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37% of Latinos Don't Finish HS. 34% Are Below Grade Level.

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  • #16
    Excellent point Ran!! And that is why I am an independentista

    Because one must follow one's own path in life. Not imitate others. And one must sacrifice for a goal. And make changes. Change is scary and it is difficult but if you don't do it...you won't ever get the greatness of your own accomplishments.

    With the Stanley's of the world.....they think PR will wind up like Cuba and DR or Panama, or Mexico. And they see the stark poverty, the corruption, the beaurocracy and the negative of being an independent and third world Latin American country and they think. Tis better to lose Spanish, be pro-USA be like the Eskimos and the Hawaiians (who have lost their culture and language) and who have the bigger country getting them a standard of living that is 'acceptable' and to hell with self rule. Lifestyle, and standard of living is much more important than being independent or having national identity or even trying to prevent cultural assimilation. I suggest he visit native american reservations in the states....and see what happens to those who have given up their language and their lands to the Feds....who do not share those people's histories. I suggest he hear the voices of African American leaders and just how full of justice the Feds are with them. It is all about the $$$$$$$ with these people. And all can be turned over and sold off for the almighty dollar. People like that shall always exist. They are called 'what is best for me and mine?' and essential egotism is what keeps people from reaching a higher level of consciousness. If you believe human nature is not malleable and unchanging and no one learns from mistakes and selfish behavior and can beyond that.....then greed and capitalism and ganancia desenfrenada and dog eat dog competition is the way to go. Just don't think we can survive as homo sapiens for long with no limits on greed, selfishness, callousness, lack of social concern, love, or sacrifice. And Capitalism the raw (no socialist reforms kind of capitalism often found in third world countries) for the exclusive benefit of the first world and the transnationals.....Enron, Tyco, Worldnet.etc. type of corporate philosophies.....create such misery, hardship and despair and spill so much blood, and destroy so much of our planet's natural resources....that unless people like Stanley and company start thinking about what is best for the whole planet not just what is best for ME and the USA or PR......we are all doomed to extinction. Too much pollution, too much people without a bowl of rice to eat, too many people living without basic health care, too many with no education at all, too many in ignorance, in fear, involved in fanatical religions, and fanatical political positions. En fin, demasiada gente que no quieren dar nada, ni sacrificar nada por los que no tienen esperanza y han recibido nada pero castigo....de un sistema inhumano. Y los que si luchan para cambiar el sistema se cansan, y se sacrifican y sufren y pagan el precio de ser la minoria......cuando deben de ser la mayoria de la humanidad.....especialmente en los paises prosperos......

    Suki

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    • #17
      I hate to keep repeating myself but your rhetoric sounds very American. Yautia also sounds like that.

      I understand your ideals of going back to a more primitive time with less prosperity where there are no engines that pollute the air and where we maintain a pure lifestyle with no outside influences. In fact there was one person in this forum who hated Cristopher Columbus because he brought the Spanish civilization to PR and destroyed the Taino culture. I undersatnd your desire to see PR as socialist republic to satisfy your own dream even if it means hardship for the average Puertorican who is used to receive government help. You are more than willing to live in a 3rd world country because you could then congregate with those who share your values. In summary--------------- "Screw the Stanleys of the world if they don't share my values".

      You know what------------ I know this is cyber hyperbole and that you are a very nice person so I will not take this on a personal level. I will be honest, you sounded somewhat intolerant. This hurts becdause I am quite the moderate kind of guy. In any event I will take this as just another post from a socialist (the end justifies the means). I look forward to exchange with you and please feel free to correct me if I mis-represented your position. I am sorry if I rubbed you the wrong way, but you have come accross somewhat angry because you disagree with my viewpoint. I truly dislike this sort of exchange and as I said I look forward to debate the issues rather than to hear angry recycled left wing dogma from the USA. I rather talk about Puertorican issues and not the plight of the American Indian or Al Gore's obsession with the environment.


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      Stanley

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      • #18
        Stan does not like being criticized for his views? Ay Stan!!

        Stanley if you are a statehooder it means you love the USA. Start talking about USA all the way. This is your opportunity.

