Wednesday, March 12, 2003

An odd New York Times editorial today on the wages of globalization:

Elsewhere, the [Andean] region is disillusioned with the last decade's free-market reforms. Too often twisted into a corrosive form of crony capitalism, the "Washington consensus" did little to improve living standards or alleviate poverty. The economic disillusionment has devalued the appeal of democracy as a form of governance and empowered once-marginalized political forces.

It's odd in two respects. First, it describes a bunch of stories, like the President of Bolivia hiding from a mob in an ambulance, which have gotten very little coverage here individually, let alone as part of a pattern. (Honestly, the Bolivia thing was a new one on me, though I did know about the US Army's attempts to prop up Colombia -- the Times neglects to mention the pipeline angle). Second, it doesn't even glance backward at failures of "Washington consensus" policies outside the Andean region, where they've failed as badly or worse -- say in Ghana or Russia.

There's also the usual potshot at Hugo Chávez...


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