- Hardcover: 90 pages
- Publisher: UPA (December 14, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761859993
- ISBN-13: 978-0761859994
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.5 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,098,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Painful Birth: How Chile Became a Free and Prosperous Society
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The 1970 accession of Salvador Allende to the presidency of Chile is a good test case of what happens when a country turns its economy over to the government. Painful Birth provides us with a thought-provoking account of this dramatic plunge into socialism, and also of the country’s subsequent escape from it. Dr. Edwards’ concise, readable study provides an excellent background for today’s debates about the desirable scope of government. (James L. Payne, Professor of political science at Yale, Wesleyan, Johns Hopkins, and Texas A & M and author of Six Political Illusions (2010), A History of Force (2004), Overcoming Welfare (1998), Costly Returns: The Burdens of the U. S. Tax System (1993), and The Culture of Spending (1991))
About the Author
James Rolph Edwards obtained his B.S. in political science from Brigham Young University in 1969. After a stint in the army, Edwards attended the University of Utah and earned his Ph.D. in economics in 1983. Since 1988, he has taught economics and political science at Montana State University Northern in Havre, Montana. Edwards has published four previous books on economic topics along with numerous journal articles.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
James Rolph Edwards' short book, Painful Birth: How Chile Became a Free and Prosperous Society, explains what those economic policies actually were. As befitting an economist, the Montana State University academic does so with great efficiency, but without much technical jargon. The reader will learn how the elimination of Allende's price controls restored goods to the stores (and their customers) of Chile, how the restoration of nationalized businesses to private ownership put proper incentives back into the economy, how reduced government spending eliminated the need for central bank money creation to pay for it. Also, about the mistakes and missteps along the way that hindered economic recovery. It's an honest book.
Edwards tells how a 'Christian Socialist' country that had been pursuing fashionable, 'industrial nationalization, redistribution of income, wealth, and land,' even before the shock treatment of Salvador Allende began in 1970, instead ended up with 'the coercive hand of the state...steadily diminished...private property...restored and extended, and personal rights of self-determination, free association, and voluntary contract...established and protected in the law.'
Literally, a case of 'that which does not kill you, makes you stronger.' I know from my own experiences of about a decade ago just how unpalatable that is to people with even moderate leftish political views. My own research on Chile during the Allende-Pinochet years, which independently came to much the same conclusion as Prof. Edwards, didn't go down at all well with the denizens of Berkeley's Brad DeLong's (a former Clinton Administration Treasury official) Semi-Daily Journal--it still doesn't, as I'm not welcome there any longer. For some, truth can't be handled well.
Those people will hate this book, but as H.L. Mencken once said, 'The truth is ever a rock, hard and harsh, but solid under the feet.' And the truth is that Salvador Allende and Fidel Castro were attempting to create a second Marxist-Leninist dystopia in the Americas. Ordinary Chileans were in open revolt against that, demonstrating in the streets, withholding their labor and services by the tens of thousands--truck drivers, shopkeepers, housewives, doctors, dentists on strike--petitioning for an end to Allende-ism. Their Supreme Court ruled the government was acting unconstitutionally in early 1973, in August the legislature voted 81-47 (63%) to remove the President. Allende made a defiant radio broadcast vowing never to leave office.
Amidst this chaos the military took the sadly necessary actions, and Allende committed suicide. His die-hard supporters fought on though (with arms supplied by Castro, and men trained by him), eventually killing over 700 Chilean soldiers, sailors and policemen. As late as 1986 they were able to launch a rocket attack on Pinochet's motorcade, killing five of his bodyguards. Still, Pinochet allowed a plebiscite to go forward in 1988, that he lost. Reluctantly, he heeded the will of the people and stepped down. Democracy restored. Fidel Castro, probably now on his deathbed, still nominally rules Cuba (through his brother Raul). Which is the happier country today?
If your politics lean left, you'd better ignore this book. If not, read it and think. Really think, hard as that is to do, it has its rewards.