Good question

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Chileans’ life expectancy is now higher than Americans’, while Venezuela’s still catching up

@OwenJones84 @K_Niemietz Venezuelan, Chilean and Chinese index of economic freedom rankings 2016

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Source: Index of Economic Freedom: Promoting Economic Opportunity and Prosperity by Country.

@OwenJones84 @K_Niemietz GDP per capita has not more than doubled @chavezcandanga

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Source: The Conference Board. 2015. The Conference Board Total Economy Database™, May 2015, http://www.conference-board.org/data/economydatabase/

Chile and Venezuela compared

The impact of neoliberalism on labour market freedom in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela

All was quiet on the neoliberalism front in Latin America for the last 20 years. In yet another defeat for the Mont Pelerin Society led transnational conspiracy, labour market freedom has declined in the four countries in figure 1. I’ve always had my doubts about the ability of a transnational conspiracy to be led by a society with such a crappy website.

Figure 1: Index of Economic Freedom, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, 95 – 2015

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Source: Index of Economic Freedom 2015.

The impact of neoliberalism on economic freedom in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela since 1995

All was quiet on the neoliberalism front in Latin America for the last 20 years. In yet another defeat for the Mont Pelerin Society led transnational conspiracy, economic freedom has been pretty stable in Chile for 20 years and in the serious decline in Venezuela and Argentina – see figure 1. Not much happening in Brazil either on the neoliberalism front – see figure 1. I’ve always had my doubts about the ability of a transnational conspiracy to be led by a society with such a crappy website.

Figure 1: Index of Economic Freedom, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, 95 – 2015

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Source: Index of Economic Freedom 2015.

Economic Developement in Cuba compared

via Super-Economy: Economic Developement in Cuba.

Double standards watch: was Milton Friedman a double secret communist agent?

In March 1975, Friedman had a 45-minute meeting with Pinochet while he was on a private visit to Chile. Friedman later wrote a letter to that tin-pot military dictator proposing some economic remedies. That advice was the same advice he gave to countries all around the world such as to the government of India in 1955 .

Friedman advocated quick and severe cuts in government spending and inflation, deregulation, a floating exchange rate  and more open international trade policy and to

provide for the relief of any cases of real hardship and severe distress among the poorest classes.

Milton Friedman first visited China in 1980. According to Ronald Coase’s book on Chinese economic reform, as part of that visit, Friedman gave a week long seminar to Chinese government officials.  Friedman met with the  leadership of this totalitarian dictatorship. Friedman returned again as a guest of the Chinese government in 1988 and 1993:

Milton Friedman and his wife Rose visited China in 1980 and 1988 to learn about the economic reform that was taking place there and to share their economic knowledge and insights with the Chinese people.

Friedman gave lectures in numerous cities and held discussions with government officials, managers, bankers, students, professors and even with ordinary people in their homes and on the streets.

In their second visit they met with Zhao Ziyang… General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, to discuss China’s economic reform.

In his meetings with the Chinese leaders when he first visited China in 1980, Friedman strongly emphasised

the importance of unfettered markets, pointing to China’s neighbour, Hong Kong, as a model to be followed by mainland China.

Steven Cheung wrote about  those visits and the extremely sophisticated discussions Friedman had with top Chinese officials and their economic advisers in 1988 with Cheung as his translator.  The only two points they disagreed on was the control  that the Communist Party had over the society  and when  to loosen exchange-rate controls. Cheung said that Zhao’s rationale for delay deserved a good grade in any graduate exam. Following Friedman’s meetings with Zhao, he said the general secretary

was the best economist I have ever met from a socialist country

Subsequent to his 1988 meeting  with Zhao Ziyang,  Milton Friedman wrote him a letter that gave much the same advice that he gave to Pinochet. Friedman also advised the Chinese against following the market socialism model of Yugoslavia  because although it would work for a while before further economic growth required privatisation.

Why is it wrong to have one 45 minute meeting with the tin-pot dictator and yet give seminars and detailed policy advice to a totalitarian dictatorship. Friedman would spend the rest of his life being defamed as an accomplice to evil for meeting Pinochet for 45 minutes. Friedman later noted that he gave communist dictatorships the same advice he gave Pinochet:

It’s curious. I gave exactly the same lectures in China that I gave in Chile. I have had many demonstrations against me for what I said in Chile.

Nobody has made any objections to what I said in China. How come?

If the same standard of evidence is applied to all people who visit dictatorships, Friedman must be a Communist agent or at least a collaborator and responsible for all the horrors that took place in China before and after he visited: the Great Leap Forward and the cultural revolution would be examples. Friedman also visited Yugoslavia: market socialism is his fault as well.

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