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  • Chile Elects A Conservative President

    On January 17, voters in Chile’s presidential run-off selected conservative Sebastián Piñera to become their next chief executive. The win for Piñera ended the 20-year hold on the presidency exercised by the center-left Concertación coalition and made Piñera Chile’s first elected conservative president in 52 years. Piñera, a billionaire businessman and leader of the Coalition for Change, successfully managed to ward off negative campaigning by former president Eduardo Frei, who tried to link Piñera to the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. Piñera captured an estimated 52% of the vote in the country of 16.8 million.

    The new Chilean president vows to become an “entrepreneurial” leader and has already set his sights on restoring a healthy six per cent growth rate, lowering taxes, and improving government efficiency while pursuing programs to reduce poverty and inequality. Unlike countries under populist’s presidents offering promises rather than performance, Chile has significantly reduced poverty, lowering it in the last two decades from 40 percent to 13.7 percent.

    Piñera will be able to build on the solid foundation of Chile’s prudent macroeconomic strategies. As a trading nation, Chile has responded to the dynamics of global competition by negotiating 21 trade agreement s with 51 nations, including the U.S. Chile moreover imports $4 billion more in U.S. exports than it exports to the U.S., creating tens of thousands of badly needed U.S. jobs. The 2009 Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal’s Index of Economic Freedom judged Chile to have the 11th freest economy in the world.

    Within in the ranks of Latin American presidents and politics, Piñera joins with other recently-elected, conservative-minded presidents like Ricardo Martinelli of Panama and Porfirio Lobo of Honduras reflecting a growing counterweight to the radical influences of Venezuela’s populist , anti-American president Hugo Chávez and his leftist allies.

    The Obama Administration should recognize the opportunity to work closely with the Piñera government in the weeks ahead. It should dispatch Secretary of State Clinton to attend Piñera’s inaugural, reenergize efforts aimed at promoting the synergy of free trade, job creation, economic growth, and poverty reduction represented by Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas. It should also work to cooperate with Chile on Haiti relief and recovery and continued strengthening Hemispheric security ties.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Chile Elects A Conservative President

    1. Elmer (Tampa) says:

      Piñera is hardly an ideal candidate. He has pointedly denied being a man of the Right and, contra Walser, has declared he is happy with the size of the Chilean government and will not reduce or raise taxes. Given the number of subsidies he has promised, I expect Piñera will have to raise taxes despite that promise.

    2. Tim Az says:

      I really don't believe Mao-Bama will do anything that counters his plan to collapse the dollar And rebuild America as a socialist republic. We have two more years of liberal cruelties to undure before we can begin to carve out the gangrene that liberals have introduced into the free market system.

    3. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      I really know nothing of the Chilian Politics, but I do know some of the Chilian People, and they are an intelligent, quiet thinking people, very much into Capitalism. I think that the people there, like here, cannot be judged by their President.

    4. Pingback: Ed Ableser Dwells on 1973 Chile Coup as State Marches Toward Bankruptcy « Craig's Musings

    5. Tom, Spring Valley, says:

      So the Chilean people are "very much into capitalism"? Perhaps the forget the "Chicago School of Capitalism" foisted upon them from 1973-1990? (The same program adopted by Argentina which lead DIRECTLY to three major collapses of their currency in the past 32 years.) Maybe they're impressed by 57 percent of the wealth in America now being held by just the top 1.0 percent of the people? Or maybe they're impressed that one in five children in America do not have enough to eat and rely on food stamps to get some food–mostly crummy food at that? Or perhaps they're impressed by the disappearing middle class here in America since real capitalists will export jobs to any country where wages are cheaper and workers rights and environmental safeguards are non-existent (or minimally enforced)? Maybe they're impressed with 50 million Americans WITHOUT health insurance or that 77 percent of medically-related bankruptcies were with folks who HAD insurance? Maybe they're impressed with a medical system that KILLS some 784,000 people each year (via legal/prescription drugs AND other medical procedures (google "Death by Medicine" by Gary Null & Associates, his 2004 report)? Maybe they're also impressed that natural remedies are suppressed by gov't laws and a corrupt (read money controlled mass media/wide-spread media monopolies), that make it difficult to use very inexpensive (and mostly harmless) natural remedies because Cancer, Heart Disease and other diseases are VERY profitable–making BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars to the "capitalists"?

      Read for more information on this topic any of the following books:

      1. The Shock Doctrine, the Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein

      2. The End of America by Naomi Wolf

      3. Confessions of An Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

      4. Secrets of the American Empire also by John Perkins

      5, 100 Ways America is Screwing up the World by John Tillman

      6. Angels Don't Play This Haarp by Nick Begich… Also you can view a 78 minute presentation here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-80669251

      Maybe the Chilean people would be impressed to learn that HAARP MIGHT HAVE…repeat MIGHT HAVE been involved with causing not only the earthquake there, but the Indonesian Tsunami, the massive 2008 Chinese earthquake and the recent Haiti quake? (Google HAARP if your capitalistic gov't hasn't blocked your access to the Internet, that is).

      Sure capitalism is wonderful, if you don't mind a health care system that makes the CEO of some of these major corporations some 100 million dollars per year, while 45,000 Americans DIES due to lack of health insurance (and availability–I might add), of natural healing advice that COULD save their lives if they can't afford to go to Germany or Mexico for life-saving treatments. All I know is that you have a president that is trying her best to do right by the Chilean people and she deserves your support. Good luck, Tom
      http://tompetrie.net

    6. Pingback: Michelle Malkin » Keep it Classy, Chris Matthews: Tingles Uses Chilean Miner Rescue as Occasion to Bash Tea Party

    7. Pingback: The Aged P » Blog Archive » Chilean Mine Disaster – BBC’s Newsnight Sees Pinochet’s Shadow….

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