How Argentina was Sold Down the River
This 59-minute documentary excerpt tells the story of how Argentina experienced financial collapse and what the aftermath looked like. It’s not a pretty sight, especially for Americans, as Argentina was brought down primarily by a ruling class that sold them out and took on a huge national debt.
Large National Debt – Sound Familiar?
The story starts in the 70’s when interest rates were low. The military dictatorship in power then borrowed and borrowed. Soon interest rates went up to 16%, and Argentina’s ability to pay quickly declined to nil.
Individuals held Responsible for Government’s Misdeeds
Banks closed, people could only withdraw so much money per day and individual depositors of foreign banks were deprived of, in some cases, their life savings – they were held personally responsible for their government’s failure to keep up payments on the national debt.
State Assets Pillaged
A fire sale of state-owned assets followed, allegedly at bargain-basement prices. Retirees, the film claims, were swindled out of their pensions. Managed trade was instituted together with the dollarization of the economy (pegging the value of one peso to one dollar) resulting in interest rates of 50% or more. Argentinian businesses could not survive and failed in large numbers. The film claims 150,000 people were laid off.
Could the US also be Brought Down by its National Debt?
The United States today also has a huge national debt – $10-100 trillion depending on how you count. Could it be the lever that knocks our country into the sewer as well?
Free Trade and Privatization are Corrupted Terms
I’m not entirely comfortable with the documentary’s vilification of free trade and privatization. But these two terms have been corrupted. “Free trade” today is not free – it’s managed, and for the benefit of those at the top. Privatization today is not about the voluntary sale of government-owned assets to private parties. It’s about the corrupt collaboration of industry and politicians to rape the public for their own personal benefit.
Libertarians can find Common Cause with these Points of View
As a Libertarian, I want to find common cause with these people. It is unjust for the citizens of a nation to be enslaved by debts incurred by a military junta running a dictatorship. It is unjust for the state to design a financial system that works against them It is unjust when the people are lied to by a ruling class intent on pillaging the public coffers at a bargain and for their own enrichment.
Free trade and privatization are great. But not like this.
Via Brasscheck TV.