Chile Miracle

Chile, a small country in south America; small enough to not know it at all and to know its history as well.

But few days ago, while I was watching a well-made documentary, a story from that little country caught my attention.

The story took place during the 1970s when chile was suffering from the sequent central governments and military ruling and as an indirect reckless policies that deeply damaged the Chilean society and needless to say Chilean economy, Chile experienced chronic inflation reaching highs of 140 percent per year ,had no foreign reserves, and GDP was falling. it was the worst scenario any country/government/nation could be in.

An economic reform was drafted by very powerful people called “Chicago Boys”, they derived their strength from their experience,education and patriotism.they obtained their name as Chicago boys regarding the fact that most of them studied in “University of Chicago” mainly economics under the mentorship of highly acclaimed and Nobel prize winner”Prof. Milton Friedman” the reforms seemed to be as a great solid base that can recover the Chilean economy and it did, quoting from journalists and professors who monitored the economic transformation of Chile:

“Chile’s annual growth in per capita real income from 1985 to 1996 averaged a remarkable 5 percent, far above the rest of Latin America”

“Developments were very positive with regards to infant mortality and life expectancy—infant mortality rate fell so much that Chile achieved the lowest level of infant mortality in Latin America in the 1980s Infant mortality rate in Chile fell from 76.1 per 1000 to 22.6 per 1000 from 1970 to 1985. In 1988, the military government passed a law making all abortion illegal, and the law remains in place today”

What helped those reforms to function perfectly was the democratic transformation in the 80s based on particular events and circumstances that dominated the political scene in Chile.

Important to mention that Chicago boys was basically an initiative by  the US State Department and with collaboration with “University of Chicago” many of the participants in the program had  remarkable influence in the Chilean Society; 16 of them held ministries in the successive government, many of taught in the Chilean universities and had a huge impact on larger percentage of the Chilean people.

The argument I am emphasizing is that the history showed us many success stories from Germany to Korea to Chile that ousted all the suffering, all the bitterness and moved forward to a brighter future, and although I am not a huge endorser of comparing among countries to the fact that each one has a exotic set of traditions,history and approach to the future.

But I truly believe that if all the Syrians unite for the sake of Syria, we can do marvelous job, derived primary from our genuine and profound love for our country and secondary-but with the same level of importance- our bitterness that accumulated during the last two years seeing Syria getting destructed and being powerless preventing it.

My second point is that we need to learn from others’ success stories and broadly-speaking collaborate with every government,institution,corporation or even NGOs that can help us succeed and rebuild our country.

-George

One Comment Add yours

  1. Do you see yourself as part of a new version of the “Chicago Boys” for Syria? What all do you think you and your cohort need to learn in order to lead a similar effort in your home country?

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