[Marxism] Frederico Fuentes responds to Jason Farbman

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 20 18:43:16 MDT 2012


Hi Jason,

You wrote: “As was pointed out after you left, there are very few 
disagreements from the pro-Morales crowd with the empirical details we 
reported, which is why the opposition has to be based on spurious 
grounds of “extremism” etc.”

I would be more than happy to take up the empirical data you presented 
in your talk, particularly if your last article is anything to go by.
There you wrote: “But in Morales’ first years in office, Bolivia enjoyed 
the kind of fiscal conditions that neoliberals love: government budget 
surpluses, low inflation rates, and a big growth in international 
currency reserves.” Each point is at best a half-truth or incorrect.

Budget surpluses? The truth is that the 2012 budget is nearly four-times 
bigger than the 2004 budget, hardly an indication of austerity. By law 
each budget must be in deficit, however most years the government has 
end with a surplus. Why? Because the capitalist state was never set up 
to invest in social and public spending and has hampering government 
programs (combined with the lack of experienced political cadre to 
fulfill roles in the state apparatus). Moreover, it is generally the 
regional and local councils that have utilised less of their budget, not 
the national government

Low inflation? So what? What’s your “revolutionary” alternative? high 

Growth in currency reserves? Again, so what? Would Bolivia be better off 
with no reserves? The key is what is the government planning to do with 
these reserves: pouring an important part of it into public investment 
to stimulate the productive apparatus. The result? Public investment has 
risen from 600 million in 2005 to over 5 000 million for 2012 and 8-fold 

Hardly the kind of stuff neoliberals are implementing elsewhere, is it?

You also warn us that “THE NEW Bolivian space program is part of a 2009 
agreement with China that will put the country deeply in debt. This is a 
dangerous road for Bolivia. Unpayable debt in the developing world 
translates to even more leverage for the already powerful developed 

Have you bothered to check Bolivia’s current debt level’s? Its external 
debt has decreased from 40% to 11% between 2006 and 2012! Since it seems 
you like comparsions with Banzer consider this: Under Banzer Bolivia’s 
foreign debt was 5.000 millon, representing over 50% of GDP. Today it is 
not only less as a share of GDP but in monetary terms: it is only 3.493 
millon. So where is the evidence of a government plunging its nation 
into debt crisis?

But as I said more than happy to demonstrate how most of the allegations 
and “empirical evidence” is really just playing with figures to prove 
black is white

In solidarity

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