Deep secrets of economic growth

In an excellent editorial on December 4, Investor’s Business Daily reported that Chile was expected to win entry to OECD’s club of developed countries by December 15 — “a great affirmation for a once-poor nation that pulled itself up by trusting markets.” (The OECD followed up as expected on December 15.)
Chile is the first country in South America to win the honor. For Chileans, it symbolizes exit from the ranks of the Third World to the First. “For the rest of us,” IBD writes, “it’s a stunning example of how embracing free markets and free trade brings prosperity.” It’s an example that we could use in the United States right about now.
The lesson has not been lost on Asia. “As the U.S. dithers,” IBD notes, “East Asia has moved forward on market liberalization with a vengeance, creating the biggest free trade zones seen in years. The train is pulling out of the station, and America isn’t on board.”
On a related note, the Christian Science Monitor reports on Latin America’s rising new economic star. If you’ve followed along so far, you probably have guessed that it is not Venezuela, Bolivia, or Ecuador. No, it’s Peru.
UPDATE: A reader writes: “I visited Santiago two years ago, my first return to the country since serving there as a Mormon missionary 25 years ago. A friend from those days picked me up at the airport. As we drove through the sprawling suburbs of the city, I commented that this area had been open fields last time I was here, but now it was covered with comfortable homes and bustling businesses. My friend broke into a huge grin, and explained with a single word: ĄCapitalismo!


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