Summary: Episode Two: The Agony of Reform
In the twentieth century, most of the world's nations tried to create prosperity through government control of their economies --- from the totalitarian central planning of the communist world, to more democratic nations which tried to develop their economies by nationalizing industries and protecting them from foreign competition.

But in the 1980's those policies began to fail dramatically, and the fall of the Berlin wall unleashed an era of dramatic and turbulent economic reform around the world --- in Russia and the eastern bloc nations, in democracies like India that had embraced central planning, and in Latin American countries , which had developed their own brand of government control of economic life, based on a theory called dependencia.

"The Agony of Reform" tells the story of how those economies failed and how new leaders embraced the idea of "shock therapy" --- a rapid conversion to free-market capitalism The program focuses in detail on how reform played out in several countries --- Russia, Poland, India, Bolivia, and Chile as they lived through the upheavals of rapid change -- dealing with both the new freedoms and the new dangers of privatization, deregulation and free- wheeling competition.


back to top