Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Alternate History Geek, Oct 27, 2012.
How can we make this happen?
Argentina, Uruguay, and maybe Costa Rica seem pretty close to it.
Argentina was "first world" in the early 20th Century.
It declined because it didn't diversify their economy. Argentina became rich by being the British Empire's official beef producer and they did not bother to do anything else. When world trade declined, they were screwed real bad, and it got worse after a military coup.
The solution is to have Argentina use the boom years to diversify and it would probably still be first world today.
When oil is discovered, have Venezuela set up a decent welfare state. It could easily have been as wealthy as Norway, if, again, not for the military coups.
No communist revolution. Cuba was the wealthiest Latin American country in OTL under Batista. Obviously, that does not make up for his crimes. Perhaps if Batista was more forward thinking, he could have used his time in office to try to benefit its citizens. This way, he gets replaced by democracy, not communism, and Cuba becomes comparable to South Korea in industrialization.
Outside of those three, it is difficult given the lack of stable governments. Brazil had the additional problem of slavery which holds back industrialization.
Paraguay continues industrializing and avoids the Triple Alliance War. At some point, it sides with Brazil/Argentina against the other, and ends up with guaranteed sea access. Nikola Tesla goes to Paraguay (for some reason) and helps with the design of large-scale hydroelectric dams in the early 1900s, giving the nation a massive jump-start in building electrified industry. The country democratizes in the '20s and has been a stable democracy ever since, with a GDP/capita comprable to Italy today.
Dont forget Chile.
The real misstep here is the military coup. Plenty of first world nations like the US, UK and France have had economic dislocations over the 20th Century, but they didn't react by removing their democracy.
Incidentally, this makes me think there is something more fundamental going on.
Well, there's also Mexico during the Porfiriato, which reached a very high level of industrial development, but the Mexican Revolution managed to undo all of that development in just 10 years. If Porfirio Diaz had left the building when he was supposed to, it's likely that Francisco I. Madero had a shot at really improving the country's welfare. He would have had to negotiate a lot with the potential revolters that might have arised.
Other than that, have someone smarter manage the spending during the Díaz Ordaz - Echeverría years (who managed to turn upside down the whole Mexican Miracle period with the rampant corruption and overspending on pointless projects).
Aside from Mexico, Colombia could have done better also, if not for the fact there's been a lot of instability due to the Communist insurgency.
I imagine, in a world where either communists or fascists or some other force is occupying Europe, the US sends a Marshal plan to latin America, or some other massive capital transfer to prop up and build up a new hemispheric alliance. That would bring Latin america into the first world as the term was originally used.
Keep the Brazilian monarchy.
Chile and Argentina are. Uruguay as previously stated. Brazil, I would add at this point, in its own unique Brazilian way....
I think with more democracy they could have easily been 1st world countries by 2012. The problem was that they had dictatorships, but unlike Spain and Greece, they haven't had free access to the 1st world economies due to the EU etc.
(Personally I regard any country below South Korea, Portugal and Malta in GDP per captia rankings as emerging, developing or 3rd world economies) so Argentina and Chile would still be emerging, like Brazil.
Somewhere like Panama could have become the Latin American Singapore if it had been managed right.
There are variations in definitions of and the criteria for "1st World"-ness. If you go by the criteria of the UN Human Development Reports, this one for 2011, Chile and Argentina have reached 1st World status:
It depends on how you define "first world," but by most arguments several Latin American countries are IOTL. Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana, Uruguay, and Venezuela all have better GINI scores than France. The Bahamas, Uruguay, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, and Argentina all are in the top 50 IHDI nations, just below Russia or the Eastern European nations now looking to join the EU. Looking at nominal GDP PPP shows Brazil doing better than even France and Britain, with Argentina just below the Netherlands or Poland. GDP PPP per capita shows the Bahamas are doing better than Israel, Spain, South Korea, or New Zealand, while Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago equivalent to the Czechs or Portuguese. Argentina and Chile both rank higher than Russia, and again middle out in the same ground as the Eastern Europeans.
More successful Alliance for Progress/Alianza para el Progreso?
None of which are Latin American.
Not a very good measure of development. There are poor countries with low Gini coefficients (Bangladesh, Eithiopia) and rich ones with high coefficients like the United States. And I'm not sure that statement is accurate either; according to the CIA World Factbook, all of the countries you listed that they have data for have higher Gini coefficients than France.
That is a terrible comparison. France and the UK have a third Brazil's population and the ratio between the Netherlands and Argentina is similar, so per capita GDP (which matters more in calculating how prosperous a country is than total GDP; India has a very large GDP but is still a poor country) is substantially lower even though the value of economic activity is the same or higher.
Only if you're using a very limited definition.
I've spoken quite abit about the utility of the GINI before. , , , 
And you'll notice I also posted about the GDP PPP per capita.
You can't compare Cuba and South Korea in this ay for one very important reason: population.
Today Cuba has a population of 11.2 million compared to South Korea with a population of 50 million.
Now going back to 1960, the point SK entered the rapid industrialization phase it had a population of 25 million where-as Cuba at the time only had a population of 7 million.
Now, while Cuba could build some industries and become First World by the present day, it's never going to be able to be the equivalent of South Korea.
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