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Monday, April 10, 2006

LatAm: Populism = Corruption

Dr. Martin Krause:

After reviewing a number of indicators such as indexes of economic freedom, globalization, transparency, rule of law, regulatory opacity, human rights, competitiveness, access to technology and others, it seems clear Latin America lags behind in many of these, with the exception of Chile.

The common factor among all these countries is an old disease by the name of "populism." What is that exactly?...

Populism is the absence of constraints, of rules of conduct in the public arena which is the other side of corruption. Populist leaders built their own constituencies, their own political structures, and their own mafias at the same time.

The result of this is what is usually called "lack of institutions." Governmental decisions are at the whim of the populist leaders, subject to his ideas or his interests -- undermining legal stability. Things can change radically from one day to the next.

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