Title: Chaney course syllabi and related materials
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Title: Chaney course syllabi and related materials
Series Title: Chaney course syllabi and related materials
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Language: English
Creator: Chaney, Elsa M.
Publisher: Estate of Elsa M. Chaney
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Bibliographic ID: UF00089474
Volume ID: VID00043
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS
Chaney
HOW ARE THINGS IN ALEGRIA I
You are the chief of Development Planning for Alegrfa, a country with
10 million population, annual population growth rate of 3.2 percent,
annual increase in GNP Averaging 4.8 percent over the past 10 years, and
a per capital income of $210 per year. Sixty-five percent of the work-
force is in agriculture (30 percent on former haciendas divided during
the agrarian reform of the 1960's, 10 percent employed on commercial
farms and the balance on smaller private holdings of 1 hectare (on the
average) each; 5 percent work in mining; 13 percent in manufacturing and
the balance of those economically active in the tertiary or service sec-
tor. Officially, 11 percent of -he workforce is currently unemployed,
but the real figures probably ryun closer to 35 or 40 percent. Sixteen
percent of the women of Alegrfa of working age are economically active.
Alegria still is 67 percent rural; the rest of the population lives in
provincial towns and villages of 5,000 and over (10 percent) or in Esper-
anza, the capital (23 percent
Alegrfa has two main exports the mineral tungtong, used as an alloy in
manufacturing metal products, and copelias, the latter a cash crop pro-
duced mainly on ten large coastal plantations. You fear a cheap synthe-
tic substitute for tungtong even now is being perfected; meanwhile,
copelias (which in the past brought a good price on the world market --
at least in years when thu crop wasn't spoiled by too much rain or by
drought) are suffering increasing competition from several African coun-
tries which have started ito grow theme Because of the good price for
copelias in the past, Alegrfa has neglected other agricultural possibili-
ties -- indeed, it does not grow enough food to meet domestic needs and
must import approximately 20 percent of its domestic food supply. It was
hoped that the agrarian reform would lead to agricultural diversification,
but in the absence of rural credit banks, technical assistance and good
seed and fertilizer, the peasants on the reformed haciendas continue to
grow small crops of coptlias. In the years when copelias were pbntiful
and brought a good price, the situation did not appear serious since
there was less strain on foreign exchange to buy food abroad in years
when the crop failed, however, the people suffered misery and hunger and
there wrenot enough extra dollars to buy capital goods or to put down
the infrastructure to expand industry and provide new jobs.
Some 50 percent of the people of Alegrfa are illiterate, with fu notional
illiteracy adding about 15 percent more to this figure. You have two uni-
versities, to which few children of the obreros and campesinos have yet
been admitted. Those who do study concentrate mainly on law and medicine
Some 40 percent of the rural population (and an unknown number of migrants
to the cities) still speak only the Indian language of Quimara.
Life expectancy in Alegrfa is 41,2 years At this juncture, public health
campaigns funded by international agencies,and agricultural improvements,
have cuased the death rate to fall, with no compensating drop in the
birth rate yet in sight because of the difficulty of introducing a simple,
sure birth control method and because of deep-seated religious beliefs.
The new President of Alegrfa is sincerely committed to an evolutionary
but, hopefully, swift program of social and economic reform. He has a
majority in the Congress. He wants to provide a higher standard of living
for the people, improve health and lii expectancy, provide jobs in indus-
try, modernize agriculture. Outline the alternatives and options for de-
velopment available to the President, ignoring for the time being any
political obstacles. Take into account, however, the limitations imposed
by the economic, social and demographic situation,




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