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Monday, August 22, 2011

Chile (like many other) is a country of contradictions. The latest is this.

Since the return to democracy, (1989),  4 left wing governments have cheerfully followed the most conservative (free markets) of economic policies . The results speak for themselves, look at per capita income growth and poverty reduction rates.

During the left presidencies, (Aylwin, Frei, Lagos and Bachelet) people seemed to be happy. No government mistake (see transantiago) or corruption scandal created any significant anger. People seemed content.

In the first years of Pinera’s government and despite a devastating earthquake, people have come to the streets. To demand everything from clean energy to free education. There are crowded events and marches almost every week.

The irony is that Pinera has been more populist than any government in the left. See for example the proposed maternity leave or bonus payments.

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