Why Is Latin America Undeveloped?

in economics •  last month

Why is Latin America so underdeveloped?, is it the mentality?, the way of doing things?, the culture?, what did it do and what makes all the countries of this continent so different in terms of development and issues such as poverty, for example?, today we will talk about this.

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The reasons are multiple and vary more or less depending on the country, however, it is also true that you share many similarities, for example, if we compare the British colonization with the Spanish or Portuguese we will notice that the Spanish and the Portuguese had the strategy of assaulting and stealing resources, for this reason they sent mercenaries and bandits, they did not have the "strategy" of staying. Therefore, this contributed to the fact that there was no plan to do anything, there was no plan for urban structuring, neither in education, nor in health, nor in any other sector, since the ideals of colonization were very focused on the exploitation of the region's resources.

It is common, and I know this because I have lived my 18 years of life here in Venezuela, that people have the mentality, to think only in the short term... This leads to the search for solutions that are "Bread for today, hunger for tomorrow", literally, this type of mentality contributes a great deal to the choice of populist or socialist politicians whose ideas are based solely on short-term welfare, corruption is evident and high in this region, cases such as Kirchner, Chávez, Morales, Maduro, Correa have been world scandals and with good reason. The lack of "competent" politicians coupled with the poor mindset and ideas have made Latin America a "concrete jungle", where people, because of their bad habits and culture, look for ways to "take advantage" of others by "cheating" to harm them and make a profit, as well as always look for easy ways to do things even if this calls for "minor" crimes such as running a traffic light. All this has contributed to underdevelopment, not only of the countries economically speaking... Socially speaking, too.

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We could also point out the tremendous inequality that exists in these countries, the cities are decent' and even some cities truly seem to be from the first world'... However, the villages, the neighborhoods are quite the opposite, this could have a marked origin in the era of colonization, where there was much social division, where the mestizos, the natives and slaves were considered very low class citizens.

It must be made clear once and for all that "undeveloped" does not mean "poor", the potential that many nations of South America have is exceptional, they may be very rich countries, but as I said before, populism, politicians who are some more stupid than others, social problems, collective ignorance fed since the times of colonization and today by socialist models that have only brought misery, corruption, backwardness and even deeper problems to these countries, make all that potential remain just that.... Potential. Today, we have Chile as the clearest example of the potential that a South American country can have, and on the other hand, we have Venezuela... As the ultimate example worldwide that no matter how rich you are, if you do things badly financially and if your society is terrible you can fall into an abyss that seems to have no end.

Other colonized countries developed, why not South America?, at first I mentioned the comparison between British and Spanish colonization, well, to that comparison something very important to take into account may be the Catholic Principles and the Protestant Principles. It cannot be a coincidence that many countries with higher per capita income, social welfare, among others, are Protestant... America is Protestant, South America is Catholic. These Protestant principles bet on freedom, democracy, they had lies as a serious sin, which is not really the case in Catholic countries, lies are minor sins, this may be something to take into account because corruption and populism is the big problem in the politics of these countries.

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Also, the Catholic Church has always had the discourse of "to be rich is bad, poverty is equal to humility", this has logically not served Capitalism well, this mentality inculcated together with the historical envy developed over hundreds of years has contributed to a large part of society seeing investors, capitalists and therefore wealth and meritocracy as enemies, has created a "socialist" culture where people are dependent on the state and hate to be enterprising. And it is incredible, but all this also contributes to political instability in this region, it is normal in history to find "coups d'état" and political-social problems resulting from this terrible political quality and mentality.

In conclusion, Latin America has too many problems, many of them can be generalized at the regional level, many others affect only a few countries in particular, but the biggest problems are undoubtedly the Society, first and foremost the politics... A country's society makes politics, society elects politicians. Terrible decisions and embarrassing events have long stagnated this region and in the case of Venezuela, for example, it is logical to think that it will remain stagnant for a long, long time? Despite being one of the richest and most potential countries in the world, all this serves as a lesson to us to remember that no matter how much money you have, what matters is how you use it. Thank you so much for reading, peace.

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#ReferencesTitles
1BrookingsPoverty in Latin America: Where do we come from, where are we going?
2IndependentVenezuela : the country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor
3PanampostWhy Is Latin America Poorer than the United States?

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I read a book awhile back that explains most of the problems of the Third World are caused because the world banks, loan money to the Governments and Ruling Elites of these countries, for infrastructure projects, with promises of great economic benefits to the country, from the completion of the project.

The Banks know these projects will not actually have the benefits as promised, and they know the loans will go into default. Once the loans default, the Banks come in and force these Third world countries to sign over the rights to their resources for pennies on the dollar.

The Western Banks and the Third World Governments and Ruling Elites are robbing the people's of these countries, who are the only ones left to suffer, for decisions they had no hand in making.

BTW, Third World Governments and the Ruling Elites, are many times one and the same...

The book is: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

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There is a relationship and it is also something to do with corruption. The Rulers know that they can get money out of it, not only money, but also political support because they can fill their mouths by saying "we are doing works, blah, blah", this is something that Chavez did a lot of at the time, many of the works that were in process were never finished. The banks do business, the rulers are either morons or seek to rob... Maybe both.

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Of course, corruption and greed are the basis for all involved, but Western Central Banks are the enablers, and their control of all the Governments in the West allow the Banks to use the armies of the West as the club to enforce their corruption.

