2017 was a difficult year for many in Latin America. While Mexico endured 6.77 percent inflation, Argentina reached 24.5 percent and Venezuelans suffered a whopping 2,616 percent inflation. For comparison, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the United States saw inflation between 2.0 and 1.7 percent in 2017.
Alex Chafuen, managing director of international outreach at Acton, recently addressed the issues in Latin America on NTN24 “Nuestra Tele Noticias.” Chafuen denounces how inflation feeds corruption, especially in Venezuela and Argentina. To print money to cover deficits is “knowingly lying and stealing, knowing full well that it’s stealing,” Chafuen explains. In fact, it’s so difficult for citizens to make purchases with useless government money that other currencies are being created or people are resorting to trading goods directly.
“80% of Latin American countries” explains Chafuen, “need better monetary policy, and that also means better fiscal policy; reducing government expenditures, reduding regulations, and liberating the productive power of the private sector”
One big problem, adds Chafuen, is that these countries have very weak rule of law. Chile and Costa Rica, that perform better in this aspect, have much lower inflation than Venezuela or Argentina.
Watch the entire interview (in Spanish):
Featured image: “Escuderos se preparan durante la marcha de los médicos el 22 de mayo de 2017 en Caracas, Venezuela.” (CC by SA 4.0)