Cry for Argentina

Dan Mitchell on the tragic decline of Argentina. Nobody alive can recall when they were not in decline, but a century ago they were right up there. Buenos Aires is one of the great cities of the world and its decaying grandeur is a sad reminder of a bygone age.

Dan reports that Argentina is one of the worst governed countries in the world. The rot started in the 1930s and surprisingly as late as the 1940s Argentina was still one of the world’s richest nations.

It doesn’t get as much attention as basket-case nations such as VenezuelaNorth KoreaZimbabwe, or Cuba, but Argentina is one of the world’s worst-governed nations.

Though the most damning indictment, in my humble opinion, is that Argentina in the late 1940s used to be one of the world’s 10-richest nations.

This time last year Dan was here for the Friedman Conference. We miss him!

 

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52 Responses to Cry for Argentina

  1. rickw

    I visited Buenos Aires a couple of times.

    The architecture is impressive, but also impressive is how extensive it is.

    Overall the place is depressing, antique shops are chock a block full of family heirlooms shaken loose by the successive catastrophe’s.

    Simon Crean and a cohort were there one one trip, I guess they were on a fact finding mission.

    Argentina is very comparable to Australia in terms of arable land area, population size and natural resources.

    Sadly the current batch of cock heads that run Australia are intent on catching up to Argentina at all costs.

    I brought back a saddle, a nice addition to all the western saddles my dad has.

  2. Rockdoctor

    Think I mentioned recently I believe Australia regrettably is currently headed in the same direction.

  3. Petros

    From my reading it seems that the cause of Argentina’s decline was many bad decisions from both sides of politics plus from the world bank and IMF. Would love to hear others’ views.

  4. Hay Stockard

    Rocks and Rockdoctor,
    + 100

  5. Chris M

    Roman Catholic country.

  6. Rex Anger

    @ Petros-

    Open flirtations with populist socialism including a leftist Revolution, a military Coup, subsequent junta (including getting trounced by a very hollowed out UK military), further flirtations with socialism and then some economic crises have not helped matters.

    Argentina had a crack at importing bad ideas, much the same as we have from time to time. And had much the same less-than-ideal results. They just haven’t been as lucky or relatively well-governed as us…

  7. notafan

    Roman Catholic

    63.3%

    So are Italy and Ireland and a few other places

    Point?

  8. Mark A

    So are Italy and Ireland

    You’s hardly believe it now.

  9. notafan

    Perhaps not but I’m trying to understand Chris M’s point.

  10. Exit Stage Right

    Argentina has 20 million more people than Australia, one third of the GDP. But like Australia, rich in natural resources that are not utilised to their full potential.
    Don’t cry for me Argentina. Love the Madonna version.
    A country with huge potential, badly governed. Australia not in that situation yet, but with the possibility of the ALP in power in the future, we might just get there.

  11. Robbo

    We can fix it by sending Dan Andrews over there. Instead of it being one of the worst governed countries in the world our Danny boy will make it THE worst governed country in the world.

  12. JohnL

    Australia not in that situation yet, but with the possibility of the ALP in power in the future, we might just get there.

    Don’t worry, current clowns will get us there but ALP would get us there quicker.

  13. chrisl

    Visited Argentina 2 years ago
    BA closed due to a general strike

  14. Ed Case

    Here’s the story of Argentina, briefly.
    The export Beef and Wheat, but they don’t own the land the Beef and Wheat grows on.
    Argentina has stayed out of the 20th Century wars and profited from doing so.
    Bottom line for Argentina: no war, no warbuck$ to spread around.

  15. Chris M

    Nota – most are noted for corruption, violence and crime sadly.

    Rafe is quite right, there are some differences but this is an important precautionary warning for Australia, I’ve also heard from many it is/was a wonderful country but decades of decline now. First world can become second or third and rather quicker than what many would expect.

  16. tgs

    Bottom line for Argentina: no war, no warbuck$ to spread around.

    Holy shit that’s a dumb take.

  17. notafan

    Most Roman Catholics ‘are noted for corruption, violence and crime’.

    Still not a satisfactory answer sorry.

    Don’t forget all of Europe was ‘Roman Catholic’ before the reformation.

  18. Perfidious Albino

    There was that little skirmish in 1982 Ed…

    A great lifestyle is possible in BA and many places in Argentina if you have money. It’s just a shame the manana manana attitude prevails, it could be so much more. Like a dolled up, ageing whore (BA), you can still see glimpses of her beauty beneath.

  19. notafan

    This is a point often made, I think to prove the superiority of Protestantism over Catholicism but the inconvenient fact left out is that countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States were not merely controlled by the British, the native populations were overwhelmed by immigrants from Europe, in former Commonwealth countries the vast majority being Anglo Celtic.

    Other former British colonies like South Africa and Southern Sudan, win corruption and violence indexes hands down. There are many more like them.

