Friday, September 12, 2008

A few important thoughts

OIL: Well Barrow is now in the crapper. His entire national budget is predicated on oil revenues gotten from royalties on oil at $90 per barrel and above. Today oil is at $90 and still dropping and BNE doesn't have to pay those fees. BNE saw the writing on the wall (those tankers lined up with no buyers) when oil was at $135 and did a quick agreement before the fall. Now the Belize Government is left looking like a fool. That is what happens when we put unqualified people in positions to make decisions for all of us! Now where are we going to get money to pay the national debt, education etc? This could get interesting...I see a rise in GST coming! And I bet Dean O is not sleeping well tonight.

Hurricane Lesson: With Ike hitting The US, we can take note of a lesson for our future use. The areas of Houston that never lost power had underground cables. Why don't we do this in Belize City . With underground cables, even if a cat 5 hits us, the cables are protected. All BEL would need to do would be to replace the transmission lines. This would be a far quicker and cheaper way to put Belize City back on its feet. I mentioned this to Lynn Young and he told me "it is too expensive". Fine, is that the only excuse? Well then this is easy problem.  We finance it publicly, one street per month, and while we are at it fix the street too street at a time. Eventually all would be done. And don't forget to include telephone and cable too. I don't know about you, but I would gladly authorize my tax dollars be spent on this. It is more expensive up front, but better 20 years from now. Again, good leadership with real vision would be great here.

Mercy Care: I don't want this to pass off into the night without saying a word. Mercy Care which has provided a once a day meal and free healthcare to those who really need it in the city is in such financial difficulty that they are shedding staff, shutting down the medical arm and will probably have to close all together unless someone comes to the rescue. Mercy Int'l has pulled its funding due to their own problem, GOB cannot support anymore, and donations locally have dried up. It will be sad to see them go, and we hope a miracle can be pulled off. I for one do not know what those who really need the place (not the medicine freeloaders) will do. Guess it will just be more beggars on the streets. 

Now for my educational tip of the week: It is incorrect to put two spaces after a end of sentence. This is a carry over from the old typewriter days. Current Computer programs like MS word actually put in 1.5 spaces when you use the space bar after a period, semicolon etc. So when you press the spacebar twice, you are actually getting 3 spaces.  Read your program manuals folks. It is in there! And please for god's sake stop pressing the bar twice! It is irritating. 

Incidentally, I have a few posters IM about my screen names. Yes, I post other articles elsewhere too. So here is the explanation:

Trazidex: A $100 (+GST) eye medication to help you clear optical infections. Obviously a metaphor for the blog opening all our eyes.

T.S.H.T.F. Militia: I am a member of a loose group of radicals known as the when The Shit Hits The Fan Militia. Membership is very tightly controlled :^) but has its privileges. One other blog poster on this site is a member. Can you figure out who it is?


Anonymous said...

In the matter of underground cables, you do realize that Belize is just barely at sea level with many low laying areas in and around the city? Besides the fact no one has ever bothered commissioning a full and proper drainage system (which might very well aid in maintaining the roads), in the event of a hurricane I don't know how effective that idea would be given out almost certain flooding. Who knows, I may be ignorant of engineering methods that could be used, but if we look at the bigger picture...
We're a country of about 300,000 people. We are TINY. Also, like it or not our government (regardless of it's current ruling parties, because they both seem to do the same damage) has many other financial issues on their plate, so much so, that if we do manage to spare a few dollars here and there I think it would be much more in our interests to work on eliminating poverty, promoting higher education, and start some sort of preliminary steps to clean up our streets from crime.
It's a great idea, yes. But again, for a country so small, we can live without power for a while. So long as the hospitals and other emergency stations are supplied, I have faith our Belizean people aren't so spoilt they can't make it a few (weeks...?) without power.

Democrates said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Democrates said...

I completely agree. With an abundance of social and economic problems, would we want the government to invest in a multimillion dollar project (money that the government doesn't have to begin with) that would be more of a luxury than a necessity relatively speaking?

Trazidex said...

I think Anonymous and Democrates have missed my is not that much more expensive (20-25%), requires almost no maintenance after the fact as it is not exposed to the elements and would definitely improve the look of belize city (tidy up all the cables).

As for sea level....if it can be done in pats of Placencia and San Pedro, the City should not be an issue...the pipes are sealed and need we forget that the cables are fact they are running power cables under the water to the developments west of San Pedro right now.

Vision costs money...I prefer to use my tax money this way than wasting it on buying land for Gang members.

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ, but you're wrong. I do have engineering background, and underground cables cost WAY more than 20 to 25% more. I wish it were 20 to 25% more.

We have a LOT and I mean a LOT of potential capital projects in Belize. All we can do is pick one a year and prioritize. Like Anon said, we're a small nation, and not enough money is flowing thru the right hands to bring our infrastructure up to speed.

Trazidex said...

Anonymous..I will defer to your engineering "background"...BUT.... should just settle for lower standards because it costs money?

I would have rather have them spend $30 million doing 10-12 streets worth of underground cables and hot mix paving than what they did with it instead....throw it a UHS.

