11 November 2019

[Column] Why a new Constitution?

Check the column of the Director of the Center for Economics and Social Policies in La Tercera

The 1980 Constitution is a long Constitution. Although the text is not so physically long, it has added a series of laws that are defined by constitutional principles. Therefore, the development model is constitutionalized.
First, as lawyer Arturo Fermandois (defender of the 1980 Constitution) says, "the Charter is not sympathetic to the rise of the State, except if it is as a company." Based on this preference for the private sector, our natural resources and common goods such as copper, lithium and water have been privatized. According to estimates by Ramón López (2014) we have given away US $ 120 billion in 10 years, which is equivalent to 45% of the GDP of 2014. As the Charter does not like that the State of Chile creates public companies to make investments and the Private sector does not invest in R&D, nor have we made productive chains. In the case of water, it is even more tragic, since the state of Chile has no water. Water is privatized, and distribution companies must buy from these private companies the water that is in our rivers and basins, but eventually it could be sold to others, whether domestic or foreign. This threatens life itself, but the Charter prefers the private sector. Not to mention a public body to manage pension funds. That is why he did not like the State entity and the government's pension bill favored opening the administration to many private actors.
Another fundamental principle is the principle of arbitrary non-discrimination and "applies here a precept especially directed to the State, companies or state entities" (Arturo Fermandois). This implies that no social security contribution can necessarily go to a public institution. This would be discriminatory against the private sector. For this reason, the Charter does not like to spend public resources on public services, over private ones. So absurd as heard. The Charter would not allow for example to strengthen the financing of public schools.
Finally, our Charter privileges the right of ownership over any other major principle such as that of human dignity, solidarity, equality or freedom, and must be clear private property, because we already saw that our Charter does not like that The State owns nothing.
Finally, the most serious thing is not all this, but our Charter has locks so that this cannot be changed: supramayoritarian laws, constitutional court as a political instrument and the binominal system. That is, the current development model is chained to the Charter and to those who prefer it. That is why the only way out of the crisis is for those who prefer this model to open the door and invite us all to think about it together.

Original source: La Tercera

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Centro de Economía y Políticas Sociales, U. Mayor

José Toribio Medina 29

+56 22518 9709|ceas@umayor.cl