Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our Liberal Media - NOT

The Washington Post salutes the descent of Pinochet to Phlegethon and Antenora by claiming that since he produced "Latin America's most successful country", he was right. The Post editorial board has opened its mouth without bothering to consult its own archives. The Post's own article on the subject shows that he changed his policies - but not enough.

According to the World Bank's statistics, Pinochet had two depressions in his term, one ending in four-figure inflation in 1975, and the other in 1981-2; and he never escaped double-digit inflation. He managed slightly less than 2% productivity gains through these swings; and that includes the years after he abandoned Friedmanite fundamentalism. Chile's present success is the credit of Roberto Aylwin, the (elected) Christian Democrat. I will leave others to point out the moral bankruptcy of supposing that Pinochet was justified in persecution because he was right; J. S. Mill did this long ago, and his reasoning applies as much to economics as to theology. But to suppose that Pinochet was justified by an economic record much worse than that of Ford or Carter adds to it blatant ignorance, if not intellectual dishonesty. Among the things we badly need is a Right worth the effort of debating, rather than debunking; and a major newspaper that rises to the level of the blogosphere.