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20 JAN 2016

The Mercury

 

Until when, gentlemen? 

"...those who govern must understand the content of an opposing opinion, which does not direct a personal attack, but rather a way of balancing and dialoguing with the State, thus enriching laws, democracy, reforms, undertakings and, above all, everything, the union of a developing country...".  


 

This is what Vicente Huidobro said in an essay entitled "Patriotic balance of the year 1925". Then, with justifiable reason, he complained about why in Chile there were no wise men, no scientific or philosophical theories that originated in our country, nor chemical or political principles that had universal significance. None of that has changed if we review the current reality. When wondering where the merits were to erect so many statues in our country, it made a lot of sense because there were none. He considered that Chile was a town that summarizes its desire to excel in clipping the wings of those who want to rise and pass a iron on the spirit of those who lose their level. He also said something very appropriate to our times. The symbol of our politicians is always seeing them hitting the sides, never aiming the hammer blow at the nail. We need what we have never had, he said, a soul, and not a people of envious, deaf and pale slanderers like the ones in Chile.

This essay by Huidobro makes us think of the internal structural failure that we Chileans have, from which we have not been able to take off naturally. Cleverly our habits are present when it comes to showing off the traditional backgammon. Of those who judge before their time, of those who turn their backs and of those ignorant people who discredit new ideas. It is not surprising that these bad habits make the entrepreneur collapse, by placing too much weight on him during his ascent. That is why it is almost impossible to generate exceptional men as there are in North America or in the Old Continent. We come from an inquisitive culture, the one that the Spanish left us during the Colony and that they cultivated for three hundred years, annihilating the bubbles of the imagination.

In our country, the written word was restricted for centuries, including the prohibition of printing presses that only existed in Lima and Buenos Aires. That is why the explosion of newspapers, printers and publishers emerged in Chile after Independence. Also, those jealous ideas allow us to suppose that freedom of expression allowed raising the cultural level of the people during the creation and development of our republic. It seems that today a fundamental educational reform is very necessary in the sense of providing greater quality and serious access in this matter. We hope that the mesh includes entrepreneurship, non-backlash, and the productivity of non-traditional goods and services.

Although Chile, due to its military discipline, managed to keep citizens informed in order to pave the order of the nascent republic, today that idea has been distorted by the superficiality of entertainment and empty news that feed the current soul of the Chileans.

As the winner of competitions was awarded, permission was given to see the window of illusions of the developed world as something unattainable. As our country grows in terms of population, liberal ideas are dissected and progress is frustrated. That tradition baptized us as a puritanical country, capable of devastatingly shrinking the enemy and the competitor; actually, anyone who stands out.

It is time to improve ourselves and continue making correction efforts. The strong opposition of economic and political ideas is necessary to express in a solid format those constructive ideas that the nation requires. Those who govern must understand the content of an opposing opinion, which does not direct a personal attack, but a way of balancing and dialoguing with the State, thus enriching the laws, democracy, reforms, undertakings and, above all, the union from a developing country.

Jaime Said

JULY 6, 2020

The Mercury

The plague 3.0

Jaime Said: "This technological change in quarantine shows that our lives have been transformed and that we will never be the same again in political, economic, scientific and well-being matters. The truth is that there will be other elements that we will have to discover. Science and our new habits are just being born".

 

  

The world waits to return to normal, while in confinement he reflects and matures thoughts that he had not analyzed before. Many conclude that the new world will be in less populated places and with contemporary customs. The structural transformations will be in services, education and public health, together with the modernization of the State. What used to shine was artificial and fantasy, because we were advancing very fast, without contemplating the need for an economic and social transformation.

Analyzing the black plague that began in Italy in the fourteenth century, it spread and killed twenty million Europeans and half of urban areas, although it was resisted with quarantines; in the end the Renaissance arose. The discovery of America, Gutenberg's printing press and Janssen's microscope were incorporated. That event gave life to geniuses like Da Vinci and Galileo, it also started the Spanish Inquisition.

