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Friday, November 11, 2005

Prosperity in Latin America

Mario Villarreal:

[Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez finds it more advantageous to oppose free trade than to advocate more investment in education. After all, if the poor become educated, they may start to realize that they are being used and exploited for political purposes. Their votes could no longer be bought with a bag of beans and a free t-shirt.

And, of course, it is easier to demonize the US and its agenda than to promote an efficient financial system. The poor might prosper and become less dependent.

Opportunistic leaders would rather maintain an economic and political system that favors big bureaucracies and inefficiencies than to promote free markets and respect individual freedom. It is in their interest to do so.

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