Destroying Latin America: Journalist Mary O'Grady on Populism, Protectionism, and Prohibition

Destroying Latin America: Journalist Mary O'Grady on Populism, Protectionism, and Prohibition

the inequality produced by liberty this for the socialist in Latin America is the soft underbelly of pro-market rationale and the best place to attack I would argue that it is the intellectual stream that prevails in Latin America and it's the reason the region cannot hope to meet its potential anytime soon I write on a variety of topics for the editorial page but I have a special interest in Latin America which is I think vastly under covered in the American press so having an audience to talk to about my views on the region is really a welcome thing latin america on paper has as much promise and potential as its english-speaking hemispheric neighbors to the north and yet obviously we know that it lags behind and in my 16 years at the Wall Street Journal I have spent way too much time trying to figure out why that is so but tonight I'm going to share with you some of what I've learned and of course hopefully with the humility that David talked about last night and also recognizing that it's dangerous to oversimplify any of the complex problems that are that challenge the region the fashionable explanations for Latin American under development are things like corruption lack of education poor infrastructure and of course income inequality of course I reject those I think those are symptoms of a bigger problem I think the region's economic woes are better explained by what I like to call the three P's populism protectionism and prohibition even those are a byproduct of something that I think is much more fundamental that's gone wrong in the region and I ask you just to focus for a minute on two things first to borrow a cliche that everybody here is very aware of ideas matter and second that without entrepreneurship a society cannot achieve prosperity that's just a fact you need entrepreneurs in your economy and if you dig deeply enough you will find that ideas from academia and from intellectuals more broadly in the region have played the key role in undermining the entrepreneurial culture in Latin America over the last century I think more than anything else this is struck at the heart of property rights and prosperity for hundreds of millions of Latin Americans now many of us are probably in this room are probably not fans of John Maynard Keynes but it has to be accepted that on some issues he understood the world very well listen to this quote and probably a number you are familiar with it it's from the very last chapter of general theory of employment interest and money which was of course his signature work this is what he wrote the ideas of economists and political philosophers both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood indeed the world is ruled by little else practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence are usually the slaves of some defunct economist mad men in authority we know some of those who hear voices in the air are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared to the gradual encroachment of ideas I agree with canes on this and I think the evidence overwhelmingly supports his view Latin Americans as most of you probably know you probably have neighbors and friends from the region have no problem being oriol immigrants to the US have a long history of starting their own businesses once they've landed America so how come they don't display these skills at home I submit to you it is because the dominant ideas in the region over the last century have been hostile to entrepreneurship now this jumped out at me as i said i've been writing about the region for 16 years but it really made me focus last summer when i reviewed a new book by the mexican historian enrique Krauss II called Redeemers and subtitled ideas and power in Latin America the book profiles 12 individuals who Kraus a believes represent the major political ideas in the region from the middle of the 19th century through the 20th century he starts with Jose Marti and ends with Hugo Chavez he includes profiles on Ava Peron Che Guevara Octavio Paz Gabriel Garcia Marquez Bishop Samuel Ruiz and Subcomandante Marcos actually of the 12 people he profiles only one of them is a liberal that's Mario Vargas Llosa and when I was reading the book I kept wondering where during all this time were the the entrepreneurs the merchants the architects the builders the creator's the innovators of Latin America every society has them why didn't they impose their own ideas in the region and the answer I believe is just as Cannes wrote that the intellectuals were the ones running things and their ideas of the time were overwhelmingly hostile toward entrepreneurship profits and private ownership now the power of ideas was well understood among intellectuals on the left throughout the 20th century and they said about to get control of academia in many ways they succeed as evidenced by what is taught or at least what prevails in institutions of higher learning in the region and those of you who know or knew Musso allow it was one of the founders of Francisco marroquín in Guatemala know very well that musos motivation for starting the university was he was very frustrated with the lack of development and progress in Guatemala and he recognized that if somehow the people who believed in freedom and private property and ownership and profits did not get some kind of an influence in academic circles they were never going to change the country I think it's reasonable to argue that the ideas of the left gained more credence in in Latin America than they did in the u.s. because the left was more successful in getting control of education venezuelan-born journalist Carlos ball who now lives in the United States has written that after 40 years he wrote about this when shot around the time that Chavez was first elected after 40 years of far left controls of schools universities and the arts in Venezuela the general public had quote fallen under a well-organized system of leftist indoctrination now those sound like clichés but if you go to Venezuela you it really is impossible to deny I mean that's basically how the society has been educated trained and and how it thinks and it wasn't only Venezuela this was true throughout the region as Enrique Krause he shows and redeemers forces opposed to classical liberalism working in the name of Latin nationalism and much of that nationalism i should add Krause a believes came from kind of a backlash against the spanish-american war and a kind of a feeling that the u.s. was imposing itself on the region so there was this Latin nationalism and that unleashed among intellectuals very early in the 20th century anti-americanism that was attached to sort of anti markets point of view this intellectual tendency