The new mathematics

Cubans are preparing ourselves for the inflated number for GDP growth that will be announced at the end of the year. Without having swallowed -yet- the 12.5 that was publicized at the end of 2006, we are hallucinating with the big number they will tell us in December. (If this time we get to the uncomfortable “thirteen” then, indeed, there will be material to feed a rain of jokes during 2008).

We are still trying to find evidence to back the surprising index of economic development from last year.   I, particularly, have looked in my wallet, in the kitchen and especially in the refrigerator, but the economic progress doesn’t seem to show around there.  Neither is it in the network of services or commerce, where we suffer a decrease in the offerings and a noticeable hike in the prices. I don’t perceive it even in the limited boom in construction and even less in the depressed agricultural production.   Just by visiting my hospital or entering the closest school I discard that it is in those areas where we can find the effects of the economic dynamism.

Without letting that stop me, I have oriented my search to the part of the basic product basket that is composed by the products of rationing.  However, the inflated GDP doesn’t show its positive effects in that direction either.   The same reduced quantities and the well known empty aisles remain in that subsidized market.

Where is the shining recovery that such an economic index seems to show?  What complicated method of calculation have the specialists used, so that we can’t verify it with our own reality?   Something has happened to mathematics, and I’m afraid that this year the tricky abacus of triumphalism will again calculate our meager development.