Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
At some point, the United States must tackle the core problem of the region: Latin America's persistent poverty. Mr. Chávez, for his part, has been addressing the issues surrounding this simple fact for six years now.  Meanwhile, the Bush Administration continues to pursue market reforms, privatization, and free trade agreements, without realizing that Latin Americans are increasingly blaming all three for their plight. A shift in strategy is desperately needed to reassure the region that this is not the case.
This is really something... How come 'market reforms' and 'free trade' and the rest of the Washington 'consensus' have not been thoroughly discredited by their repeated failures to make inroads on problems of poverty? I mean, these same people have no problem claiming that any and all 'socialist' ideas have been completely 'proved' 'wrong' with the Soviet collapse. But, 'free market' thinking is clearly right, no matter what the evidence of its destructive effects on developing nations. (Because poverty was never the issue to begin with? The interest was always on the side of creating the most favorable climate for business profits and continued prosperity of the well-off, and a strengthening of their position?) Let's just make trade a bit freer and prosperity will flow to all!!! Yeah, not stupid enough to buy that little claim, since it seems to be backed up by exactly nothing in the forms of actual outcomes... In fact, one might say it has been contraindicated...
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Jul 18th, 2007 at 04:20:15 AM EST
The real issue I think is why it has taken the people who peddle this nonsense so long to be called out on it.

Somehow it has become a 'consensus' by sheer repetition, and not because of any supporting evidence.

In reality it's pure propaganda of the most shameless quasi-Soviet sort.

And yet it's not usually seen as such. The talking points are taken seriously and debated as if they were valid points of view, rather than lies and spin.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jul 18th, 2007 at 08:39:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's because one doesn't normally assume people are bald-faced liars, and because these liars have taken advantage of the accumulated reputation and trust of the media, government agencies and academia.

It's taken a long time for people to catch on to the fact that it's all lies.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 18th, 2007 at 08:51:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Joseph Stiglitz, has criticised the "Washington Consensus".

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Wed Jul 18th, 2007 at 12:10:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
of economic inquiry.  Poverty is couched in terms of not enough economic growth (erroneously the more GDP you have, the less poverty you are supposed to have - the distribution of said GDP being left up to others).  GDP, or GDP per capita, in and of itself is a poor indicator of poverty.  However imperfect, the HDI is a much better tool for measuring poverty reduction.

Also the religious faith in the free market as the ticket to prosperity has been debunked by historical facts.  As I have said elsewhere, the economies that have prospered (and here again, I am using the GDP indicator alone), have not relied on the free market but pursued instead a dirigiste role for the state.  If you want to add the "Democracy" to that, then people will just laugh you right out of the room.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Wed Jul 18th, 2007 at 11:54:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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