in favor of nationalism and nationalisms economic counterpart socialism were given a big boost during the Great Depression when the smoot-hawley tariff hit the region latin american policy makers retaliated by closing Latin American markets and for those who had resisted until then American protectionism made it more and more difficult for them to defend defend their positions of course today the ideas of Che Guevera and Ava Peron which are as Hayek told us rival social factions are not popular and by this i mean you know communism and fascism but there are many people who still argue in favor of collectivism and those people seldom attack private enterprise head on I think they know that that's suicidal because they know that the market has created so much prosperity but instead they recognize that the market is created prosperity and they asked us not to look at the wealth of nations but instead what they call the morality or perhaps more accurately the immorality of the inequality produced by Liberty this for the Socialists in Latin America is the soft underbelly of pro-market rationale and the best place to attack I would argue that it is the intellectual stream that prevails in Latin America and it's the reason the region cannot hope to meet its potential anytime soon this idea that somehow we all have to be made equal is the prevailing sentiment across all populations because of the way people are educated now there are plenty of reasons that it can't work reasons that involve the relationship between risk-taking incentives profits and rising living standards and of course there's also a strong moral argument against empowering the state to erase inequality but the trouble is that Latin American intellectuals brought this idea of equality as the highest goal from their ivory towers to daily life through the region's constitutions and this I think is really the the principal problem for a lot of the the countries in the region latin america is on this path to poverty but it's finally impossible to get off because of the Constitution's which are perpetually rewritten by the academic and the intellectual elite to make state-sponsored equality the law and of course who can object to the goal to make it law that the poor child is going to have as much as the wealthy entrepreneur but here's the problem with the constitution written with the objective of creating equality fundamentally it cannot guarantee individual rights and that means that that you can't have prosperity because you can't have it both ways Latin American constitutions are hundreds of pages long they have objectives like guaranteeing National Development eradicated poverty and substandard living conditions reducing social and regional inequalities promoting well-being years ago I reviewed the 1988 Brazilian Constitution and found that citizens have constitutional right to education health work leisure security social security protection of motherhood and childhood and assistance to the destitute the 1988 Constitution guaranteed rights to minimum salaries year-end bonuses overtime and vacation pay they are guaranteed free assistance for children and dependence from birth to 6 years of age in daycare centers and preschool facilities the culture section of the Brazilian Constitution charges the government with protecting Brazil's cultural heritage by means of inventories registers vigilance monument protection degrees expropriation and other forms of precaution and preservation and there's even a section dedicated to sports where the Constitution specifies that the government shall courage leisure as a form of social promotion now if you think about all this enshrined in a constitution you can easily see that the government not only has the power but it has the obligation to use coercion to reach its goals and this is the fundamental problem a lack of Liberty which emanates from constitutional mandates that intrude on every aspect of human action now I just want to say been picking on the intellectuals I want to say one thing about the business community all of these problems I think start with the intellectuals but they would not have grown out of out of control the way they have if not for the fact that the business community joined in very enthusiastic because he thought there were benefits for for themselves and again let's take the case of Venezuela the 1961 Venezuelan Constitution was by most accounts a fairly reasonable document but that didn't mean that factions as Madison might have called them didn't have reason to try to pick it apart and they did for 40 years the Constitution was under assault particularly private property rights of course the left wanted undermine the rule of law and property rights but the business community helped and again I'm going to quote Carlos ball who's written a lot about this and in fact he wrote in the journal that the circumstances that brought Hugo Chavez to power the so-called democracy and its attendant business interests did not defend against the salts on liberty and private property and this brought about much injustice and poverty so they sort of created this situation that when Chavez came to power people felt very dissatisfied with the status quo here's what mr. ball wrote about the slow deterioration of property rights in the nineteen sixty one Constitution it's really frightening many in the business community did not rebounce growing state intrusion because they saw that it was easier to can Vince one cabinet minister than a market of consumers I'll never forget watching Venezuelan businessmen cheering the nationalization of foreign oil companies not realizing that the politicians would soon come after them with more controls regulations and taxes close quote and as we know the government of oovoo chavez subsequently has done much worse when the state gets the moral high ground in matters of personal decisions and property rights there's no end to the steps that it will take to contain Liberty in the name of equality once this happens the standard of living will necessarily decline I think that's what explains why the region is stuck in poverty and unfortunately i don't feel terribly optimistic about anything changing anytime soon thank you what do you see as the role or the significance of Hernando de Soto and his book the other path and the other work that he has done for sure was important but I i think you know you you see what's happening in Peru and I mentioned in the beginning that protectionism populism and prohibition are three of the biggest challenges to the region and I think what Peru managed to do in the years after that book came out and and you know they tried to change the country they opened the economy that's the most important thing that they didn't prove that's the thing that's really changing the country is still a huge amount of corruption terrible you know abuse of