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Yup, Central banks are problematic, the main problem is politicians and their corruption, which is not necessarily forced or influenced by an external agent in many cases. Politicians like to steal, it's also the mentality. However, it is true that they are all a problem. Thanks for your comments Krazy! ^^

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But.... is not the system that allows corruption? So is not a problem of left of right, the system is the problem, change the system forget about corruption. If not, you will be changing the face of the thieves every now and then.

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Corruption and Populism is a problem without political wing, so yeah, the system has to change. Nowadays people is electing the "less" worst.

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"Thanks for your comments Krazy! ^^"

no, problem, my friend -- I'll be around -- it's good for everyone to hear the words of those on the ground, in all Countries...

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Yes, I read that book too, it's good.

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It is an eye opening booking, isn't it? It makes one sad, and angry at the same time...

The West needs to stop mucking around in Latin America and other Third World Countries.

Especially, the United States, at some point all our bad Karma will come back on us. It's really too bad, if most Americans knew what our Corporations really do to bring cheap products to the Consumer... they may realize that that is not the American Way as we were taught, once upon a time...

The reason why countries are underdeveloped, is because of what people let criminals do to others. It really is because people are not each others keepers. Being a keeper does not mean someones boss. We are supposed to be taking care of each other against the elements. If you are a member of a society than everyone who is a member of that society is supposed to be your keeper. If a person decides not to be a member of the society you are a member of than that person has decided to be an element and is who the society is supposed to be keeping the members from being harmed by.

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Yup, and this is one of the problems of Latin society, here people do not act as protectors, on the contrary, many try to hurt others even through stupid things. It is a majority, sad to know, worse to see.

So..... If you are Kirchner, Chávez, Morales, Maduro, Correa your are corrupt but at the same time, they were the ones that improved the life of millions. FACTS shows that these "populists" change a lot of bad things happening here.

Talk is cheap when you don't need data to support your words. Gini Coefficient during the Kirchner's administration:

Let's take a look to the prices of Argentina Pesos vs US Dollars during the last decade.

NOW TAKE A LOOK FROM THE LAST 2 YEARS OF PRESIDENCY OF MAURICIO MACRI

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Let's take for example the price of the gold in Pesos Argentinos during the last decade.

This just from Argentina, in Bolivia, country I had the luck to visit in the last years, all the new buildings were built under the Evo Morales presidency. Even towns without light or cellphones now have it thanks to him.....

What do you have to say about this?

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They were and are populists, you can go review any speech, too, I know very well everything Chavez and Maduro said and they didn't do it because they were just lies. In the case of Argentina, the government undoubtedly did things "decently"... In the short term, this article is talked about objectively about the good and bad things Kirchnerism did in Argentina. Then there are renowned economists like Javier Milei, who always explains with facts why Kirchnerism was a disaster and even the worst government in Argentine history.

In the case of Macri, he applied a gradualist model that, just like the model of Christina, was Keynesian. In Argentine history, all the gradualist models went wrong and this, together with the crisis left by Kirchnerism, caused this impact.... This is what happens when all your politicians are thieving idiots who know nothing about economics. There's an interesting book about the crisis

The problem with all these populist thieves is that besides lying and stealing they are SOCIALISTS. I'll tell you what, one person can't improve the lives of millions, this makes you dependent and a parasite. Gold doesn't feed people. And "public works" are paid for with tax money, that is, with money stolen from people. Applauding a government for doing construction and building infrastructure with tax money is like applauding an ATM for giving you your money.

Thinking in the short term and not in the long term causes disasters, social problems such as criminality, lack of culture, etc... They cause disasters. There is nothing good about improving the lives of millions' at the cost of making the lives of millions' worse off, just as there is nothing good about appealing to feelings and populism to gain power and then being corrupt. I'm sorry, but it's reality.

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"Applauding a government for doing construction and building infrastructure with tax money is like applauding an ATM for giving you your money."

This goes for Corporations and Agencies alike. Applauding a rock is about as effective.

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Yup, Corps and Agencies are in this "bag" too xD.

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This is a very bold article, good on you for have gusto to speak out on the tough issues. The word we have around here for people who live the "bread for today, hunger for tomorrow" lifestyle is indigent or the perpetual poor. What to do about them has always been a difficult discussion and a fruitless one to be sure, just look at the welfare state for the most modern failed solution. If you find yourself in a place where the indigents far outnumber the makers and doers, I really suggest you get the hell out of there as fast as possible, a smart young guy like you doesn't need to be dragged down by those who believe what's yours is theirs.

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You are right, and thanks for your comment Gregory, Yeah I like to speak about spicy things xD. I have in mind that, I want to leave asap ^^

Latin America has no identity, and until it has it, it can not develop. These people spend their money in developed countries instead of investing in theirs.

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This is another issue, and you are right. People prefer to emigrate or simply invest in other countries. Venezuela is a good example, but in the case of Venezuela, the situation makes people to do those things.

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@martinmcfly is 100% correct both in his statement that Latin America has not Identity and in the solution proposed. If you want to be civilized you must have a civilizing social identity. He just didn't use the word social identity, which would actually refer to the rules a society agrees upon. One can understand the rules as the agreed upon action in a given situation.

In America we agree to the basic right to self defense. One cannot start violence or either the individual you started it with, will make you pay or the society will. How well a Society entices its members into membership depends on the advantage of being a member. No advantage means no membership. The fact is that you don't defend each other against the criminal element and a society comes together to create the advantage over the elements. Whether it be animals or men/women who act like animals doesn't matter. What matters is do they act as society members or do they let the elements rule by not acting.