Chile and the US – No Comparison

Tulio writes:

I don’t know man, the left really has not been successful in creating economic growth anywhere in Latin America. So I can’t blame them for going right down there. Blame that on the incompetence of the Latin American left.

How was the Latin American Left incompetent? I can’t think of one way that they were incompetent.

It was the Right that failed. Look at the neoliberalism of the 1990’s. It completely collapsed economic growth in Latin America. Most Latin Americans could give a f about economic growth. I think Colombia has the highest economic growth in the Hemisphere. What good is it doing them?

Economic growth in Latin America has typically benefited only the elites. The neoliberalism that the US pushed in the 1990’s and 2000’s impoverished most people and crashed economic growth. Only the top 20% in Latin America benefited from the neoliberalism that Washington and the Latin American Right pushes. In Chile, all rightwing economics did was engender a mass transfer of wealth from the bottom 2/3 of income bracket to the top 1/3 of the income bracket. Why support that?

Chile has not even really turned to the Right anyway. They’ve been electing Socialists from Allende’s party for the last 20 years of so. When was the last time a self-proclaimed Socialist was elected to the US? But those Socialists are not able to do all that much though the latest one claims she is different.

Most of the people in Chile probably do not support this rightwing bullshit. Chile is just like the US – the poor, working and middle classes all vote for the parties of the Rich, and they damage their own interests by doing so. There is a significant crowd who are now invested in this rightwing bullshit, but I doubt if it is the majority. Instead you have one of the most politically polarized populations on Earth.

Schoolkids stage demonstrations all the time about public schooling, which has been in essence defunded by the state. Your average Chilean public school now has a caved-in roof and ceiling that will never be repaired. These student demonstrations typically turn violent and have to be broken up by the police.

The class hatred in Chile is so thick you can cut it with a knife. This is what your rightwing dream politics gives you – one of the most unequal societies on Earth, mass transfers of wealth from everyone else to the upper middle class and the rich and defunding of public anything, especially the schools.

Also casual racism and classism of your average Chilean would knock your cocks off. I had a friend who was a Chilean university student in Santiago. His father had served in Allende’s government. He was a sociology student studying the Indians in the South. Nevertheless the racism and classism of this supposedly leftwing Chilean was off the charts from a US point of view. Apparently it is perfectly normal in Chile to think like a bigoted White aristocrat.

My understanding is that economic growth has been excellent under the Left regimes in Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and even the Fake Left rightwingers Brazil.

As I said, most Latin Americans would give a flying f about economic growth. It’s never benefited them anyway. Most of them just want an improvement in their standard of living. And that is exactly what the new Left regimes down there have given them – Venezuela in particular is a standout.

I am not aware of any statistics that show that the Right in Latin America is doing any better growth-wise than the Left, and it wouldn’t matter anyway because under the Latin American Right, all of the economic growth only goes to the top 20% of the population, and everyone else loses money.

Tulio writes:

Yeah, it sounds no worse than the USA to be honest.

It’s nothing like the US at all. First of all, a large segment of the population are out and out fascists who support the fascist Pinochet, America’s favorite Latin American hero.This same segment also absolutely despises the Allende regime as what they see as the Regime of Satan. They hate his supporters today, and they pretty much want them dead.

A very large other segment of the population supported the Allende regime and hate Pinochet with a passion. There are regular demonstrations between Pinochet supporters among the rich and Allende supporters among the non-rich. These typically break out into wild riots where both sides physically assault each other.

You have a split population class- and politics-wise where the non-rich and the Left is basically the Radical Left and the rich and upper middle class are the Extreme Right, fascists for all intents and purposes. Society is completely polarized.

Women’s rights are abysmal.

The Indians of the South stage regular demonstrations about this or that injustice which typically turn violent.

The situation down there is so extreme that is nothing like the US at all. We hardly have any class hatred here. The Right is indeed the Hard Right, but they are not Pinochet-style fascists, though they are getting that way fast. The Left down here is not the Hard Left at all. The Left is represented by the Democratic Party, which is a somewhat liberal version of the Republican Party. We don’t have regular wild street battles between the Left and Right. The classism and racism in the US is nowhere near that of Chile.

Women’s rights in the US are excellent. The natives are politically neutered and are too drunk and stoned to get out of bed in the morning, much less demonstrate about anything.