government power and so forth but the country is more open and that's force the state to to contract a little bit and under the sota also in his book wrote that the reason Latin Americans are poor and their governments don't work is because of proportional representation that's a system where voters cannot vote for individual congressman they vote for party lists Venezuela being a good example every five years you could only vote the voters for the people they put out five years before and the old men running the party's control the names on the lists and it's it's a very dysfunctional system and American exceptionalism Meho a lot to our Constitution and our system of federalism its end divided powers but the proportional representation is not addressed often and that's the dysfunctional democracies in the world Russia another all have this system I think you're absolutely right i mean the kind of the poster child of this is argentina where the paradise just continue every election with this with with power because of that proportional representation but but i think that's again that's like a symptom of a broader problem which I mean we know the problem is too much government to too much the government has too much power how does it get that power it gets it through the way the politicians make laws and often times through the Constitution so you know when the governor was here earlier talking about what he had done I mean the amazing thing about Governor fortuño is not so much that he said okay government's too big but that he was able to actually put those reforms in place and I think the big challenge for the region is what everyone knows what creates well there's no mystery about that it means it's it's kind of it's almost a scientific thing at this point but the political you know getting the political power to force the change is what the real challenges and I don't think you get that power that people become empowered like that unless they have the right ideas you know you see people talking about young people being involved in politics what good is it if young people are involved in politics and they're all a bunch of robots and sent out front you know to vote for Obama or I mean it's it's useless so somehow it's the ideas young people have to be exposed to those ideas if you're ever going to see change I want to ask you about a phenomenon that occurred in the early 1990s in Latin America there was something after the collapse of the Soviet Union something called the Washington Consensus which seemed to be some acceptance of privatization of opening markets and this sort of thing was that really a flash in the pan I think I could diagnose the problem by just looking at the name of it i mean really is washington going to give us the answers we need I think the principal problem with the Washington census I remember also that people were very excited about it and the governor was talking earlier about how crisis sometimes causes people to pay attention and of course the Latin American debt crisis in the 80s they had the Lost Decade and so they were looking for ideas and they were trying to come out of the problem so one of the principal things was you notice to stop pegging currencies while you're printing printing money I mean I don't mind a fixed fixing your exchange rate to gold or something like that but you can't be in the back room making more of it all the time and that's what they were doing my principal problem with the Latin American consensus was that there's nothing in that plan that talks about competition nothing it's you know for example they'd always burn me that they told these countries to take for example their telecom companies that were state-owned monopolies and you'd walk down the street in Buenos IEDs and you see all the the wires going across Florida because they were just in complete disrepair so he said okay here's here's the idea you're going to sell the telephone company to a private monopoly well personally I rather a public monopoly because they're easier to cheat but I'm so they so when you would present that to them they would say oh no no because you know if you sell it as a private monopoly you're going to get a lot of money for it and so the government's going to get money and what's the government going to do it's going to pay down all the debt and it's going to build schools and you know we're going to be prosperous so we need that money so they went around and they in almost every country they turned the public monopoly into a private monopoly in Argentina one of the main homes or a main problem with the convertibility law by the time it went bust in two thousand was the prices for telecom were too high because they were they basically divided the country and they divided Buenos I ities into two and they gave to monopolies in each part and of course we all know about my friend Carlos Slim in Mexico which who also did the same thing and so you know he made this huge amount of money off the backs of poor Mexicans there was nothing about competition in in those and what you ended up with was a bunch of monopolies in key sectors in the economy those countries countries could not be competitive I think that the United States is actually more than learning from Latin America I think we're heading that direction yeah I think yeah and so what are some ways that you think we could learn from the myth of this like Nirvana of equality the late bill niskanen had a great piece in one of his books and in fact when he died I don't know if any of you know bill but he was at the Cato Institute for many years wonderful economist and I remember hearing them as speech he gave many many years ago but its it's stuck with me he said you okay imagine you have two people one guy is a really buff 25 year-old good-looking guy who tends bar in santa monica and all day long he plays volleyball John ah and he has a really good tan and a great bod and and gets all the girls he wants but he only makes like you know say twenty-five thousand thirty thousand dollars a year the other guy is a paraplegic who spends every day behind a computer he's computer programmer I think as bill described him he was hygienic alii challenged or something like that didn't have many dates but um you know was earning better than six figures and niskanen used to say how are you going to make these two people equal and I just thought that was so power full you know because of course the state can make them equal they can move the money around right but you really can't make them equal and of course we know when we're children we we learn those things that you know that we're not equal but we're special there's no one like us and you know that that idea that you know people really aren't equal they have all kinds of differences is I don't know should be I would think something just fundamental to what we we teach our children