Thursday, May 30, 2013

More Bad Op-Eds

Op-eds these days on U.S.-Latin American relations are worse than they've ever been. the "U.S. is losing influence" theme, but there is also the "U.S. needs to do more" thing. Andres Oppenheimer has been all over this, but it's not restricted to him.

If you read, though, you discover that "doing more" boils down basically to "get some more trade ties." There is rarely anything of more substance than that, and this at a time when trade ties are very strong.

Instead, we get words like "active," "promote," and "improve," without any evidence about. Or the shudder-inducing phrase "grand plan."

If you want to write such an op-ed, be specific. And if you cannot come up with anything beyond platitudes, hit delete. Ditto if you cannot conjure up evidence for claims.

As I've written many times before, the default argument ought to be that "grand plans" don't tend to be good for Latin America, and so we should applaud a hands-off U.S. policy.


Theo A Kahn,  7:53 AM  

For proof of what you're saying here, just look at the Pacific Alliance. This initiative is probably the most beneficial thing happening in the region from the perspective of US trade/investment interests, and the US has (wisely) kept itself at a distance. More "active" involvement would only open the Alliance up to claims of being a Washington-sponsored project.

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