Friday, October 17, 2008

Dear Senator McCain: the policies you're proposing didn't work in Chile, either

I've been reading Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, wherein she details (among other things) the coup in Chile that deposed Salvador Allende and placed Agusto Pinochet as the supreme executive and president of everything (along with Miss Chile, and Chile Idol, as well as winner of the Chile Chili Cookoff during all 17-years of his reign of terror and mediocre chili).

Agusto Pinochet, a cruel, evil dictatorial man once he realized how much he liked power, knew nothing (or, about as much as John McCain knows) about economics. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. But, luckily for him, there was a pocket of Freidmanite economists that the Ford Foundation and US Government had paid to educate at Chicago University as a means of trying to take Chile from the most prosperous Developmentarian country in Latin America to what they dreamed would become a Free Market Utopia -- it did not.

So, after the shock of the Pinochet coup, some economic shocks were put into place... lower taxes, no trade barriers, and a 27% cut in governmental spending -- wait, whose plan does that remind us of?

John McCain has proposed in all three debates 1)lower taxes, 2)more giveaways to corporations, and 3)a freeze on spending for everything but the military.

Wanna know what happened in Chile?

400% inflation.

30% unemployment.

Those who were employed ended up spending 75% of their income on fucking bread. Having to cut back on such luxury items as milk and bus fare to get to work.

"By 1988, when the economy had stabilized [after Pinochet made a radical turn back toward regulation and taxes] and was growing rapidly, 45% of the population had fallen below the poverty line. The richest 10% of Chileans, however, had seen their incomes increase by 83%. Even in 2007, Chile remained one of the most unequal societies in the world -- out of 123 countries in which the United Nations tracks inequality, Chile ranked 116th, making it the 8th most unequal country on the list."

Before Pinochet deposed Allende, the highest unemployment rate was 3%. The highest inflation rate was something like 10%. Chileans had healthcare, free education, and were manufacturing goods in their own nation, supporting themselves, growing their economy and succeeding! But the violence of the coup and the continuing shock of the economic policies pushed on them by someone who was in complete control of their country caused them to become a dependent child of US corporations.

No, John McCain, or should I call you McPinochet, we're not going to let you do that here. This bullshit ends now.

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