25 thoughts on “Anecdote”

  1. #Venezuela.

    I wish this anecdote were proof that life in the US is good. But it’s only proof that in Venezuela, people are starving and being murdered.

  2. I wish this anecdote were proof that life in the US is good.

    It is a small indication of a larger truth. Add this anecdote with the fact that many other people came here to build better lives. For most (who came here the right way legally) it did turn out better. They wouldn’t continue to keep coming here if that wasn’t the case.

  3. @ Pj – my sons from Romania would assure you that life in the US is good. If you think that it isn’t, I ask what places you think are good?

    Be careful if you suggest Scandinavia. People here know a thing or two about myth versus reality.

  4. Another anecdote, since we are relating them.

    My best friend in medical school, 55 years ago, was Ed Sanchez whose mother never learned English. His father had a wrought iron business in east LA. Ed was one of 10 siblings. His oldest brother had been killed in an industrial accident. His other 8 siblings all had graduate degrees.

    Ed was the child of the first wave of Mexican immigration back in the 1940s. My wife taught elementary school in east LA when I was in medical school.

    Her students were mostly the children of Mexican immigrants. She learned early in her teaching career, that she should never criticize a student’s effort at parents’ night as the child would come to school the next day with black and blue bruises.

    Those parents, who often had the children translate in medical clinic, were determined that their children would learn and assimilate.

    Ed’s wife was the daughter of a partner in Price Waterhouse. who did not approve of Ed. He had met Beverly at Stanford where he was on scholarship and worked as a lab tech at night to supplement his income. My wife and Ed and Beverly were almost the only married medical students at the time. They had three kids. One became a surgeon and practiced with her father. Ed had gone to medical school on a scholarship from Francisco Bravo who was a surgeon who established a clinic, called The Bravo Clinic, in Los Angeles. There is a high school named for him.

    He had established scholarships for kids who agreed to practice in communities with 25% Spanish surnames. Ed practice in Chula Vista, CA.

    One son became a lawyer, the other a social worker and his daughter a surgeon.

    Ed was the class president but was unable to attend the 50th reunion in 2016 due to poor health.

  5. It is rather ironic that those who want to let everyone into the US are also those who have the most jaundiced view of the US.

    Mike K, there was a substantial flow of Mexicans into the US fleeing the upheavals of the Mexican Revolution in the 1920s.

  6. Venezuela is falling apart. There was an article in a recent WSJ on fishermen who have turned to piracy. It used to be the richest country in Latin America.

  7. there was a substantial flow of Mexicans into the US fleeing the upheavals of the Mexican Revolution in the 1920s.

    The early flows of Mexican immigrants were still peasants but better educated and more interested in assimilation. I knew middle class Mexican families who sent their children. especially daughters, to American boarding schools. One of my friends in high school was from Yucatan and attended the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. Ed’s parents had probably come in the 1930s.

    What we are seeing recently, even before the Central American flood, were peasants from Oaxaca who do not even speak Spanish, let alone English. I had a job for ten years reviewing workers comp claims in California. It wasn’t full time, as I was also teaching but I spent a lot of time reviewing claims and talking too workers comp providers who were almost all Physician Assistants. The claims were about 1/3 from Hispanics and most were illegal. Most claimed “Second grade education” in Mexico and were largely illiterate. A sailing friend was an investigator for the largest state WC insurance carrier. He told me that many employers used these men in dangerous occupations, like roofers, and ignored safety equipment.

    He wanted to go after these employers but they were never prosecuted. Just as E-Verify was purposely structured to be ineffective, nobody seems interested in enforcing immigration law.

  8. You have purposely broken Venezuela over the last while. The opposition is in America’s pocket, and what is in progress is another American regime change operation. That has gone so well in Libya, Syria etc that your leaders think its a good idea in Venezuela.

    This will not end well for anyone.

