What is your response to the fact that Chile, Milton Friedman’s free market experiment, recently became the first Latin American nation to be accepted into the OECD? It’s the first developed Latin American nation, and they had General Pinochet, wow! He wasn’t a socialist, he was pretty right wing. Cato insists that Friedman and his Chicago School boys fixed Chile.
What exactly was the basis for that decision? I’d take Trinidad and Tobago over Chile any day of the week -it’s 2X as rich as Chile. On what basis do they say it’s “the first developed country in Latin America?” Compare Chile to most any country in Europe. Not a pretty picture! It’s not even a very wealthy country. Venezuela is richer. Chile’s been a pretty middle class country for 40 years. Nothing new there. Actually, Friedman’s boys, a bunch of Jews from Chicago, destroyed Chile. They implemented the most radical neoliberal experiment the world has ever seen under Pinochet, and within a few years, it caused one of the worst depressions in modern times. Pinochet quickly threw the Chicago Jews out after he figured out they were selling snake oil, and he reinstituted a lot of state controls, spending, etc. The result was a long slow climb in economic growth out of the Chicago Crash. But that growth was due to a more socialist project, not the neoliberal project. The neoliberals are taking credit for the socialist stuff that came afterward that was put in to undo the damage they caused. By the end of Pinochet’s era, in 1990, the Chilean economy finally matched where it had been under Allende. However, Pinochet’s project did result in massive income redistribution in Chile. Since 1990, Chile has been run in general by socialist parties which have not pursued a radical neoliberal agenda. Income was distributed upwards, in a major way, from the bottom 2/3 to the top 1/3. If Chile were the US, this would be like a massive redistribution of wealth from families earning less than $75,000/yr to families making more than $75,000/yr. This is the sort of income redistribution that makes the Cato Institute party til dawn. Do you agree with such an income redistribution project? Public transit is in shambles, and the public schools are falling apart. You have nice neighborhoods with big houses, but they have private guards, big dogs, high walls and barbed wire fences to keep out the armies of criminals. Meanwhile, the masses teem below. There is a tremendous amount of property crime due to the massive inequality. Chile still has some pretty good health figures because they put in a lot of socialism in 1960-1973, and Pinochet was never able to dismantle it all that much. Privatization of social security has been a dismal failure. Chile is sickeningly classist and racist. The classism and racism would freak out any American. Society has contempt for anyone who works with his hands. The best men are said to have “fine hands,” as if you never did manual labor. If your hands are rough (means you’re a worker) then you’re a no-good derelict loser. Society blames the working class for being poor. It’s said that the reason they are poor is because they drink and gamble away their paychecks and don’t save it for a rainy day, not because they aren’t paid shit. The Indians are hated and ridiculed and regarded as ugly. Chileans hate Peruvians, and one of their complaints against Peruvians is that Peruvians are hideous Indians, whereas Chileans are you know, White people. Except they are 2 Chile is shit. Fuck that country.