January 16, 2010

POOR HAITI, IT NEVER PRODUCED A PINOCHET:

A Prospering Chile Would Turn Right (Silvia Santacruz, 01.15.10, Forbes)

On Jan. 11 Chile moved closer to becoming the first South American member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Polls showed conservative billionaire Sebastian Piñera--the nation's richest man, owner of Chilevisión and a major shareholder of LAN airlines and the Colo-Colo soccer club--neck-in-neck with former center-left president Eduardo Frei. While the Chilean Way has revived a nation and its economy, a win for Piñera would rank it among the most advanced and prosperous economies of the OECD.

Chile has already undergone dramatic transformation. Its gross domestic product grew at an annual rate with of 7.2% between the mid-1980s and 1997 and 3.5% between 1998 and 2005. Most impressively, its poverty rate was slashed from 45% to 15%. Chile's main ingredients for success have included a flat tariff for imports, privatization of telecommunications, electricity and the pension system, and a new regulatory framework for mining. The latter two reforms were instituted by José Piñera, Sebastian's brother, who served as a secretary of labor and social security (1978--1980), and secretary of mining (1980--1981) during Augusto Pinochet's 17-year military dictatorship.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 16, 2010 8:26 AM
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