  9. I’d say the Venezuelans have done a good job of breaking Venezuela on their own. Nonetheless one can’t blame ordinary individuals and the ones I meet seem focused on working hard and establishing themselves here. The guy who runs the appliance company was a lawyer in Venezuela. Neither he nor his delivery guy speaks English so they do what they can. It’s the classic immigrant pattern.

  10. PenGun is getting pretty tiresome, repeating the same old, old lies:
    Lenin and his gang didn’t break the Soviet Union, Amerikkka did.
    Mao and his gangsters didn’t break China, the evil Kapitalists did.
    Kim il-Sung and his descendents didn’t break North Korea…
    Castro didn’t break Cuba…
    Pol Pot didn’t break Cambodia…
    Various asshats didn’t break various African nations…
    And so on forever…
    Not only does PenGun prove himself/herself to be a lying fool, it also proves itself to be, in spite of any occasional claims to moderation, a defender of Communist tyranny, grand theft and mass murder.

  11. Wow! Ah well. I have posted very little for quite a while, what brought this on?

    Of course the Venezuelans are terrible money managers. Being steadily opposed by all the forces both in and out of the country does not help at all though.

    You have been undermining Maduro for a long time and have supported the opposition quite openly. Bow you declare a member of the government to be president. This is Gilbert and Sullivan stuff. ;)

    Mostly I just try to not laugh too openly at the orange buffoon dismantling your country for me. He can do no wrong it seems, to achieve my purpose. ;)

  12. And again PenGun posts as Anonymous for some strange reason.

    “Venezuelans are terrible money managers” is a pathetic excuse for Communist failure, an excuse that PenGun can make only by ignoring the many decades of economic prosperity which only took a nosedive by coincidence when the commies took power.

    What’s more, Chavez and Maduro have been pretty good money managers by the proper yardstick of commie achievement: Although ordinary citizens are now very poor, they and their families are billionaires.

  13. Wow again. You are a serious player. Many of us forget and Jonathan won’t fix it, so anonymous posts will continue.

    I was actually acknowledging Jonathan’s point, but OK.

    No. They did a terrible job in fact. Only the American elite has succeed in shaping society to their liking. Its hard not to laugh, it really is.

  14. Caracas used to be a gem of Latin America. Venezuelan crude was among the best in the world. Hugo Chavez looted his petroleum, trading the future for the present, and now it is in shambles. I read that much of the Venezuelan petroleum engineers are now working in Canada.

  15. There are large numbers of Venezuelan professionals working in the oil industry in the Middle East — intelligent, educated, well-trained, hard-working. Good guys!

    Chavez fired these guys from PDVSA — the government-owned oil company which has essentially a monopoly in Venezuela — because they were insufficiently supportive of his regime. What is astonishing is that Chavez not only fired them, he made them more-or-less unemployable in Venezuela. They could not get other jobs, even outside the oil industry. Their choice became immigrate or starve.

    Strange how often “socialism” has become a mask for the worst kind of dictatorship. Which is probably why the usual suspects in the West are now defending Maduro’s reign.

  16. You have purposely broken Venezuela over the last while.

    Latin American self-proclaimed Socialist/Marxist regimes don’t do agriculture well at all. “Land reform” coupled with price controls are a killer. Can’t blame the USA for that.

    Crops (PIN) Per Capita production index
    From 1998 to 2016 declined 35.7% in Venezuela
    From 1961 to 2016 declined 32.2% in Cuba
    From 1978 to 1979 declined 10.6% in Nicaragua
    From 1978 to 1980 declined 46.1% in Nicaragua
    From 1978 to 1989 declined 51.2% in Nicaragua

    From 2014 to 2017, cereals production in Venezuela- here corn and rice- declined 59%.

    In Nicaragua, the decline in crop production from 1978 to 1979 could be attributed to the insurrection against Somoza, which was over by July, 1979. There was a bigger decline from 1979 to 1980, during peacetime, when Sandinista policies on land reform and price controls took effect.

