10/27/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
For those who do not follow Bolivian Politics, Evo Morales has one a third term as President of the South American nation we are happy to call our second home.
As Morales is seen as a Socialist hero, his reelection coincided with a deluge of praise for his hand in the Bolivian Economic miracle that has unfolded over the past 10 years from the left. It seemed to start with an article from the New York Times back in February, which highlights Morales’ success and the paradox that it presents. On one hand, he is a, well, a proclaimed Socialist. On the other, he runs a balanced budget and has largely rejected the advice of the IMF and other financial overlords of the world:
Then, a widely read article in the Guardian, where the author makes the bold claim that “socialism doesn’t damage economies,” which sparked a swift reaction from the neo-con/neo-lib right.
It is true that the Bolivian economy has grown at a mighty pace over the past 10 years, however, to simplify this miracle to solitary policy changes such as the legalization of coca farming, a deeply personal matter for Morales, or other various social policies noted by the authors is to miss the point completely.
As a public service, we present to you today the short list of reasons why Bolivia is experiencing an economic miracle in the eyes of many Westerners:
- Benford’s Law, which would account for Bolivia’s rapid relative growth. As a country, it was near the bottom of many world measures in terms of economic statistics. As such, things tend to go up from a low level quickly on a relative basis.
- Currency policy: The Boliviano trades tightly with the USD similar to the Yuan. This is due to the fact that much of the country’s savings are held in dollars. Currency stability = real growth
- Legalize it: While the legalization of coca is controversial, the removal of regulations has opened up a wild west of trade and attendant economic activity.
- Anarchy reigns: Ever since Simon Bolivar freed it from Spanish rule in 1825, Bolivia has had 81 Presidents and been ruled by various “Juntas” or forms of military rule 9 times. By contrast, the US has been around for 50 years longer and had just 44 Presidents. If our theory that Anarchy produces stability holds, it would follow that the Bolivian economy is one of the most resilient on the planet, one that cannot help but grow from a solid base.
- Evo’s Charisma: While Evo Morales is often chided, he is simple and lovable at heart, an anomaly in the cesspool of modern politics. He has drawn a great deal of positive attention to Bolivia as the first indigenous President in the nation’s history. This has given Bolivia international exposure not before seen.
- The Open Letter: While it is a longshot, perhaps Evo has read our open letter to him and is secretly implementing our policy proposals.
- While Bolivia was extremely poor in the eyes of the world, yet rich in so many ways.
We love Bolivia, it is one of the most precious, pristine, and complicated places on the planet and we are honored to call it our second home. While speculation as to what has caused the current economic miracle there will continue, we know one thing to be true:
It is Bolivia’s time.
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
Key Indicators for October 27, 2014