Pan American Economics

Pan American Economics

Pan American Economics

Pan American Economics

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to explore the economic life of Latin America, especially as the economic structures of this vast area are outwardly oriented. In order to study the economies of the various countries, it is essential that a host of nominally domestic matters should be analyzed. Latin American economic activity cannot be understood without description and analysis of population, capital supply, resources, transportation facilities, and similar matters. Yet these aspects of Latin American economic life are of primary concern to the rest of the world only in so far as they have international economic relationships. Indeed, one of the outstanding characteristics of Latin America is the degree to which it is economically intermeshed with the rest of the world. This book focuses attention primarily upon the international aspects of the Latin American economy.

Special emphasis is also placed upon the economic relationships between Latin America and the United States. This emphasis by no means shows any explicit or implicit bias toward hemispheric autarchy, but it does reflect the long-standing significance of this phase of Latin American economics. That the United States is the leading Latin American trader, has become perhaps the ranking investor, and is currently consolidating her position would seem to justify such stress. Too great a preoccupation with this aspect of Latin American international economic relationships would, of course, badly distort the total pattern. Overemphasis would, for instance, preclude an understanding of the sharp differences in orientation of the various Latin American nations. Pan America, as used in the title of the book, refers to that group of nations constituting the Pan American Union and located south of Canada in the Western Hemisphere.

Since this book has been completed in a year when war has been waged throughout the world and has revolutionized normal economic patterns, the influence of the war cannot be minimized. The war has profoundly influenced the economies of all nations and areas. Nevertheless, a justified interest in the impact of the war should not obscure consideration of basic economic mechanisms that have long continued to function. While World War II has re-channeled Latin American . . .

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