Argentina Freezes Food Prices
If this were not true, it would be unbelieveable. You could not make this up, let alone imagine it. Argentina's food prices are out of control. Just read that title, and ponder what an absurdity that is.
Argentina arguably has the best beef and grain growing regions on the planet. The Pampas are grasslands that run from the cooler south to the subtropical regions of the north. They are roughly equal in size to the United States' agricultural zones; but with only one-eighth the population of the United States, almost all of Argentina's produce is available for export. Argentina has outproduced America in beef products at times. A relatively small population blessed with an enormously large fertile agricultural base; it is inconceivable that Argentina should be having to freeze food prices.
Yet, President Cristina Kirchner's Admistration is having to do just that..
When one looks at Argentina's history, one stands amazed at how its governments can make such abysmally bad decisions with frightening regularity. It beggars description.
Argentina has food, oil, gas, natural wealth, and industry. It has high rates of literacy, with a primarily European population; and no major racial problems. In 1929, it was the fourth richest per capita country on the planet. Only the USA, Britain, and Canada outperformed Argentina. By 1945, after grain and beef sales during the war, even Britain was in debt to Argentina.
The first decades of the twentieth century were a period of increasing prosperity and political freedom. The first freely elected government took power in 1916 and by 1929 Argentina was the fourth richest country in the world in terms of income per head. A coup in 1930 ushered in a series of military governments which lasted, with brief intervals of civilian rule, until 1983. (Alternet: Argentina)
Argentina has suffered a succession of regimes of both the left and right, all of which practiced government interference in the economy at levels of incompetence and corruption so massive that it has become the stuff of world-renowned legend. Musicals have been written about it.
Argentina has now dropped out of the top 50 countries in per capita income.
How do you wreck a country like Argentina? It should have been the first or second richest country on the planet, surpassing even us Americans.
Food for thought. Pun intended.
Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is not Jewish, Latin, or Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.