        Do you want to talk about Puerto Rico? Do you think that the level of crime, drug addiction, unemployment, and government dole dependence is positive? And are the socialists responsible for all that crime, drug addiction and unemployment? If the 5% are not responsible then who is?

        Is it the colonial legacy, cuponazo dependency syndrome? Vamos hablar de la isla entonces. I don't believe in "by any means necessary"....that is your stereotype of what a socialist is.....all statehood mentality love saying socialists believe in violence and bloodshed to gain power. It is the cuco. I would rather die a horrible death than kill someone for some nefarious power play socialist or otherwise. There is no justification for killing someone to try to force them to agree with you or to believe the same as one does. That is futile....and immoral. I don't think the end justifies the means....that sounds and smacks of capitalismo desenfrenado de tercer mundo estilo Multinational corporations to me. The end is expansion and productivity and generation of 'wealth' and the fodder is people and raw material and keeping law and order that favors the profit engine at all costs....yo, creo que izquierdistas o derechistas que piensan que el fusil, las bombas y la muerte van a solventar sus problemas o conflictos estan bien equivocados y van a morir por la espada ellos tambien. Los que escupen y desprecian la vida humana por razones de poder (no importe de que 'ideologia' sean) estan mal y son no son gente para respetar. Lo que pasa Stanley es que hay muchos que escupen de ambos lados, y no tiene que ver con ideologias sino falta de moralidad y consciencia. Y no pienses que los estadistas o los pro-USA son exentos de esta bajeza de consciencia. Soy pacifista. Siempre lo he sido, nunca he romantizado lo que significa creer en guerra y la fuerza bruta......y resiento muchisimo tu comentario que los socialistas somos como los fanaticos de AL Quaeda....the end justifies the means. I could say the same thing about you. And call you stupid names like vendepatria pitiyankee, materialista sin dignidad, etc. Pero eso no llega a nada verdad? Asi que vamos a concentrarnos en Puerto Rico. A mi no me molesta. Pero no tengo tiempo me voy el viernes y tengo que lidiar con una persona amada muy linda que me necesita....asi que si no contesto despues del viernes.....no pienses que haz ganado el argumento.....lol.

        Suki.

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        • #19
          Suki:

          Voy a hablar en Espanol, pero me vas a tener que perdonar la falta de los acentos y la ene con palito. Siempre se me olvidan esos numeritos y el ALT.

          Nunca pense convencerte o de tratar de ganar un argumento. Se ve que eres una mujer muy fuerte y de mucho caracter. Sin embargo, uno a veces aprende algo nuevo cuando una tiene este tipo de dialogo. Tu verdaderamente crees que la independencia socialista va a mejorar esos problemas que mencionas. Y adivina que???? Yo estoy de acuerdo; los paises socialistas con gobierno de mano fuerte no permiten ese estilo de vida de vagancia, uso de drogas, y la dependencia en cupones o el DOLE. Sin embargo, para lograr eso casi siempre imponen un sistema en donde el ciudadano pierde derechos. Lamentablememnte en un pais completamente libre uno siempre va a encontrar los elementos que tu mencionas. Sin duda alguna esto no es permitido en muchos paises como Cuba o la antigua Union Sovietica. Estos paises tambien proveen seguro de salud a todos de gratis a sus ciudadanos. Lamentablememnte esto no es cierto en los EEUU y eso es una desgracia. EEUU es el unico pais desarrollado del mundo sin seguro universal. Quiero que veas que you no soy tan diferente a ti. El problema es "el jodio socialismo que tanto aman los independentistas". Como le dije a Eddie; el socialismo siempre falla y eventualmente se regresa al capitalismo aunque tenga miles de defectos (como tu describiste arriba).



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          Stanley

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          • #20
            Well, I don't really want to jump in the "European Features" discussion because quite frankly I believe it is irrelevant. This is a very serious problem affecting Latinos of all complections and backgrounds, including Puerto Ricans. The further removed the immigrants generation becomes from the land of origin, the worse the attrition problem gets.

            The article brings up a good point when it talks about the parental/family factor. Therein lies the biggest sympton. But I dare say not the problem. The problem is lack of hope and inspiration, as well as lack of resources. This stems from a lack of clear and strong leadership and message for Latinos in the United States. The message has to be universal and transmitted at all levels of American-Latino society. There are many among us who never get the opportunity to speak to other Latinos in this country and that have the ability to inspire the desire to become better than themselves. This is compounded by the lack of publicity for Latino role models; Latino professionals such as Doctors, Lawyers, and Engineers largerly go about their business unseen by those who they might inspire.

