xilantro wrote:Well, the second sentence in the article lost me already: "A socialist government in the 1970s had crippled the economy and destabilized society, leading to civil unrest and a military coup." - OK - if we ignore the fact that the US Government funded a destabilization program as well as the strikers that crippled the economy, and the coup; if we blame the Allende government for the CIA's engineering and execution of the economic crippling and social destabilization, that might hold a little water. As it is, the statement is an unrepentant propagandist lie banking on the ignorance or dishonesty of its intended audience.
I realize that might sound incendiary to those for whom believing otherwise is more comfortable, but it's not just keeping up with the facts about the role of the US in supporting the Chileans who would not tolerate greater equality, but also basic economic realities, such as the fact that 'economic recovery' in Chile is not very different from how it is defined in the US - Alan Grenspan's own words in a report some years back about another economic recovery cited greater worker insecurity as a positive contributing factor - poor people have lower real wages, longer hours, and less access, while richer people enjoy greater dividends from their investments.
In Chile, you can't ride a bus unless you use a pre-paid card, but you have to pay for the plastic card yourself in addition to loading money onto it in advance for fares. Pre-pay = capitalists floating money - i.e. they're getting your money before you 'spend' it, and sure as hell not paying you interest on it while it floats.
In Chile, everyone can have a bank-account - it's called a 'Cuenta RUT'. But there is a 'service charge' every time you make a cash withdrawal from it. unless you're using it to spend the money at stores owned by the government's 'investment buddies' such as Wal-Mart (Lider). So the bank takes a percentage of your cash or WalMart does - on every transaction. Basically, a poor-tax.
Virtually every system I've seen in place thus far that benefits from privatization actually benefits capitalists at an additional cost to users. It's sort of a pre-emptive profit-taking that contributes to the increasing poverty of 95% of the country while enriching 5%. Noam Chomski describes how this process works in great and lucid detail all over the world. A GINI Index of 54.2 places Chile 14th in the world, worse off than most of South America and 2/3ds of Africa. I'll go through & analyze the content a bit, but the level of social inequality and differential access in Chile is obscene beyond words, and I'm guessing from that opening statement that the CATO report is very much designed to be 'Bill O'Reilly academics' to make the profiteers feel better about the misery they spread.
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