The second occurred with cholera in 1816, also with strong quarantines; in the end the Industrial Revolution sprouted. James Watt's steam engine was born. Louis Pasteur achieved sterilization by killing germs. Graham Bell's phone. Thomas Edison invented the electric light, Carl Benz's automobile, the typewriter, which sped up communications, and Nobel's dynamite, which transformed mining and warfare. The changes of the Industrial Revolution generated a more drastic break with the past than imagined.

The third event is the current one and is combined with a digital revolution. The confinement is merging computers, cell phones, GPS, the internet and a new logistics in this plague 3.0. Today we appreciate geniuses like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, who generated this revolution. This technological change in quarantine shows that our lives have been transformed and that we will never be the same in politics, economics, science and well-being.

The truth is that there will be other elements that we must discover. Science and our new habits are just being born. The quality of life and technology are emerging as something permanent. Videoconferences will reduce displacement to avoid massive contacts. Traditional trade and tourism have a difficult task of recovery. What used to be far away, today is available digitally in the hand, bridging distances that no longer exist. The concentration in large cities —it has been demonstrated— only generates the highest number of infections, deaths and unemployment.

We are moving towards high unemployment, which must quickly reinvent itself and migrate to less populated sectors with access to technology and that allow filling empty requirements. Reinvention comes from radical changes like those described about pandemics and progress that emerge during and after its process. For example, mining is concentrated in the north, and food in the south. While almost half of the population concentrated in the service area is located in the capital, something that will evolve, professionals will have to evacuate the agglomeration and unemployment.

It will be the air, the space, the environment, the availability of technology and transportation that will accelerate progress, as it has in the history of the world. The national industry will flourish, after having been flattened. Travel abroad will be left behind. We will become conquerors of our national territories. The reactivation will be internal and robust, enriching SMEs as the engines of our economy.

The accelerated transformation of electrical equipment will push the price of copper to a new height. The current exchange rate supports the economy, lowering production costs and making it possible to substitute imports and increase non-traditional exports. A floating exchange rate will curb the consumption of foreign currency. The low price of oil will accompany us, as our country is an importer and dependent on that fuel to power us. The environment will have its space and we will appreciate not so much what we have, but what we do not have from nature.

Jaime Said

FEB 22/2021

 

Economy  

 

Copper stocks are very low. International demand will maintain a strong rally in that area and that will affect inflation in the world and in Chile. Liquidity will change its use. Low rates will last a couple of years and before governments look for any other measure to curb inflation, leaving rates as a last resort. All of which will give dynamism to the economy  world and the engine of construction. In Chile we will have a strong year in all sectors. The demand is retained and with a lot of savings, consumption will follow the current path, growth will be for housing and related services. Flight to quality is now being done by consumers and not by the market. It is a different situation that will tend to seek a path that is not in sight and that for many countries will be different, depending on what they produce.

 

J.Button

NYPress all copyrights reserved.

APR 10/2021

 

 

World

 

The paradigms of the past will no longer work in the present or in the future. The world changed its behavior and established new parameters and priorities. What used to be logical in consumption, today is austerity, because human beings no longer receive signals to consume anything, to travel anywhere, to eat whatever comes to mind.  Now he became selective, naturist, health first before anything, then housing and liquidity to be able to subsist without falling into insolvency. Planning for the future will not be easy, although man has realized that he needs fewer elements and services than before, more individualism, more reservations and fewer sleepless nights due to having to participate in an event, on a trip, in the accelerated machine of physical movement and mass contact to stay active in society. Today stay active with family and friends, they spent doing something relevant, leaving society for the future.

 

 

J Button

NYPress all copyrights reserved.

