Thursday, January 26, 2006

Evo Mugabe????

The guy appointed by Evo to be energy minister is a socialist dinosaur, and a total moron. Ditto for some of the third rate academics, who are entrusted with public finances. The good news is that Bolivia has had incompetent ministers for most of her history.

There is a huge rush to get the traditional goodies associated with government, namely jobs and appointments. Expect some extremely incompetent people to come to office, as well as the carpetbaggers from Bolivia's old left (MNRI, PS1), who rode the Evo bandwagon. In other words, expect the same type of old-school corruption and and a nouveau riche bureaucrats at the top.

Some of the folks at some minor posts, with experience in local governance, might do a surprisingly good job. Thank Goni and US-AID for that, it was his innovative Popular Participation law in the 90's, combined with US AID funding that helped develop local governance in municipalities, many of which ended up as MAS strongholds.

So-called Neo-liberalist policies, have actually produced a much leaner State, whose finances are much more transparent than they have ever been in Bolivia's history. Any attempts to enlarge these institutions will be subject to much public scrutiny, some of it, paradoxically coming from the social movements themselves.

As for Evo, it is one thing to bring down the government, it is another to run it. He will confront reality pretty soon. And the reality is that no matter what the retread left says, sound macro-economic policy including an anti-inflationary monetary policy, limited government spending, and freedom for foreign investment - in sum the Neo-liberal bogeyman - is a good thing. Reversing some of the will get you nowhere near "social justice", and will only plunge you into more poverty. Bolivia can not afford any such failures.


DemoBlogger said...

Is Evo really that bad? In any case, it's good to here different opinions. I have linked to you on my blog of global democracy, DemoBlog. Best, Mary

Jonathan said...

Hola, bienvenido de vuelta, ya estabamos extranando tu perspectiva.

Boli-Nica said...

Evo is not necesarilly all that bad himself, he is just playing to some of the worst long-held tendencies in the andean region of Bolivia, which are a suspicion of outsiders, and clientilism in government.

Misnamed "neo-liberalism" was a good thing, because it killed off the power of certain interest groups, and reduced the size of the parasitic state, which conversely made governance more transparent.

With increased gas revenues starting to come in, a truly prudent and sensible attempt to minimize the huge income imbalances could begin. The Evo-led tantrum in 2002, pretty much started to hurt (though thankfully not kill) the golden goose.

If evo is a true statesman, he will realize that he can not reverse 20 years of sound policy, and not expect to ruin the economy. Re-negotiate the contracts, but be sensible enough to guarantee continued investment in the hydrocarbon sector.

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