    South America, in general had a very small proportion of Spanish bred elite and the rest are mostly indigenous and the decendants of former slaves.

    Nothing to do with faith. (see Slovenia, Poland, Austria, Ireland, France, Belgium etc).

  20. Most Roman Catholics ‘are noted for corruption, violence and crime’.
    Still not a satisfactory answer sorry.

    It’s not inaccurate.

    Don’t forget all of Europe was ‘Roman Catholic’ before the reformation.

    The reformation about 500 years ago. A few things have changed since. In more countries than Argentina.

  21. Professor Fred Lenin

    Notafan , thanks for the world breakdown of catholic numbers . I notice they have the good sense of not living in the shitholes Afghanistan and Somalia , a wise move .

  22. Professor Fred Lenin

    My ancestors were catholics before Henry the 8th had his blue with the Pope
    ,and started his own church , later they were Puritans mates of the Great Oliver Cromwell , a man for his times who tamed the arrogant Royals .

  23. That list of RC countries has India with 15 million.
    I’d believed India had many times that.
    Not disputing their number – just expressing surprise it’s so low.

  24. Shane

    Here is an poignant rendition of ” Dont cry for me, Argentina” (or America or Australia for that matter)

    https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/armstrongeconomics101/economics/dont-cry-for-me-america/

  25. duncanm

    I don’t think its the Catholics.

    Most countries founded as Spanish colonies are rooted. Probably the legal system at the root.

  26. JC

    Salvatore, Social Distance Martyr
    #3510352, posted on July 11, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    Most Roman Catholics ‘are noted for corruption, violence and crime’.
    Still not a satisfactory answer sorry.

    It’s not inaccurate.

    Oh God, The Driller is now an expert on economic history in addition to being a Wiki military historician of some note. He and a few others are now blaming them Catholics for what’s occurred in South America.

    If Catholicism is to blame for bad economics now then this must apply accross the ages. and in long past How is it then Catholic countries were at the top of the economic pyramid at any point in time? If the religion holds people back that must also work now and in the past, right? France, Spain, Portugal, the Italian statlets Southern Germany, which is principally of Catholic origin? How about earlier with the Roman empires both east and west when they turned catholic.

    As for the protestants.. It really depend on the sects. The puritans were crazy lunatics who were essentially communists. How about the other authoritarian sects?

    In the 1980s I recall reading how Ireland was the “African” country of Europe, principally because they couldn’t get their economic act together. In the space of a couple of decades it bolted past most of Europe having the highest income in the region.

    It’s not inaccurate comes from the red neck who supports special financing privileges from the government with zero interest loans our Pauline was touting a while ago. How’s that for corruption?

  27. Nob

    Catholicism is the biggest single religion in Australia.
    Also in Switzerland.

    Austria is Catholic and more productive than Australia.
    So is Bavaria.

    So you can stick your bigotry up your arse.

  28. Rafe Champion

    They were Catholic two lifetimes ago when Arg and Australia were just about the two richest nations in the world on a per capita basis. Similar story, playing to their strengths in agriculture. Not much government, no welfare state, no strong trade unions and hardly any tax.
    Visitors to Australia circa 1900 were not impressed by the 8 hour day, they were gobsmacked that anyone in work could eat meat every day.

  29. Exit Stage Right

    Sad case @ 9.33pm.

    “Argentina has stayed out of the 20th Century wars and profited from doing so”.

    I do believe they were involved in a disagreement with the UK during the 1980’s which was called the Falklands War. I do not think they were non participants in that war and I recall they came off second best. I guess your rather silly comment alludes to the possibility that Argentina profited by harbouring Nazis at the end of WWII.
    Perfidious Albino has made a similar comment about the Falklands above.

  30. Rebel with cause

    The nationalisation off the Argentine rail network in the 1940s by Perón coincided with the beginning of Argentina’s decline.

  31. Entropy

    duncanm
    #3510389, posted on July 11, 2020 at 11:37 pm
    I don’t think its the Catholics.

    Most countries founded as Spanish colonies are rooted. Probably the legal system at the root

    Rule of law (particularly contract law), common law and property rights.

    When every home is a castle, a nation has building blocks.

  32. Entropy

    In the 1980s I recall reading how Ireland was the “African” country of Europe, principally because they couldn’t get their economic act together. In the space of a couple of decades it bolted past most of Europe having the highest income in the region.

    TBF, JC I wouldn’t pick Ireland as an example. The boom thirty-20 years ago seemed to have been a bit of a chimera based on tax difference (loophole now closed by Brussels) and speculation of various kinds. It all went to shit quite quickly. That said it is the arse end of Europe in many ways so it is hard.

    The other thing though is that Marxist Pope pontificating on economics is from Argentina. Too stupid to realise the Argentinean example should not be followed.