            If YOU are such a person, if YOU have a professional career, or if YOU feel you can inspire other Latinos to become better than themselves, I say to YOU that it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to take your pride as Latino and share it with others who cannot see their own pride as Latinos. Take one or two days a year and visit a predominantly Latino school. Career Day is a great opportunity to inspire our youth. Show them what they can become. Show them there can be a great future for them. Show them that life is not easy when you choose the hard road, but it is better if you do.

            Remember that it is hard to become what you cannot imagine or see. Make a point to ask every Latino child you meet what they are going to be when they grow up; and make sure that when you are done talking to that child they have a good answer.

            Demand that our political leaders (Latinos or not) pay attention to the educational crisis of Latino youth. Make them see that this is not only a Latino tragedy, it is an American catastrophe. This will be an albatros this nation will carry around its neck like many others we discuss in this forum on a daily basis. But this albatros is ours.

            Take your child's hand in your hand and look into his or her eyes. This little person is so much like you, but is not you. The one thing he or she is, is your future.

            JosÚ

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            • #21
              Stanley y Jose

              Stanley para ti el capitalismo es la manera mas eficiente y productiva de crear la prosperidad economica. Para mi no lo es. Y te voy a explicar un ejemplo muy facil de entender porque explicar los mecanismos de como trabaja el capital internacional requiere un grado avanzado en economia. Los comunistas como Eddie el inteligente senor mayor, estudian el capitalismo a fondo, y comprenden muy bien sus mecanismos. Y el tiene razon en que tienes que estudiar como se analiza (deberias estudiar mas ciencias sociales). Lei una parte de Das Kapital y era dificil de comprender y yo necesito hacerle preguntas a gente que estudian economia para que aclaren algunos puntos. Sin embargo el capitalismo se practica asi (por lo general):

              1. Quien controla los recursos naturales o materias primas que necesita el capitalismo para crear productos para el mercado? En mi opinion los recursos de la tierra son para la humanidad y para los animales y las plantas tambien para que podamos cooperar todos en beneficio mutuo. Pero, eso no es la realidad. La realidad es que un recurso digamos la industria farmaceutica mundial, mercadea sus drogas y cobra para la refinacion de plantas que crecen en el mundo natural. Ellos toman una planta con propiedades medicinales, lo desarollan, lo refinan y lo transportan al mercado y cobran y ganan ganancias. Le sacan "ganancia". Como? Ellos son duenos exclusivos o patentizados de algo que antes crecia silvestremente. Digamos que en total invierten en tiempo, dinero y recursos un total de aproximadamente 3 centavos cada pildora. Pero la venden a $2.00 al por mayor, y el vendedor al detal le anade $1.00 mas. El consumidor tiene que pagar el precio establecido debido a que el sistema dicta que los recursos de la tierra son 'exclusivos' y pueden pertenecer a un grupo en particular en esta instancia a los inversionistas de la compania de productos farmaceuticos o drogas. Ese dinero 'extra' de 'plusvalia'no es compartido con los nativos de las junglas de Brazil o Ecuador o donde esa planta origino no......eso le pertenece a los que quieren hacer exclusivo algo que la naturaleza le ha brindado a la humanidad....y los que no pueden pagar el precio.....se mueren. Asi de sencillo. No comparten 'las ganancias' con los trabajadores. Solamente le dan suficiente para sobrevivir y no ponerse rebeldes....y cuidado....por que son capaces de estafar a los suyos tambien con el fin de que el grupo 'exclusivo' de millonarios pueden seguir su estilo de vida. Ese sistema Stanley eventualmente crea problemas muy serios. Por que un grupo es mas beneficiado que otro. Y crea el clasico conflicto de las clases del cual hablan tantos socialistas. Y para evitar conflictos de clase, que se supone que hagamos. Tu piensas que medicina socializada y etc. es la manera de resolver. Si crees eso Stanley entonces eres enemigo de la mayor parte de los republicanos y los conservadores. Exclusividad sin interferencias de parte del gobierno ni reformas socialistas de ninguna clase son buenas para ellos. Eliminar la vivienda publica, los cupones, asistencia publica, no dejar uniones de trabajadores, etc. Ellos creen que el capitalismo puro sin frenos y con amplias libertades es la manera de vivir. Y si alguien esta mal desempleado, sin educacion, etc. que ellos mismos sean los que tengan que bregar. O las iglesias. Pero el gobierno nada.

