ANATEL Debate, 13th December

Frankly, these interminable debates bore me, the multipart complicated questions that often resemble declarations or accusations, and their long convoluted answers, reiterating what has already been said a thousand times, I find them fome, unwatchable.

But tonight’s (Monday 13th) ANATEL debate is the last opportunity to see both presidential candidates in action before election day. Given the unusually venomous campaign, it may at least provide some entertainment.

And tomorrow night(Tuesday 14th), since Boric refused to appear on Parisi’s “Bad Boys” YouTube channel, Parisi will not treat him kindly. Should be good for a chuckle or two. Soap-opera politics is the nearest thing I can find to entertainment amid the abysmal Chilean media dross.

Interesting times for all. Last week to stock up if the 20th and the days onward prove to be too dangerous to go shopping or run errands or just pointless if the hipermercado and other services no longer exist…

Yeah, like Cerro Navia inhabitants. Having destroyed their local supermarkets, now they want them back. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned. Or maybe not…

Hi, I fully agree with your recommendation to stock up, it’s good common sense, but I actually don’t think there will be major disruption. Of course, I may be wrong, but here’s my thinking.

If Kast wins, an immediate protest is a protest against not politicians but against democracy, against the people that voted for Kast, and maybe the people that didn’t vote. Will people really take to the streets to protest against the people? I think not many. Let’s not protest against Kast until he does something that is an overreach of powers, or that wasn’t in his program, or is against the will of the Chilean people or the congress.

The big celebration after the constitution vote was a celebration of a people’s victory, not that of a politician.

If Boric wins, it’s not going to lead to a large celebration of that sort, because people don’t like to celebrate politician’s individual victories. If Boric wins, it’s not because he’s truly loved by many, but because enough people will have decided he is a bit better than the other guy, the least bad option, an anti-Kast vote, or worth giving a chance. The Boric fans are, I suspect, more likely the homemade placard type of protester rather than the throw rocks at military type of “protestor”. That latter sort are either communist, Lista del Pueblo, or apolitical. Of course, if Boric’s celebration is big enough, it will attract criminals and looters as any large enough protest does. But I don’t think it will get big enough.

The other thing is that the population at large, the ones that swelled the October 25th 2019 to over a million, are not as passionate at the moment. Some apathy has come back. The radio debate may have fuelled this sentiment a bit, especially given that the majority of people didn’t listen to a largely reasonable debate, but perhaps saw in the news or social media later the argumentative part that Boric and Kast had. I think that kind of thing is a turn off for the people.

I also think whatever happens will probably be over by Sunday. It may even be that almost nothing happens.

I would add that my predictions are for the country as a whole. For Plaza Italia, Valpo and maybe San Antonio, I’m less confident, it seems that there is more unpredictability/volatility. But for the rest of the country, I would be surprised if things get messy and are still messy by Sunday.

Boric lost his cool, or almost did, in one part of that radio debate. I predict he will reflect on this and realize the last debate should be calmer and more about policies.

Kast might take the same approach, I am not sure.

Overall I’m hoping for and perhaps expecting a calmer debate.

Clearly the two candidates hate each other now, but they only need to get through this one debate, and then, potentially after tomorrow they might never need to talk to each other again.

Well, my prediction of a calmer debate more about policies was proved wrong already, they have spent much of it attacking each other. I think it’s a turn off for people that won’t help turnout.

I personally find these debates educational and not as bad as many other countries versions of the same. But they can be hard to watch at times yes.

Let’s hope I am not also wrong about my other prediction on the aftermath of the election.

Pretty boring stuff. Both candidates anxious to appear as moderates, trying to market themselves to the crucial still-undecided. I don’t think it will have influenced those voters much, unless they have the memory spans of a housefly. I thought Boric did quite well at weathering Kast’s sneaky little digs.

And the morning after, a similar analysis:

I thought it was a pretty poor debate. Nothing new, just the same old attacks and discussions.
I don’t understand why there are no difficult questions in regards to the financing of the candidates programs? It is so easy (for both) to promise and promise higher pensions, better healthcare, better education, but without explaining how it will be funded. All I heard was the Boric would fund it by taxing the 0,01% (on income, not wealth) and Kast by reducing “fat” in the public system.
I don’t have the numbers, but I am 99% certain that the promises made by no means whatsoever could be paid for by those meagre income streams. I mean, Boric promises 250K extra per month to all pensioners. Cancelation of CAE. Major improvements to health care.
Kast has dropped his tax reduction, but just as Boric, he is promising lots of stuff, only to be financed by smaller state and increased growth…
For me, the principal part of a government plan should be on how to finance it. Not in Chile…

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This is a bit unfair. Boric has said he will raise 8% of GDP in additional taxation which is a large amount

He has said he will do this as follows:

Renta 1%
Reduccion de exenciones 1%
Impuestos riqueza 1.5%
Impuestos verdes 1% (this one was talked about in the debate in the context of fuel prices)
Royalty a la gran mineria de cobre 1%
Medidas contra la evasion y la elusion 2.5%

I’m not sure Kast is promising lots of stuff. His program is more rhetoric about immigration and security, but there isn’t much plan or actual policies behind it that require large funding, so he isn’t required to promise funding, because he isn’t going to change that much.

