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Chile’s Inequality Revolt – So, When Do The Riots Start In Costa Rica?

Pinochet’s bully boys

There’s a certain amount of rioting going on in Chile at present. All commentators are entirely convinced that this is about inequality. That dastardly Milton Friedman taught Pinochet’s lads about the joys of free markets and look what happened! Inequality and rioting.

Except, well, if it’s inequality causing the riots then where are the similar riots in Costa Rica?

This does hidden damage to fabric of a city. Unwritten divisions of income that everyone in Santiago understands delineate places and activities. The Plaza Italia, scene of recent riots, is a dividing line the wealthy avoid stepping south of. There are high-class parks and low-class parks—the informal conversion of public spaces into gardens where access is based on income. It is perhaps the ultimate privatisation—that of a city’s social infrastructure—and the only one the Chicago Boys did not intend.

Or the subeditors’ spin on it:

Milton Friedman thought his disciples had created an economic ‘miracle’ in Chile’. But their policies soon backfired

Well, OK. Chile is richer than Costa Rica. GDP per capita of $15k or so to $11k or so. So, chalk one up to the Chicago Boys.

Oh, so the poverty rate in Costa Rica is higher then, is it?

And inequality is greater in Costa Rica?

You know what? It’s possible that this bleating about inequality is instead just a part of that long lament the bien pensants have for Allende and his promise of a truly socialist Chile. A religious and votive exclamation rather than a connection with reality. Because where are the riots in Costa Rica?

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4 years ago

You need to recognize that every disturbance or upset, real or imagined, will for the next period of time be blamed on a lack of equality or equity or some such until the next bogeyman is dragged from the cellar by those who would remake the world in their image.

4 years ago

I disagree with the premise, that if a riot is about X, we should expect to see riots in every other country that has the same or greater X, and absence of riots in every other country that has less X. This is because there are many other variables.

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
4 years ago
Reply to  Spike

In other words you are saying that inequality is a trivial factor and that ascribing the riots to inequality is sheer puff. Which is what Tim said.

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