Cómo sacar a América Latina del estancamiento

Uno de los grandes misterios de la economía mundial es el mal desempeño de América Latina. Desde principios de los ochenta la región ha estado estancada, con ingresos per cápita que crecen muy lentamente (cuando crecen) en casi todo el continente y con una crisis tras otra. Se han intentado muchas políticas, sobre todo la liberalización comercial, la privatización de empresas estatales ineficientes y reformas presupuestales. Sin embargo, algo está deteniendo a América Latina.

La falta de un crecimiento vigoroso es aún más desconcertante dadas las múltiples ventajas y los éxitos sociales de la región. Los recursos naturales son abundantes y hay vastas extensiones de tierras fértiles. Las condiciones de salud son razonablemente buenas y todos los países latinoamericanos han logrado avances contra el analfabetismo; casi todos han alcanzado un 90% o más de alfabetización de la población adulta.

Además, las tasas de fertilidad han disminuido radicalmente hasta el punto donde las poblaciones de muchos países probablemente se nivelarán en las próximas décadas. Las condiciones de la mujer han mejorado y las niñas tienen acceso igual a la educación, e incluso tienen tasas mayores de matriculación que los niños en varios países. A América Latina tal vez se le conozca por su cultura machista, pero las mujeres participan cada vez más en la fuerza laboral y alcanzan posiciones políticas y sociales destacadas.

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