Friday, October 29, 2010

Latin America : New trends on social mobility and implications

Recent data and research show that the middle class segment in Latin American economies is growing. While in 1990 53% of the population was in the middle class category, in the year 2010, 63% of the population has reached out such a condition, and the trend is to be even higher twenty year from now , (100 million additional people) as long as economic growth keep the pace.
The implications of this results are wide and complex: Wide because it means that the middle class get stronger. For a society as a whole, is better to have strong middle class, than the opposite. Middle class do support and prefer stability and consensus, it also asks for more information and involvement before making decisions, which is good for an higher quality of the debate and evaluation of alternative options, all of which end up with better public policies design. Free press have key target in middle class readers.
Complex because strong middle class, is helpful to shape a different approach on different subject concerning politics and leaderships, but not always this demand are listened. Middle class demand both different leadership, and better answers arising from Government and private firms as well . Thus, it is not a surprise that women are becoming more involve in Latin America politics. It is matter of style and tuning. The same apply for private firms and their focus on Social responsibility.-
Does it means that strong male leaderships are outdated? Not necessarily so. It is the requirement coming from Latin America middle class voters, to shape new directions for leaderships , no matter whether it is male or female. While in Latin America there was an important proportion of people in poverty conditions , strong and some time populist leadership fitted quite well , to fill the gap between the rich and the poor, had not with concrete result, at least with keeping the hope alive. Politics and economics were far away from each other, but now with economic growth at its current pace , and the expectations of further increase in good consumption, higher banking services demand and investment , the requirement goes on the line of broader and pragmatic consensus.
This time ,Politics needs to be closer to economics. Even Latin America integration , is actually better founded in the principle of politics inspired by business, than the other way around, business inspired by politics. Latin America economic Integration , will not be just because of Government support, but despite Government , private firms will take its place.
Following the implementations of reforms, since 1990 most of Latin America countries have increased its middle class segment. In Brazil(2010), 50% of the population is considered to be in the middle class. Chile (77%), Uruguay(72%), Argentina(71%); Colombia (61%) and Peru(57%).On the other side, economic crisis had an high a price for countries like Mejico (2008) and Argentina. In the later case, at the peak of the crisis (2001),30% of the middle class fall down to a poverty condition. Strong leadership and no conventional economic policies, made its way through to get the country to stand up again.
However, new directions and opportunities arise when middle class voters become more important. Thus ,it is up to the current leaderships in Latin America countries to move forward to take advantage of this trend.-