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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 140 / 153

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Since the 1940s modernizers who wanted to create a dynamic capitalist economy took care to pacify the emerging labor movement with appropriate social legislation and benefits.

Moreover, to assure that development did not sacrifice social welfare, the state assumed a traditional role with respect to the economy—that is, it took an active role in the production and distribution of income.

After much discussion, in 1993, the Costa Rican Congress authorized the privatization of the state-owned cement and fertilizer companies. In both cases, according to Latin American Regional Reports, "a 30 stake [would] be reserved for employees, 20 [would] be offered to private investors, and the remainder [would] be shared out between trade unions... and cooperatives." Tight controls were retained on banking, insurance, oil refining, and public utilities.

Costa Rica's political stability is assured by the politics of consensus.

Other oft-given reasons for Costa Rica's stability are the high levels of tolerance exhibited by its people and the absence of a military establishment.

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