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Covid-19: the only candidate who can pull Argentina out of decay. Will we be able to seize the opportunity?
Every time “intellectuals” argue about when and why Argentina entered into a process of decay and economic deterioration, the same answers arise. For some, the arrival of Perón to power in the 1940s 'and the establishment of theoacute; n populist policies are to blame for all ills. For others, it is precisely the opposite, the liberal policies pursued by different governments led Argentina into a spiral of debt, crisis and poverty from which we cannot recover. However, the political dynamic from that moment has developed under the logic that for both sides its adversary wants and can return to continue to harm the country. as a country or as a society and only benefits those seeking to alternate in power.
Who would have doubted that by 1945 Argentina was in a better position than most countries to join the world order that emerged after the World War II ? However, we decided to be contestants of that new order, without realizing that we were de facto integrated. We take the position of a rebellious teenager who argues with his father but needs to be given money to go out and have fun. From that moment the idea of “not integrating” into the world was raised about a false dichotomy, there was no such option and therefore we integrated without objectives and without the intention of being lt...iacute; deres in this global context.
For a few years, Russia and countries with great potential such as China were presented as an option of political and economic system, there was an ideological discussion that would remain settled over the years. However, while those countries managed to separate political and economic aspects, generating further development linked to their policy shift capitalists, in Argentina we are imprisoned by a political logic that is based on the idea of immorality of the market and not on its ability to obtain results.
Let's imagine that in China of the 80's or the countries of Southeast Asia, its political leaders would have thought that the best measure to remove 90% of their population from the rural poverty was to enact a law requiring companies and industries to pay $100 a working hour. Surely the development process that transformed China and allowed the emergence of the “Asian Tigers” would not have happened. On the contrary, while those countries did not take the democratic political form of the West, even in China the process of rural-to-city migration was in many cases”forced”, if they adopted market economic measures that were based on the existence of differentiated geographical areas that attracted industrial capital because of their low costs and the ability to generate large profits. Market morality was not a problem in these countries, and over time the conditions of the population improved because capitalism creates conditions of equality if it is allowed to compete for profits.
But why can't Argentina take that path? Simply because economic development is a process, not an immediate desire, and no politician can recognize the real level of poverty in our country and to initiate a process that takes 70 years late. Hence Mauricio Macri assumed his rule with the original sin of trying to measure his success as he managed to reduce poverty and achieve intelligent integration into the world. Nothing further than Argentina needed. Without reforms, integration into the world assumes a predatory logic, since the only certainty about the Argentine economy is that it has cycles of crises and rebounds. With no long-term horizon or strategic objectives, investments seek extraordinary profits as quickly as possible to minimize your commitment to permanence.
On the other hand, President Alberto Fernández said a few days ago that the economic crisis is the cause of the pandemic, detaching the measures taken from economic results, and only focusing on the idea that the solution lies in better distributing (state function) rather than generating greater wealth (market function).
Both cases show that governments may vary politically but none are willing to carry out the necessary reforms because in the short term no one can pay the cost. Politics perpetuates a perverse cycle, exactly the opposite of what countries did that brought many citizens out of poverty.
In Argentina, the economy is hostage to the need to remain in power in the political sectors. Political power fails to emancipate itself from the economic conditions that sustain it, leaving the country trapped in stagnation . We live in the convenience of a “photo” while the world experiences the dynamism of a “film”. But that photo is not free, keeping that image of a country static is increasingly cost in economic terms, and we can hardly face a development process if we are content with “maintaining” poverty fictitiously by 30% to 35% on the basis of permanent social assistance.
The current pandemic crisis can provide the context and opportunity for our political system to abandon the idea of being a “Free Rider” adolescent of the world economic system and to initiate a reform process aimed at generating economic market conditions to grow, improve the standard of living of the population and to reduce poverty rates in real way.
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Publication Date: 06/06/2020
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