Friday, October 2, 2009

Ricardo Lagos' speech at Vanderbilt, Twitter-style

Economic growth should lead to a better life, says former president of Chile

Lagos: consumers are unequal in the market, but citizens are equal in a democracy

Vanderbilt Center of Latin American Studies came highly recommended

The former President of Chile, Ricardo Lagos, spoke at Vanderbilt University yesterday. Read Tuesday's story for more about Lagos.

Below, in reverse chronological order, are excerpts from his remarks, from the Twitter feed (@hispanicnashtn):

Standing ovation at Vanderbilt for former Chile President Ricardo Lagos

U.S. Bankr. Judge George Paine, [II] to Lagos: you are "far too wise" and "far too sensible" to have made it in politics in U.S.

Lagos: U.S. as sole superpower in 21st century means smaller countries like Chile need geometrics (?) of cooperation

Lagos: "new world" of 21st century: sole superpower

Lagos: sole superpower U.S. realizing it can't solve world's problems by itself; rest of world also needs U.S. for big problems

Lagos: Italy upset I didn't nominate it to Security Council; I said but you're in the G7 - big leagues!; now it's the G20 w/ 3 from Lat Am

Lagos: after fall of Berlin Wall and fall of Wall Street, something new must be coming

Lagos: I turned down Bush's "Coalition of the Willing" b/c not through multinational channels; sent troops to Haiti when UN asked

Lagos: do you know who the political leaders were at the time of Mozart and Bach?

Lagos: if you ask about important national figures, the artists stand out

Lagos: cultural diversity is "more democracy"

Lagos: market ruled by consumers; government ruled by citizens; you need both

Lagos: more or less government is not the question; efficient government is the goal

Lagos: my grandkids say "hi" to me and then head to the computer

Lagos: too many social benefits danger investments; extreme in other direction is also unstable

Lagos: we offered scholarships but few knew about them; woman told me her shame in poverty led her to assume she had no options

Lagos: poverty went from 38% to 13% in my 6 years as President of Chile [?] but income disparity didn't change much

Lagos: in a democracy you decide what should be a public good

Lagos: compulsory education is not a decision of the market

Lagos: I don't like trickle-down economics, because markets conform to unequal pockets of consumers, but citizens are equals.

Lagos: "How do we make sure growth goes to everybody? This is social policy."

Lagos: Chilean scallops farmer doubled price by exporting to France over ice instead of frozen; exporting scallops or know-how?

Lagos: patents on agricultural products is the modern world; know-how not the product itself is the export

Lagos: infrastructure solves many social problems

Lagos: Are you going to provide drinkable water where market can't provide (and shouldn't b/c there is no profit)? Yes.

Lagos: current President Bachelet also linked budget to long-term copper prices; allowed for stimulus without debt

Lagos: in my presidency in 2000 we faced Asian crisis by linking budget to long-term copper prices

Lagos: economic growth requires rule of law

Lagos: "in what other country" can a non-establishment candidate become president, as Obama did?

Lagos: "What about Twitter?" as democratic interaction

Lagos: President overshadowing legislature and judiciary is not democracy

Lagos: ensuring that growth leads to better life and not just statistics means democracy has delivered

Lagos: Lat Am recovery in 2010 expected to be better than US & Europe

Lagos: economic growth + democracy should lead to solutions

Lagos: Lat Am has PhD on how to manage crisis: this time we did better than other regions

Lagos: Brazil President Fernando Enrique Cardozo told me I had to visit Vanderbilt Center for Lat Am Studies

Former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos about to speak at Vanderbilt

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