|Quoting TACAA320 (Thread starter):
Countries like Venezuela [among the richest countries in LatAm along with Brazil and Argentina] has many people living in poverty, as well as Bolivia and Perú, just to mention a few one.
And not some few new brand Presidents elected, that are trying to follow the "Cuban model".
Venezuela and Brazil have a very well off entrepenurial class, in some ways better off than Argentina's. On the other hand, overall poverty is certainly higher in those two countries and abject poverty is much higher. Argentina has it's slums, but nowhere near the size of those around Caracas or big cities in Brazil. In turn, I think you can't compare Venezuela or Brazil to Bolivia...
But I think this is why you see greater social tensions in those and other countries in Latin America, witness Brazil's huge problem with gangs and drugs, or the 'Chavez effect' in Venezuela, or the situation in some Mexican states where there are problems.
Chile, Argentina and Uruguay have somewhat better social safety nets, better human development, and better income distribution (although Chile's is rather unequal, and Uruguay is more equal but has sluggish growth, Argentina is in between the two, even as now it is growing faster than any economy in the region save Venezuela), so you see far less, or none, social or regional rebellions and the like.
I myself am cautiously very optimistic on Argentina, there has been some major economic improvements, you can see it now most certainly: even the most negative argentines say things are 'good'. There was nearly a 300% increase in garbage this last Christmas, Argentina produced by far the highest garbage per capita in the region (carboard, old computers, electronics, nylon, bags, food, etc). Believe or not, economists take those stats as evidence of 'good times'. People in Argentina are the most economically optimistic in almost all categories in the Western Hemisphere (including North America, according to Manpower, Nielsen, etc).
Some of it is windfall (higher commodities), some a bit of populism (below international prices for electricity), and some real good solid orthodox policy from populist Kirchner even orthodox neo-liberal presidents don't do anymore (surplus budgets, surplus trade balance, and amazingly, ALL
provinces with balanced budgets). Back in 2002 they said it would take a decade for the country to recover.
Perhaps not too much and not too little is really the best economic policy afterall.
Edit: I forgot to mention that the US dollar will no longer be used for trade and exchange of goods between Argentina and Brazil: all prices will be quoted and traded in the local currencies. That is about 6 billion dollars that will no longer be used in bilateral trade, which will tend to weaken that currency even more in the next year.
[Edited 2006-12-31 22:00:12]