: Share the Tools
Of Wealth Creation.
f all the relationships that the next
U. S. president needs to repair around the world,
none has a higher priority than Latin America.
In fact, Latin America’s unaddressed poverty
and inequality is approaching a major national
security concern for the United States.
Latin America is in trouble. Of 550 million
Latin Americans more than 200 million live
on $2 per day or less. The gap between the rich
and the poor is the largest on earth. Alarmingly, the Latin American standard of living has
not markedly improved in the decades since
democracy has been adopted universally in
the region, which has turned many of the poor
A comparison between Latin America’s
lackluster economic growth between 1973
and 1998 ( 1 percent per year) and the powerful economic engine driving Asian prosperity ( 3. 5 percent per year, not including Japan,
over the same period) underscores the point.
The gap has increased since 1998. While Latin
American poverty inched downward from 43 Adriana
percent to 36 percent, Asian poverty fell dra- Cisneros de
matically from 50 percent to 19 percent. This Griffin is vice
represents a huge potential challenge to U.S. president,
security in its own “backyard.” Poverty inev- office of the
itably foments conflict, instability and huge chairman
and CEO of
migratory movements—and the U.S. is nota- Cisneros Group
bly unprepared for the impact these trends can of Companies;
have on its own economy and stability. and vice
The key tools for fighting these trends are chairman of
education, the rule of law and the encourage- the Fundación
ment of wider property ownership and credit. Cisneros.
If the new U.S. president wants to improve
relationships with Latin America dramatical-
ly, then he must consider how to make these
tools accessible to the 200 million Latin Amer-
icans living on $2 per day.
He would be pushing against an open
door. In 10 nations with GDP per capita ranging from $7,000 to $13,000 and including 401
million people, Latin Americans are demonstrating that they understand how to produce