by GEORGE R. TAYLOR
BEFORE dealing directly with the problem of inflation control in Paraguay, brief attention may well be paid to the general economic pattern as it exists today. This can be done most effectively perhaps by pausing briefly to examine three statements that are sometimes made concerning this country, viz., that in all South America it is the poorest country, that it is the one most exclusively agricultural, and, finally, that it is least affected by the war.
Those who assert that Paraguay is the poorest country of South America do not give a bill of particulars, but their meaning is fairly clear. They are asserting that the average standard of living is lowest or that per capita productivity is the lowest for any country on the continent. In the absence of any reliable figures on these points either for Paraguay or for most of the other small Latin American countries, this generalization is not easily proved or disproved. Yet students and travelers are so generally agreed upon the poverty of the country that it can hardly be disputed. Without raising the question as to whether some Latin American country may not indeed be poorer, let us examine briefly why Paraguay is such a very poor country in the economic sense.
First, two usual causes of national poverty are not important. It is true the country is small, but it is not densely populated. Although