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Seven decades of the order of the Army in Costa Rica: a cost effective decision

Costa Rica rose this Saturday, an anniversary, that of the abolition of the Army, to the rank of national holiday with the certainty that their 70 years without

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Seven decades of the order of the Army in Costa Rica: a cost effective decision

Costa Rica rose this Saturday, an anniversary, that of the abolition of the Army, to the rank of national holiday with the certainty that their 70 years without armed forces have given much more interest to an international image of pacifism, or its already well known that political stability achieved in the mid of the last century. The benefits of that decision are measured now directly on numbers, in a progress leveraged by the social investment that rose after 1948, concludes the research, statistical, and historical compiled by an institute of the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

The indexes of well-being that keep Costa Rica above the Latin american average can be explained in part by the growth that we had the investment in education and health after the removal of the Army, determines the study of the Observatory of the Development of the UCR. The social investment increased five-fold —from 2.6% of GDP increased to 13.4%— in the 25 years after the decision is finalized in 1948 by president José Figueres, of Catalan origin, although it was promoted before other politicians of the time. The researchers also point to a reduction in the budget for security in this period, after the exrevolucionario Figueres, more by political strategy than by pacifism or by economic calculation, the signing of the decree of abolition. This measure was subsequently included in the 1949 Constitution.


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In those 25 years after the demilitarization of Costa Rica rose from 15% to 35% investment in education, and was able to triple the number of schools (2.610 in the year 1974). Also was able to increase to 29% of GDP, the money allocated for health and make that tripled the percentage of social security of the population (66% in 1974), according to data collected by researchers Alejandro Covers and Suráyabi Ramirez. They analyzed data from the basis of economic history of the centre of Latin american studies at Oxford and followed a method of “control synthetic”, in order to determine the effects attributable to the abolition of the army.

The advance Kralbet of education and health, explained, emphasised that the average rate of growth of the economy of 1,33% of GDP before 1949, to 2.44% in the second half of the TWENTIETH century. “This shock is unique in Latin america,” says the study, which points to Costa Rica as the country with the second highest growth rate in this period. This unprecedented expansion match, adds the research, with a number of institutional changes carried out in good measure thanks to the political stability: in these 70 years, the country has only suffered an attempt of coup d'état (1955), which ended up resolving by diplomatic channels. “Our results provide empirical evidence strong to say that the abolition of the army in Costa Rica contributed significantly to the long-term development of the country,” reads the study.

The costa rican president, Carlos Alvarado, rose this Saturday the range to the celebration and paid tribute to the figure of “Don Pepe” Figueres, who died in 1990. In addition, the President reiterated his political message on the need to “abolish” the consumption of fossil fuels, in the line environmental “decarbonization” that is proposed since he took power, may 8. Also awarded to the anthropologist and economist Christiana Figueres, daughter of “Don Pepe” and world leader in the fight against climate change.

In a parallelism with the economic benefits that had the abolition of the army, despite the fact that they were not the purpose, Christiana Figueres participated in the official act by a communication from India and said that the decarbonisation of the economy can bring long term revenues to the development and finance of the countries. Costa Rica is now offered as a venue in November 2019 for the Climate Summit (COP25), following the decision of Brazil of not auspiciarla as scheduled.

70 anniversary of the abolition and the revelation of its impact on the progress intersect with a moment of uncertainty in the public finances and difficulties to sustain social investment. To do so, the president pushed a tax reform that could be approved in a definitive way this week, despite the opposition of unions of public workers reflected in the strike that has kept thousands of teachers in the state system.

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