Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rezistans Should Ponder Over Alternatives

For sure we have to be quite grateful to that small group of people who have shown a formidable amount of persistence to try to eliminate the best-loser system from our electoral traditions. But the problem is that they haven't proposed any serious alternatives so far or what they have proposed doesn't have a strong basis. Let us consider three arguments made by Ashok Subron, the movement's strongman:
  1. The current set-up is not good because it doesn't allow new parties to emerge. Really? What about the MMM in the 1970s then? Was it beamed into the political arena by Scotty? Besides Mauritian voters have demonstrated that they know how to send sophisticated signals.
  2. He wants all political strands to be represented in parliament. What is a political strand for Karl's sake? If I dress up as Elvis do I become a political strand? Or rather a political strand however extraordinary it may be needs to be validated by voters?
  3. Our constitution has institutionalised communalism. He seems to forget that it's the same excellent constitution that has seen us move from a left-for-dead country into one which has provided upward social mobility to many many thousands of our citizens. And will see us flying even higher as soon as the tax structure catches up with monetary policy. Let us imagine for just one moment that the BLS is gone so that nothing stands in the way of the face of R&A to run as PM. What is your plan for Mauritius Mr. Subron?
Matters get more comical because Subron is also in a big hurry. Wrong place to be in a rush. Besides the PM's white paper is due soon.

Why Government Securities Are The Safest

Because of two things it can do that private corporations cannot. The first one is to collect taxes and the second one is to print money. So that if a big payment is due the state can always raise income or corporate taxes or have its adviser -- the Bank of Mauritius -- order a container of the good stuff from Thomas de La Rue. But you don't want to play with these levers for day to day matters. Or to compensate for dumb policies. Nope. You want to design policies that are at least sustainable if not thoughtful.

Still these two trump cards puts government in a very strong position to undertake the biggest projects. Which is why, for example, it used to produce all of our electricity through one of its manifestations.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Audit Report for FY 2012 Now Available

Here. Glanced at it quickly. It is saying that debt servicing has increased dramatically. Which is something we've highlighted before. But boy is this a report that's not the easiest to read.

Your comments?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bus Conductor Sues CNT For Rs15 Million

Ram Bundhoo says that he and his colleague driver, Ganesh Deepchand, who was among the 10 who lost their lives in the Blue Line bus 4263 AG 2007 on Friday May 3 -- the death toll now stands at 11 -- had repeatedly reported mechanical problems with that particular bus.

Ashwin Dookun gave an interview as Chairman of the CNT on Sunday where he recommended that Anil Bachoo take his retirement. He was sacked the next day.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How High Should Top Tax Rates Be?

Probably not lower than 25%. See tax rates were as high as 60% when Uncle Nadess was Minister of Finance because we were just emerging from under colonial rule and the country had to be built. From the ground up. And pressing problems solved while diversifying a basket case economy. Treading intelligently, Vishnu was then able to lower taxes by almost 50% because the Labour Party had made the economy a lot more resilient and international conditions were a lot better. 

Rama then committed political hara-kiri by irresponsibly reducing them by another 50% and making an incredible number of dumb moves. This has created a multi-giga rupee toohrooh and a string of problems that, unsurprisingly, has stalled the economy.

Xavier has little choice but to quickly increase top tax rates back to at least 25% to avert soon having to increase them a lot more. Like what the French did recently. He might not though because flirting with brutal political extinction may be quite addictive.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Murray Bags 2 More Sets To Make Tennis History

2 more sets compared to the one he snatched from Roger last year. And yes, it's been an amazing 77 years since a British player won the most famous lawn tennis tournament in the world. It seemed that almost no one attending the event was there the last time it happened. Save the couple of the grannies that looked as young as Jeanne Calment.

Andy had many amazing shots against Novak who didn't look his best. How could he? He played del Potro in the semis and boy was this a draining fight. Just like Rafa who didn't even win a match in Wimbledon after laboriously beating Novak at Roland-Garros.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Book Steve Jobs Read Once A Year

After having discovered it before his first trip to India as a teenager. As reported by Walter Issacson in the amazing iBio it was also the only book he had downloaded on his iPad 2. Now, surely it must be a very special book for someone like Steve to have found time every year to read. So I checked out the over-500-pages book and ordered it twelve months ago. 

I read a few pages now and then because there are plenty of interesting stuff in there -- the unforgiving schedule didn't help either -- and because I didn't want to miss anything. An extraordinary book indeed. One that easily deserves at least another even slower read.