I'm Touring The United States! Starting in June, I'm conducting private events in 23 American cities. Click here for full details.

Post Reply 
The Decline Of Argentina
Author Message
Quintus Curtius Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,060
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 247
Post: #1
The Decline Of Argentina
"The Economist" magazine has a very interesting cover story on "The Parable of Argentina":

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21...ne-parable

It might surprise many people to know that in 1914, Argentina was a very wealthy and successful country. Its economy had grown faster than America's for four straight decades. And its people were much richer on a per capita basis than Germany.

Almost half of the population had been born outside the country. It seemed to be the country of the future. Many immigrants chose to go there instead of the United States. Its beef industry was far superior to both America's and Australia's. Even Harrod's department store chose to set up its first foreign branch in Buenos Aires (which was closed in 1998).

What the hell happened? I was actually shocked to read the article.

I thought it might be a useful exercise for us here to reflect on the reasons for economic and cultural decline, and what lessons we can learn from it. In some ways, it's a disturbing story. It suggests that even nations blessed with great land and resources can destroy themselves if bad leadership and institutions are allowed to grow and spread.

I have never been there, and know little about the country. I'd like to hear the views and opinions of those who do know something.

| qcurtius.com | Twitter
02-16-2014 08:55 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 18 users Like Quintus Curtius's post:
vinman, Hencredible Casanova, Scott Free, Capitán Peligroso, rastignac, Professor Fox, Handsome Creepy Eel, Tex Pro, Icarus, Vacancier Permanent, Hispanic_Reasoning, Laner, Matt Forney, El Rey, remarkable vigour, alchemical, Jetset, Big Papi
Hencredible Casanova Offline
Banned

Posts: 3,852
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #2
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
I haven't read the article yet, but just a heads up, The Economist has long had an anti-Argentina bias. Consider that it's a British publication and the UK has long had beef with Argentina, highly exemplified during the Falkland Islands War in the 1980s between the two countries.

That said, yes, Argentina was once a very rich country (and Buenos Aires is still one of the richest cities in the southern hemisphere), even into WWII, and was expected to overtake the US as the leader of the Americas. Much of the country's former glory can be seen all throughout Buenos Aires - a city that still holds much grandeur and elegance in many parts.

There's a belief in some quarters within Argentina that the economic collapse was engineered by the US. But there's no solid evidence for that claim.
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2014 09:07 PM by Hencredible Casanova.)
02-16-2014 09:06 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 8 users Like Hencredible Casanova's post:
Capitán Peligroso, Handsome Creepy Eel, Vacancier Permanent, Hispanic_Reasoning, Intl_Rasta, Laner, Jetset, partyfowl
Quintus Curtius Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,060
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 247
Post: #3
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
Hen:

I'm sure you're right about the Economist's anti-Argentina bias. I can't really tell from reading the article.

But I haven't read anything so disturbing in a magazine recently. If you look at the numbers, Argentina seemed to have it all in 1914: money, land, educated people, limited government.

And then it all started to unravel.

Mismanagement, bad allocation of resources, unbelievable graft at the highest levels, the whole nine yards. To me, the lesson here is:

Never take good fortune for granted. In the blink of an eye, you can lose it all. Leadership does matter.

I don't know if we have any frequent Argentinian posters...but I'd like to hear their opinions.

Hen: have you been there? I have not.

| qcurtius.com | Twitter
02-16-2014 09:19 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like Quintus Curtius's post:
Tex Pro, VincentVinturi
Peregrine Offline
Pelican
****
Gold Member

Posts: 1,493
Joined: Mar 2013
Reputation: 67
Post: #4
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
"Argentina has had many different types of heads of state, as well as many different types of government throughout its history." - Wikipedia

That can't be good. "Democratic" societies love to make fun of so-called dictatorships in Russia and China, but there's a huge benefit to being able to take the long view. Imagine the following conversation between you, an advisor, and POTUS:

You should implement policies A, B, and C. They're going to cause pain in the short term, but ensure the long term health of America. Of course, since they're painful now and it's human nature to be shortsighted, everyone will hate the policies and you by extension. By the time the benefits of your policies are felt, you'll be long gone from office. Your legacy will be total shit. Instead, the president at that time will get all of the credit. And he will, in all likelihood, be from the other party and your ideological and personal enemy. But, it'll be for the good of the country. What do you think, Mr. President?

