February 20, 2007


Chávez Threatens to Jail Price Control Violators (SIMON ROMERO, 2/17/07, NY Times)

[E]conomists who have worked with Mr. Chávez's government say that soaring public spending is overheating Venezuela's economy, generating imbalances in the distribution of products from sugar to basic construction materials like wallboard.

Public spending grew last year by more than 50 percent and has more than doubled since the start of 2004, as Mr. Chávez has channeled oil revenues into social programs and projects like bridges, highways, trains, subways, museums and, in a departure for a country where baseball reigns supreme, soccer stadiums.

Because baseball is the enemy of socialism and soccer its handmaiden.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2007 6:28 PM

A corollary: no country that worships baseball can be permanently communist.

Posted by: Tod Weinberg at February 20, 2007 8:49 PM

Makes sense: in baseball, the players determine the outcome; in soccer, the officials do.

Posted by: ras at February 20, 2007 10:03 PM

2 words -- CU-BA.

Virtually the only Latin American country besides Venezuela that's totalitarian -- and for quite some time now, and soccer's practically non-existant.

Allow me therefore to produce Jim in Chicago's law -- where baseball is the number # 1 sport in a Latin American country, totalitarianism is more likely.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 20, 2007 11:57 PM

Soccer stadiums do lend themselves to the socialist spectatcle of personality cult better than baseball. Chavez is just thinking ahead. If Castro had the money he would have done the same thing.

Posted by: at February 21, 2007 5:52 AM

Which is why all the good players came here.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2007 7:54 AM

The good players in every aspect in life come here (if they can).

Posted by: erp at February 21, 2007 8:17 AM