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July 19, 2011

Lessons for America from Argentina [ArthurK]

Nobody brings the Doom like Derbyshire! "What are you? Some kinda doomsday machine ...? - JW Pepper


Derbyshire looks at the Socialist Catastrophe that hit Argentina 1946-1955 and doesn't like what he sees. It's doomy.

The guiding spirit of fiscal management in the advanced world this past half century has in fact been Juan Perón, who ruled Argentina from 1946 to 1955...

As President, Perón gave a classic demonstration, in the name of socialism and nationalism, of how to wreck an economy....

He created Big Government and a welfare state in one bound: spending on public services, as a percentage of GNP, rose from 19.5 to 29.5 per cent in five years. ...

By 1951 he had exhausted the reserves and decapitalized the country, wrecked the balance of payments and built wage-inflation into the system. ...

He fled on a Paraguayan gunboat. But his successors could never get back to the minimum government which had allowed Argentina to become wealthy. Too many vested interests had been created: a huge, parasitical state, over-powerful unions, a vast army of public employees. It is one of the dismal lessons of the twentieth century that, once a state is allowed to expand, it is almost impossible to contract it.

... the U.S.A. is not Argentina...

We have, though, followed the same trajectory as Perón’s Argentina, albeit more slowly and gently. He got from "the minimum government which had allowed Argentina to become wealthy" to "a huge, parasitical state" with "a vast army of public employees" in just five years; it has taken us five decades. The end result for our respective peoples will be the same. ...

Undoubtedly the inevitable crisis, when it comes to us, will have peculiarly American features formed by our own history, geography, and demography. ...

The most depressing thing about the Perón story is that he remains widely popular in Argentina.

Read The Whole Thing.

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posted by Open Blogger at 03:35 AM

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