Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Concensus’

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.

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