              Muchos conservadores piensan asi. Preguntales ellos te diran que la mayoria de la gente pobre es pobre por que le gustan ser pobres. Tu crees eso? Que la gente pobre le encanta vivir en pobreza? Yo se que no eres denso. Lol. Sigamos en un rato. Adios por ahora.

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              • #22
                Digamos que en total invierten en tiempo, dinero y recursos un total de aproximadamente 3 centavos cada pildora. Pero la venden a $2.00

                Exacto! Muy bien! Eso es asi!

                Se gana $1.97 por haber hecho las investigaciones necesarias y haber desarrollado un tratamiento que mejora la calidad de vida. Lo hacen porque hay un incentivo------------ la plata!! La guita!!! Sin ese incentivo la pildora no se desarrolla. Por eso es que el capitalista produce mas que el socialista. Y cuando el socialista produce lo hace MUCHO MAS LENTAMENTE. Porque? Pues----- no hay incentivo; y luego pasa el tiempo y no hay ninguna motivacion. Te digo Suki que la condicion humana is imperfecta. Lo que predicas suena muy bien, pero olvidas la condicon humana.

                Aunque no lo creas yo estoy de acuerdo cuando enumeras las barbaridades del capitalismo. Sin embargo en estos momemntos no hay nada mejor. Aunque, como te dije anteriormente los Ingleases, Espanoles, y otros paises Europeos parecen estar mas avanzados en la busquda de ese termino medio entre el capitalismo y el socialismo.

                En donde vive ud en EEUU?



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                Stanley

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                • #23
                  Please keep the discussion about Latino education in the US going. This is a very important subject that needs frequent attention. Do not get distracted by blame. Let's talk about solutions, alternatives and actions.

                  JosÚ

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                  • #24
                    JosÚ

                    During my stay in the US I have met many blacks and Latin Americans who are well educated and with good paying jobs. The common denominator is a strong set of parents who value education. Invariably everytime I met a black person who had gone to an Ivy League school they had a dad and a mom at home. Having a dad and a mom at home spells success for most American blacks-------- Unfortunately this is a rarity.

                    Likewise Latin Americans who did well in school also had a similar background. I have also noted that kids with parents from India and Pakistan achieve a lot. They also have strong parents.

                    And lastly, the Asians------ for then education is everything. In fact they are downright anal about it. In my neck of the woods the Asian kids go to math camps every summer to make sure they get an A in Algebra and Calculus. By the time they take the subject in school they have already covered that ground with a tutor in math camp. It is virtually obligatory for all the Asian kids to excel in music and they must be proficient in piano or a string instrument. My son played string bass in his school string orchestra and more than half of the members were Asian. As you can imagine, he was the only Puertorican and there were no blacks. There were no other latinos despite the fact that my area is full of Central Americans. I made sure all my kids had music lessons growing up. This is something kids will not do unless they have parents who care.

                    Where can we start: If I was king I would talk about this constantly and would try VERY hard to change the current pop culture of "one parent household is a good as a two parent household". This is only true for the rich hollywood crowd.

                    I would do everything in my power to make sure men take responsability and provide for their kids.

                    I would put in place mandatory classes in every public school on how to be a good citizen (ethics) and how to achieve a high education. I would put a lot of weight on ethics and would try very hard to change the current pop culture of everything goes. This crap about teaching a 12 year old girls how to put a condom on a cucumber and how to hold a baby using a fake doll is not working very well. Having day care centers in high school tells the girls that "we are ready for you if you get pregnant". For these girls pregnancy signifies the end--- no education!!!

                    I would also put in place mandatory uniforms in all public schools. Men would be required to wear a tie and a jacket at all times. No sneaker and no jeans!! Folks need to learn how to dress for success. This idea that kids should dress like "con men" is not going to take them very far.

