Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
There is no inherent superiority in laissez faire economies.  On the contrary, the economies that have been most successful in recent history have been dirigiste economies wherein the state has played a leading role (although not necessarily through state-run enterprises).  To avoid steering the discussion in too theoretical a direction, I think that Venezuela's future hinges on what the state does with the surplus that it generates from those pricy oil exports.  As I mentioned here, if it doesn't invest or direct private investment toward broadening the economic base and focuses too much on recurrent expenditures, it will not prosper in the long run.  So my answer is that ALBA can be prosperous if the proper capital investments are made (including human capital).

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Jul 17th, 2007 at 07:57:19 PM EST
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