Chile Articles: Chapter 1

Entrepreneurship just needs ‘rich people and nerds’:
Unlike traditional city-building industries, today’s innovative businesses don’t need hard assets like port access, highway infrastructure or really much of anything….In Santiago, Mr. Shea believes his country’s exotic location and beautiful natural resources will be a draw to entrepreneurs, who will bring along family and friends and spread the word about the Santiago scene. “It’s the cheapest public policy you can think about,” he said. “If we bring 1,000 entrepreneurs, everything else will follow.”

Is Chile the New California?
Both places are bordered by the Pacific on the west and an imposing mountain range to the east. Both enjoy a mild, dry Mediterranean climate, though Chile’s peculiar geography spans a much greater range along its lengthy spine, from the driest place on earth in the north to the soggy south…. One thing Chile seems to have in spades these days is an enormous sense of progress and pride, two things California could sorely use. Though much of Chile’s recent economic success comes from its mineral riches (remember the Chilean Miners), the country’s economic dynamism and embrace of design and culture has a much more Californian vibe than other booming places, like China.

A Chilean mine is blazing a path through its intensive use of seawater:
Other mining companies have considered or even implemented desalinization plants, but these are expensive as they require a great deal of electricity, another expensive commodity in the Atacama…. In addition to using seawater to produce copper concentrates, the mine also uses thickened tailings, which need less water and cuts particle emissions…. The mine, which will also produces silver in addition to copper and gold, could eventually grow to process and produce molybdenum as well.

Is Democracy Compatible with Economic Growth?
How many functioning, economically developed democracies are there with a current set of fiscal policies that will not lead them to financial ruin? ….The good news is that at least a half-dozen democratic countries are on a path of long-run growth and financial stability and can serve as good examples for reform…. Chile should be a role model for low-income countries because it shows how good economic policies can transform a relatively poor country to a middle-income country in one generation. Chile has the highest per capita income in Latin America.

Mother Jones on José Piñera:
José Piñera, once the labor minister for Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, told another passenger—a close friend of Bush’s—how he had taken Chile’s equivalent of Social Security private. Two months later, Piñera got an invitation to the Texas governor’s mansion, where he dined with Bush and Ed Crane, founder and president of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, D.C. Afterward, says Crane, they retired to the library for further discussion about privatization.

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