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Freedom New Mexico

Chile is on the way to becoming the first Latin American nation to move to “developed country” status from “developing country” status, especially in light of the recent invitation to join the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

It has moved from a debtor nation to a creditor nation and its poverty rate is 14 percent compared with 45 percent in the 1980s.

But here’s the rub, at least for the liberty-minded observer. A National Public Radio report heralded the milestone and identified the catalysts as Chilean government subsidies and other social services, such as building homes for the poor.

In reality, what drove Chile to economic success were the free market policies its leaders enacted in the late 1970s and 1980s. From 1984 to 1998 Chile’s average annual rate of growth hit a historic 7 percent and today is running around 3 percent — all a big turnaround from negative 11 percent in 1975.

The NPR piece noted the Chilean economy is “among the world’s most open” but it glossed over how Chile got there — through aggressive, liberty-inspired approaches to government.

Between 1975 and 1989 an ideological revolution of sorts took place in Chile. Former Chilean Minister of Social Security, Jose Pi