Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Eggs Are Broken, but No Omelette Appears

Felix Salmon approves of the Economist:

RGE - The Economist gets it right on Pinochet: The Economist's print edition, unlike its blog, is spot-on when it comes to Pinochet:

If the coup did indeed rescue Chile from an elected government that was Marxist-dominated--and thus anti-democratic--was it justified? The answer is no...

With Chileans cowed, the Chicago Boys could work as if in a laboratory, with no regard for social costs. They made mistakes: a fixed exchange rate and unregulated bank privatisations triggered a massive recession and financial collapse in 1982-83. More pragmatic policies and a renewal of growth followed. But it took the return of democracy in 1990, with its ability to bestow legitimacy, to create an investment-led boom and a large fall in poverty...

Even if history bothers to remember that he privatised the pension system, that should not wipe away the memory of the torture, the "disappeared" and the bodies dumped at sea. His defenders--who include Britain's Lady Thatcher--really should know better.

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