Brazil: Backland's Capitalism

Morris Asimow is a U.C.L.A. engineering professor who has an unusual and valuable talent: he likes to build factories from scratch, preferably in distant and inaccessible places. That talent is particularly useful in Latin America, where a desperate race with rising expectations often causes governments to concentrate on grandiose heavy-industry schemes while ignoring the vital need for smaller enterprises. Several projects have been launched to fill that need, but Asimow has proved to be in a class by himself as a one-man aid program.

Counting on a sort of do-it-yourself capitalism, Asimow has set up several locally financed corporations in Brazil's...

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