Argentina’s Sorrows Deepen by Pater Tenebrarum

Pater Tenebrarum of Acting Man blog wrote an article about Argentina that I have been looking forward to for some time. There is no better case of how a nation has suffered from the application of socialism, inflationism, disregard of property rights, and heavy regulation. Sadly, most of the world seems not to have learned any lessons from the decline of Argentina.

A Sorry History of Statism and Inflationism

Early in the 20th century, Argentina was fully developed by the standards of the time, and the 5th richest nation on earth in terms of per capita GDP. Then several generations of Argentine politicians (which included, off and on, the armed forces) proceeded to squander it all.

The main reason for Argentina’s downfall from an economic point of view is that its politicians first thought they had to reverse the gains made during the era of liberalism as thoroughly as possible. They did so by nationalizing vast swathes of industry and introducing socialist as well as fascist/militarist economic policies in alternating fashion. Then, whenever the predictable economic failure could no longer be denied, they invariably turned to the printing press to bail them out.

This mixture of statism and inflationism managed to squander so much capital with such unwavering regularity that Argentina eventually became the basket case it remains to this day. Have its politicians learned anything at all from this? Of course not. The main claim to fame of the country’s current minister of economics Axel Kicillof is that he “reinterpreted Keynes from a Marxian perspective”. He was incidentally one of the principal architects of the expropriation of YPF. Just what Argentina needs like a hole in the head in other words, yet another statism-infested high IQ moron. Argentina is so rich in natural resources that it should by rights continue to be a highly successful place, but as so often, it is the political and economic policy backdrop that is the decisive variable. All that its natural riches have done for Argentina was to avert its complete collapse, while allowing its ruling classes to go on squandering its resources.

GDP_per_capita_of_Argentina_percent_of_US_1900-2008

The rest of the article can be read here.

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