Celebrations as Chile votes by huge majority to scrap Pinochet-era constitution - Page 5 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Sivad wrote:@Pants-of-dog you know if you were down in Chile right now you'd be right in there doing your damnedest to ruin it. You'd be pushing every horrible idea you could think up to make sure the new Chilean system of government was as fake and repressive as you could possibly make it.

Sivad wrote:The system can't be purely democratic because pure democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. In order to be just, democracy needs to be a balanced by a robust bill of rights for individuals and it needs to be fairly weighted to protect minority interests.

Minority rights is when one wolf among two sheeps insists on his right to eat the sheeps for dinner.
Goranhammer 2.0 wrote:I assume the nays were from people old enough to remember the hyper-inflation shitshow Allende left them.

Opponents of the Popular Unity government, as well as the foreign press, have emphasized Chile’s economic difficulties during the Allende years. Their views neglect two considerations, and that prevents a fair assessment of the period. First, Chile has always had economic problems. The economy depended for decades on the sale of copper abroad, and since foreigners both set the price of copper and owned the mines, Chile has had great difficulty in feeding itself. Approximately one-third of Chile’s imports consisted of foodstuffs, at least in the period since World War II. As late as the 1960s, sociologists classified 60 percent of the families as impoverished. The infant mortality rate in Chile was triple that of the United States. In short, Allende inherited serious economic problems. Second, the economic achievements of the Popular Unity government generally were ignored or received less attention than the failures.

A fuller range of statistics and other interpretations must be taken into account in order to reach a balanced understanding of Chile’s experiment with socialism. Last August, the government’s statistical office released figures showing that many important industries (a few examples would be condensed milk, cement, poultry products, phonograph records and pork products) were producing more than at any previous time. Addressing the nation on September 4, President Allende pointed with pride to the facts that in a year farmers had doubled the number of acres under cultivation, that copper production in the Chuquicamata mine (by far the largest and most important in the nation) had broken all production records in the month of August, and that the international price of copper was rising swiftly.

Surely in an economy dominated by copper production the output and price of that one product assumes a disproportionate importance. Chile has no control over the price and must depend on the whims of the international market. Low prices in 1971-72 dealt a cruel blow to the nation’s economy, but the rising prices in 1973 were a welcome relief to economic planners. On the other hand, Chile of course does control its production and that rose during the Allende years. Chile Economic News (March 15) calculated copper output as 571.3 thousands of metric tons in 1970 and 593.0 in 1972, a rise despite the strikes of managerial and white-collar personnel at the mines. Even so harsh a critic of the Allende government as William Buckley, Jr. recognized a significant rise in copper production in 1971. The economic successes of the Allende government do not negate the difficulties, stresses and reverses which also accompanied those transition years when Chile attempted to move from capitalism to socialism. The successes are mentioned here because they tend to be neglected, and no final judgment of Allende can be made without considering them.
. Allende inherited economic recession, inflation and unemployment that was 8.4 percent of the work force. He moved to put more wealth in the hands of common people by raising wages, freezing prices and creating public works. He initiated a program that gave free milk to children. Common people and small businesses were offered tax relief, and pensions were raised for the elderly. Big business was targeted. Allende nationalized the copper industry, without compensating its owners. He nationalized other foreign-owned businesses and some Chilean-owned businesses considered monopolies. State run businesses took control of what became 60 percent of Chile's Gross National Product. Workers in business that remained privately owned clamored for nationalization of their industry, hoping for the better pay and working conditions they believed were accruing to public-sector employees. Some industrial workers in privately owned companies took over their factories.

After Allende's first year in office, unemployment fell to 4.8 percent. But the copper industry suffered. Allende pleaded for restraint from labor, but workers remained determined to advance their earnings. In 1971 and 1972 miners went on strike eighty-five times. With the decline in world copper prices and copper as Chile's major export, earnings from exports s

Worker discipline and productivity in other industries fell. Government owned industries were suffering from political appointments rather than appointments based on expertise. Bad weather and social turmoil was diminishing food production. Allende was pursuing more agrarian reform, and impatient peasants, encouraged by the call for equality and for revolutionary change, were seizing land illegally.

Allende's attempt to control inflation by freezing prices did not work. The money supply had doubled, and more money chasing few goods contributed to more inflation. The continual rise in prices was hurting people. Investment in Chile from abroad had dried up. There were withdrawals from bank deposits and people sending their money out of the country. Hostility toward Allende increased among those who disliked the higher prices and those opposed to his revolution. They hardly needed influence from the US Central Intelligence Agency, but the CIA was there, sponsoring anti-Allende propaganda in Chile's media and supporting anti-Allende politicians
http://www.fsmitha.com/h2/ch24y.htm For a reference point of comparison , U.S. President Richard Nixon had faced a similar issue , and responded in much the same way .
While Nixon may have philosophically opposed intervention in the economy, philosophy took a rear seat to politics. He had lost very narrowly to John Kennedy in 1960 -- 49.7 to 49.5 percent of the popular vote. He sometimes blamed the state of Illinois, whose electoral votes had made all the difference and where the Chicago Democratic machine was known for its effectiveness in getting out all possible voters, dead as well as living Kennedy won Illinois by just 8,858 votes. But Nixon certainly believed that mismanagement of the economy had also cost him the election. "He attributed his defeat in the 1960 election largely to the recession of that year," wrote economist and Nixon advisor Herbert Stein, "and he attributed the recession, or at least its depth and duration, to economic officials, 'financial types,' who put curbing inflation ahead of cutting unemployment." Looking toward his 1972 reelection campaign, Nixon was not going to let that happen again. And he had to pay attention to economics. Despite the optimism about government's ability to manage the economy, economic conditions had begun to deteriorate. The inflation rate, which had been 1.5 percent at the beginning of the 1960s, had risen to 5 percent. Unemployment was also up from the 3.5 percent level of the late 1960s to 5 percent.

So the central economic issue became how to manage the inflation-unemployment trade-offs in a way that was not politically self-destructive; in other words, how to bring down inflation without slowing the economy and raising unemployment. One approach increasingly seemed to provide the answer -- an income policy whereby the government intervened to set and control wages, whether in hortatory words or legal requirements. Such policies had become common in Western European countries. In the 1970s, the Democratic Congress provided the tools by passing legislation that delegated authority to the president to impose a mandatory policy. The administration remained overtly dedicated to markets. But there were those in it who believed that the "market" was more an idyll of the past than an accurate description of how the current economy functioned. To them, the economy was like the question that Lenin had expressed -- Kto kvo? -- Who could do what to whom? That is, they saw the economy "as organized by relations of power, status, rivalry and emulation." Government intervention was required to bring some greater balance to the struggles for power between strong corporations and strong unions that would drive the wage-price spiral upward.
Deutschmania wrote:https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/true-verdict-allende/ http://www.fsmitha.com/h2/ch24y.htm For a reference point of comparison , U.S. President Richard Nixon had faced a similar issue , and responded in much the same way . http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitext/ess_nixongold.html

So what you're saying is that, eventually, Allende ran out of other people's wealth to steal. Yup, that's socialism is a nutshell.

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