Why Chile is More Economically Free Than the United States
From the Cato institute, Sept 17th 2009.
http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/why-chile-is-more-economically-free-than-the-united-states/ In the 2009 Economic Freedom of the World Report , Chile is now #5, one place ahead of the United States. In 1975, of 72 countries, Chile was No 71. How did this happen? The explanation lies in what I call the “Chilean Revolution,” because it was as important and transformative to my country as the celebrated American Revolution that gave birth to the United States. The exceptional political circumstances of this period have obscured the fact that from 1975 to 1989 a true revolution took place in Chile, involving a radical, comprehensive, and sustained move toward economic and political freedom (from a starting point where there was neither one nor the other). This revolution not only doubled Chile’s historic rate of economic growth (to an average of 7% a year, 84-98), drastically reduced poverty (from 45% to 15%), and introduced several radical libertarian reforms that set the country on a path toward rapid development; but it also brought democracy, restored limited government, and established the rule of law. In 1998, The Los Angeles Times described the importance of the Chilean Revolution to the world: In a sense, it all began in Chile. In the early 1970s, Chile was one of the first economies in the developing world to test such concepts as deregulation of industries, privatization of state companies, freeing of prices from government control, and opening of the home market to imports. In 1981, Chile privatized its social-security system. Many of those ideas ultimately spread throughout Latin America and to the rest of the world. They are behind the reformation of Eastern Europe and the states of the former Soviet Union today… which demonstrates, once again, the awesome power of ideas.... ....Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek proved, again, to have been a visionary when he stated in 1981: “Chile is now a great success. The world shall come to regard the recovery of Chile as one of the great economic miracles of our time.”