but you know if you go against that in a public school year that's a tough challenge I think we need to get rid of the public schools how's that part of the problem with American foreign policy and trade policies that we really do think that whatever we do is that causes all things that are good or bad in the world how can American policy towards Latin America make things better if not make things better not make things worse well any of the drug wars you know an obvious thing and and the problem there is just that we've empowered these huge organized crime networks that are overwhelming the the power of the state in place particularly in Central America it's very bad right now I have for a long time recommended three things one to get rid of the IMF and that's not going to happen i think that the region has actually done what my friend David malpass an analyst on Wall Street who I've known for many years he used to say you know you're never going to get rid of that bureaucracy you just not it's it's to behaving like a typical bureaucracy but what countries have to do is learn to go without them and I think Brazil has has learned to do that basically and um so that's that's one thing drug war and then of course trade I mean I my favorite recommendation there would just be unilateral disarmament you know but our markets and I think that those countries would open but but at a minimum you know don't sign a free trade agreement Columbia and wait like six years or something like that to ratify and lastly I mean I think the Fed is a big problem for the region because you know our money is not stable and we're the reserve currency so they're always trying to figure out how they can it's very tough to have a trading relationship when you have this monster you know kind of controlling exchange rates so at a minimum the Fed could do a better job at stabilizing the value of the dollar and my first choice would be you know to get rid of the Fed so if you had a couple New York New Yorker friends and they come to you one night cocktail party and they say you know I'm just fed up I hate the way this country is gone if Ron Paul doesn't when I'm out of here and for some reason I want to go to Latin America's calling me so I think there's like 17 countries down there between South America and Central America where would you recommend the top three what's your top three list doesn't sound good when I'm listening to you but there's got to be you know there's an idea in Honduras right now called the charter cities has anybody been following the charter City idea yeah so this is an idea sort of right up your alley maybe you want to join up it's an idea that's promoted by an economist that who's now at NYU by the name of Paul Romer but the idea actually is sort of homegrown in Honduras they've figured out that you know to make all the reforms and changes in the Constitution that they would need to make in order to create a liberal economy would be too much because they're going to have special interest fighting them on everything so they said okay we're going to take a big plot of government land that's on the sea and make like a kind of Hong Kong experiment and so they'll be starting from scratch there'll be someone to I guess there's going to be some kind of a sponsor a tour there make a bunch of laws and then anybody who can come in who wants to live by those laws they'll be no minimum wage laws basically minimum amount of regulation and they can choose their currency they're going to be on the port so they're going to need some infrastructure development but it's a fascinating idea and actually in erns have the idea that they would try to start at least a couple of these because you know one might be badly managed and if it fails then people are going to say all that idea can't work but if you have four or five and they have to compete like if you had competition in the in the early 90s then you have a better chance for success I think it's a fascinating idea and my friend Giancarlo ebar Gwen who's the rector at ma tokine now it just loves it I mean he's very enthusiastic about it and they've held a couple of conferences on it so that's called charter cities you might want to follow that Mary reading over the years I think you recognize all the problem is that drugs have a broad to Latin America but you've never been an advocate of the simple solution of ending prohibition do you think you're going to come around to that at some point what how can you say that I am an advocate of ending prohibition well that was the simple answer all right on that note thank you so much you know let me just let me just say one thing about that it kind of gets to the point you know when I was listening to David last night talk about tolerance and humility and you know I've tried very hard to understand the fears I think that there are a lot of special interests involved in the drug war obviously you know there's a huge industry in Washington of helicopter manufacturers and people who chase these guys around the jungle forever and so there there are a lot of special interest but i think that there's also a legitimate part of the population that's afraid of what this means and what I've tried to do in my columns is rather than say to them tisk tisk tisk you know don't you understand you know that prohibition is bad and you know can't you why are you so uptight you know what I've tried to do is get them to understand that okay let's let's call this a bad thing all right let's say we don't want it okay how are we going to manage this vise that we have this thing that we want to minimize in our society what's the best way to do it and so what I try to say my column is think about the costs of the current of the status quo think about what that is because I think a lot of people who you know I think in general if you have referendums and so forth so far most people would would be against for example legalizing cocaine but most people don't live with the consequences of what our war on drugs in Colombia has done so what I've tried to do in my column is have a conversation with people so that they start to appreciate that this is not a cost-free policy that is just good for them and there's no and and doesn't hurt anybody else it's hurting someone else and if they would see it in that larger light I think that they would start to understand that we need a policy change that's why I don't write columns that say we have to end prohibition but rather say look this isn't working can we at least agree that this is not working that drugs are readily available and at the under consequences are very high for innocent people have nothing to do with the drug war let's try to agree on that and then I think you know we can take further steps and that's that's why you don't read me wagging my finger okay yeah alright with that we're going to wrap up thank you so much

