Can Bolivia control its inflation?

We are prone to conflict. Bolivia’s history is filled with struggle; over the years we’ve seen road/street blockades and strikes (including hunger strikes) as types of pressure to all governments. Bolivian society suffers these “pressures” and after a while, depending of the government style and strength some “agreement” is reached… until next strike.

Under that environment how could we develop? how could we reach sustained growth? If on top of that, we do not pay taxes, nor do we obey the law per se? Difficult it is but on the other hand when you see any Bolivian working overseas, it is like seeing a different individual. Outside Bolivia we work and hard; we pay taxes, we obey transit/traffic laws; we accommodate to the rules of the existing game. One of the best explanations, having lived overseas myself is that law applies to everyone; taxes are invested properly and you see good infrastructure and services being rendered to all their citizens and guests.

Bolivians are like all human beings, we perform as the existing environment allows us to do so. Bolivia definitely needs good public policies, not rhetoric, not old-fashioned “theory” that forces us to align to the right or the left. Enough of that. Our existing way of life is our worst inflation.

CEDLA (Center for the studies of labor and agriculture development) just stated that food inflation reached 18.5%, over 7 points of the consumer price index, 11.1%. The government calculated this year’s inflation at 6%. A few examples: corn price has gone up 90% and soy 33% in comparison to last year. Last year’s average daily milk production was 220,000 liters and now is 190,000.

I insist, our worst inflation is intolerance, lack of compliance with the law (sound law in accordance with our interaction with the rest of the world) and most of all good public policy and better, much better leadership.

Let us not forget a shocking reality, our electorate, mostly naive and illiterate do have the tendency to vote in support to traditional caudillo, populism is a perfect definition for that problem. If most of us Bolivians do not understand that through hard work, education and looking ahead and not back, is the best way to overcome our current poverty, we will remain as is.

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