It seems to me, Argentina is one profoundly corrupt nation, and that bodes ill for any possible economic prosperity. This isn’t news from the perpetual failure, Argentina, is no exception it is the rule. Argentina seems to have an ability to choose the wrong path as an intrinsic attribute. The corruption in it’s government is as legendary as is it’s economic failures. Argentina has become the poster child for everything wrong with modern government. Lately we have prosecutors found dead in their bathtubs, who have the audacity to write up criminal charges against the former President over collusion with Islamic terrorists from Iran to kill Jews, and is it a shock to anyone that the new prosecutor and the courts refuse to hear the case? Such endemic corruption would be unthinkable in a market based country, but Argentina is a socialist nation, and so such corruption is merely the way to do business, which is the future of any nation that chooses socialism. Argentina however, has just changed course, for how long no one can tell but electing a capitalist is a start.
In 1900 Argentina had the same GDP per person as the US. Since then Argentina has gone down the path to socialism in a big way. All governments like to hand out other people’s money, it makes the government appear generous without costing the elite that run it anything. Argentina has taken that strategy to a new level. Their healthcare system is open to anyone who needs healthcare from around the world. People flock to Argentina from all over South America to cash in on it which costs the Argentine people tons of money. The costs are paid for by the people through lower wages, lower standards of living and a shrinking middle class. The costs are born by the people and the benefits are given to the elite.
This year Argentina elected Mauricio Macri who ran on a platform of economic transformation. He claimed he will change the direction from socialism, which has failed so spectacularly in Argentina, to laissez faire. We will have to wait and see if he does, but that the Argentine people elected someone who will change course from socialism to capitalism, is encouraging. With it’s history of socialism and the outright destruction of the middle class through many bouts of hyper inflation is worry some however. It shows the people of Argentina will likely be expecting an immediate economic miracle, which after so many years of corruption and economic absurdity, will inevitably be slow, especially since Macri will have to fight against the entrenched bureaucracy.
The corruption became even more evident after Macri’s election. The record office had a suspicious fire, which destroyed all the records of who is owed what from the Argentine government, as well as all the pay offs and corruption of the last regime. Convenient eh? Then dozens of armored trucks left the Central bank will all the Argentine gold reserves and foreign reserves delivering them to waiting airplanes to be whisked out of the country to private accounts only God knows where. Such shenanigans highlight the results of socialist governments. Socialism is not for the benefit of the people but for the elite. The elite live like kings while they steal everything that is not nailed down.
The endemic corruption within the government will not just go away because a new president has been elected, it will need to be dug out and excised, like the cancer it is. How such a feat can be done with people who are corrupt themselves will be an enigma, unless Macri can somehow get the government and people to agree on a Constitutional amendment that establishes a NUMA. Drawn from people outside government such a branch could effectively root out the corruption that has so hobbled Argentina. Anything short of a NUMA would be smashed against a wall of corruption decades in the making.
Argentina has a long hard road ahead of it to get their economy and government functioning again. The new President Macri is facing an entrenched bureaucracy that will try mightily to stymie his every effort at reform, corruption in every nook and cranny of the government, a people anxious for results, and a media that is at best hostile to his reforms. He does have the benefit however of presiding over a nation that is rich in natural resources, has good access to the ocean, has an educated people willing to work, and fairly good infrastructure. We should pray for the people of Argentina, that Macri’s reforms do the trick and that Argentina puts its socialist past behind it. Not just for the Argentine people, but as an example for all the people in poor countries beset by socialism and corruption.