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Thread: Think there's no alternative? Latin America has a few

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    Politics.ie Member lies's Avatar
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    Default Think there's no alternative? Latin America has a few

    It's funny, until recently when considering Naomi Klein's controversial best seller, "Shock doctrine" we in the "first world" have only been in the positron to speculate whether or not sharp austerity/outside bailouts/economic policy intervention is worth the toll is requires a countries citizenry to pay; that's all changed. It's somewhat ironic that some in the West are now looking at the post-shocked economies to see what alternatives the people themselves came up with to right their economies - once they decided to reject the "first world solutions".

    Most of this is probably too radical for Ireland, which is as much East-Yank as West-Brit, but still... worth a read.

    That is what has been happening in Latin America for a decade. The latest political leader to underline the trend is the radical economist Rafael Correa, re-elected as president of Ecuador at the weekend with an increased 57% share of the vote, while Correa's party won an outright majority in parliament.

    But Ecuador is now part of a well-established pattern. Last October the much reviled but hugely popular Hugo Chávez, who returned home on Monday after two months of cancer treatment in Cuba, was re-elected president of Venezuela with 55% of the vote after 14 years in power in a ballot far more fraud-proof than those in Britain or the US. That followed the re-election of Bolivia's Evo Morales, Latin America's first indigenous president, in 2009; the election of Lula's nominated successor Dilma Rousseff in Brazil in 2010; and of Cristina Fernandez in Argentina in 2011.

    Despite their differences, it's not hard to see why. Latin America was the first to experience the disastrous impact of neoliberal dogma and the first to revolt against it. Correa was originally elected in the wake of an economic collapse so devastating that one in 10 left the country. Since then his "citizen's revolution" has cut poverty by nearly a third and extreme poverty by 45%. Unemployment has been slashed, while social security, free health and education have been rapidly expanded – including free higher education, now a constitutional right – while outsourcing has been outlawed.

    And that has been achieved not only by using Ecuador's limited oil wealth to benefit the majority, but by making corporations and the well-off pay their taxes (receipts have almost tripled in six years), raising public investment to 15% of national income, extending public ownership, tough renegotiation of oil contracts and re-regulating the banking system to support development.

    Many of the things, in fact, that conventional "free market" orthodoxy insists will lead to ruin, but have instead delivered rapid growth and social progress. Correa's government has also closed the US military base at Manta (he'd reconsider, he said, if the US "let us put a military base in Miami"), expanded gay, disability and indigenous rights and adopted some of the most radical environmental policies in the world. Those include the Yasuni initiative, under which Ecuador waives its right to exploit oil in a uniquely biodiverse part of the Amazon in return for international contributions to renewable energy projects.
    Think there's no alternative? Latin America has a few | Seumas Milne | Comment is free | The Guardian
    Last edited by lies; 20th February 2013 at 02:50 PM.
    You know what I blame this on the breakdown of? Society. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw39tcyg7So&sns=em

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    Politics.ie Member stopdoingstuff's Avatar
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    There is always an alternative if you have natural resources......for now.
    Faoi mhóid bheith saor

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    Massive oil money makes any political system work. Look at Russia. Look at Saudia Arabia.

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    There has always been an alternative - Friedrich List - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It's who the Germans look to and as Wikipedia states -

    He was a forefather of the German historical school of economics, and considered the original European unity theorist, whose ideas were the basis for the European Economic Community.
    Once your ability to function within society depends on a government controlled ID card then you are no longer a free citizen.

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    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lies View Post
    It's funny, until recently when considering Naomi Klein's controversial best seller, "Shock doctrine" we in the "first world" have only been in the positron to speculate whether or not sharp austerity/outside bailouts/economic policy intervention is worth the toll is requires a countries citizenry to pay; that's all changed. It's somewhat ironic that some in the West are now looking at the post-shocked economies to see what alternatives the people themselves came up with to right their economies - once they decided to reject the "first world solutions".

    Most of this is probably too radical for Ireland, which is as much East-Yank as West-Brit, but still... worth a read.

    Think there's no alternative? Latin America has a few | Seumas Milne | Comment is free | The Guardian
    Neo-liberal doctrine..............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    When you're broke, there usually isn't an alternative to not spending money.

    When you have oil, your usually not broke.

    Sad, but unavoidable.

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    Politics.ie Member Analyzer's Avatar
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    The richest country per capita is Chile. Now...that is throwing the cat amongst the pigeons.
    Coveney's ambition is the be Ireland's next EU Commissar and Ireland will pay a price as he builds his CV to position himself sufficiently loyal to the nEU empire.

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analyzer View Post
    The richest country per capita is Chile. Now...that is throwing the cat amongst the pigeons.
    Copper.

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    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabhcan View Post
    Copper.
    No. Sensible economic policies. Those dreaded neo-liberal ideas the luvvies at the Guardian so hate.

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clanrickard View Post
    No. Sensible economic policies. Those dreaded neo-liberal ideas the luvvies at the Guardian so hate.
    50% of Chile's total exports by value are Copper produced by the state owned copper mines.

    "The state-owned firm CODELCO is the world's largest copper-producing company, with recorded copper reserves of 200 years."

    Chile produces 30% of the world copper, and copper prices are sky high.


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