...

Laugh5
02-16-2014 09:21 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 4 users Like Peregrine's post:
Icarus, , RoastBeefCurtains4Me, partyfowl
JJ Roberts Offline
Banned

Posts: 1,091
Joined: Aug 2012
Post: #5
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
Good article.
02-16-2014 09:28 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
capitalmadness Offline
Pigeon

Posts: 25
Joined: Nov 2013
Reputation: 0
Post: #6
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
I find it incredibly interesting the juxtaposition of Chile and Argentina where one is apparently doing quite well the other is suffering dearly.

From what little I know of Argentina (the article didn't teach me much) it shows how heavy the mighty fall, 'seductively gradual' fall and the article points out the similar state of California. I won't be surprised if in 20 years the US is in the same circumstances with inflation running at 4% a month and your own Barack Kirchner telling you how great things are and blaming someone else. Britain has to deal with Falklands dick-swinging so they have a distraction from whats at home.
02-16-2014 09:30 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes capitalmadness's post:
Tex Pro
Quintus Curtius Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,060
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 247
Post: #7
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-16-2014 09:30 PM)capitalmadness Wrote:  I find it incredibly interesting the juxtaposition of Chile and Argentina where one is apparently doing quite well the other is suffering dearly.

From what little I know of Argentina (the article didn't teach me much) it shows how heavy the mighty fall, 'seductively gradual' fall and the article points out the similar state of California. I won't be surprised if in 20 years the US is in the same circumstances with inflation running at 4% a month and your own Barack Kirchner telling you how great things are and blaming someone else. Britain has to deal with Falklands dick-swinging so they have a distraction from whats at home.

CapMad:

I should have mentioned that the print edition of the Economist has an article that is more detailed and fleshed out than the link I posted here. I don't know if the full version of the article is available online.

I'll keep Googling for it and see if I can find the complete article.

| qcurtius.com | Twitter
02-16-2014 09:32 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
hun73r Offline
Sparrow
Gold Member

Posts: 117
Joined: Nov 2011
Reputation: 1
Post: #8
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
Quote:I find it incredibly interesting the juxtaposition of Chile and Argentina where one is apparently doing quite well the other is suffering dearly.

And Brazil and even Colombia now.
02-16-2014 09:33 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Sawyer Offline
Banned

Posts: 417
Joined: Oct 2013
Post: #9
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
This is a classic four part first hand street-level account written in 2006 about what it was like to live through the Argentine collapse:

"Lessons from Argentina's Economic Collapse:

http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/10.08/tshtf1.html
02-16-2014 09:34 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like Sawyer's post:
assman, Quintus Curtius
Quintus Curtius Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,060
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 247
Post: #10
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
OK, I think I've got it here. If you go to this link, you can "register" on their site and read up to 3 articles per week. It also says it's free. Here you can read the full article.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/2...ry-decline

I got a one-year free hard copy magazine subscription, as part of my frequent flyer miles program. (Never would have paid for it otherwise!)

| qcurtius.com | Twitter
02-16-2014 09:36 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Cincinnatus Offline
Hummingbird
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,898
Joined: Nov 2010
Reputation: 21
Post: #11
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-16-2014 09:34 PM)Sawyer Wrote:  This is a classic four part first hand street-level account written in 2006 about what it was like to live through the Argentine collapse:

"Lessons from Argentina's Economic Collapse:

http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/10.08/tshtf1.html

That article was posted somewhere on here a while ago. I remember reading it and thinking how terrifying a similar collapse would be in the U.S. - this part was especially disturbing to me:

Quote:After all these years I learned that even though the person that lives out in the country is safer when it comes to small time robberies, that same person is more exposed to extremely violent home robberies. Criminals know that they are isolated and their feeling of invulnerability is boosted. When they assault a country home or farm, they will usually stay there for hours or days torturing the owners. I heard it all: women and children getting raped, people tied to the beds and tortured with electricity, beatings, burned with acetylene torches.

