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?