La democracia disfuncional de América Latina

En América Latina, mucha gente vive con las manos extendidas. En todo el hemisferio, los gobiernos paternalistas acostumbran a sus pueblos a recibir apenas lo suficiente para sobrevivir, en lugar de participar en la sociedad. A lo largo y ancho de la región, los políticos que alguna vez Octavio Paz llamara los "ogros filantrópicos" crean clientes en vez de ciudadanos, pueblos que esperan en lugar de exigir.

América Latina cojea a un costado porque no puede correr decididamente hacia adelante. De partida, hay demasiadas barreras para los pobres, los innovadores y quienes no tienen acceso al crédito. Existen demasiados muros erigidos contra la movilidad social, la competencia y la equidad en la política y los negocios.

Como resultado, aunque los latinoamericanos pueden votar en un ambiente más democrático, no pueden competir en un mundo globalizado. Los estándares de vida han caído, los ingresos se han estancado y se ha perdido fe.  De modo que la gente ha comenzado a marchar por las calles de Bolivia. O cree las promesas del Presidente populista Hugo Chávez en Venezuela. O piensa en un retorno al pasado unipartidista en México. O ansía un "que se vayan todos", sentimiento que hoy parece estar arraigándose en Brasil. O vota con sus pies, como en México, donde uno de cada cinco hombres de entre 26 y 35 años vive en los Estados Unidos.

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