Friday, June 15, 2007

Why we don't read much about Argentina anymore...

Remember when the Argentina corn crop was a big deal for corn markets? And when we watched their growing production with nervousness? Here's why it's hard for countries to stay in competition with us long-term when they don't have the the kinks worked out of their government yet.
The economy is recovering, but it's clear that most Argentines don't have much faith that it will last. Many feel that the government is being dishonest about its economic data—or just making it up. One Argentine woman told me that though the government insists there's no inflation, the same pay that bought a cartful of groceries two months ago now buys just two bags.

Durable goods and long-term purchases usually are made with U.S. dollars, not Argentine pesos, a good indicator that Argentines aren't ready to trust their own currency. Most retail and service business will also give you a discount if you pay in cash instead of credit.

Yet for all the abuse they've endured at the hands of government, Argentines still are reflexively pro-government. Socialism and Peronism (now run by political and cultural elites who win votes by denouncing elitism) still rule Argentine politics. Market liberals are few and far between. [More]

Too often we forget how long and difficult our struggle to create our government has been. And how relatively successful. Regardless how many flaws we can find with our peculiar form of democracy, there are many worse.

Actually, about all of 'em.

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