APR 16/2021

 

 

South of Chile

It is worth a clarification for many who indicate that the south of Chile begins on the outskirts of the capital of the city of Santiago, that is, moving away approximately two hundred and fifty kilometers south of Santiago at the height of Talca. This reality is difficult to explain to a foreigner, in a country as long and narrow as ours from Santiago Arica there are 2,037 kilometers and from Santiago to Cape Horn  3,733 Kilometers, where the South of Chile merges with Patagonia and then with Antarctica. It could be decreed that the South of Chile begins south of the Bio Bio and includes Araucanía, Patagonia and Antarctica. The Araucanía begins south of the Bio Bio river to the north of the Calle Calle river in Valdivia and from there to Cape Horn is Patagonian territory. Further south is the Chilean Antarctica.

Therefore we should be clear about the imaginary territories that do not obey regions. but to ancestral territories and that are simplified when talking about the geography of this country. From Arica to Copiapó, called ATACAMA or northern Chile. Then from Copiapó to Valdivia territory of the Central Zone. From Bio Bio to Calle Calle ARAUCANIA, from Calle Calle to Cabo de Hornos PATAGONIA from Cabo de Hornos to the South Pole ANTARTICA. The three large macro zones of Chile are the North, Center and South of the Country with the territorial sub-classification of ATACAMA, CENTRAL ZONE, ARAUCANIA, PATAGONIA and ANTARTICA.

 

 

Mary Weatherbe

NYPress all copyrights reserved.

 

 

MAY 15/2021

The copperdollar empire

 

 

A look at the fragile diversification of our economy is enough to understand the basic reason for the rigidity of the current monetary scheme, which keeps an economy tied to fluctuations in the price of oil and copper, regulating the exchange rate and paralyzing integration. Thus, unintentionally we are going in a devastating direction for national enterprises and companies that depend on a real exchange rate. For example, if the current price of copper rises from 4.5 to 6 dollars a pound as some analysts postulate for the next few years, with the current structure, the exchange rate would float around $600. Which would make us importers of goods and services, annihilating the national industry and when the copper super cycle ends, there will be no company in this country that can compete with international markets. It is not utopian to expect such a scenario, if nothing is corrected.  

 

The global revival, the electrification product of the integration of more urban cities, clean energies, the new electric transport and in particular the accelerated growth of China will demand the red metal with great enthusiasm during the next decade. Industrial transformations and the pandemic have accelerated technological progress in all areas of the world economy, making a scenario of sharp rises in industrial raw materials and a reasonable price of oil as a result of its gradual replacement by clean energy increasingly feasible. However, this higher demand could destroy the non-copper industries of our country, if as a result of this extraordinary growth an artificially low exchange rate is navigated, importing a picture of accelerated deflation type Japan.

 

We must examine the Norwegian model, the main producer of oil and raw materials similar to those of Chile. They have a rugged geography like ours, but a decentralized population. The Norwegian government created an offshore sovereign wealth fund 25 years ago that keeps foreign exchange generated by oil outside of Norway and thus does not distort its diversified economy. The resources of this fund are used to guarantee a pension for its citizens. Thus, Norway is one of the most developed countries in the world through ventures not related to oil. The same thing could happen here with copper if we decouple its price effects from the exchange rate and create a copper fund abroad to attend to purchases of oil and other raw materials that we do not produce in Chile and its profits to guarantee a better pension for Chileans, without the need to flood the market with copper dollars.

 

Codelco and Enami currently intercept the basic raw materials of strategic foreign trade copper/oil coordinated in tune with the Central Bank on an old model.  ENAP regulates the volatility of fuels, an issue that should be left free. The Central Bank with its unplanned interventions cloud a clean floating of the exchange rate that does not allow a projection in the area of services and national products, leaving it at the mercy of the copper empire.

 

The government and the central bank have a great responsibility in the growth with the stability of the exchange rate and the challenge of synchronizing this country with modernity; correcting the monetary model in structural aspects to avoid its volatility and energize this country in times of copper super cycles. Otherwise, we will become mono-producers of mining and related services, where only corporations and multinationals will live, loosing all possibility of generating a solid diversification and development of the production of Chilean goods and services.  

 

Jaime Said

NYPress all copyrights reserved.

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