(02-16-2014 01:05 PM)jariel Wrote:  Since chicks have decided they have the right to throw their pussies around like Joe Montana, I have the right to be Jerry Rice.
02-16-2014 09:43 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Corroncho Offline
Sparrow

Posts: 123
Joined: Sep 2013
Reputation: 14
Post: #12
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-16-2014 09:06 PM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  I haven't read the article yet, but just a heads up, The Economist has long had an anti-Argentina bias. Consider that it's a British publication and the UK has long had beef with Argentina, highly exemplified during the Falkland Islands War in the 1980s between the two countries.

That said, yes, Argentina was once a very rich country (and Buenos Aires is still one of the richest cities in the southern hemisphere), even into WWII, and was expected to overtake the US as the leader of the Americas. Much of the country's former glory can be seen all throughout Buenos Aires - a city that still holds much grandeur and elegance in many parts.

There's a belief in some quarters within Argentina that the economic collapse was engineered by the US. But there's no solid evidence for that claim.

The Economist is definitely anti-Argentina and anti-socialism across the board, but Argentina itself is really to blame for a lot of this. Inflation is completely out of control because the president uses the mint as a personal ATM. Also, nationalizing foreign oil & gas interests in a quick way to grab cash while bringing your economy to a screeching halt as no one in hell is going to invest there. This is just Chavez-style politics without the military uniforms to intimidate everybody. Kirchner is another corrupt Latin politician, enriching herself, family and friends at the expense of her nation.

On the bright side, Argentina is beautiful and damn cheap right now - 8 pesos to the dollar when the 10-year average is half of that (but don't expect to have double the purchase power, some of that exchange rate is due to that crazy inflation). This would be a great time to visit, although Argentina's instability would make me hesitate to buy anything there.
02-16-2014 09:44 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like Corroncho's post:
Mekorig, Hispanic_Reasoning
Hencredible Casanova Offline
Banned

Posts: 3,852
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #13
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-16-2014 09:19 PM)Quintus Curtius Wrote:  Hen:

I'm sure you're right about the Economist's anti-Argentina bias. I can't really tell from reading the article.

But I haven't read anything so disturbing in a magazine recently. If you look at the numbers, Argentina seemed to have it all in 1914: money, land, educated people, limited government.

And then it all started to unravel.

Mismanagement, bad allocation of resources, unbelievable graft at the highest levels, the whole nine yards. To me, the lesson here is:

Never take good fortune for granted. In the blink of an eye, you can lose it all. Leadership does matter.

I don't know if we have any frequent Argentinian posters...but I'd like to hear their opinions.

Hen: have you been there? I have not.

Yeah, Argentina fell off hard. But it's a good thing for Americans. Before the economic collapse in 2001, prices were on par with Paris, NYC, etc. When I went in 2009-2010, the official peso to dollar rate was 4 to 1. I lived it up man. Grass fed steaks, bottles of Malbec, at great restos on the cheap. It was glamorous. I think this year is going to bring that back again. I'll wait to hear what the situation is on the ground and may consider going again if the conditions are as favorable as they were during my last visit.

Argentina is not like the rest of South America. The people have a lot of pride. Most of them can trace a grandparent to Spain, Italy, etc. Some of them have dual citizenship. It's got problems but it's a nice culture and the infrastructure is much more advanced than most countries on the continent. Only Chile and Uruguay rival it.
02-16-2014 09:48 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 4 users Like Hencredible Casanova's post:
Quintus Curtius, YossariansRight, Xntrik, Icarus
assman Offline
Pelican
****

Posts: 1,111
Joined: May 2011
Reputation: 7
Post: #14
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-16-2014 09:44 PM)Corroncho Wrote:  The Economist is definitely anti-Argentina and anti-socialism across the board
Really? Did they call for no TARP, no QE, etc. (because bailing out the 'TBTF' banks is most definitely socialism)?
02-16-2014 10:11 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like assman's post:
Sp5, 911
rastignac Offline
Woodpecker
**

Posts: 405
Joined: Sep 2012
Reputation: 6
Post: #15
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-16-2014 09:06 PM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  I haven't read the article yet, but just a heads up, The Economist has long had an anti-Argentina bias. Consider that it's a British publication and the UK has long had beef with Argentina, highly exemplified during the Falkland Islands War in the 1980s between the two countries.

