December 16, 2006

Chile: South America's most successful economy

Like it or not, Mr. Pinochet had something to do with this success. To the dismay of every economic minister in Latin America, he introduced the free-market policies that produced the Chilean economic miracle -- and that not even Allende's socialist successors have dared reverse. He also accepted a transition to democracy, stepping down peacefully in 1990 after losing a referendum.
By way of contrast, Fidel Castro -- Mr. Pinochet's nemesis and a hero to many in Latin America and beyond -- will leave behind an economically ruined and freedomless country with his approaching death. Mr. Castro also killed and exiled thousands. But even when it became obvious that his communist economic system had impoverished his country, he refused to abandon that system: He spent the last years of his rule reversing a partial liberalization. To the end he also imprisoned or persecuted anyone who suggested Cubans could benefit from freedom of speech or the right to vote.


clash said...

Yeapp... correct.. That is why there is a long q of lesftist prime ministers and presidents coming up in Latin America. Even Chile is led by a Half centrist-left govt.

Washington Post will need to write something like this; coz they forced the coup against Allende!

clash said...

I dint know that washington post can stoop so low to save the face of this bloody murderer! If washington post claims that Castro will leave a population starving; it is absolutely rdiculuous coz capitalism is all about excess; but stats show that people in Cuba, though- not eating Burger king and Mac are having sufficient food for them. When 2 million people in U.S- the apostle of Liberal economy sleeps with out a home; the Cuban Interior minister told; there is not even a single person on road here in Cuba. Now if you are talking about sprawling farm houses and multi-stoyered houses and Pimp-My-Ride kind of cars; they dont have; but do we really need all those to pass on a mere 60 or 70 years of life expectancy? I dont think so..

clash said...

Thought.. i should not be leaving you..

Pinochet represented the intransigent father, capable of imposing strict discipline. The three years of the Unidad Popular were a time of experimentation, change, and disorder; the country was weary. Repression put an end to politicking, and neoliberalism forced Chileans to work, keep their mouths closed, and be productive, so that corporations could compete favourably in international markets. Nearly everything was privatised, including health, education, and social security. The need to survive drove private initiative.

Today, Chile not only exports more salmon than Alaska, but also, among hundreds of other non-traditional products, ships out frogs' legs, goose feathers, and smoked garlic. The US press celebrated the triumph of Pinochet's economic system and gave him credit for having turned a poor country into the star of Latin America.

None of the indices, however, revealed the distribution of wealth; nothing was known of the poverty and uncertainty in which several million people were living. There was no mention of the soup kitchens in poor neighbourhoods that fed thousands of families - there were more than 500 in Santiago alone - or of the fact that private charities and churches were trying to replace the social services that are the responsibility of the state. There was no open forum for discussing government actions or those of businessmen; public services were handed over to private companies, and foreign corporations acquired natural resources such as forests and oceans, which have been exploited with very little ecological conscience. A callous society was created in which profit is sacred; if you are poor, it's your own fault, and if you complain, that makes you a Communist. Freedom consists of having many brand names to choose from when you go out to buy on credit.

The figures of economic growth, which won The Wall Street Journal's praise, did not represent real development since 10 per cent of the population possessed half the nation's wealth, and there were a hundred people who earned more than the state spent on all social services combined. According to the World Bank, Chile is one of the countries with the worst distribution of income, right alongside Kenya and Zimbabwe.

its an extract from this :