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Ten Fallacies about Social Problems of Latin America

Bernardo Kliksberg

According to recent surveys, Latin American people are deeply upset about events in the social area. Two thirds think that they are worse off than the previous generation. There is an outcry over new policies in this crucial area. This paper states that the advance towards such policies has been blocked, among other things, by a number of fallacies that result in the wrong policies. Ten of these fallacies are discussed, their impact on public policies is explored, and their invalid content is studied.

The analysis is based on the recent large statistical data on Latin American social conditions and on the international "state of the art" discussion concerning development. The ultimate fallacy is the fallacy which states that there is only one possible way forwards in the economic field. It is shown that, on the contrary, different alternatives are emerging. In the face of increasing poverty and inequality, such alternatives are aimed at a whole economic and social development and a fairly shared growth.

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