Saturday, May 14, 2011


Reforms that do matter

There are different kind of reforms depending upon their scope and deepness. Thus ,there are economic ,political , public services, institutional and financial reforms to mention the most usual. All of these reforms ,have a kind of life Cycle which means that they are useful to the extent that they fulfill its purposes. After that it begins a decreasing relevance and impact because as times goes by, it loose momentum .Then it is the time for new reforms, like the one which consolidate the achievements due to previous reforms.
Secondly it is the issue of timing. When it is the proper time to do reforms?.It is usual that Governments prefer at the beginning of its period when public support is strong. Later on, means negotiations which not always allow to get what it is desirable ,but what it is politically feasible.
There is also the issue of the nature of reforms. Some reforms make improvement to democracy while some do not .Some reforms deal with people needs , while others deal with politicians needs .Finally some are a success (pragmatic),while others are a failure (ideological).
Latin America have had different type of reforms ,such that can fit each one of the three categories mentioned above most of them during the XX century. That century has been characterized as a violent , conflictive and destructive one. Thus , it is feasible that most of the reforms done ,were not capable to change the main forces of conflicts and confrontation, which prevailed over the forces of convergence and negotiation.
At the beginning of the XXI century, a key question arise: What kind of reforms are needed?:One thing for sure ,none of the kind of reforms which were a failure because they had an important ideology bias Among these, the belief that the State was a good at allocates scarce resources, the belief that people do not like freedom to chose , the notion that there are citizens which deserves different privileges, the belief that private sector might be rule out from economic growth requirement , and the notion that press freedom do not match basic human right for societies .
Therefore , the kind of domestic reforms which fit this century expectations, deal more with current productive needs such as the use of alternative source of energy, the legal framework for better participation of private sector in traditional public areas (highways ,hospital and housing construction, and education investment), a better protection for consumer and free competition to avoid concentration and oligopolies , a deeper and stronger financial sector, and better innovation flows to make the economy more competitive, or the justice system to guarantee the proper protection of citizens rights.
In other words ,the reforms that are urgently needed have nothing to do with politicians needs, but with people expectations to take advantage of current good environment for higher prosperity in the coming years.