[Marxism] Codelco not privatized: why?

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Wed Mar 15 21:05:26 MST 2006

Respuesta a:"Marxism Digest, Vol 29, Issue 40"
Enviado por:marxism-request at lists.econ.utah.edu
Con fecha:15 Mar 2006, a las 12:00

> Michael Hudson:Chile's mineral-rents are so high that their
> privatization would bring a price that would provide the government
> with so much money that it could not use it productively without
> becoming essentially a public-sector economy, which is just what the
> Chicago monetarists do not want to see.
> Meanwhile, even Friedman has noted the difference between economic
> rent ­ a free ride ­ and profit earned from active investment, when he
> said that a rent tax is the "least bad" tax. The world market price of
> copper is substantially above Chile's costs of production, at least
> its direct costs before being loaded down with crypto-costs that
> absorb revenue in tax-deductible ways such as interest, insurance,
> re-insurance, management fees, dividends and so forth. Privatization
> would turn over this "free lunch" to private buyers.


What was the Argentinean experience when we enjoyed a similar 
differential rent on agricultural and cattle exports, say, between 
1890 and 1930?  The source of rent (an exceptionally rich and fertile 
soil, together with a _de facto_ monopoly in the London market for 
chilled beef due to transport time constraints) was of course 
privately owned.

The income from these exports was essentially sterilized by what we 
know here as the "oligarchy", a nabab-like rosca of great landowners, 
lawyers, financial/real estate parasites, foreign 
shipping/railroading companies, and foreign-owned or foreign-
partnered export/import firms.

The tax system in Argentina almost didn't tax great riches, so that 
the State sipped little income from such a lavish display of gold.  

But, as a whole, revenues were so large that it sipped enough monies 
to build up an impressive, almost "European", platform around the 
export harbors in the Pampa region, and also a State worthy of that 
name _the country over, not only in the Pampa region_:  a well 
equipped standing army, state-owned railroads where the foreign 
companies would not invest, medical centers, an excellent educative 
network, and so on.  This anomalously large state, together with 
other side effects, in the end brought to life that strange 
industrialist alliance between workers and patriotic military that 
was called Peronism, half a century later.

But I can't imagine neomonetarists _that_ farsighted.

However, if Michael's idea is correct, then they hit the good key.

Este correo lo ha enviado
Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
[No necesariamente es su autor]
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"La patria tiene que ser la dignidad arriba y el regocijo abajo".
Aparicio Saravia
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