                    I would also make sure that the physical plant of the school is adequate. but I am reminded that improving the school's physical appearance is not always related to success in the children.

                    I would also try to recruit better math teachers. As of now anyone who is good in math and science will not go into teaching because the pay is low. However, there are many retired phD engineers, chemists, physicists, ect who would love to teach a couple of classes and are not allowed to do so by the NEA. Instead we have English majors trying to teach algebra. As you can imagine these highly qualified phDs teach in the private schools who jump at the opportunity of having such a skilled person in thier ranks.

                    But, ultimately it is the parents.

                    Perhaps you think my rhetoric is right wing, but I warn you---------- I am middle of the road.


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                    Stanley

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                    • #25
                      Stanley,

                      I am neither on the left or the right; I believe in balance. Although I am frequently accused by a few on this forum of being on the left, or independentista, or communist whenever I critizise the extreme right...anyhow.

                      I agree with you on every single point you made. A few of the ideas are perhaps unrealistic and some could be challenged as unconstitutional, but I cannot see how any of them could not improve education.

                      The one thing that concerns me the most though is why are we, as Latinos, in particular doing so poorly. My daughter attends kindergarten in a private school. She is the only Latino in her class. But there are public school in my general vicinity that are predominantly Latino. Why are our drop out rates so high? What can we do to change those facts?

                      JosÚ

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                      • #26
                        There is an easy explanation and perhaps this explains why Latin Cubanos do better than other Latins.

                        All of us are the product of our parents who themselves are the product of their parents and so forth. A huge portion of my personality contains traits that are nearly identical to my mom and dad. As you can imagine they got these traits from their own parents (mis abuelos). This chain is endless if we go back thru our own ancestry . At the end we are the product of those in our family tree. I have a daughter who thinks just like me, we are a carbon copy of each other. My son is more left wing than me, but his mannerisms and the way he went about dating girls was just like I did. All my other daughters behave just like their mom.

                        It is very easy for a Latin to get well educated if he or she comes from a family tree where education is a long standing tradition. I was very lucky to have two well educated parents, for me it was a no brainer as I was told everyday since I was born that I would receive a college education and then more. For me this was to be expected. In the same manner all my kids take for granted that they will be college grads, that is a given.

                        Let me talk to you about my wife. She has a different background and she was never, not even once encouraged to get educated. She grew up without a dad and her home was somewhat chaotic. As far as she can recall her mother NEVER, not even once did homework with her or bother to even look at her report card. How can anyone with this type of home compete with a person who had parents like mine. I know I sound subsirvient by tellling you how great my parents were, but this is something I an very grateful to God. The worse thing that can happen to any kid is been born to a set of crappy parents. That is why whenever I see someone who made it with a set of crappy parents I bow. That must be a very difficult thing to do and it surely is worthy of admiration.

                        The other issue is self esteem. I have found that folks with low self esteem do not achieve as well and tend to quit if there is a setback. We must not be quitters!

                        So Ecuajey is correct. A Cuban kid from a family background where everybody is well educated will achieve more than another Latin kid from a background where education is not appreciated.

                        In my neck of the woods Latinos score at the same level or below than Afrcan Americans. Asians test scores are slightly ahead of Anglos. Indian and Pakistanis do very well!!

                        But, most of our Latinos just got here and their parents are not educated. Some of these kids don't even speak English. It will take 2-3 more generations before we catch up.


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                        • #27
                          Stan so now you are an expert on education for Latinos?

                          Why don't you ask Yautia (you know that person who you think is too left wing!!)Lol. She is my mother. She has a doctorate in education (multicultural education) and has worked in the education field for almost 30 years. Why don't you ask her why Latin kids don't achieve? And by the way my Jibaro grandparents had very little formal education but my mother got a lot of formal education....(she broke the 'pattern' you are so fond of talking about). I think your theories are simplistic at best. But that is just me, a person who has been around professional educators her whole life. Lol.

                          Yautia might not be available for quite a while. So be patient. But I am sure she would love to talk about the state of education in the USA.
                          And in Puerto Rico and in many places.

                          Suki.

