A Patronizing View of Chile from the USA

The Baker River will be dammed by the HidroAysen project. Photo courtesy of Vera and Jean-Christophe via Flickr.

The Wall Street Journal recently published a patronizing article, U.S. Greens vs. Chile’s Poor, arguing that rich socialists in the USA environmental movement have duped millions of impoverished gullible Chileans into rejecting the HidroAysén hydro powered dams project, and that if Chile rejects a future proposal to build transmission lines from the approved dam sites to Santiago, Chile will jeopardize its drive to become a wealthy nation.

Environmentalists won't allow nuclear plants in the USA or Chile. Photo courtesy of GCarty via Flickr.

While the Journal’s accusations are true, the environmental socialist movement has advanced much further in the USA, where the government controls 45% of the economy, than it has in Chile, where the government consumes 19% of the economy. The USA has not built a nuclear power plant or oil refinery in decades due to environmental restrictions, nor has it constructed an adequate electricity transmission network, causing the massive Northeast Blackout of 2003, leaving 55 million in the dark.

I believe that it is unwise to live in a country carrying enormous debt because residents drag the burden for a long time. The The Economic Collapse blog is unsure, but I reckon that the best country to move to for many people is Chile, suffering little debt and enjoying a booming economy. Mining represents 30% of the economy in Chile, the largest industry, made possible because the Green Party does not dominate politics.

Logo of the Chile leftist movement courtesy of Wikipedia.

Victor Toro, a socialist from Chile living in New York for decades without becoming a USA citizen, is likely to be deported soon. Toro is a member of the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR) (Spanish Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria) who was tortured by the Pinochet regime. He is a social worker who founded a non-profit community center, and has accumulated many supporters during his long stay in the USA.

About half the people I meet in the USA work for the government; or work for a non-profit, most of which receive the majority of their funds from the government; or work to create goods and services sold to non-profits and the government. Essentially, government in the USA enjoys a controlling interest in society, “profit” is a dirty word, and I understand why Victor Toro feels comfortable in New York. He resists deportation to Chile:

“The government that exists now is the essence of what Pinochet established in Chile,” Toro insists. “Pinera is a product of the military dictatorship. He’s governing with the laws of Pinochet. He follows the same constitution, which is Pinochetism. It is a model of oppression. If I go to Chile I’m going to fight against this.

It will be a daunting struggle for Toro, as Chile opposes socialism more than the USA, Europe, and Argentina. Pinochet’s constitution is widely supported and credited as the foundation of the enormous economic growth of Chile.

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