Ecuador's social spending for the past four years, since
President Rafael Correa took office, has almost tripled compared to
the amount spent by his predecessors. In relation, "Prensa Latina" reports:
"Since President Correa took office four years ago, 15.851 billion USD has been
invested in public works, 2.9 times more than during the three previous
governments combined". 
aspect of President Correa's policies has been a noticeable and ongoing
reduction in poverty. In 2009, 38.3 percent of the population lived below the
poverty line, in 2010 it was 35.1 and now in 2011 it is at 33.1 while the
percentage in poverty is expected to continue declining.
Furthermore, public investment has been on the rise from 2.4 billion in
2007, 3.450 billion in 2008, 5.66 billion in 2009 and 5.331 billion in 2010. In
2001, 50% of the GDP earnings were used to pay Ecuador's foreign debt. Yet today
the Correa government pays 15% of the GDP to the foreign debt with the
majority of the rest of the balance going to investments in public and social
work projects for the common good.
Similar pro-people programs are now
instituted in Venezuela by President Hugo Rafael Cha'vez Frías, Bolivia by
President Evo Morales, Brazil's new President Dilma Rouseff, and, perhaps, by
Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez and Uruguay's President Jose Mujica. A
possible addition to Latin America's leftist Presidents is Peru's Ollanta
Humala if he wins the upcoming June 5th election and who seemingly supports
a similar program for his country's people.
In relation to
these leaders' plans to uplift their countries' citizenry, one wonders that
programs cannot be made universally available. Surely they are needed in
many nations in addition to the ones in which they are currently
operative. Especially the United States and other nations struggling with
increasing poverty amongst their citizens could benefit from developing such
In any case, any government ought to be based on
humanism and be fundamentally humanistic in nature regardless of whether it is a
democratic, socialist, communist or other sort. Moreover, political
organizations or movements that are not or have moved away from primarily
serving their lands' populaces will lose any sort of legitimacy that they may or
may not have previously had.
Among those that have little legitimacy and are not truly
left would include The Shining Path, FARC -- the Columbian guerrilla movement,
and the North Korean government. Surely, we can add some centrist,
neoconservative and neoliberal counterparts into the mix of
those political groups that are losing their sense of legitimacy. And surely
this would indicate that governments that do not well serve
their constituents' needs gradually lose their sense of authority and
popular support, as we presently see occurring in the U.S.
I am a free-lance writer/researcher who lives in Muskegon Heights, Michigan.