That said, yes, Argentina was once a very rich country (and Buenos Aires is still one of the richest cities in the southern hemisphere), even into WWII, and was expected to overtake the US as the leader of the Americas. Much of the country's former glory can be seen all throughout Buenos Aires - a city that still holds much grandeur and elegance in many parts.

There's a belief in some quarters within Argentina that the economic collapse was engineered by the US. But there's no solid evidence for that claim.

I visited a few years ago and I found the vestiges of that former glory to be spooky. It was something like if Paris was allowed to go to hell for 100 years or something like FSU old world-ish cities. It made me love the place.

I did some genealogy work a while ago. In the late 19th century half of my German peasant ancestors went to the US, the other half to Argentina.
Not to long ago, really.

"Equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact."

"Want him to be more of a man? Try being more of a woman!"

"It is easier to be a lover than a husband, for the same reason that it is more difficult to be witty every day, than to say bright things from time to time."

Balzac, Physiology of Marriage
02-16-2014 10:15 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Corroncho Offline
Sparrow

Posts: 123
Joined: Sep 2013
Reputation: 14
Post: #16
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-16-2014 10:11 PM)assman Wrote:  
(02-16-2014 09:44 PM)Corroncho Wrote:  The Economist is definitely anti-Argentina and anti-socialism across the board
Really? Did they call for no TARP, no QE, etc. (because bailing out the 'TBTF' banks is most definitely socialism)?

Point taken, but one can argue that government intervention during times of economic crisis is not socialism per se, but a necessary role of government to stem the tide of fear which can deepen a recession. Really what I should have said is that The Economist generally looks with disdain upon governments who bend away from general free-market principles.
02-16-2014 10:26 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Corroncho's post:
911
Tytalus Offline
Pelican
****

Posts: 1,148
Joined: Dec 2012
Reputation: 9
Post: #17
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
Great articles, thanks for sharing! Wink
02-17-2014 01:48 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Tytalus's post:
Laurifer
Teedub Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 5,182
Joined: Jan 2013
Reputation: 81
Post: #18
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-16-2014 09:48 PM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  It's got problems but it's a nice culture and the infrastructure is much more advanced than most countries on the continent. Only Chile and Uruguay rival it.

More white people = more whinging. Shit gets done haha.

Maybe it's all that German influx rastignac was talking about. They're renowned for infrastructure and efficiency!

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - H L Mencken
02-17-2014 02:40 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Mekorig Offline
Pelican
****
Gold Member

Posts: 1,612
Joined: Feb 2013
Reputation: 19
Post: #19
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
Argentina in 1914 was rich, sure, but only because we were just a big farm for the British Empire. Just basic industry, and a huge elite based on the fields. When the first social modifications began toa pply (free vote, social security, etc) the conservatives used the military (the same thing in the 30´s) to stage a coup, and later create another "puppet" democracy. From there Peron began, and used populism to create his powerbase. And from him, mixed with both right and left wing leanings, the Peronismo have plagued this country. To that, mix some very bad habits from the spaniards and south italians, some meddling from the USA, and voila!

"What is important is to try to develop insights and wisdom rather than mere knowledge, respect someone's character rather than his learning, and nurture men of character rather than mere talents." - Inazo Nitobe

When i´m feeling blue, when i just need something to shock me up, i look at this thread and everything get better!

Letters from the battlefront: Argentina
02-17-2014 10:44 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 12 users Like Mekorig's post:
Quintus Curtius, Icarus, Hispanic_Reasoning, kosko, Laner, DjembaDjemba, portofmanteau, CJ_W, Sp5, alchemical, Thriller, Davidovich
Hispanic_Reasoning Offline
Banned

Posts: 495
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #20
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-17-2014 10:44 AM)Mekorig Wrote:  Argentina in 1914 was rich, sure, but only because we were just a big farm for the British Empire. Just basic industry, and a huge elite based on the fields. When the first social modifications began toa pply (free vote, social security, etc) the conservatives used the military (the same thing in the 30´s) to stage a coup, and later create another "puppet" democracy. From there Peron began, and used populism to create his powerbase. And from him, mixed with both right and left wing leanings, the Peronismo have plagued this country. To that, mix some very bad habits from the spaniards and south italians, some meddling from the USA, and voila!

