Last week I was reminded of an example of a poorly managed economy, which creates only unsustainable short-term gratification. But more than the past, that article sought to open the door to the future and how we can move forward.

1) The government and its tentacles are not the solution to the problem. As almost all Ecuadorians know, the way is a personal, family or business effort. It is (to a small or large extent) saving, investing, innovating, selling valuable goods or services (including personal labor) with productivity. And that the Government and politics are an important means of supporting this effort. But people have fallen into the trap of politics that promotes the opposite: seeking subsidies, aid, miracles, messianic leaders. That has to change.

What can Ecuadorians expect from the next transitional government? That’s what our columnists think

2) And the Government? It is a means of improving the environment. On fundamental issues, such as security or justice, or certain infrastructure. On social issues, such as opening up opportunities in health and education for people who have less. In creating a legal environment that enables walking.

3) Avoid the great evil of so-called populist policies. They are promoted as helping to improve the lives of the most needy, but in the end they do them great harm; the winners are the politicians themselves who increase their desire for power or money. Also avoid what some call market policies, but which are not, but are disguised to give privileges to those close to them; the real market policy is at least no privilege, the right to succeed and take responsibility when things go wrong (without asking the government for help).

Legal instability threatens the economic future of the country

4) Improve the policy. Ours has every incentive to become a game of personal interests (from tithes to jobs and big contracts) where the least important thing is the role of politics, dealing with issues that require collective decisions. There are mechanisms to improve it (for example, maybe the elections for representatives are in the second round), but above all, to deprive politics of the possibility to interfere in everything. This is true for politics and bureaucracy. Limited options mean limited power. As happened with dollarization: the power to print money and decide its real value (via inflation and devaluation) was taken away from politicians and those close to them. We must extend these boundaries to other spheres as well.

5) And you have to move forward based on some principles. First: a sound macroeconomics is important because it avoids excessive risks and uncertainties or pronounced ups and downs that hit the poorest the hardest. Second: opening up to the world because, especially for small countries, it is crucial to open up to the world and take advantage of reverse trade, and this also puts local players in competition. Three: a labor market that is reasonable for foreigners, that is, that avoids abuses and focuses on improving wages through productivity, helps the necessary transition between jobs, and allows the incorporation of new technologies that change the world (since artificial intelligence to biotechnology). Fourth: live under the rule of law (even though people dictate and interpret that too) and laws, not excessive rights. Five: support the most vulnerable… This and more. (OR)