Those who forget history…

Excerpt from Chile’s Free-Market Miracle: A Second Look, by Joseph Collins and John Lear:

Starting in November 1981, a series of banks and businesses began to fail, including several if the principal conglomerates that had benefited most from privatizations of government-owned companies and sweeping financial and business deregulation. The result was a drastic contraction of the economy that rivaled the worst years of the Great Depression. the gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 14 percent in 1982, and official unemployment rose to over a third of the labor force (and in reality even higher). Suddenly the Chilean “miracle” had little to show for itself except a heavily indebted and failing private sector and an economic base incapable of supporting such high level of debt.

The military government responded by distancing itself from free-market policies, at least long enough to bail out the private sector. Over the next two years, the government absorbed the debts of many large businesses, restoring them to soundness before selling them off to private interests. Other companies were sustained through preferential exchange rates with which they could pay their dollar debts. The government would up taking on as public debt some $16 billion in foreign loans, most of which had been originally incurred and often recklessly spent by private Chilean conglomerates.

By contrast, middle-class families watched with disbelief and anger as the balances on their home mortgages, indexed to the dollar value of the peso, soared; but the government offered them no relief.

This was written in 1995.

9 comments on “Those who forget history…

  1. Walton says:

    Meh. What with exams and all, and my own crisis of political conscience, I no longer have the will or mental energy to leap to the defence of capitalism. (And I doubt any of your other regulars will be ideologically inclined to do so.) You’ll have to recruit some more conservative/libertarian readers if you want an argument on this one. :-)

  2. Jadehawk says:

    mission totally accomplished ;-)

  3. David Marjanović says:

    <Godwin>und mor-gen die gan-ze Welt!!!-!-!</Godwin>


    Walton, simply get enough sleep :-)

  4. Becky Transsexual says:

    In certain countries they even pretend to ‘forget’ history. Even an ‘idiot’ like me realises that:)

  5. Jadehawk says:

    becky, i’ll highly suggest you don’t infest my blog with your non-sequiturs and gratuitous godwins. just a friendly warning.

  6. Becky Transsexual says:

    I think using ‘Godwin’s Law’ as an excuse to attempt to scare someone into not mentioning the systematic murder of millions of people (including some of her own relatives – whose only ‘crime’ was to be born Jewish in a land that the German Nazis invaded) is a pretty glib way of pretending to forget history. Shame on you!

  7. Jadehawk says:

    I see you’re utterly incapable of doing as I asked you. what, pray tell, does your non-sequitur and godwin have to do with the subject of this thread? I’m not going to give you a platform for calling everyone who doesn’t fawn over you a nazi.

  8. Becky Transsexual says:

    I’ve just read PZ Myers blog: so it’s not just my people who are supposed to get their ‘pound of flesh.’ ‘Thanks’ for ending my life.

  9. aratina cage says:

    Jadehawk, just a heads up that Becky T. is still messing around with us. Just three hours after she left the comment here on your blog at 5:58 pm (wait, make that two hours after that), she posted an apology for telling me to “Drop dead, Jewhater” on my blog. She also has been going psycho on deriamis’s blog (here). Who knows who else from Pharyngula she is playing games with.

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