Legend of 70 years of decline

Last week in Spain, accompanied by other right-wing leaders, Macri reverted to an idea he himself propagated towards the end of his presidency. His blunders pushed the country into a severe economic crisis, but he blamed it on “70 years of Peronism”. It is as if he ruled in the last seventy years only the Justice and Development Party. As if the unappealable disaster of his administration had nothing to do with it. Now, in Spain, he has added a new comparative element. Argentina “The Most Failed Society of the Past Seventy Years”. The country was “among the five richest” in the world, but, inexplicably, entered a state of endless decline. We’ve been doing worse than anyone else for seven decades. They are all better than us. Of course, the fault lies with Peronism.

At about the same time, in a column he publishes regularly in another newspaper, a radical liberal writer contributed supposed statements from that “The crushing decline of ArgentinaAs evidence, he included a small square – the guy is an expert at creating poorly made or misinterpreted tables for others to share on networks – showing a decrease in the participation of Argentine GDP in the total of Latin America: from a representation of 27% of the production of the Indian subcontinent At the beginning of the twentieth century it went to 10%, “in a process that accelerated in the mid-1940s.” Everything fit, apparently. Peronism = decadent Argentina.

The fallacy is so blunt that it is impossible that it was not intentional. Argentina’s GDP as a share of Latin America fell, as in any of the former developing countries, due to the fact that other players entered the field. What could have happened: More countries are producing more, the pie is getting bigger, and participation in the total of the first arrivals is shrinking. The same thing happened to the richest countries. The US economy made up 40% of global GDP in 1960. Today less than half So. In the middle was the neoliberal Reagan’s turn, but then again, no one or anyone else would blame him for some “the crushing decline of America” ​​based on such a ridiculous piece of data.

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At the same time, in the gossip of social networks, they do not cease to share the created drawing with the same (lack of) seriousness that seems to confirm the idea of ​​secular regression. Argentina’s development is shown in the ranking of countries with the highest GDP per capita. The curve seems to indicate that we were very downhill in 1910 and everything was going well until 1945, when the sudden downfall began. The nauseous graph has already been explained It is poorly built. It doesn’t matter: they keep sharing it. You have to learn to deprecate yourself. No one has done worse than you, Argentina. Everyone is progressing except you, Argentina. You are awful.

Right to left, everyone Serious economic historians agree that actual empirical data shows no such thing.. Even economic historians who sympathize with Macri. Argentina has never been among the richest countries. Yes, for a time, GDP per capita was high, as a result of an exceptional situation that was short-lived. By 1910, it was in a good position among the small group of countries for which GDP per capita data were available at the time. But this does not mean that it was a rich country, let alone that it was among the richest countries in the world. The belief that Argentina were in the same league as the USA or England in 1910 is a nonsense equivalent to that of Anibal Fernandez, when he said that Argentina had Less poor than Germany. Argentina at that time, as now, was a country with an average level of development. Neither the poorest nor the most advanced.

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Unsolved problems

The Argentine economy has had unresolved problems since the agricultural export model was exhausted in 1930. I need not explain to anyone that we have had periodic crises since then. But it is simply wrong that we have been in decline for seventy years. The development of Argentina’s per capita GDP was similar to that of today’s rich countries until 1975. In the thirty years after 1945, Argentina doubled its per capita income and expanded its production at rates that are both higher than and even higher than their US counterparts. of those in the United States. in the UK, Australia or New Zealand (although they are overtaken by those in some European countries). They read well: with all its problems, the Argentine economy Then it was growing at a faster rate than the major western powers. Only in 1975 the local economy suffered a sharp decline and lost its strength in comparison not only with the most developed countries, but with practically the whole world. Since 1975, yes, the country can be said to be in decline. This data is well known. It was produced, among other things, by a young economist who later formed part of Macri’s government and seems to have forgotten it today.

Experimental data are records of reality that we should all present. There is no such thing as a “70-year slump”, at least not in economics. Of course, all data can be interpreted in multiple ways. But it cannot be falsified. In my opinion, the decline after 1975 is related to the orthodox policies that Celestino Rodrigo, Minister of Isabel Perón, began to implement that year. That the army later deepened, then Menem de la Rua and finally Macri. allowing you to see it multilateral responsibility: Peronism certainly participated in imposing the neoliberal paradigm that was engulfing us – in fact, it could be said that Menem was the one who took it to the extreme and produced the most harmful effects – but together The military, the radicals, and the professionals also did it with him.. Today Macri is anti-Beronic, but his policies were similar to those of Menem, the Peronist leader he himself admired in the 1990s, and also to those of Martinez de Hoz in the last military dictatorship (which, incidentally, cemented his rule). family wealth).

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Contrary to what the Kirchnerians and the Cambiams would like to believe, The political shirt is not relevant to understanding our economic history. More important is the orientation of the policy being implemented. When they shift the blame to the supposed “Seventy Years of Peronism,” they do so precisely so that we don’t see that what influences performance is economic policies, not the current president’s affiliation card. And that, beyond the governmental changes, there is a common denominator in the kind of (orthodox) politics that impoverishes us.

But the “70s” mantra does something else, too: It engages in patriotic self-defamation rhetoric that the Right has nurtured in an increasingly aggressive manner since Macri’s government began to collapse. It invites us to despise ourselves, to see ourselves as incapable, unsuccessful, and prey to an eternal defect that is almost genetic. Inciting hatred for all we are, feeling humiliated by our past, and questioning our abilities, seems, to them, a valid way to push us to change. A change which, therefore, will not come from joy and the conviction to walk toward a better future, but from the bleak pleasure of being away from the present that so disgusts us. wherever we are invited. Because there is nothing worse than what we are now.


Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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