The few billion that our government has pissed away could have redone this country's infrastructure a few times over.

At least we would have been in debt and had something to show for it...all we have for our current debt is a bunch of promissory notes and legal bills.

Anonymous said...

For someone who focuses so much on politics when blogging, you sure do forget what your own words when commenting.

Our debt is political. It's from a failed economic plan that even a child in high school could have seen would fail. It's from exchanging public entities into private hands that did not and do not benefit the common Belize man and woman.

I'm not saying that we should settle for sub-standard infrastructure, I'm just saying that the pace at which we are able to upgrade is far slower than any of us would want.

Trazidex said...

"Focus so much on politics"?...2/3rds of my blog was not even remotely political. In fact most of blogs only touch on politics....with the focus more on the people...e.g garbage.

As for debt being "political"..well good infrastructure would surely make the political climate better for the politicians.

Case in point...part of Belize City was out / is still out of power this morning because BEL is changing rotten poles.....would this happen with underground?

Another example...I visited a small city (much of it at sea level) in southern Taiwan some years ago....entire town is underground cabled....with high sea walls.....this place takes Super typhoons yearly with hardly a blip on pace of daily life...

Me done taak :^)

Anonymous said...

"Vision costs money...I prefer to use my tax money this way than wasting it on buying land for Gang members."

So you'd just rather the country give up on it's people because it failed so many times before? We just shouldn't bother anymore?
I made the first post, but I didn't intend for this to put anyone on the defensive. I just felt like it was worth it to point out/remind people (as appealing as an idea like underground cables sounds), that should anyone who reads this ever find themselves in a position of power, of influence, they would stop a moment in this game of comparing ourselves, and basically losing hold of what we are as a Country (which is think is in dire need of a reevaluation), and realize that before we can get to such ascetic advancements, there are some very important things we are overlooking.
The people, it should always be about the people. And not just the well off ones, but the ones who are stuck in a perpetual cycle of misfortune.
I agree with you when you said we shouldn't settle for lower standards just because it costs money, but I think you're missing steps 1,2, and 3.
We need to give a little before we can get. We need to not be selfish and self centered... greedy like the governments that have represented us before.

We can change things... if we TRY, if we don't lose hope, if we encourage people in a POSITIVE way.

I'm not a fan of ANY political party, but sometimes... We also have to give credit where it's due. If we don't motivate whichever government, or set standards for them... if we always bash them... they lose ambition and fall into that, "I don't give a damn, I'm scamming all the money I can from this" attitude.
I think our country has a lot of potential, resources and even strong minds. Again, this isn’t meant to put you down, but I hope deep down you think about it.

-Anonymous (#1)

Democrates said...

Question: Is Barrow still 'in the crapper now'?Unsurprisingly, with the recent financial crisis in America, the price of crude oil is on the rise and surged as high as $130 a barrel today before settling at $120.92. Of course, a lower price for the windfall tax would be better for our economy, but this just goes to show you how volatile the global economy is - so volatile that to call the government 'a fool' sounds, well, foolish.

Trazidex said...

Emmm...Yes he is.....oil is now DOWN $13 today (as of 9am) and falling.

As an armchair economist...I can tell you that the big gain yesterday was strictly people fleeing to commodities because the dollar was weakening.

Doesn't change the fundamentals that there an oversupply of Crude. There are photos of tankers lined up in the gulf with no buyers.

Democrates said...

Similarly, as someone who has read the 'Armchair Economist' (by Steve Landsburg), you should know that volatility and price fluctuations are a standard characteristic of the oil market. AND no one ever bases an argument on a stock at 9 AM when the exchange closes at 4:00pm. At midday yesterday it was at 150, and finished off at 130, a $20 drop.

Secondly, it is obvious that the price of oil, barring extenuating circumstances, should hover around $90 because of the U.S. crisis.

And you also mentioned that there is an oversupply of oil. Really? Is that why Atlanta has been complaining for the past 5 days that they have no gas? See Below:

Trazidex said...

My friend..!...Atlanta is complaining they have no gas because of a REFINING shortage due to the hurricanes.

If you read my comment closely I said there was not a shortage of CRUDE.

There is a shortage of gasoline etc in some parts of the US. because There is a pipeline that runs from the houston area basically up the Appalachian trial..if Houston and LA are not refining then no gas in the pipeline.

Democrates said...

Granted. But it doesn't excuse your failed logic. How can there be an oversupply of crude when the price is over $100? Keep in mind that when the market was stable it used to be anywhere between $60 and $80. So there is obviously market factors that come into play ASIDE from oversupply! Why would OPEC or any other oil producer flood the market with a supply so that prices could come down?

But it is asinine to argue over this moot point. Let's keep the argument domestic.

The Voice said...

I don't know anything about economics, but I do know something about Belize's standard of living at the domestic level.

The high prices of gas di kill. BNE no di give we enough money. And people freaking need a break at the gas point, with the butane companies, and every other industry and commercial venue and uses refinants of "black gold"