20 Comments

Filed under Americas, Chile, Democrats, Economics, Education, Fascism, Latin America, Latin American Right, Left, Neoliberalism, Political Science, Politics, Racism, Regional, Republicans, Social Problems, Socialism, Sociology, South America, US Politics, USA, Women

20 responses to “Chile and the US – No Comparison

  1. EPGAH

    We have a lot of demonstrations by the Left that turn violent too.

    Women’s rights ARE excellent here, but they keep wanting MORE, pushing a bizarro agenda of “microagressions” and ever smaller things to start a Crusade over.

    As to the savages, anything south of our border, they tried to contain them without pruning them, and the problem ones, they dump on us.
    In America, the savages kept attacking us, and we kept responding in kind, until even the dumbest most warlike savages realized their NEXT attack would be their LAST attack on ANYONE!

    As to class/race struggles, the Left here are stirring that up, from Black Lies Matter, to spoiled brats demanding free college and No-Whites-Allowed “Safe Spaces” in a white country. Segregation IS PC, if done by the Other?

  2. EPGAH

    Hell, I’d even go so far as to say women oppress MEN in America!
    You wrote an article on that a few months back.
    https://robertlindsay.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/25-ways-feminists-systematically-oppress-men/
    I think it was this one?

  3. James Schipper

    Dear Robert

    If economic growth in Latin America benefited only the richest 1/3, then, by mathematical necessity, inequality would be getting steadily worse. However, that is not the case. Extremely unequal though income distribution in Latin America may be, it is not becoming increasingly more unequal. The poorest 1/3 in Latin America can’t be called prosperous by any stretch of the imagination, but their material standard of living is higher than it was 50 years ago. For instance, nearly all Brazilian households now have a TV set and a fridge. That was certainly not the case 50 years ago.

    In every Latin American country, the percentage of 15-year-olds who can read is much higher than it was 50 years ago, and life expectancy is also much higher. All classes now have lower fertility than they did 50 years ago. Let’s be fair. Latin America is not Zimbabwe. There is real progress there, and not just for the most affluent 1/3.

    If we define a household as middle class if it owns a car, then the middle class has been growing in every Latin American country.

    There is one area in which there may have been retrogression in Latin America, and that is public safety. In many Latin American countries, the murder rate is much higher than it was 50 years ago.

    Regards. James

  4. Jason Y

    The natives are politically neutered alright. One way they have done this is by purposely introducing drugs into the inner city to crush liberation movements. They want to keep all the inner city people in some “wild tiger zoo”, and away from things which could actually threaten right wing power.

    • Jason Y

      Don’t think so? The US government purposely waged a phony war on drugs with them “in on” the dealing much of the time. It also created LSD.

      • EPGAH

        What phony war? These are real thugs selling real drugs, and killing each other over “turf”.

        Of course, the cops are never allowed to KILL the scum, and end the war, and the cops target junkies instead of dealers, it keeps their numbers high.

        China’s version of the Constitution explicitly demands that drug dealers be shot in the head. It does not say to kill them, it says shoot them in the head. I think this would be a wonderful practice to implement here!

    • Jason Y

      Now the same thing is happening with poor white people and pain pills and meth. A two faced war is going on, which in actuality, benefits the elites as the poor white people are kept down, just as the blacks and Latinos are.

      The people are so stoned. All they care about is dope, so they sure as hell aren’t going to challenge the elite power structure.

      • EPGAH

        Stoned? I was always told pot — though illegal also — made people mellower, AKA less violent. Look at the murders of cops spiking in 2012, and the riots over the last two years…

        The big two being:
        Ferguson arson: $4.6 MILLION, not counting stolen merchandise. 10 wounded.
        Baltimore rioting: $9 MILLION in businesses alone. 130 injuries.
        Are you using a different definition of “stoned” and “kept down”?

        • Jason Y

          I mean stoned on herion, cocaine, crack etc.. Stuff that makes you violent in pursuit of those drugs, but at least keeps you from fighting the capitalist power structure, with the added bonus of decimating poor communities (ones that might be interested in socialism).

        • Jason Y

          No pot doesn’t mellow you out. Some of the regular users are the complete opposite of the idea of “hippy”. They are incredibly racist, violent, hateful, selfish etc.. If pot makes people less racist then going to an inner city shouldn’t be a problem right?

          Yeah, definitely pot is a big lie. It lowers IQ, actually causes more cancer and lung damage than tobacco, and you can be an incredible prick while smoking it.

        • Jason Y

          Yeah, people’s conception of the world is shaped heavily by the environment. Some mary jane isn’t going to change that. Probably people get the wrong idea because a lot of pot use was going on during the Vietnam War, so it was thought the pot made people more liberal and multicultural etc..

