Guest post by George Navarini
Most tend to forget or ignore the fact that at the turn of the century, Argentina was economically nearly on par with the United States, with its most powerful segment being agriculture. With the onset of the Great World War, and the loss of access to the grainfields of the Ukraine and Wilson's decision of imposing US neutrality, Argentina became the breadbasket of the world, providing both grain and meat to nearly all of Western Europe.
It was the proceeds of this windfall that bankrolled Argentina’s initial foray into the social welfare programs of President Hipólito Yrigoyen, that eventually grew into an unsustainable burden, even with an incredible trade surplus that extended into the early 1950s.
If Argentina would have instead followed the Anglo-American model and embarked on taking this windfall and grown its industrial base rather than becoming a Keynesian social welfare state, it would have become a global economic superpower on par with the leading European states of the old world.
Alas, it chose a different path and sadly now serves as an object lesson to the world of how gut what could have been a thriving economy. Even with a highly educated workforce and incredible agricultural capacity and substantial industrial base, Argentina became another in a growing list of nation-states that succumbed to the same dark hole created by the unsatiable demands of an uncontrolled social welfare scheme. The unending series of programs, buoying by the false hope created by the disciples of Keynesian economics, that tout that a government can spend its way to prosperity. Programs that always starts with a noble purpose, but inevitably get out of control, and only beget new programs, and the cycle continues unchecked.
When we realize that Argentina’s Thursday morning storm is our Tuesday afternoon’s forecast, we need not look further and our own country is on a similar path, that if unchecked, will reach a similar conclusion.
But even in saying that, all is not lost.
If and when Milei pulls off this economic renaissance and restores the Argentine economy, it will have the honor to serve as that example as well, much like Chile, but on a far larger scale.
And hopefully, the next U. S. administration will use the New Argentine model as a guide and move us away from the brink of ruin.
But, for now, we can better understand China’s urgency to interfere and meddle in Argentina in their attempt to gain another foothold in the American hemisphere, and see why pseudo-socialist regimes like Mexico, Brazil under Lula 2.0, and much of the EU are trying to foment internal and external opposition to El Plan Milei, as they know that Argentina's success will lead their demise, as their people start to ask question they cannot answer.
George Navarini, MA, CEM, MPCP
Adjunct Professor of Emergency Management
Academy of International Disaster Preparedness
National Past President - IAEM-USA Student Region