NY Times: Say, All That Leftism In South America Is Sure Failing, Eh?

The Editorial Board of the NY Times is Very Concerned about the state of the nations in South America, noting just how bad it all is, thanks to Leftism

The Left on the Run in Latin America

In 2004, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, launched the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas, a regional alliance of leftist leaders designed to subvert a hemispheric free trade agreement that the United States had been pushing for a decade.

In the years that followed, Washington’s hope of a trade pact of 34 nations faded, and its clout in the region diminished as voters across much of Latin America put their faith in firebrand politicians who promised to spread the wealth of a commodities boom and topple old elites. The region’s exports to China increased 25-fold between 2000 and 2013, allowing Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Bolivia to bankroll generous welfare and social programs that lifted millions from poverty.

So, the Bolivarian Alternative started just 12 short years ago. Now?

But today, Latin America’s leftist ramparts appear to be crumbling because of widespread corruption, a slowdown in China’s economy and poor economic choices. For the most part, leaders failed to create diversified economies capable of withstanding slumps. The welfare and pension programs that kept voters loyal proved unsustainable. Leaders in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia flouted democratic traditions by expanding or eliminating term limits and co-opted independent institutions with networks of patronage.

In other words, they instituted hardcore Progressivism (you can call it Socialism, Marxism, Communism, Leftism, whatever), vastly increased the power of their central governments, played games with redistribution and Promises to citizens, restricted this and that, enabled vast government interference in their economies, even nationalized certain sectors, and failed badly. Surprise! Let’s not forget that one of the worst, Venezuela, can’t even get toilet paper and beer, much less food. Yet, the nation is oil rich. Leftism fail.

Of course, now, many of those nations are looking back to the United States.

The United States can help its neighbors become more competitive and stable by promoting investment in technology, innovation and high-quality education. It can point to the security turnaround of Colombia, which has one of the growing economies in the region, as evidence of the potential of sustained security partnerships. Washington can do more to help Central American and Caribbean nations find sustainable sources of energy, now that they can no longer count on subsidized oil from Venezuela. It also can support anticorruption initiatives that citizens around the hemisphere are clamoring for.

So, the answer from the NY Times for South America’s ills are….more Big Government. Just US style Big Government.

Yet, a brighter future for struggling Latin Americans cannot depend on the United States. Ultimately, that will require leaders who are accountable to their citizens, are willing to invest in long-term prosperity rather than their political brands and stand ready to acknowledge the colossal mistakes of their predecessors.

Their colossal mistake was following Leftist principles and thinking they would work. They aren’t working too well here, where Obama will be the only president to never see yearly GDP growth of 3% in any year.

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9 Responses to “NY Times: Say, All That Leftism In South America Is Sure Failing, Eh?”

  1. John says:

    Yes Teach I guess right wing military dictatorships are the way to prosperity

  2. Dana says:

    John snarked:

    Yes Teach I guess right wing military dictatorships are the way to prosperity

    Well, we’ve just seen that left wing authoritarian dictatorships have been the way to poverty, haven’t we?

    The voters democratically elected socialists who have led their countries off the cliff, and, of course, the left in the United States seem to think why, yeah, we ought to do that here, too!

    In Venezuela, the socialists proved Margaret Thatcher’s maxim that they would eventually run out of other people’s money; when oil prices collapsed, Venezuela’s economy, propped up by an influx of petrodollars, collapsed with it. Socialism cannot survive on its own, because the underlying premise, that people will work for the common ‘good’ rather than for themselves and their families, is false.

  3. Hoagie says:

    1.Yes Teach I guess right wing military dictatorships are the way to prosperity

    Comment by John—

    Really John? Is that what you gleaned from the article? Where in it was mentioned “right wing military dictatorships”? Why are leftist so bloody stupid that they believe the opposite of a left wing dictatorship is a right wing dictatorship when America has shown it’s a constitutional republic?

    John, define for me a right wing military dictatorship. I’m curious what you think one is.

  4. Zachriel says:

    Bolivia posted 5% growth in the first quarter, with tax receipts showing continued economic strength. GDP growth by year from 2011, was 5.2%, 5.1%, 6.8%, and 5.5 in 2015. Bolivia is considered to be ruled from the political left by Evo Morales, but they have a strong market economy.

  5. John says:

    Teach the per capita income in Venezuala is about 2 dollars per day
    Most of the people Don’t really care if there is either a toilet paper shortage or a beer shortage
    Those people are the ones who are hoping most that the oil wealth of that country will glow down to them
    Life for them the majority of the people is no worse than it was under the right wing

  6. Jeffery says:

    define for me a right wing military dictatorship

    Nazi Germany
    Fascist Italy
    Franco’s Spain
    Pinochet’s Chile
    Batista’s Cuba
    Noriega’s Panama
    Shah’s Iran

  7. Dana says:

    Jeffrey flunks history:

    define for me a right wing military dictatorship

    Nazi Germany
    Fascist Italy
    Franco’s Spain
    Pinochet’s Chile
    Batista’s Cuba
    Noriega’s Panama
    Shah’s Iran

    Most of those countries were not military dictatorships; they were dictatorships of a charismatic leader, and sometimes a paramilitary party. Once in power, the dictators used the power of the military to enforce their rule, but the military was subject to the government rule, rather than the government being subject to the rule of the military. Of course, that’s probably too fine a distinction for a leftist.

    Had our populist pharmacist said Japan under Hideki Tojo, he’d have been on stronger ground, since Tojo’s power was by virtue of being the Minister of War; the Army controlled the government, with the Emperor (mostly) a puppet.

    A military dictatorship is defined as an autocratic government run by the country’s military, with the top military officer(s) also being the country’s ruler.

  8. Zachriel says:

    Dana: Most o

    f those countries were not military dictatorships

    Franco, Pinochet, Batista, and Noriega were right-wing military dictators. Shah Pahlavi was a monarch. While Hitler and Mussolini led highly militaristic governments, the military was subservient to the party. They were all right-wing authoritarians.

  9. Jeffery says:


    I WISH I was a pharmacist! Anyway, I stand corrected.

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