  5. SHI

    Free market capitalism is EVIL. This one story about the Bangladesh garment export industry exposes greedy corporate fatcats in the West, India, China and shines the light on the living conditions of textile workers.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-bangladesh-economy-exports-idUSBRE96806020130709#3H9ImVY5mR8oRHRp.97

    One has to remember that readymade garments are the single largest export of Bangladesh, contributing nearly $21 billion or 80% of its economy. Nearly 4 million Bangladeshis are directly employed in the textile sector, an overwhelming majority of them women. Most of them make SHIT wages and work in exploitative conditions reminiscent of Victorian England.

    Out of all the readymade garments produced by Bangladesh, 60% of it goes to Europe and 23% to the US. That’s substantially more. Chances are the cheap pair of jeans you bought off some discount shelf in Wal-Mart was produced by slave labor in Bangladesh. If you refuse to buy them, some poor kids are going to starve. What a fucked up world we live in!

    This one, single story summarizes everything that is evil about this world we live in. My comments inside.

    Bangladesh garment sales soar despite deadly incidents

    Bangladesh’s exports rose 16.3 percent in June to $2.7 billion on the year, boosted by stronger clothing sales, an export body said on Tuesday, as the low-cost country retains its allure for cost-crunching global retailers despite deadly incidents.

    Greedy capitalist pigs don’t care if people have to die. Only profits matter.

    Duty-free access to Western markets and low wages have helped make Bangladesh the world’s second-largest apparel exporter after China, with 60 percent of clothes going to Europe and 23 percent to the United States.

    Garment exports totaled $21.5 billion for the financial year that ended in June 2013, up 13 percent from a year earlier, according to Bangladesh’s Export Promotion Bureau. Total exports rose 11 percent to more than $27 billion in the fiscal year, but were nearly $1 billion short of the target.

    The surge comes as the government considers measure to reform the industry after 1,132 people were killed in the April collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in the capital. A fire at another factory last year killed 112 people.

    This was one of the most notorious factory incidents in recent memory after Bhopal gas tragedy. Barely caused a ripple in Western gutter press.

    The incidents have put pressure on the government, industrialists and the global brands that use the factories to reform an industry that employs four million and generates 80 percent of Bangladesh’s export earnings.

    A revised labor law is in the works to ease the path for workers to form trade unions. They now need the permission of the factory owner to do so. A panel has also been formed to set a new wage within months.

    Last week, the United States cut off long-time trade benefits for Bangladesh in a mostly symbolic response to the garment industry conditions that have cost more than 1,200 lives in the past year.

    The U.S. move does not directly affect Bangladesh’s clothing exports, since garments are not eligible for U.S. duty cuts. But it could prompt similar action by the European Union that would have a bigger impact, as Bangladesh’s clothing and textiles exports to the EU are duty-free.

    http://www.livemint.com/Home-Page/bYqYY0jv64BtzFWLtVzGCP/Indian-garment-makers-head-to-Bangladesh-as-costs-sales-hur.html

    The second story makes me even more angry about the evils of capitalism.

    Indian garment makers head to Bangladesh as costs, sales hurt

    Chennai: Indian garment exporters, facing rising costs and declining sales, are moving factories to Bangladesh, risking snail-paced transportation, thefts and erratic power supply as they seek to benefit from wages that are one-third of those at home and lower taxes in Western export markets
    Apparel manufacturing costs in Bangladesh are 60% of those in India despite the infrastructural inadequacies, according to the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, a lobby group based in Delhi.

    What an outrage! Wages in India are low enough as it is without these capitalist vultures agreeing to find ways to source their products even cheaper.

    That’s significant as the EU and the US, which account for 67% of global garment imports, are haggling with exporters to cut prices as slowing economies and a rising number of unemployed people depress demand for garments.

    “No one in New York questions the rise in the price of a 50-cent loaf of bread to $5 but customers expect a $40 trouser to cost the same even after many years,” says Darius Kabrajee, director of production at Ambattur Clothing Ltd, located north-west of Chennai. “So buyers and retailers keep searching for cheaper manufacturing bases. To plug in machines within four walls and start a factory is easy. It isn’t rocket science.”
    So far,

    Indian garment makers have invested about $79 million in 35 factories in Bangladesh, according to Bangladesh’s Board of Investment, which compiles the data.