    FAO Stat: Production Indices Net per capita Production Index Number (2004-2006 = 100)_Crops (PIN)

    FAO Stat: country indicators.

  17. You have purposely broken Venezuela over the last while.
    Chavez and company broke PDVSA by themselves, without any input from the USA.Before Chavez was elected in 1998, PDVSA was one of the better-run government owned oil companies. In 2002, Chavez decided he wanted control of PDVSA. PDVSA employees went on strike to prevent that takeover. Chavez won, and fired the strikers. Now Chavez had control of the golden goose.

    Cronies replaced the fired professionals, and employment more than doubled.

    In 2007,an engineering consultant who had made numerous inspection trips to Venezuela informed me that he had seen a decided deterioration in the maintenance of PDVSA equipment.

    Production has continued to decline, even with the increase in employment. Venezuela imports gasoline from the US.

    The responsibility for the decline of Miraflores is entirely on the hands of Hugo Chavez and his cronies.

  18. You have purposely broken Venezuela over the last while.

    Did you realize that for several years Maduro has refused aid of food or medicine?

    When Chávez was elected in 1998. Venezuelan oil was selling for about $11/BBL. When he died in 2013, Venezuelan oil was selling for about $100/BBL. Chavistas and assorted PSF were shouting to the rafters all the great things Chavez had done. Turned out they were mostly smoke and mirrors.

    Consider the economy. Even with this oil export revenue bonanza, Venezuela’s economic growth during the Chávez years was anemic compared to other countries.

    GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $), % growth 1998-2013
    East Asia & Pacific (excluding high income) 191.9%
    Upper middle income 110.3%
    South Asia 103.9%
    Low & middle income 91.9%
    World 44.3%
    Sub-Saharan Africa 42.4%
    Middle East & North Africa 31.8%
    Latin America & Caribbean 30.2%
    Venezuela 15.1%


  19. “Venezuelans are terrible money managers”

    From its inception in 1976 until Chavez took control in 2002, PDVSA was a well-run company. Thus, your comment that “Venezuelans are terrible money managers” is total nonsense. Well ,you might reply, Chavistas are “terrible money managers,” and give the two decades of Chavista rule to support your point. However, while Chavistas admittedly haven’t done a good job of managing money, it is more that too many Chavistas are thieves.

    Chavez took office in Feb 1999, 20 years ago. From 1999-2013, Venezuelan oil revenues were about $750 billion in current dollars. (World Bank) I have read estimates of $300-500 billion stolen.

    An example, however, of terrible money management was that Chavez borrowed off future oil revenues not for investments, but for current expenses. BTW, some “expenses” involved big giveaways around election time.In effect, buying votes. Former Chavista Planning and Finace Minister Jorge Giordani, a.k.a. The Monk, had some stories on that.

    It wasn’t too bright to borrow on anticipation of always high oil revenues, given the way the price of oil has fluctuated in the last 4 decades. Price of oil

    And PenGun wants to blame the horrible USA or poor money management.

    In 1998, Venezuelan oil sold for ~$11/BBL. Today, oil is selling for ~50/BBL. Today, Venezuela’s Infant Mortality is higher than it was in 1998. Venezuela’s per capita income is lower than it was in 1998. And PenGun has the gall to tell us this is because “You have purposely broken Venezuela.”

    https://data.worldbank.org/ :
    Merchandise exports (current US$)
    Merchandise imports (current US$)

    Fuel exports (% of merchandise exports)
    Fuel imports (% of merchandise imports)

  20. PenGun is a classic troll. He posts conflicting versions of his personal history and examples of envy of America that crop up from Canadians from time to time.

  21. Mike K, I have been sparring off and on with PenGun for years. Mostly off, though.

    There is no point in trying to persuade a dishonest and malicious troll like PenGun, but sometimes it is worthwhile to write rebuttals for the benefit of other readers who are not familiar with the topics or with the left’s favorite lies.

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