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                          • #28
                            Lessons in Economics for Stan the Man

                            [QUOTE]Originally posted by Stanley
                            [B]However, the children of Cuban exiles do much better than the average hispanic. Perhaps we should emulate them. Sometimes latino inmigrants emulate African Americans and then they realize their methods do not meet their needs.
                            ______________________________________________________________
                            Dear Stan: Now I know you must have been in Disney world, or someplace in Dade County for the last few years. Let us see
                            if we can put your primitive brain to sleep and wake up that UPR thinking brain. First a little history on the Wonders of the "New" !Privatisa todo! Model: Back to Basics: Here are some gringos talking about their miracle boy MIlton Friedman and the great new Bush (Matojito's) model:


                            Economics
                            The Myth of the Chilean Miracle
                            by Stephanie Rosenfeld



                            SANTIAGO, CHILE - A major labor demonstration here on July 11 brought an end to the long labor-government honeymoon since ChileĂs 1990 transition to democracy. The demonstration, called by the CUT, ChileĂs principal labor union confederation, was the largest since the massive rallies that accompanied the downfall of the Pinochet dictatorship in the late 1980s.

                            Since the transition to democracy, Chilean politics has been marked by a desire to maintain stability and consensus. While there have been a series of sectoral conflicts, this was the first broad-based labor protest.

                            The demonstrators demanded the restoration of labor rights stripped away during the 16-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. The 1973 military coup which brought Pinochet to power ended ChileĂs experiment with the "democratic road to socialism," leaving President Salvador Allende dead in the bombed-out presidential palace.

                            Pinochet ushered in a very different experiment. A group of Chilean economists started applying the neoliberal economic model to Chile in the mid-1970s, years before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank began forcing such policies on ChileĂs neighbors. These economists came to be known as the "Chicago Boys," since many of them had studied at the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman.

                            The Chicago Boys claim their ideology is based on freedom, especially freedom from government intervention in the economy. Their reform program included selling off state-owned companies, lowering taxes and tariffs, "freeing" prices by eliminating government subsidies, and privatizing government social services such as health, education and social security [see "PinochetĂs Giveaway: ChileĂs Privatization Experience," Multinational Monitor, May 1991].

                            These economic policies mainly benefitted big business, which enjoyed the virtual giveaway of profitable state enterprises and harsh repression of labor. The Pinochet regime banned political parties of the Left, and jailed, tortured, killed and exiled many union leaders and others opposed to the dictatorship. "People were in prison so the prices could be free," said historian Eduardo Galeano about similar reforms that took place in Uruguay.

                            Restructuring the economy was a key element of the dictatorshipĂs larger project to transform Chilean society and eliminate the possibility of another Allende-style government. The military and its civilian allies reworked the institutions of Chilean society, rewriting everything from labor laws to the Constitution and the rules of the electoral system.

                            PinochetĂs 1979 Labor Plan banned union confederations, prohibited unions from requiring members to pay dues and made it optional for companies to collectively bargain with unions that represent workers in more than one firm. It also encouraged the formation of competing unions and placed a 60-day limit on strikes, all in the name of increased "freedom" for workers and employers.

                            The 1980 Constitution created a "protected democracy," expanding the political role of the military, and skewing the electoral system to favor representatives of the Right and the military. It also specifies the "unremovability" of the commanders in chief of the armed forces, which allows General Pinochet to remain Commander in Chief of the Army through 1997.

                            Corporate socialism

                            In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Chilean economy recovered from the recessionary shock of the neoliberal reforms, and began to grow at a moderate rate, enjoying brief fame as a neoliberal "miracle" economy. But much of the economic growth was based on foreign debt and financial speculation, and when the speculative bubble burst in 1982, ChileĂs gross national product plunged 14 percent. Unemployment reached 30 percent, and ChileĂs debt crisis sparked three years of national protests against General Pinochet and the Chicago Boys.

                            What made ChileĂs debt crisis different from that of the rest of Latin America was that private companies, not the government, held most of most of ChileĂs foreign debt. The fact that the government was not legally responsible for repayment could have been an important source of bargaining power as the government entered negotiations with the IMF over the conditions attached to new loans to help pay back the old. However, private interests took precedence over public good, and the Chilean government promised to back the private debt.

