Wednesday, December 05, 2018

AMLO's New Model of Austerity

A week ago I wrote about AMLO is currently a bit of everything for everyone. This won't last, of course, but it shows considerable political acumen on his part. Enough detail to offer hope and not too much to box himself in.

As I have been reading accounts of his first few days in office, it also occurred to me that he has successfully owned the word "austerity." That word has always been pejorative for the left, which views it as a euphemism for cutting jobs, wage, and services for the poor. It is a word of the right, the Washington Consensus, the neoliberals, the Chicago Boys. AMLO is now showered with headlines about his austerity measures, which in fact thus far are aimed solely at higher level government officials and bureaucrats.

In his inaugural speech, he listed a wide range of things he would spend more money on, most notably education. It was not a typical austerity speech. This new austerity is inverted. You get rid of the presidential plane, spend more on education, and chop high level salaries.

Appropriating the word austerity is a PR win for AMLO. But like being something for everyone, the PR part can only last so long. The question is whether it translates into economic growth, jobs, and wages. I don't have an answer for that, but he is carving out a solid honeymoon period to get it going.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP