Chile Moves to the Right

Chile is one giant beach with a wall of mountains behind it.  I flew into Santiago a few years ago in a roundabout way while heading to Rio De Janiero.  Had the chance to spend the whole day checking out the city before catching a late night flight to Brasil.  You don’t hear to much about Chile but it has an interesting story as of late.  Even though it has been led by a center-left government they held reasonably tight to free market ideals and grew while (some) other countries in South America have been ruining their countries by (among other way) nationalizing industries and taking over private companies….   Check out this article discussing Chile’s recent move to the right politically speaking.  This paragraph from the article is pretty strong:

“Instead of blaming the gringos and waging class warfare in Che T-shirts, they balanced their budget and respected private property. Instead of squandering a $19 billion state windfall from soaring copper prices, they managed it. They continued Pinochet’s free-market privatization of pensions without reflexively opposing its origins, and signed free trade pacts with any nation that asked.

Result: poverty cut by two thirds from 45% to 15%, and per capita income up from $1,400 in 1986 to $15,000 in 2009. This built a tax base for Concertacion to do what it valued: expand social services.”

So Chile seems to understand that respecting private property, keep you budgets in line, and dealing in open and free trade pay dividends for its citizens.   Looking forward to making another visit there sometime this decade.

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