44 thoughts on “Destroying Latin America: Journalist Mary O'Grady on Populism, Protectionism, and Prohibition

  1. This Lady knows more about Latin America and its people, specially power thirsty cronies, than all our intellectuals put together. together.

  2. And because of the proximity of US and Latin America, we are having huge problems in politics in this country. 
    Why Obama did win his electoral???? Spanish people voted him by the thousands…..
    We need to do something to HELP LATIN AMERICANS to get rid of populists and marxisists….
    That is the most important thing to do right now, and right away…..
    Latin Americans votes Democratic populists like Obama, and will continue to vote wrongly…..

  3. My wife is Bolivian and it's sad to see their government destroying the entrepreneurial spirit within the nation. Many of their professionals have moved to the USA or other areas to escape the corruption and lack of opportunity.

  4. a demagogue who calls for equality is really saying that if a baby is born without an arm,then every other baby should have an arm chopped off as well to insure equality.

  5. Dervatives and subprime mortgages were two areas of the economy that were deregulated. The financial markets were DEREGULATED over the past 30 years. You had the Depository Institutions and Deregulation and Monetary Act signed by Carter. The deregulation of the S&Ls in the 1980s and various tax reform acts. And in the 1990s the Financial Modernization Act as well as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. This transferred risk to investors and allowed lenders to act recklessly.

  6. It wasn't the banks but the independent mortgage companies. Employees of Ameriquest and Countrywide stated their motivation for producing subprime mortgages was to put them on the secondary market. None Wall Street CEOs testified that the CRA had any role to play, and Richard Fuld (Lehman Brothers) said it didn't have anything to do with it. Richard Parsons (CEO of Citigroup) said and I quote, "to some extent what we saw in 2007, 2008 crash was the result of throwing off of Glass-Steagall."

  7. In other words, Libertarians and Austrian economists like those at GMU believe there's some huge conspiracy where the actors and the players who understand what happened — and in fact, were responsible for it — are somehow in cahoots with the federal Government and the Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve. This is the same argument 9-11 truthers make about September 11th (no surprise quite a few Austrian economists are 9-11 truthers).

