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The Mauritius miracle, or how to make a big success of a small economy

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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-11 07:45 PM
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The Mauritius miracle, or how to make a big success of a small economy
Suppose someone were to describe a small country that provided free education through university for all of its citizens, transport for school children and free healthcare including heart surgery for all. You might suspect that such a country is either phenomenally rich or on the fast track to fiscal crisis.

After all, rich countries in Europe have increasingly found they cannot pay for university education, and are asking young people and their families to bear the costs. For its part, the US has never attempted to give free college for all, and it took a bitter battle just to ensure that America's poor get access to healthcare a guarantee that the Republican party is now working hard to repeal, claiming the country cannot afford it.

But Mauritius, a small island nation off the east coast of Africa, is neither particularly rich nor on its way to budgetary ruin. Nonetheless, it has spent the last decades successfully building a diverse economy, a democratic political system and a strong social safety net. Many countries, not least the US, could learn from its experience.

In a recent visit to this tropical archipelago of 1.3 million people, I had a chance to see some of the leaps Mauritius has taken accomplishments that can seem bewildering in light of the debate in the US and elsewhere. Consider home ownership: while American conservatives say the government's attempt to extend home ownership to 70% of the US population was responsible for the financial meltdown, 87% of Mauritians own their own homes without fuelling a housing bubble.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/07/mau...
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Arctic Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-11 08:04 PM
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1. I watched a documentary about this country a few years ago.
They are definately an impressive country.
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