Chile’s Path to Development: Key Reforms to Become the First Developed Country in Latin America
- Freedom and personal responsibility. In the center-right sector, freedom is understood both as a goal in itself and as a means to achieving socially desirable objectives. It is a goal in itself because only through freedom do we treat people as human beings endowed with dignity. Freedom is also essential for human creativity, whose outcomes are spread to others by voluntary exchanges that increase overall prosperity, giving people the opportunity to achieve individual happiness.
- Nevertheless, freedom must be accompanied by personal responsibility and respect for the freedom of others, understanding that we are citizens with a set of rights, but also with a set of responsibilities to fulfill.
- Equality of opportunities. The goal of increasing and extending opportunities is at the core of the actual government program. The ultimate aspiration is that everyone can have a reasonable opportunity of personal fulfillment, in order to advance toward a society based on meritocracy and social mobility, where, regardless of socioeconomic origins, people could get as far as their talent, effort and free decisions can take them.
- A vigorous civil society. Regarding the role of government and civil society, we strongly believe that is neither possible nor desirable to have a state that pretends to solve all of our problems, since even if it could, it would end up blocking the creative energy of society. Dynamic and innovative nations are characterized by the possibility for their citizens to create institutions to organize themselves to better meet their innumerable needs. Those institutions are the soul of society, because besides the prolific results that come with the decentralized and spontaneous search of solutions to our numerous problems, they build a sense of community based on freedom, which is certainly a healthy outcome. Examples of these contributions are the tremendous help and dedication that people and organizations of the civil society delivered in the reconstruction of the country after the 2010 earthquake, the important contributions to development of culture and arts, as well as increasing activity concerning social responsibility of private companies.
- Solid and inclusive institutions. For several decades, various authors have been revealing the critical importance that institutions represent in the development of countries. One of them is the economist Douglas North, who argues that societies that reach development are the ones with institutions that make generation of knowledge and wealth less costly. More recently, economists Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson highlight that the key point for success resides in having solid and inclusive institutions, which can offer clear and stable rules of the game, allowing everyone to compete for the creation of wealth.