By Beatrice E. Rangel
The Americas are poised to experience several development blockers as some of its leaders believe that progress entails institutional destruction in lieu of institutional refurbishment.
As the world economy exacts yet another adjustment to fully liberate the creative might of digitalization, nation states need to change their approach to taxation, income generation, expenditures and value creation. This demands another revamp to procedures and practices that inevitably will create vacuums which will be exploited by those who have the abundant financial resources to become this century's Great Gatsbys.
Reward to their talent will certainly come from currency and security trade and from ventures that spot an economic vacuum before it happens and get the services and/or goods ready to fill that vacuum before market forces correct it. Most people however will probably experience a reduction in living standards.
Failing an educating leadership, these groups are beginning to organize and follow snake charmers that are all set to turn back the history clock. And while humanity can show throughout its evolution one relapse too many into folly, what concerns most analysts is the pervasiveness and simultaneity of the phenomenon. To be sure, its intensity could create an undesired shakeup in the Americas.
First among the countries about to experience a Luddite revolt is the U.S.A.
The acceptance speech by Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention amounted to an invitation to his fellow citizens to engage in job destruction and civic disharmony.
To portray NAFTA as the worse negotiation the U.S. has ever carried out is simply to ignore the numbers that show trade gains for the U.S. From 1994 to this date, trade with Canada and Mexico has nearly quadrupled to $1.3 trillion, and the two countries buy more than one-third of U.S. merchandise exports.
Further, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, "Trade with Canada and Mexico supports nearly 14 million U.S. jobs, and nearly 5 million of these net jobs are supported by the increase in trade generated by NAFTA."
Should Mr Trump's proposal to renegotiate NAFTA become a reality, the agreement would simply unravel because both Canadian and Mexican Business establishments would rather be protected from competition by U.S. firms than have to invest in becoming efficient so as to be able to see the U.S. corporations in the eye.
Needless to even consider ratification of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) aiming at creating a powerful trading block to effectively compete with China. Without TPP, China will impose its economic weight on Asian nations to the detriment of the Americas.
And although it is not altogether guaranteed that Mr Trump will become the next White House tenant, his rhetoric will manage to poison the U.S. public mood against free trade and industrial redeployment in favor of turning back the clock to the 1950s. And this will limit the ability of the next U.S. President to face head on the economic transformation the U.S. needs.
Next comes Venezuela, whose leaders seem to be poised to become the poster boys of a new chapter of Barbara Tuchman's "March of Folly."
The government seems to believe that by means of letting at least 1 million Venezuelans die of starvation and disease the country will atone its capitalist sins to become the flame of socialism.
This seems to follow past episodes in Venezuelan history when populist leaders led their followers to a similar destiny and took the country three generations to rebuild pre-conflict living standards.
Recent adoption of public policies placing in the hands of the military control over the country can only worsen a dire economic situation that denies the right to live to newborns in hospitals that cannot provide minimum care to them or their mothers.
The opposition, on the other hand, baffled by the government's contempt for the constitution, human rights and civility lacks vision and operating talents.
In spite of worldwide support for the liberation of political prisoners, the newly elected opposition dominated National Assembly has sent the fight for amnesty to the backburner in favor of a recall referendum that only the government can deploy.
Meanwhile about 200,000 Venezuelans managed to walk to Colombia in search of food and medicines before the border was closed. Similarly, 30,000 people are approaching Boa Vista the closest Brazilian city.
Perhaps when the numbers climb tenfold in the Colombian border and threefold in the Brazilian border the international community will finally step in to the matter to truly bolster a dialogue among Venezuelans that so far has been a sad comedy of errors. Unfortunately, by that time there will probably be nothing to save.Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.
Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet seriesBeatrice Rangel: On Dialogue and the Rules of Geopolitics in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: The Ides of Wisdom in Venezuela
Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Populism
Beatrice Rangel: Three Ladies in Distress
Beatrice Rangel: Trump, Lula, Kirchner and the Last Tupi-Guaranis
Beatrice Rangel: Time for Departures in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: A Contrarian View on the Panama Papers
Beatrice Rangel: Brazil's Lady in Her Labyrinth
Beatrice Rangel: Back to a Divided Home!!!
Beatrice Rangel: A Historical Take-Off in the Americas??
Beatrice Rangel: A Skipped Journey, a Reaffirmation and a Clearing of Path in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: The Demise of Civility in the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: The Americas from Boutros Boutros-Ghali to Ban Ki Moon
Beatrice Rangel: The Pope's Difficult Stopover in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Farewell to The “Diplomacy of Reason”
Beatrice Rangel: 2 Diseases in Latin America -- Different Prescriptions, Very Different Outcomes
Beatrice Rangel: On Health Alerts and the Long Arm of Justice in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: When Crime Meets Glory
Beatrice Rangel: Playing Hansel and Gretel in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Good News/Bad News Starts The Monkey Leap Year
Beatrice Rangel: The Gifts of Christmas!!!!!!
Beatrice Rangel: Crying Wolf in Venezuela
Beatrice Rangel: A 21st Century Tale of Two Cities
Beatrice Rangel: Are the Americas Ready for President Trump?
Beatrice Rangel: On Predictions of War & Global Confusion
Beatrice Rangel: Paris and the Return of Fear
Beatrice Rangel: Marijuana & Latin America's Next Trade Corridor
Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis
Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Trompe L’oeils Proliferate in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen
Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70
Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders
Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela
Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters
Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies
Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus
Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash
Beatrice Rangel: From Grexit to Exit, Contagion is in the Air
Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice
Beatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome
Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas
Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World
Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?
Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress
Beatrice Rangel: Withdrawal Symptoms?
Beatrice Rangel: The Un-Mannered Summit
Beatrice Rangel: Easter Miracles in Latin America and the World
Beatrice Rangel: Two Islands, Two Legacies & One Challenge - Modernity
Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: Of Upcoming Dynasties and Exhausted Ideas in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: Of Thunderous Silences, Quiet Noises and Flash Backs in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox
Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care
Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves
Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters
Beatrice Rangel: Holy Haberdashery!!! Is Fire Building Under the Surface in the Americas??
Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???
Beatrice Rangel: Pope Francis Looks at the Americas In His Christmas Remarks
Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??
Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls
Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE
Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!
Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!
Beatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!
Beatrice Rangel: From Rio to Hong Kong Discontent Taps the East to Find a New Way
Beatrice Rangel: Will Latin America Miss the Broadband Development Target?
Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: The Third Attempt -- Will Modernity Prevail in Latin America?
Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths
Rangel: In the Midst of Riots, a Star is Born in Brazil
Rangel: In Mexico Cinderella Gets to the Ball while Colombia Gets a Chance at Peace