Skip to main content

Carlos Alberto Montaner: Balancing democracy, market economy

Great piece by Carlos Alberto Montaner that sheds light on why it is that such a large percent of the populations in Latin American nations think that capitalist democracies do not work.

Montaner says, "
If half of the population of Latin America is miserable and lives in mud and tin shacks, in societies organized as self-described capitalist democracies, it is natural that a good many people think that the model doesn't work. That is why neither populism nor antidemocratic attitudes fade away." As he clearly points out, it is not what you call it that matters, but what is being applied and practiced. It isthe application of democracy and government that makes a real difference in the lives of individuals.
How do we ensure that the happy combination of market and democracy will eventually produce in Latin America the same fruit that it has produced in countries such as Holland, Denmark, Ireland and even Spain and Portugal?

The answer may lie in the Chilean experience, or the Spanish experience after Franco's death. It all begins with forging a clear consensus within the largest segment of the sensible ruling class, to the right and left of the political span.

That consensus involves an agreement based on the preservation of the four basic pillars of the system, just as they exist in the 20 most successful nations on the planet:

· Respect for the rule of law (which implies the end of impunity).

· Democracy as a method to make collective decisions (that cannot violate individual rights).

· Private property and market (instead of statism and planning).

· An opening to the exterior, for the purpose of interrelating decisively with the First World in the fields of finance, technology and trade.


Popular posts from this blog

Hispanic Trending: Leave your name at the border

Most people miss the fact that Hispanics do not consist of a single ethnic group. Besides that, the heritage that each one of the many nationalities represented in our immigrant population is diverse in itself. As I read Manuel Muñoz's post on his assimilation experience, I can tell you mine was nothing like his. But I can relate to this paragraph. My niece's name is Katie Belle (Sierra). It's intriguing to watch "American" names begin to dominate among my nieces and nephews and second cousins, as well as with the children of my hometown friends. I am not surprised to meet 5-year-old Brandon or Kaitlyn. Hardly anyone questions the incongruity of matching these names with last names like Trujillo or Zepeda. The English-only way of life partly explains the quiet erasure of cultural difference that assimilation has attempted to accomplish. A name like Kaitlyn Zepeda doesn't completely obscure her ethnicity, but the half-step of her nam…

Communism: Good Money for the "El Viejo"

I guess Fidel Castro is doing ok. Forbes lists Castro as one of the richest in the world, right up there with the Queen of England. I bet he didn't like the attention. It was hard to figure it out, but it seems they managed to throw some numbers together.
In the past, we have relied on a percentage of Cuba's gross domestic product to estimate Fidel Castro's fortune. This year we have used more traditional valuation methods, comparing state-owned assets Castro is assumed to control with comparable publicly traded companies. A reasonable discount was then applied to compensate for the obvious disclosure issues.

RealClearPolitics: The Democrats Dither on Trade

The backtracking on free trade in South America has been among the frustrating news for me coming out of the beltway. Considering how the economic downturns in Latin America affect us through the increase in illegal immigration, I would think more Americans would be fighting for this one as loudly as they fought for the failed Immigration legislation. Democratic presidential candidates like to talk about "turning a page" in America's relations with the rest of the world. But what does that mean, in practical terms, on bread-and-butter issues such as trade? Are today's Democrats a party of open markets and economic development, or of market restrictions and job protection?The answer is that leading Democrats seem to want both -- they favor economic development overseas but not at the cost of U.S. jobs. That sounds like a coherent position until you begin to look carefully at the political choices in Latin America, a part of the world where …