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Thanks Mendoza - I was mainly referring to the debate yesterday, where he mentioned the tax on 0,01% of income. Did not hear about wealth (like how would he actually implement it, which is the really big question).
Yes, he mentioned fuel prices, I forgot about that and I guess he very briefly touched upon royalties as well.
What I am missing, is that the journalists do the calculations of whether the program is financially viable. Will his suggestion realistically increase taxation with 8% of GDP and does that align with the spend he is proposing?
For Kast, he talked about the 186K / month pension that Piñera just passed, but again, is is viable at atll? As far as I know, then the budget for this year is something like more than 20% unfinanced (ie will be paid with increased debt). This obviously does not include this additional pension payment as it has not yet started.
Both want to continue the IFE laboral in some sort or shape - who will pay?
Financing with debt is not a good long term solution as almost any economist will tell you, as at the end of the line, it is a transfer of money from the state to the very rich (who lend the money to the state)…

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“Will his suggestion realistically increase taxation with 8% of GDP and does that align with the spend he is proposing?”
I don’t think Boric or his team has ever done a detailed calculation or analysis, and I don’t think the press has either. Some economists have said it looks ambitious to the point of being very hard to actually achieve.
The Frente Amplio will likely need two terms in power and the centrist and independent senators to fall in line with their way of thinking to achieve much of this. I think the 8% PIB is planned to be achieved at the end of the first term, or in a potential second term, or within about a decade, not straight away.

Realistically. Boric will likely not be able to achieve everything in his plan because he either won’t have the senate votes or the economy won’t sustain it. The fact that a big chunk of his funding is coming from tax evasion creates some uncertainty as very hard to know how much they’ll manage to get.

However, this may be a good thing that he won’t be able to deliver since some of his plans are a bit aggressive. If his economic advisors and centrist senators can help to make sure things don’t go too far too fast then a Boric government will address social inequalities without being overly divisive or damaging to jobs and people’s businesses.

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I did not watch the Franco Parisi BadBoys show yesterday, but saw some bits on Twitter where they made the exact analysis that I was asking for here. Ie, more in depth with how Boric will finance his proposal, especially in regards to pensions. The clips I have seen, point to a complete disconnect between spend and income. A shame that such defining elements are not discussed on the televised debates.

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Remember the confiscation of private individual AFP funds theory may not be a theory and could finance Chile’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution for around two years.


I watched the majority. You are right. It is sad that there is no real analysis of the funding for such programs in the mainstream media.

There was also discussion about how raising the fuel tax is would end up increasing costs throughout the economy and this inflation will have a significant impact on people with lower incomes. You can’t expect trucking businesses, retailers, delivery companies, transportation providers, etc. to just eat the higher fuel costs. They will raise prices to compensate. He may say he won’t directly increase taxes on the poor, but the end effect is the same.

Boric and his people have no idea how basic economics work. That is why he didn’t want to go on Parisi’s show. It had nothing to do with Parsi’s child support problems.

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We need a more holistic understanding of economics such as that of Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth. Opponents of fuel price increases always ignore the $ cost of pollution and climate change. What is the economic cost of stunted child brain development due to pollution?

Increasing the price of fuel will cause less fuel to be used which will lead to less pollution and climate change which have economic benefits, e.g. less hospital costs to treat sick people and more money spent dealing with droughts from climate change. All the analysis shows that the economic benefits of dealing with climate change win out over the costs provided you are able to think long term and globally it will be cheaper in the long run to increase the fuel price as high as possible. Even if you couldn´t care less about the immense suffering caused by pollution and climate change, and are judging purely on the $$, the higher the fuel price the better.

It is true that higher fuel prices affect the a bit poor more if done in isolation but that is NOT what Boric is doing, he is going to give some of the money back elsewhere with subsidies to those that use vehicles for their job or otherwise need support.

His wider program, with its minimum salary increase and higher pensions and more taxes on the rich, is obviously going to benefit the poor more than Kast even if this policy doesn´t.

We need taxes from something, so why not tax environmental destruction rather than wealth.

Increasing fuel prices of say 10% would likely only increase the food price by say 1% or 2%, since the majority of the cost of the food is not in fuel. It´s not huge in the grand scheme of things if you´re getting minimum salary increases you´ll be better off.

Total tax burden in Chile for both poor and rich is still going to be lower than US, Europe, and most of the world´s developed countries.

Climate change is a critical part of economics. Boric´s understanding of climate change is far superior to Kast´s or Parisi`s.

Cnn had a very interesting discussion between the economic teams of both candidates.

Full debate in link
I would have preferred if they had more time to counter, but still by far the most informative debate I have seen. Unfortunately my guess is that very few Chileans will ever see it.
I am somewhat biased, but putting forth Greece in the period 2009-2017 as a positive case (along with Turkey and Argentina) might be one of the biggest own goals I have seen for quite some time.
Beside from that, I think both had valid points.
If you are interested in the economic future for Chile, this should be obligatory to watch - no matter who your candidate is.

Good point on the Greece mistake. However Kast’s team didn’t capitalize on it either in the immediate response within the debate or in social media follow up.