"Latin America Graft and Poverty Trying Patience With Democracy," by Juan Forero, New York Times, 24 June, p. A1.
Yet another article declaiming popular impatience with democracy in Latin America, the basic gist being that economic success is not forthcoming fast enough. Focus on the article comes close to matching my map: in South and Central America, every state cited for suffering the biggest backslides on popular support for democracy lies inside the Gapósave for Argentina (suffering its debt crises of recent years).
All this article points out is that security comes first, then economics, and then politics. Democracy is meaningless if you're not secure or if you're so darn economically cut-off from opportunity that you can't put food on the table. The anger and angst captured in this piece is not about rejecting democracy per se, but about demanding better in terms of economic performance. That requires both better rules and better rulers, so when some of these people say "look at what Castro has done in Cuba," they're betraying an ignorance that is stunning. Castro has run Cuba into the ground, and Chavez's nonsense in Venezuela has done little to improve anything there. This is not about turning away from democracy, but about getting the economic rule sets right.