My guess is that O'Grady finally worked her way down as far as Bolivia with her Fisher Price "Nations of South America" floor puzzle and so decided to drop her discounted and tired theories on Bolivia. Look out, Chile, she's coming for you next.
Congratulations, Mary! This autumn Michele Bachelet - elected for a second time after a failed experiment with rightist policies after her first presidency - is O'Grady's commie boogie-man. O'Grady lays out the case that because Bachelet is looking to lower the cost of education in Chile, it is stifling innovation and driving off investment, killing the "Chilean Miracle." If we peg Chile's economic "woes" (which they hardly are) singly to the president in charge (which I think is naive and foolish thinking for any political group to do), then we might need to take into account that:
- Chile's real economic "miracle" occurred with the return to democracy and the electoral success of center-left and leftist parties.
- Under Bachelet's first presidency, Chile experienced steady growth in exports, investment, and GDP.
- The economic "disaster" in Chile started under the Sebastián Piñera term which only ended in March of 2014.
Simplistic and foolish reflections like O'Grady's lead to knee-jerk reactions and, judging by the comments on her column in the WSJ, the auto-politico-erotic stimulation of reinforcing views already held on domestic economic disputes. Nothing learned, nothing studied, everything gambled.
I'd suggest that looking at a longer string of charts on Chile we see steady growth since the return to democracy (unlike the incredible late 70s early 80s collapse under Pinochet) with occasional market corrections. I'd suggest that the center-left and left investment in a social safety net that is turning poor Chileans into consumers has been helpful. I'd also suggest that the domestic unrest experienced under Piñera warned off investors who are unrest-averse (as O'Grady herself keeps yammering on about regarding the rule of law in Latin America). That, and a number of difficult domestic natural disasters during Piñera's presidency have also caused economic challenges. Perhaps I should blame the "unlucky" Piñera for those, too - since we're down with O'Grady-style magical thinking these days.