COSTA RICA: Middle Class Reformer

While he was running Costa Rica in 1948-49 as head of a revolutionary junta, Jose ("Don Pepe") Figueres had his hands full with the aftermath of civil war, but he still found time to start turning his country into the moderately socialistic state he wanted. Figueres nationalized the banks, slapped a 10% tax on capital, raised wages by government decree. Complained one wealthy cattleman: "God made the world in six days, but look at what Figueres is trying to do in one night!"

Last week the grandes finqueros really had something to worry...

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