Crazy Political Shenanigans And "Just Make Stuff Up" Stats and Numbers On Poverty in Panama
Friday, June 01 2012 @ 12:47 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
There Are Radicals Out There: Every once in awhile I see something that's so "over the top wrong" it makes me cringe. This morning Ursula Kiener Ford posted on her Facebook page: "Sabías que la situación es tan delicada que en Panamá hay más de 400 mil panameños que se acuestan con hambre y que sobreviven con $1 al día, y de ese dólar utilizan 80 centésimos para su alimentación. (Did you know the situation is so delicate that in Panama there are more than 400,000 Panamanians who go to bed hungry and who survive on $1 a day, and of that 80 cents is used for food.) First of all, the statement is simply flat-out false. Of course there is poverty in Panama, however levels of poverty have been dropping steadily in recent years, starting under the administration of Martin Torrijos, and the trend has continued under the administration of Ricardo Martinelli, as Panama's economy continues to grow. But there's no way in hell there are 400,000 Panamanians out there who are living on just $1 dollar per day - or a grand total of just $365 dollars per year. I suspect the author simply made those numbers up - pulled them out of thin air - because she's trying to cause political harm to the CD and Martinelli. Or maybe she's quoting from some other source she saw somewhere else, and if that's the case I would love to know what it is. Maybe she's right and I'm just uninformed - wouldn't be the first time. But whatever, it is what it is, and only she knows why she would say something like this. My observation is it would be foolish to try to attack Martinelli and the CD on the economics - because the math and numbers are generally great - so that would be a losing strategy. I'm just pointing out some serious bias, likely to become even more prevalent as the election cycle gets under way in Panama.
Update: Ursula Responds: I received the following this afternoon: "Seriously what is your problem with me. You have hated me since I met you and because I was (your friend's) competition. I don't even sell insurance very often and (your friend) likes me. I don't make up numbers and la Prensa does not publish stuff without verifying if you want to keep on kissing Martinellis ass go ahead. What I am promoting is a stronger agro system and to protect our own farmers and for people to start growing their own food. You with your gringo salary can afford to live in Panama but Panamanians can't anymore. Read the newspapers and see that stats about poverty and people not being able to afford food they come out every day."
To Which I Responded: "First of all, I don't "hate" you. I really don't care one way or the other. If you didn't make up the numbers, what was your source? Where did you get the "400,000 people on a dollar a day" number from? Please, enlighten me. I'm not kissing anyone's ass, I'm just checking facts. Pretty simple, really." Let's see if she gets back to be with a source. In fact, she might have quoted something or someone else. I'm simply trying to fact check the "400,000 people on $1 a day" number, which simply sounds ludicrous to me on the surface. But like I said, I'm keeping an open mind, and maybe I'm wrong. Let's see...
Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.