                            While both the IMF and the Chicago Boys preached free markets and disparaged state intervention in the economy, the IMF was happy to have the Chilean government bail out private debtors, if that meant guaranteed repayment of loans. Interestingly, Rolf LŘders, PinochetĂs minister of economy and finance who agreed to government backing of the loans, had only a few months earlier been an executive of one of ChileĂs most indebted economic conglomerates, the Grupo Vial.

                            The IMF adjustment program was structured to protect the conglomerates and the international banks, at the expense of the countryĂs poor, argue Chilean economist Patricio Meller and others. One of the standard austerity measures proposed by the IMF is the elimination of government subsidies to basic goods and services. But when the IMF program was implemented in Chile, the Central Bank provided subsidies, or bailouts, to some 2,000 wealthy debtors, a sum equivalent to 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP); it is not clear what rationale the IMF used to exclude these subsidies from the austerity adjustment program. At the same time, some 600,000 out-of-work Chileans received only 1.5 percent of GDP as an unemployment subsidy.

                            Ironically, although much of the neoliberal reform package that the IMF imposed on other countries in the wake of the debt crisis had already been implemented by the Chicago Boys in Chile, it did not prevent Chile from accumulating one of the highest per capita debts in South America.



                            From dictatorship to democracy

                            The 1990 transition to democracy marked the beginning of a period of political reform, with the new government run by a coalition of political parties dominated by the Christian Democratic Party in the political center, and including the center-left Party for Democracy and the Socialist Party. But the coalition, called the Concertaciˇn, has focused its reform efforts on the consolidation of electoral democracy, and the neoliberal economic policies of the Pinochet years remain largely intact.

                            Observers attribute the ongoing vitality of the neoliberal model to several factors, including the growth spurt the country has recently experienced. Authoritarian legacies of the dictatorship, such as the "designated" senators, who represent institutions such as the armed forces rather than electoral districts, play a decisive role in the legislature, tipping the scales against major reforms. The social movements, which had led the struggle for democracy during the darkest years of the dictatorship, have had little influence or bargaining power with the new government. Elite party politics marginalized organized labor, which had been decimated by years of repression and neoliberal economic restructuring, along with the womenĂs and other popular movements.

                            But perhaps the most important reason for the neoliberal modelĂs persistence is that the economic thinking of important sectors of the center-left opposition to the dictatorship and the neoliberals began to converge in some aspects in the 1980s. In broad strokes, both the Chicago Boys and the center-left agree that the market and the private sector should lead the development process. Both emphasize economic growth as the key to the elimination of poverty and reject government measures aimed at reducing inequality or which might risk causing inflation. Both agree that export growth is fundamental to ChileĂs development, and therefore both support maintaining an open economy.

                            In economic policy, the Concertaciˇn has differed from the neoliberals mainly in its attention to poverty and social policy, increasing the government spending in these areas by some 30 to 40 percent over the levels at the end of the dictatorship.

                            The Concertaciˇn also rejects the neoliberal view of the state. In the ConcertaciˇnĂs view, the government should play an important role in regulating business and the market, as well as insuring a minimum level of welfare. Under President Patricio Aylwin, the government halted the rush of privatizations of state-owned firms, but did not review the privatizations that occurred during the dictatorship.



                            Paying the social costs

                            After the economic collapse and structural adjustment programs of the debt crisis period, the Chilean economy began to grow again in the mid-1980s, and it is now again being hailed as a "miracle." This time, the growth is more solidly based on natural resource exports, primarily fruit, forests, fish and copper. But severe poverty and income inequality persist.

                            In contrast to the dire predictions of the outgoing Pinochet regime, stability and growth were sustained during the Aylwin administration, which governed from 1990 to early 1994. Economic growth averaged 6.3 percent annually from 1990 to 1993, compared to 6.4 percent for the 1985 to 1989 period, the years of economic recovery from the debt crisis.

                            Official unemployment fell to a 20-year low at 4.5 percent in 1992, from 27 percent in 1982 and 5.7 percent in 1990. At the same time, the work week lengthened, with the average increasing from 48.5 hours per week in 1990 to 50.5 hours in 1992.

                            The Aylwin administration acknowledged the "social debt" owed to those who have yet to benefit from the economic "miracle," and made poverty alleviation a priority. The number of people officially defined as living in poverty dropped from 5 million to 4 million, in a country of 13 million, partly as a result of increases in the minimum wage and pensions and increased government expenditures on social services, and partly due to economic growth which decreased unemployment.

