Gustavo Coronel, a Venezuelan oil oligarch associated with Cato has written to let me know how much he despises Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa. Coronel serves as his own “official scorer” so he has declared that one of my columns “made a failed attempt to whitewash the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, who is violating environmentally fragile areas of the Amazonia to drill for oil.” This is a passing strange comment from a man whose professional life was spent growing wealthy by “violating environmentally fragile areas of the Amazonia [and elsewhere] to drill for oil.” You may think that Coronel reached a late-life epiphany and is seeking to make up for a life violating environmentally fragile areas, but no such transformation occurred. Coronel simply sees an opportunity to attack Correa, and Coronel has dedicated his remaining life to attacking any Latin American leader who opposes the oligarchs.
The Economist has increasingly been copying the descent of the Wall Street Journal into dogma. One of it perennial hates is President Rafael Correa of Ecuador. Correa, an economist, has committed the unforgivable offense of succeeding through economic policies that The Economist despises. This is passing strange because Correa’s four foundational policies are expanded health care, expanded education, improved infrastructure, and encouraging entrepreneurs by reducing the time and cost of starting a business in Ecuador. The Economists’ pages are littered with praise for right-wing governmental leaders and candidates who promise that they will implement those same four policies (but rarely do in practice). Correa has actually delivered on his promises – quickly – and the improvements in the economy of Ecuador and the lives of ordinary citizens have been huge. The result is that Correa is the second most popular head of state in the Americas.
This column was prompted by an unusual source for me. Cuenca High Lifeis a site for ex pats living in Ecuador. It often discusses serious issues of national importance. The three issues a recent volume discussed are all important economic issues and they have prompted a fourth economic issue I will discuss in this column.
Heritage Foundation is run by Jim DeMint, the former Tea Party legislator. Heritage promptly demonstrated the impact of its new leadership with its purported study of the benefits and costs of immigration that ignored the benefits and inflated the costs. Even other conservative groups were appalled – and that was before one of the co-authors of its studies’ past writings on the inferiority of certain minorities that purportedly made assimilation fail became public. Heritage is one of many anti-think tanks where anyone with a progressive thought is shown the door.
NEP’s William Black appeared on the June 22, 2013 episode of Alpha and Omega. The topic of discussion is about a series of articles he has written over the last year on the economic achievements and political shenanigans of Rafael Correa, the President of Ecuador.
NEP’s William Black appeared on The Real News , February 17, 2013, discussing how Ecuador has been dealing with the recession, and some of the things we can learn from it. You can view the video below or if you wish to view the video as well as the transcript posted at TRNN, you can click this link.
By William K. Black
(Cross posted at Benzinga.com)
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has the special ability to drive our most elite media nuts. Failures are self-refuting. It is the successful that drive their opponents to distraction, and much of the media can barely contain its eagerness to write that Correa has failed. In 2009, The Economist practically licked its lips in eager anticipation of what it hoped would be Correa’s (and Ecuador’s) failure due to the “country’s acute financial problems.” Continue reading →
In November 2011, President Correa appointed Pedro Delgado as head of Ecuador’s Central Bank. The appointment was controversial. The obvious controversy was that Delgado is Correa’s cousin. Conservatives claimed that Delgado lacked integrity. Some progressives shared the concerns about his integrity and saw Delgado as too supportive of Ecuador’s largest banks and bankers. The recent banking crisis, in which the owners and managers of Ecuador’s four largest banks began a bizarre campaign of threatening to induce a run on their institutions to extort Correa into withdrawing his very sensible program of increasing the banks’ taxes and reforming the bankers’ dangerously perverse executive compensation, provided a test of these concerns by Correa’s supporters about Delgado. I explained how irresponsible the banking oligarchs’ campaign was in interviews in Ecuador and the U.S. and an article. I explained the vigorous manner in which U.S. regulators of my era would have acted to end the oligarchs’ efforts to extort the government and people of Ecuador by threatening to cause a banking run. Continue reading →
The New York Times produces profiles of national leaders like Italy’s Mario Monti and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa. I invite readers to contrast the worshipful treatment accorded Monti with the Correa profile. The next time someone tells you the NYT is a “leftist” paper you can show them how far right it is on financial issues.