    Over the past decade, apparel makers in India—and now even China, the world’s top garment exporter—have been steadily losing share in this labour-intensive business to Bangladesh, where companies pay just $40, or about Rs 2,000, a month to a worker to produce cheap garments compared with an average wage of $200 a month in India or $150 in China

    Wait. Did you read that? 40 motherfucking dollars a month will get you a Bangladeshi textile worker. That’s 5 times less than what they make in India and 3 times less than what they make in China. Still very ABYSMAL wage standards.

    Even last year, compensation was as low as $25 a month before labour protests forced Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government to raise minimum wages to $40.

    Min. wage is $40 per month but some poor sods in Bangladesh have to get by with only $25 a month just so people in the West can afford cheap T-shirts and jackets.

    “Indian garment makers are seeing both profit and market share pressure,” says Tanu Sharma, a Delhi-based analyst at Fitch Ratings India, which has a single-digit growth outlook for the sector. “Companies that set up operations in Bangladesh to avail of cost benefits are more likely to survive.”

    In addition to lower labour costs, Bangladesh’s clothing exports don’t face taxes in at least 37 countries, including EU nations, Canada and Australia, a facility given to the world’s poorest countries. Garment sales from India attract import duties of 8-10% in these countries.

    Today, with a 4.5% share in world garment exports, Bangladesh has overtaken India, which has a 3.5% share, according to a Crisil report. Garment sales comprise 80% of Bangladesh’s exports, catalysed by export-processing zones that enjoy subsidized power and are free from wage-bargaining unions, otherwise active around the country.

    Across the border, Indian garment companies such as House of Pearl Fashions Ltd, which supplies to US retailers such as Gap Inc., have battled rising labour costs stoked by new automotive and mobile phone factories vying for manpower in former apparel hubs such as Tamil Nadu.

    The owners of Gap Inc. must be the most soulless evil people on Earth.

    This is compounded by the fact that electricity—a key resource to wash, dry and iron manufactured garments—costs more than double of what it does in Bangladesh, and record-high cotton prices earlier this year have increased fabric costs.

    “This sector has been under a lot of pressure for the last three-four years,” says a House of Pearl executive, who wanted to remain anonymous. “It doesn’t help that there are inflexible labour laws, besides the fact that this industry doesn’t have a profile any more to attract talent.”

    The Haryana-based company’s first factory in Bangladesh, which was set up in 2006, currently accounts for 15% of its exports. But with profit as a percentage of sales slipping to 1.2% in 2010 from 5.6% in 2005 despite sales doubling in the same period to Rs 2,200 crore, more business is set to move to Bangladesh.

    The company has been trimming its $200 a month Indian labour force—the Chennai factory is down to 800 people from 1,200 earlier this year. Its second Bangladesh factory is speeding up operations using a workforce that costs one-third of that in India. House of Pearl’s Bangladesh facilities’ contribution towards exports is likely to triple, according to company executives

    Apparently $200 per month wages is TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR from greedy capitalist pigs. So they sack poor employees making shit wages in India to hire poorer employees making shittier wages in Bangladesh..

    To gain this cost advantage, the company is willing to tolerate week-long port-to-factory transportation, which takes 48 hours in India, theft of 100m fabric rolls, and arbitrary day-long cuts in power every week.

    For Ambattur Clothing, the compulsion to build a manufacturing base in Bangladesh came two years ago as the three-decade-old business saw sales slip 25% to Rs 304 crore in 2009 from Rs 407 crore in 2005, according to data from research group Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. During the same period, the Tamil Nadu-based garment exporter went from logging a profit of Rs 29 crore to a loss of Rs 43 crore.
    To stall the drop, Ambattur Clothing has been raising the export contribution of its Bangladesh factory, which employs 2,500 people. After two years of operation, the factory now contributes to 30% of the company’s exports, and that number is likely to touch 35-40% this year, Ambattur Clothing’s Kabrajee said.

    “Western consumer demand drives retailers to choose from the cheapest source to maximize profits,” says Amit Gugnani, who focuses on the garment and textile industry at Technopak Advisors, referring to weak consumer sentiment overseas—because of unemployment in the US and following the debt crisis in Europe—that has forced clothing retailers there to cut prices.

  6. Stary Wylk

    Then many of these garments are turned into industrial rags or shipped, still unworn, to Africa as charity.

    Bangladesh is also the world center for ship-breaking. The ships are brought in at high tide to be stranded at low. The men come out with hammers that look like knobkerries and pound them into pieces small enough to carry. Women and children pick up shards. Everyone is barefoot.

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