Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Chile : Two hundred years later (1810-2010) (I)
These days Chilean people celebrates the most of their pride : to be independent .On September 18 th, in the year 1810 started out a long journey for a new tough land full of scary natural phenomena (earth quakes, volcano eruption, flooding in winter seasons ), but also with the majesty of both geographic and weather diversity. Dry and hot in the north, rainy and cold in the south.
Geography has played an important role to shape Chilean people character, as much it made the quality of leadership and resources endowment, in other independences experiences . Chilean people can endure strong challenges whether they propose themselves because Nature call upon them from time to time, to do so. Just a few months ago a devastated earthquake made it again. Destruction everywhere in the Center south of the country did not change the mood and the will to keep on moving forward.-
But Chilean character it is also about social and cultural heritage .From the beginning Chilean society was stratified by social levels depending on whether there was or not an European background .These differences also shaped the struggle for independence . Although the first signal of independence, was a reaction against Bonaparte ´s Army invasion of Spain(1810), supporting the King of Spaniard Emprire,the real independence came out with Argentine support years later (1818),after decisive battles (1817,1818).As a result of the outcome of those battles, Chilean people at that time, wanted an Argentine General to be the first Head of State of the new country.Thus ,it was at the battle field where the independence was really wrapped up instead of the desk of some prominent citizens.-
The State was also designed upon these social classification .The Army,(later the Navy), the Church ,the public administration were the places for those who were linked to the European status. This is the reason because Chile as a country ,has a strongly institutional profile like no other country in Latin America .Somehow Chile is a mix of credible institutions to make the balance for and important concentration of political power .On this issue, the Centralized State has taken away very much of the entrepreneurs willingness to do business on their own.
To start e new business, still take twenty days and requires almost U$$500. Taxes are among the lowest in Latin America, but they are highly regressive because they are based on consumption. The lower income have an higher share of consumption, so they endure the burden of financing the public expenditures .
All over two centuries, there has been progress. No doubt about it, although there are still some areas which requires more attention. However, the national identity has not changed too much. Chile is still in a transition from an agricultural politically based society , to a entrepreneurship politically based society.-