Argentina is falling into a spiral of economic and moral bankruptcy. The right to life, liberty, and private property, the values that made us a wealthy country in the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, are suddenly evaporating after a long period of steady decline. Catastrophic consequences are almost inevitable. The government has lost its way.
Our eternal quarantine measures, 6 months and counting, are plunging Argentina into the most profound economic and social crisis in its history. GDP will plummet by 12.5 per cent, inflation will reach 45 per cent due to stringent price control measures. If the government lifts price controls, inflation could hit 210 per cent, as Javier Milei, a “prophetic” economist, recently said in an interview.
Real wages are dropping, and nobody can accurately forecast what will happen to the economy. However, considering that one cannot buy more than 200 USD and the tax on buying dollars is 65 per cent, the real minimum wage in Argentina has plummeted to 170 USD per month. This is the lowest monthly salary in South America, only Venezuela’s is worse. Poverty levels can and will increase, and economic collapse will be inevitable. Argentina follows the same path that led to Venezuela’s crisis, which led to unsurmountable levels of poverty, misery, hunger, and, ultimately, a massive exodus of people.
The Economy Minister, Martín Guzmán, recently presented the government’s 2021 economic plan. The government projects an economic recovery of 5.5 per cent of GDP, and a fiscal deficit of 4.5 per cent for next year. They will cover the fiscal deficit through spending. They will also cover other programs with spending, such as: gender equality plans – costing about 3.5 per cent of GDP, a truly ridiculous figure in such a time of economic crisis; social benefits for marginalised families; credits for people in marginalised neighbourhoods to buy property in monthly instalments, etc. However, he simply will not consider adjusting public sector spending. He has clearly showcased a disregard for anything that resembles the fiscal adjustment necessary to reignite the economy. On the contrary, his economic plan will plunge Argentina further into economic oblivion.
The Argentine government seems to be celebrating poverty with every official statement, every new DNU (an executive order), and every legislation that they pass. The number of people who need state assistance reached 12 million people. However, their economic assistance plan gives marginalised people the bare minimum to survive, let me repeat, survive. This amount, 131 USD per month, is not even enough to buy the basic food supply for a family of four. However, the government prides itself on assisting lower-income families. What they are actually doing is sinking the middle class into poverty, providing monetary assistance with a currency that has completely lost its value, and snaring more voters for the next election. This is clientelism at its worst. The government is not only economically bankrupt; it also celebrates the submission of the working class to the political elite.
On the moral side, corruption is rampant in Argentina. The Vice President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, is carrying out a judicial manoeuvre that would free her from all corruption charges. She controls every decision in government. President Alberto Fernandez recently formalized – through a DNU – the removal of three Federal appeals court judges: Leopoldo Bruglia, Pablo Bertuzzi and Germán Castelli, all of whom are in a legal probe against Cristina Kirchner. This is a purely political manoeuvre, designed to eliminate the judges willing to hear the case against Cristina Kirchner and achieve a purely partisan handling of justice. Our vice president is facing trial, and not even her vice presidency should be able to leave her with a clean slate.
There is more at stake here than a government striving to clear its vice-president of her corruption charges. The moral integrity of the judicial system is at stake. If Kirchnerism were to colonise the justice system, we would be replacing our democracy with a fully-fledged dictatorship. On the moral side, the government will inevitably protect the corrupt, handle the justice system as it pleases, and plunge deeper into moral bankruptcy. The country needs leaders who condemn corruption and praise moral rectitude. Neither of these are qualities can be found in today’s government.
Consequently, Frente de Todos (the government coalition) completely avoids any resemblance of a government that will lift Argentina from economic and social degradation. They have no good ideas for the future of our country, and they are starting to lose the respect of hard-working, honest people. Different liberal groups, supported by economists who defend economic freedom and understand the problems plaguing this government, are getting ready to launch a national political alliance.
Argentina does not need any more sloppy, populist leaders who fight for their interests and bury people in poverty and misery. The country needs a leader who is willing to put their political and personal aspirations aside. This leader would make the necessary fiscal adjustments, promote the free market, uphold the independence of the judiciary, and defend the freedom of its citizens granted by God and the Constitution. They will not ignore conservative values, specifically those regarding the distribution of property. This will ensure, together with a correct moral understanding of social justice, the participation of the whole population in creating new companies and the most diverse types of productive activity.
This Argentine government is economically and morally bankrupt. The only way to change it is by fighting a culture war.