^that's the most accurate statement for how Argentina fell.
02-17-2014 11:54 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Hispanic_Reasoning's post:
Fox McCloud
Hispanic_Reasoning Offline
Banned

Posts: 495
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #21
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-17-2014 02:40 AM)Teedub Wrote:  
(02-16-2014 09:48 PM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  It's got problems but it's a nice culture and the infrastructure is much more advanced than most countries on the continent. Only Chile and Uruguay rival it.

More white people = more whinging. Shit gets done haha.

lol.
02-17-2014 11:55 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
MrLemon Offline
Ostrich
****

Posts: 2,041
Joined: Aug 2011
Reputation: 61
Post: #22
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-16-2014 09:06 PM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  There's a belief in some quarters within Argentina that the economic collapse was engineered by the US. But there's no solid evidence for that claim.

Baloney.

The US, Canada, most of Europe, much of Asia, all these areas have done great (well, except for a few wars). Argentina with similar infrastructure and resources, failed. They failed because of stupidly applied socialism, mixed with South American macho bullshit

But the US is now going down that path. In 20 years we are likely to be just as bad.
02-17-2014 08:02 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 5 users Like MrLemon's post:
Feisbook Control, Hispanic_Reasoning, Tail Gunner, Yatagan, RoastBeefCurtains4Me
porscheguy Offline
Ostrich
****

Posts: 2,373
Joined: Mar 2012
Reputation: 23
Post: #23
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
Somewhere I read that Argentina is the country that has everything and manages to produce nothing. I don't know much about Argentina, but I don't think I've ever purchased something made there. And don't start with their beef industry. That's not enough to carry the weight of an entire country. In addition, that's like exporting iron ore. It makes a handful of people rich, while everyone else struggles. It's Econ 101. Produce manufactured goods and you will have an economy. Don't do that, and see what happens.
02-17-2014 10:28 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes porscheguy's post:
Hispanic_Reasoning
Cincinnatus Offline
Hummingbird
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,898
Joined: Nov 2010
Reputation: 21
Post: #24
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-17-2014 10:28 PM)porscheguy Wrote:  Somewhere I read that Argentina is the country that has everything and manages to produce nothing. I don't know much about Argentina, but I don't think I've ever purchased something made there. And don't start with their beef industry. That's not enough to carry the weight of an entire country. In addition, that's like exporting iron ore. It makes a handful of people rich, while everyone else struggles. It's Econ 101. Produce manufactured goods and you will have an economy. Don't do that, and see what happens.

Off the top of my head, the only Argentine export I've knowingly purchased was a few bottles of Malbec.

(02-16-2014 01:05 PM)jariel Wrote:  Since chicks have decided they have the right to throw their pussies around like Joe Montana, I have the right to be Jerry Rice.
02-17-2014 10:30 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Hispanic_Reasoning Offline
Banned

Posts: 495
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #25
RE: The Decline Of Argentina
(02-17-2014 10:28 PM)porscheguy Wrote:  Somewhere I read that Argentina is the country that has everything and manages to produce nothing. I don't know much about Argentina, but I don't think I've ever purchased something made there. And don't start with their beef industry. That's not enough to carry the weight of an entire country. In addition, that's like exporting iron ore. It makes a handful of people rich, while everyone else struggles. It's Econ 101. Produce manufactured goods and you will have an economy. Don't do that, and see what happens.

the only things I know that argentina exports is mainly agri stuff like wheats, meats, soys, wine, etc.
02-17-2014 10:40 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  The inexorable decline of American cities Roosh 70 6,051 Today 03:24 AM
Last Post: Leonard D Neubache
  Moral Decline Caused Crime, Not Poverty Manbeline 46 4,677 08-19-2019 01:02 PM
Last Post: Tail Gunner
  Argentina's 46% Stock Crash Shifty 23 2,596 08-14-2019 10:30 PM
Last Post: Going strong

Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Contact Us | RooshV.com | Return to Top | Return to Content | Mobile Version | RSS Syndication