Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Bolivia Ignores “Washington Consensus” Austerity Jackals, Prospers Nicely

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 23, 2012

Yet another bit of news you won’t see in most establishment US media:

n the past six years, Bolivia has become one of the Latin American countries most successful at improving its citizens’ standard of living. Economic indicators such as low unemployment and decreased poverty, as well as better public healthcare and education, are outstanding.

Between 2005 and 2010, the proportion of those in moderate poverty went down from 60% to 49.6%, while extreme poverty fell from 38% to 25%. Likewise, the unemployment rate decreased from 8.4% to 4%. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) points out that Bolivia is the top country in Latin America in terms of transferring resources to its most vulnerable population – 2.5% of its GNP.

How did Bolivia do all this? By ignoring the austerity jackals:

These economic and social successes have been attained following an alternative route to neoliberalism. Evo Morales’s government did the opposite of what the Washington Consensus recommends: it nationalised hydrocarbons, electricity, telecommunications and mining; renegotiated the presence of direct foreign investment in the country; implemented an expansive fiscal policy and closed borders to the free importation of economically strategic products. The state took 34% of the economy under its control.

This exceptional performance was obtained even though remittances decreased, the United States revoked the most-favoured nation status for some Bolivian products, and in spite of a global recession. The oil income is now three times that of 2005. The tax revenues went up. The international currency reserves are up to more than $12bn dollars. The banking savings-and-loans system has been “Bolivian-ised” and the external debt has been reduced. The bid now is that Bolivia will take a “big industrial leap” in the next five years so that it ceases to be an extractor of natural resources and begins to export value-added goods.

Let’s hope Evo can keep it up.

5 Responses to “Bolivia Ignores “Washington Consensus” Austerity Jackals, Prospers Nicely”

  1. jo6pac said

    I’m sure Evo up for it, it’s just those pesky Amerikans keep trying to cause trouble for him.

  2. Charles II said

    And this has been accomplished despite trouble from both the indigenous peoples, who think Morales is going too slowly, and from the right-wing, which has tried seceding.

    • Exactly.

      Funny how we don’t hear much about Bolivia and Argentina in the US media these days, isn’t it? Wouldn’t want to let the wage slaves know that a country not only can tell the IMF and World Bank to go jump off a cliff, a country must do so in order to thrive.

  3. MarkH said

    It’s a peculiar thing, but people often get excited when their leader has sufficient power to really turn the wheels of a society. We just have to retain our skepticism on any system which allows their leader too much power. Abuse of power comes far too easily (e.g. Dubya Bush). There are some advantages to Democracy we shouldn’t walk away from just because they’re difficult.

    • Charles II said

      You really, really do not understand what is going on, Mark.

      Bolivia is walking towards democracy and away from oligarchy. We could learn something.

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