Eyes on Guatemala

The Economist has published an article on malnutrition in Guatemala. Hunger is not new in the country, with half of the children population not eating enough Guatemala is the six-worst country in the world, but in some Maya communities children chronic malnutrition can reach 75% (the Economist says 80%). These figures are astonishing, especially because the problem is not food scarcity.

But this as well is hardly new. It was 1981 when Amartya Sen published his Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation demonstrating that hunger is mostly caused by inequality rather than scarcity. There is no lack of food in Guatemala if you have the money to buy it. In Guatemala City is taking place, as we speak, the 14th Festival Gastronómico Internacional so it seems difficult to talk about a famine or about an emergency (according to the Longman Dictionary an emergency is “an unexpected and dangerous situation that must be dealt with immediately”). The problem is the lack of a functioning state. Because a state cannot function with tax revenues estimated at just 10% of GDP.

Democracy is highly unrepresentative in Guatemala. Who should push for a better redistribution of resources has no voice. National newspapers point constantly the finger at the government (presidency, parliament, judiciary) in a impressive campaign of delegitimation. The Rosenberg tape was just part of it. I’m not defending the government, but saying that criticising it and attempting to systematically destroy its credibility are not quite the same thing. While the headlines cover crime, corruption and hunger the real battle within the country is on the tax reform. A battle that so far every government has badly lost.

Friday, 28 August 2009

tweets


Twitter: frbailo

links


blogroll


RSS r-bloggers.com

  • RDCOMClient : A Simple Libor IRS Pricing with OIS Discounting
    This post shows a simple example which uses the RDCOMClient R package. As an example, A Libor IRS pricing with OIS discounting is presented with the help of a VBA macro code from Mikael Katajamäki's source with proper citation (this should be always... Continue reading: RDCOMClient : A Simple Libor IRS Pricing with OIS Discounting
  • parallel grid search cross-validation using `crossvalidation`
    parallel grid search cross-validation using `crossvalidation`. Continue reading: parallel grid search cross-validation using `crossvalidation`
  • Working with tree-based hierarchies using data.tree
    Lately I tried to visualize an hierarchy with Tableau Desktop. The problem was that the hierarchy had a variable depth because it was tree-based. Each row had an id and a parent_id. Normally hierarchies in Tableau are defined by pulling some fields together, such as product category, product group ... Continue reading: Working with tree-based […]
  • How to Calculate Mean Absolute Error in R
    Mean Absolute Error in R, when we do modeling always need to measure the accuracy of the model fit. The mean absolute error (MAE)... The post How to Calculate Mean Absolute Error in R appeared first on finnstats. Continue reading: How to Calculate Mean Absolute Error in R
  • Is it worth the weight?
    Intro Oh man, I did it again. Grab a coffee, this is going to be a long one. Weights got me confused. The justification for using weights seems simple enough; if you’re working with a sample in which one (or more) strata are over(under)-represented, you should compute ... Continue reading: Is it worth the weight?

RSS Simply Statistics

  • Streamline - tidy data as a service
    Tldr: We started a company called Streamline Data Science https://streamlinedatascience.io/ that offers tidy data as a service. We are looking for customers, partnerships and employees as we scale up after closing our funding round! Most of my career, I have worked in the muck of data cleaning. In the world of genomics, a lot of […]
  • The Four Jobs of the Data Scientist
    In 2019 I wrote a post about The Tentpoles of Data Science that tried to distill the key skills of the data scientist. In the post I wrote: When I ask myself the question “What is data science?” I tend to think of the following five components. Data science is (1) the application of design […]
  • Palantir Shows Its Cards
    File this under long-term followup, but just about four years ago I wrote about Palantir, the previously secretive but now soon to be public data science company, and how its valuation was a commentary on the value of data science more generally. Well, just recently Palantir filed to go public and therefore submitted a registration […]

RSS Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science