What the USA can learn from Chile

Mary O’Grady writes,
Chile’s Cautionary Lesson for Americans
A free economy is at risk when a demand for equality is not answered by a defense of liberty.

Even while the material benefits of the market economy have been piling up for decades, Chile has been intellectually swamped by leftist ideas. The common principle: Economic inequality is immoral and the state has an obligation to correct it.

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Associated Press
Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera.

Rather than push back against this invitation to tyranny, the right too often cedes the moral high ground to its proponents. Mr. Piñera is among the culprits. His reactive half measures designed to satisfy the moderate elements of the equality brigades are undermining Chilean freedom. They are also undermining his power by making him look weak and incompetent.

Chileans aren’t interested in communism. That much was proved when Ms. Vallejo returned home from a trip to Cuba earlier this month to declare that Fidel Castro is a “great visionary” and his reflections are “light and hope” for Chile. She looked like a Castro stooge, and her popularity dipped. Things got worse when Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez pointed out how ridiculous the Chilean “rebel” appeared in Cuba, following the orders of the military dictatorship.

Like a good student, Ms. Vallejo learned fast. Tapping into the middle-class sense of entitlement is a safer avenue for a rising demagogue. When 10,000 students poured into the streets of Santiago to renew their demand for free universities Wednesday, she was again on hand. “The people of Chile are here to continue defending the right of education,” she declared.

Sound familiar?

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