Bolivia’s indigenous bourgeoisie

From the Financial Times:

Bolivia’s indigenous bourgeoisie

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Dec 5, 2014 : Bolivia has long been associated with poverty. But the tide is turning, and buildings constructed in the style of the ‘New Andean architecture’ are an increasingly visible sign of that change. The FT’s Andres Schipani reports.

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 6.14.44 AMTo watch the video, please click here.

While this news shows booming wealth, it is also fair to say that these people have existed since the 1970s, at least, according to my personal experience, as I bought many appliances from them.

Informal traders, along the Eloy Salmon street in La Paz, had had practically the monopoly of electric appliances [state of the art computers, plasmas, etc.], mostly smuggled and therefore cheaper than regular, legal stores.

There was always a bourgeoisie among what the author calls indigenous, however many of them think of themselves as mestizo. They always had money, the parties that people like them were legendary throughout the whole last century, “presterio” is called. A party that lasts over a week, where people attending sleep, eat, drink, dance at that place for a week, all paid for by the host.

It is also fair to say that these people are hard workers, work early since extreme-cold-black dawns  until very late every day. What I make an observation of, is the fact that most of these people do not pay taxes, do not send their kids to better schools, don’t eat well, take care of their health, until now…

Maybe they started to show up now, when they “believe”, someone like them [physically] is the President of Bolivia. However, that is the only one thing in common they have…

These people are truly entrepreneurs, whereas they make profit in the formal or informal sector of the economy. And the latter is only a politician, a union leader…

I am happy for them and just wish more of them sprout, with the only caveat I would hold on to them: pay taxes please, pay your employees fairly, the way legal business do, that’s all.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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