Sunday, July 30, 2017

What Does Singapore Know That We Don't?

Plenty. Let's take their transportation policy for example. Why have they been removing cars from their roads for three straight years? Btw, this has brought back the car pool there to levels not seen in 8 years. Well they are decreasing the number of cars because it is a very inefficient technology. A car is idle more than 90% of the time. So it's pretty unproductive. And it is costly in so many other ways: time wasted in traffic which could be put to better use, burning fuel, pollution, stress and so on. The so on has to include all the space it uses and the other dimensions of traffic that slow you down.

Now when you look at what is being done here it's hard not to conclude that our transportation policy is being crafted in a very amateurish manner. I was totally horrified to hear my friend Georges Chung – an excellent economics teacher at the HSC level but a rather lousy policy-maker – say that one of the assumptions in the transportation planning involving the Metro Express is that the number of cars would be increasing by 5% every year. He obviously hasn't had a good look at the data – he's not the only one for sure – and apprehended the consequences. And it's not the first time. Indeed he has been a huge advocate of 'competitive depreciation' for many many years even suggesting that it is painless. The relevant data seem to tell an entirely different story.

Nando Bodha appears quite overwhelmed too. He scrapped the point system a couple of years ago. Quite a sloppy decision. He's currently spending billions to decongest the road network. Enlisting the help of the Korean Expressway Corporation is not a proof of mindfulness. They couldn't care less to help you saddle yourself with a prehistoric technology as long as they get paid. One that requires the transformation of our sacred Champ de Mars into a dinosaur park. That too after the obliteration of La School.

We're far better off with a bus rapid system (BRT) and freezing duty-free privileges for a couple of years. It's time for Lepep to hit the pause button. And organise a referendum.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sindikalis Pare Pu Zet Guvernman Si Banla Pa Aret Badine

CTSP pe diman guvernman donn bann dat kan lalwa travay retrograd pu amande sinon zot pu kumans enn kanpayn nasyonal pu Lepep pa eli prosin eleksyon. An dot mo zot pe anvi ki guvernman respekte so bann promes elektoral kuma inplemantasyon saler minimum ek organiz enn referandum lor Metro Express ek kolonizasyon CWA. Zot panvi Ramgoolam revini nonpli. Pa kav donn zot tor etan done ki Ramgoolam, Berenger, Jugnauth, Duval ek Collendavelloo pratik enn politik ekonomin neoliberal e antipatriotik ki pe kontinye mari kul Moris.

Inn ler pu avoy zot dan karo kann pu de bon.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Referendum Legislation Could Save Lepep From Electoral Mayhem

Beyond satisfying an electoral pledge it would provide it with important feedback on pressing national issues and opportunities to course correct. For example there is a very wide consensus in our country that we don't need the Metro Express just like saddling the CWA with a management contract is an act of zero governance. While it's true that Government can reverse immediately these two crazy decisions without organising a referendum there are other matters of utmost national interest that it would not want to lump together with a general election. These include electoral reform and the full legalisation of abortion.

Lepep has nothing to lose and everything to gain from deepening our democracy with such a legislation. It knows how smart voters are in seeing through all kinds of wicked schemes. Like the one that was put in front of them in December 2014. And of course a referendum organised before the next by-election would steal a lot of the latter's thunder plus allow Mauritius to strike something off her bucket list.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

At What Age Are Mauritians Dying These Days?

This is different from life expectancy which looks at how long a baby born in a year might expect to live on average. Which by the way was 77.69 years for women and 70.59 years for men back in 2012. So baby girls born 5 years ago should expect to watch 7 EPL seasons more than their male counterparts. And eat an extra 2,592 meals assuming they have their last kari pwason ek farata a few minutes before leaving. The numbers for Rodrigues are better: 78.47 years for women and 73.27 for men. That is baby girls in Rodrigues were expected to live an extra 9 months and baby boys 2.68 years more. The urit will definitely not be leaping for joy. The overall number for our Republic in 2015 was 74.6 years or 9.1 years less than world-beating Japan.

It hasn't always been like that. At least for women. Indeed female life expectancy for the island of Mauritius has been up to two-and-a-half years more than those for our sister island. This was true in 1983. The situation had reversed by 1992 and since 1998 women on the two islands were expected to live within one-and-half years of each other. Life expectancy for men in Rodrigues has been higher by at least two years between 2006 and 2012 even hitting a max of 3 years in 2009. Mauritian men could probably catch up by running at least 5 minutes every day. A Bus Rapid Transit system should make that a lot easier.

To answer the question in the title I looked at the age of the people who passed away in the last three days. The average for the 130 of our citizens who just departed is 68.06 years. The standard deviation is 15.22 years.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Why are Thousands Taking to the Streets in Hamburg?

Because they're worried about the climate and inequality. And why are people doing the same thing in Brazil? They are sick of seeing several corrupt politicians pocketing giant kickbacks while asking them to make sacrifices and swallow more austerity measures. Like pushing back the retirement age and putting a ceiling on pension benefits.

Not very different from what happened in North Africa less than a decade ago. In Mauritius too trickle-down economics has broken the economy and inequality has reached levels never seen before. This is simply not sustainable.

Friday, July 7, 2017

La School is Latest Victim of Flat Tax

In two ways. As a country trickle-down economics has made us seriously short of cash. The other is that the focus has changed. Culture, beaches and national priorities have taken a backseat to a concrete invasion.

We've become retarded in way too many fields. At a time when the pace at which the World is getting smarter is increasing.