  8. The Austrian Theory of the business theory works like this: Imagine you're in a restaurant, and there are two different types of items. Some can be made quickly using stir-fry techniques, the others, like stews, have to be boiled on a range or put on a range. The extent to which customers are hungry or willing to wait determines what they order.
    However, a central planner can enter into the picture and trick the cooks into thinking that people want more of the food that takes longer to cook.

  9. This creates a "boom" in preparing meails that take too long to cook, followed by a bust. Now imagine the same scenario where the chefs have many different recipes they try. Many will be popular. When the chefs (businessmen) become optimistic, they try new recipes, thus creating a boom. Economists generally prefer the latter explanation than the Austrian Business Cycle as pointed out by Arnold Kling.

  10. The Charter Cities concept sounds highly interesting. There was another project similar to that on flooding islands instead of a piece of land.

  11. Before legalizing drugs, the "excuse of intoxication" or "being under the influence" must be eliminated from all legal defense. If a drug user commits damage, injury or death, then the presence of drugs is prima facie evidence of 1st degree guilt with premeditated intent. If you want to get drunk or shoot up junk, fine. If you damage, injure or kill someone, then you are guilty of premeditated intent of the highest criminal violation. E.g., killing someone while intoxicated is 1st degree murder.

  12. Populism, Protectionism, and Prohibition" is not South America's problem otherwise the USA wouldn't have to train School of America's death squads.

  13. Corruption derives from the power of the state being used to benefit corporations like Chevron/Texaco, not from the mere existence of private companies.

  14. This is amazingly good,, I have never heard of Mary O'Grady before… But I want to say one positive thing. Do not under-estimate the power of Youtube and Internet "spreading the ideas and importance of liberty". They now have Mises Brazil, and look how influencal Ron Paul has been to "specially the young people" in the world.

  15. Question: Isn't 'state' the same kind of idea as charter cities? does charter cities just take it to a whole new level?

  16. Laughing at Wikipedia? Have you been absent for the past decade? You're obviously too sheltered to know that Wikipedia is as reliable as any other encyclopedia, and I would argue more so thanks to the ability of errors to be corrected quickly. But don't let the march of progress slow you down. Stay home with your Doctor Seuss books and leave the intellectual discussions to the adults, ok?

  17. you think the financial crisis that's occurring right now is due to a free market? Oh, please, do tell where this free market exists that's destroying economies. It only exists in the imaginations of people who have no clue.

  18. 'free market and competition will bring more money up to a point, then it all collapses, ' This is a myth these 'collapses' can always be traced back to bad policy.

  19. I only ever quote Wikipedia if the statements are sourced, and very first link from that passage is to a book called "The Idea of Latin America", which deals with the exact topic of your very first question. But then again, something tells me that you aren't interested in scholarship, but instead have an axe to grind. And you still haven't made it any clearer what kind of axe it is.

  20. "The term Latin America was supported by the French Empire of Napoleon III during the French invasion of Mexico, as a way to include France among countries with influence in America and to exclude Anglophone countries, and played a role in his campaign to imply cultural kinship of the region with France, transform France into a cultural and political leader of the area, and install Maximilian of Habsburg as emperor of the Second Mexican Empire."

  21. The idea was later taken up by Latin American intellectuals and political leaders of the mid- and late-nineteenth century, who no longer looked to Spain or Portugal as cultural models, but rather to France. The term was first used in Paris in an 1856 conference by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao and the same year by the Colombian writer José María Torres Caicedo in his poem "Two Americas".

  22. Aand, you've done it again!

    Anyway, here's what Wikipedia has to say: "The idea that a part of the Americas has a lingual affinity with the Romance cultures as a whole can be traced back to the 1830s, in the writing of the French Saint-Simonian Michel Chevalier, who postulated that this part of the Americas was inhabited by people of a "Latin race", and that it could, therefore, ally itself with "Latin Europe" in a struggle with "Teutonic Europe", "Anglo-Saxon America" and "Slavic Europe"."

  23. What point are you trying to make? That dirty brown people from Peru and Brazil don't deserve to be associated with the glory of the Roman Empire? That separating the US and Canada from the rest of the continent just because English doesn't descend from Latin makes no sense? Or that the Americas need to remove all traces of European colonization and embrace their indigenous Amerindian heritage? It's really not clear from your passive-agressive responses.

  24. The US does not have a remotely free market, the crisis was because of government intervention. The evidence is overwhelming. I feel sorry for people duped by propaganda.

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