The Free-Market Moment: Making Grassroots Capitalism Succeed Where Populism Has Failed

In Latin America today, the public’s loss of confidence in authoritarian populists gives free-market democrats a chance to prove that economic and political freedom represent the only path to prosperity and social justice. Grassroots capitalism is the only permanent solution to poverty, empowering poor and marginalized citizens to make them stakeholders in their country’s economic success. Policymakers also must address the systemic barriers to equitable growth, including corruption, stifling bureaucracy, crime, and violence.

To succeed, perspective leaders in Latin America must learn from past mistakes, demonstrate that they value all of their citizens, and give the poor the tools to contribute to their country’s political prosperity. Although right-leaning politicians in Latin America are at a disadvantage because of the misperceptions of their economic prescriptions, they can draw some confidence from the fact that economic freedom is the only way to defeat poverty.

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