Indeed, “there can be no liberty without economic equality” since social, political and economic injustice derail one’s freedom to conduct the business and compete fairly for the unlimited resource. According to Domitila De Chungara, the liberalization of economic undertaking in the Bolivia ended in a period of economic injustices, which the government committed over a period. The author argued that economic liberty encompasses the freedom to execute trades without barriers. He asserted that economic liberty encourages competitive businesses and instigates policy changes, which create a level ground for carrying out business activities. While acknowledging that the business is a matter of choice and outshining the competitors, he was categorical that any barrier to free business is detrimental to the spirit of competition. As a result, Domitila De Chungara claimed that economic liberty became an acceptable policy, in enhancing trade because it served the interest of the capitalistic society. Bolivians’ wealth was controlled by capitalists, who did not act for the best interest of the citizens.On the other hand, he attributed economic liberty as a tool that the capitalists use against the poor in the society to satisfy their interest. In this sense, it helps perpetuate economic injustices among the public and exert pressure on the emerging businesses.
The ideals of economic liberty are attributed to the allotment of products and the inequities that follow such separation. The other problem he pointed out is that economic liberty is a question of ownership other than the mere segregation of the products. The reason for this is that the owners of businesses tend to embrace capitalism in their activities than the player in the regulated systems.
Domitila De Chungara advocated for the adoption of means through which the businesses and players would acknowledge the peasants, and their significant contribution to the activities. For instance, peasants who came from Llallagua worked hard in the mines, but they lived under pathetic situations since the ‘veneristas’ paid the little wages, about half a dollar a day. In fact, he argued that the workers under the proprietary structure are extremely exploited under the liberal business practices, prompting urgent measures, which uphold social stability in the country. Domitila De Chungara also attributed the lack of answerable proprietorship of most businesses and ethical practices among traders, could lead to misuse the concept of economic liberty for their own advantage.
However,a contrary view can be gathered from Domitila De Chungara’s article.Though the article seems to be articulated from a capitalistic perspective, the author falsely criticized the proprietorship of businesses because in sole ownership, nevertheless the trader has to ensure that he applies the policies that are likely to generate high income. The practices that cannot lead to profitability do not have room under economic liberalization. In an economic perspective, liberalized trade policies are the best in the business because they make the entities realize profits in their activities. It was evident that the foreign capitalists kept a bigger percentage of the profit, while Bolivians were only left with a small fraction.
A liberalized system enhances accountability because the proprietor understands that it is his/her own responsibility to make sure that the entity achieves its goals. Since business environment is competitive, a liberalized economic production focuses on the efficiency and output other than concentrating on the social stability of the peasants. In this regard, economic liberty in business should not be perceived in the context of exploitation of the workers, but in the light of profit making venture where the proprietor focuses more on the financial stability. In fact, the societal interest cannot come first in business as Domitila De Chungara suggested. It comes as a social responsibility that the entity uses to identify with the people and promote its activities among them. The economic injustices, which Domitila De Chungara purport to be enhanced by trade liberalization, are only the business ideas that promote the realization and the maximization of profits. However, state power is a major contributor of Bolivians economic crisis. This unfortunate situation was brought by western imperialism, which represented naked exploitation, racial segregation and non-recognition of various indigenous cultures.
The power of the state as reflected in the political system is related to the economic development of most countries. Modern development economists believe that quick and robust economic growth is a function of the political system of the day. At the international level, most developed countries are now using their state powers and economic strength to influence the global economy. In particular, they influence the economic development in the underdeveloped world through their state powers and economic strength. At the center of their proposal is the abandonment of protectionist policies in favor of a free trade and the open market system. However, empirical evidence from historical analysis reveals that no country has ever developed without protecting its infant industries.
It can as well be argued that foreign capitalists in Bolivia, to some extent, failed to protect infant industries. The concept of infant industry and the need to protect it from external competition can be traced to the early days of the Bolivian economy. The concept was particularly criticized by Domitila De Chungara. She noted that it was in the interest of Bolivian peasants to get subsidies as an encouragement for production. Besides, the peasants were interested in maintaining low prices through high import duties that would increase the price of imports. The capitalists on the other hand were interested in accessing cheap raw materials especially from their domestic market. This means that the two main factors need to transform an infant industry to an economic icon. In this regard, the following measures could be exploited.
It can be proposed to use of high import taxation on foreign products. Moreover, it can be suggested that products from foreign countries, which are similar to those produced in Bolivians should be heavily taxed. The rationale behind this policy was that high import duties would make imports more expensive as compared to local products. Such policies would make the local producers sell more as compared to their foreign counterparts in the domestic market. This policy would thus boost the productivity of the local mineral and agricultural firms at the expense of the foreign ones. Morover, it can be suggested that the government should ban the importation of products, which are already being produced in Bolivia to protect its domestic industries. The aim is to give the local mineral and agricultural firms a monopoly over the domestic market. This would enable them to avoid high competition from foreign mineral and agricultural firms, especially from foreign markets. Lack of high competition would enable the mineral and agricultural firms to maintain stable prices and high profits to facilitate further growth and investment. Higher import duties were meant to discourage foreign mineral and agricultural firms from joining the Bolivia market.
Cheaper raw materials are essential for quick economic growth. It is necessary to note that raw materials used in strategic mining sectors should not be exported to other countries. Exporting such raw materials would increase their demand thereby increasing their prices in the domestic market. This would then lead to high cost of production, high prices of finished products and low demand. Bolivinan was widely known for its minerals, agriculture, oil and gas products. Besides, selling the raw materials to the competitors, Bolivians would increase their lose more of its wealth since the country would not gain from such business deals, owing to fierce competition. Therefore, it is evident that the aim of this policy was to help Bolivian mineral and agricultural firms to maintain low cost of production. It was also meant to help them use their unique resources in order to produce superior products. Moreover, providing financial assistance to mineral and agricultural firms in the form of subsidies has a direct and immediate impact on their growth. The financial assistance is used to acquire the inputs or factors of production which is usually a main barrier to growth in many industries.
In conclusion, the producers need to be encouraged to use innovative techniques in production to improve their competitiveness. Innovation is particularly important in improving the quality of products. It is also important for improving the efficiency of production thus lowering the overall costs of production. Domitila De Chungara pointed out the need to reward producers for the use of out-standing skills in production, especially among the miners and women who worked harder to increase economic production. She claimed that, though women worked hard in shifts to boost production, many of them were not educated since they did not know how to read and write. It can be suggested that rewards are to be given only to the mineral and agricultural firms that are highly performing in their industries. The rewards can be in the form of honoraria or acknowledgement of special contribution to advancement in production technology. Such incentives are thus effective ways of exciting the producers to increase their productivity. The essence of embracing innovation was to prepare the local mineral and agricultural firms for future competition in the international market. Moreover, the answer to Bolivians’ problems is free the country from the injustices of imperialism. It would involve empowering workers to be in a complete control of Bolivian laws and education. As a result, everyone in the country will be liberated, including women.