vast knowledge. She was addicted to her radio which was the iPhone in those days. Knew all the schedules by heart. Hindu religious prayers in the morning, samachar, French bulletin, page de la Bible, news in English, programme des malades, music programs and what not.

Never knew what the familiar voice looked like. Until today.

SAJ Government May Not Collapse If ML Leaves

Here's a recap of the arithmetic. Lepep wins the General Elections 47-13. They get 4 of the seven additional seats attributed. That brings their total to 51. Add the two MPs of Rodrigues who have traditionally sided with the party who has a majority in Mauritius. Subtract Danielle Selvon who left the Sun Trust about a year ago. And the 11 MPs of the PMSD. New total 41-28. ML has 7 representatives so if they leave the MSM would have 34 MPs while the opposition 35. Except that Marie-Claire Monty looks like she's going to stay in Government and the Mouvement Patriotique have already said they are ready to join Lepep. Which would bring us to 37-32. There may be a few defections at the MSM but there are a few MPs that are floating around in the ML and elsewhere that SAJ could tap into.

It wouldn't be the first time one of our governments managed Mauritius with a paper-thin majority. Trust you're enjoying one of the big advantages of our excellent FPTP system: partners of an alliance may leave but we'd still not have to go to the polls. At least not immediately.