  33. Des Deskperson

    Peronist Argentina was a sot of gangster version of classic corporatism. It ‘managed’ the relationships between various economic, industrial and institutional interests by bribing them with taxpayers and borrowed money. Even the armed forces got shiny new stuff they didn’t need and in the public service, you got promoted regularly and automatically, quite separately from your actual work level.

  34. notafan

    No other tax havens in Europe?

    I’ve only been a week in Dublin, looked pretty normal to me.

    Certainly no hint of Africa.

    Though a lot had gone overseas for work since the gfc

  35. John Bayley

    Argentina famously only a few years ago had a ‘Minister for Economy’ named Axel Kicilof, who opined that while central planning did, indeed, failed in the past, it is now entirely possible for government planners to avoid such a fate because they have Excel spreadsheets!

    And the head of Banco Central de Argentina, Mercedes Marcó del Pont, also made headlines a few years ago, when she stated that printing money in any quantities does not lead to inflation.

    When I first visited Argentina in 2000, the peso was tied to the USD at a rate of 1:1.
    When I was there last a year or so ago, the USD bought around 55 pesos.
    I see it is now buying 70 pesos.
    So clearly no inflation to speak of.

    With such politicians to compete with, it is no wonder that Wayne Swan won the ‘Treasurer of the Year’ award.

  36. notafan

    Bad dose of socialism?

  37. Petros

    Argentina has and had decent Jewish and Protestant German populations, plus some Greeks in the early 20th century. Onassis made his money there initially. Hence we can’t just blame Catholicism. The dearth of literature on its demise suggests that it was mainly left wing stupidity that caused it. Peron did not seem to help either though.

  38. Ronaldo

    I believe Australia regrettably is currently headed in the same direction

    Rockdoctor, In the mid-1980s Tim Duncan and John Fogarty wrote a book called ‘Australia and Argentina: On Parallel Paths’. But as things changed in the years that followed people forgot about their warning, and no-one seems to remember their book now.

  39. Crossie

    Don’t cry for me Argentina. Love the Madonna version.

    Julie Covington’s version is the best.

  40. Eyrie

    “Peronist Argentina was a sot of gangster version of classic corporatism. It ‘managed’ the relationships between various economic, industrial and institutional interests by bribing them with taxpayers and borrowed money. Even the armed forces got shiny new stuff they didn’t need and in the public service, you got promoted regularly and automatically, quite separately from your actual work level.”

    So just like Australia then?

  41. Petros

    Argentina had plenty of Jews and Protestant Germans, plus a number of Greeks in the early 20th century. It can’t just be the Catholic factor.

  42. JC

    So you can stick your bigotry up your arse.

    Exactly Nob.

    We have a blowhard inbred from FNQ saying:

    It’s not inaccurate.

    It’s not inaccurate to suggest Catholicism holds back economies.

    A few imbeciles agreed with this retarded proposition. Actually, it was someone else who began this nonsense as the inbred hasn’t had an idea in his life.

    Here’s where it’s farcical and clearly shows that the level of analytical thought by some these imbeciles wouldn’t challenge a pygmy gofer.

    The subject was Argentina. Argentina for a decent past of last century was the wealthiest country on earth. If religion held it back how was it possible it got to the top of the league in the first place?

    Retardation, imbecility and an open blog can be a poisonous combination at times.

  43. JC

    Catholicism is the biggest single religion in Australia.

    I’m not sure about that. I’d argue the mainstream protestant sects having turned to shit and collapsed. This grouping turned to ‘vironmentalism and now the biggest religion in this country.

  44. Rockdoctor

    Thanks Ronaldo. I am only a humble earth scientist not an economist and hope it isn’t too heavy on the economics jargon but will definitely look it up. Am genuinely curious reading the above comments and seeing some distinct parallels to what is going on at present that is in the public domain.

  45. JC

    Babylon Bee

    Lol

    NEW YORK, NY—The NYPD announced it is investigating the hate crime of a man who graffitied over the city’s sanctioned graffiti, changing the previous Black Lives Matter slogan to read “ORANGE” Lives Matter.

    https://babylonbee.com/news/security-footage-captures-unidentified-man-defacing-nyc-mural-to-read-orange-lives-matter

  46. JC

    Ent, this nothing to sneeze. It’s a phenomenal achievement.

    Ireland per capita GDP

    2019
    78,661.0

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD

  47. Lee

    NEW YORK, NY—The NYPD announced it is investigating the hate crime of a man who graffitied over the city’s sanctioned graffiti, changing the previous Black Lives Matter slogan to read “ORANGE” Lives Matter.

    Glad to see that the authorities have got their priorities right.
    Not.
    “Hate crime” indeed – where’s the hate?

  48. Squirrel

    If the climate change nutjobs had their way, and exports of coal and natural gas – and maybe even iron ore – were stopped, the economic similarities between Straya and Argentina would become very striking, very quickly.

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