                            Nevertheless, poverty rates remain much worse than before the neoliberals took over national economic policy. From 1970 to the early 1990s, the percentage of households living below the poverty and indigence lines skyrocketed. In 1970, before Pinochet took power, 17 percent of Chilean household incomes were below the poverty line; by 1990, the rate had doubled, with 35 percent of the households living in poverty; and in 1992 it was still 33.5 percent. After 10 straight years of economic growth, income distribution figures show little improvement.

                            Poverty in Chile is caused not so much by unemployment as precarious employment and low wages. As a result of laborĂs weak bargaining power, wage increases have continually lagged behind productivity gains. While the centrist and leftist political parties promoted "growth with equity" as an economic strategy during the 1960s and early 1970s, today "growth with stability" is the ConcertaciˇnĂs mantra.

                            The Concertaciˇn considers its reform of the labor legislation inherited from the dictatorship one of its major accomplishments. The government lifted the 60-day limit on strikes, and unions are now allowed to join in confederations. But the government denied organized laborĂs principal demand, obligatory collective bargaining at the industry level, rather than at the firm level, and legal obstacles continue to impede efforts to rebuild the union movement. JosÚ Pi˝era, author of the 1979 Labor Plan, called the Plan a building that could not be burned down, and indeed the basic structure is still standing.

                            That organized labor has made such limited gains since the transition reflects in part the weakness of labor as a movement. Unions have only recently begun to rebuild at the base, and with mixed results. Between 1989 and 1991, workers formed thousands of new unions, but many other unions are no longer active. In 1993, 13.1 percent of the Chilean labor force was unionized, up from 9.8 percent in 1988, but a decline from 1991Ăs 14.5 percent membership level. Many of the new unions, fruit of the high hopes and enthusiasm of the transition period, have found that collective negotiations were not very successful. The bulk of firm-level unions, the only type of union with which employers must negotiate, have only 25 to 50 members, and correspondingly little power.

                            The ConcertaciˇnĂs strategy of elite negotiation and social demobilization has led to a stable transition period, yet one marked by few concessions from the Right or big business. While Chile under Aylwin saw some major strikes, especially by state and state-enterprise workers such as teachers, health workers and copper miners, on the whole, the Aylwin years were far more remarkable for their stability than for conflict.

                            As his term came to an end in March 1994, President Aylwin became more openly critical of the neoliberal economic model over which he had presided. At a celebration of International WomenĂs Day, Aylwin remarked, "There is no point in [free-market-based development] if the majority of human beings see it only on TV."


                            :
                            and please do your homework Sherlock, I do mine!

                            PAZ PARA VIEQUES

                            Yautia

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                            • #29
                              Yautia

                              Stan thinks you are a socialist because you want power for yourself and you will eliminate people like him who believe in capitalism and free market economics.

                              As long as all is well in Stan's world. All is well. He is going to buy a winter vacation home in Puerto Rico. And take out his pip flag from his old UPR days for memories of when he was young, dumb and naive. Now as El Boricua says "barriga llena y corazon contento". Y a criticar a gente como tu Mami, que nunca han abandonado sus ideales no importe los sobornos y las presiones y hasta las consecuencias mas horrendas que tengas que pagar. No te daras por vencida. Eso no le gusta al Stan the Man.

                              Stan should be happy, you produced two daughters with good educations and never had to kiss statehood ideals to do it. I hope he has the same success.

                              Suki. Lol.

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                              • #30
                                Companeras:

                                The two of you have this flight of ideas and it makes me dizzy.

                                However, I would love to hear how Yautia would improve education. But, paleez, do not post irrelevant material to the discussion. Simply tell me how you would improve the state of education.

                                At least the two of you prove my theory that kids tend to be like their parents. Suki is a clone of Yautia. My kids are a lot like me, but the similarities between the two of you are striking!! It make me think of cloning. I wonder if free thinking was encouraged in the Yautia household. How about Mr. Yautia? What is his take in all of this? Is he also a clone? Does he have a diffeent opinion?


                                Los recuerdos suelen
                                Contarte mentiras



                                Stanley

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