Monday, December 21, 2009

Will Free Enterprise or Socialism Prevail in South America?

The situation in South America is at a crossroads and the choice is freedom, entrepreneurship, and growth or socialism, government run economy and stagnation. Chile will be the next country that must choose between; a free economy run by millions of people making billions of decisions or a few politicians making the decisions for everyone; individualism and the free mind or statism and the inability to use your mind. Let's hope Chileans having lived under both systems will know that freedom is better than chains. Mary O'Grady covers Latin America and always does a remarkable job showing us the issues in that part of the world.

...Yet lurking just beneath the surface there may be other more powerful factors at work, not the least of which is Chile's declining productivity under four successive ConcertaciĆ³n governments, and a growing sense that for the first time in 20 years, economically speaking, life for Chileans is no longer getting better. Mr. PiƱera, who got 44% of the vote to Mr. Frei's 30% in the first round, has promised to reverse these trends.

This matters to all of Latin America. Chile is the region's poster child for success through openness, competition, sound money, limits to government and equality under the law. Should the model begin to produce mediocre results, enemies of liberty will use it to discredit freedom.

...One of the most dramatic changes was the privatization of the pension system. Another key reform gave the central bank independence, ending the curse of hyperinflation.
It is often said that the modernization of the Chilean economy under Pinochet was so successful that even the left, once in power, didn't dare undo it...

...What is certain is that if Chile continues to emphasize the politics of redistribution over entrepreneurship, it will lose its edge. (Another Test for the Chilean Model - Read at WSJ).

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