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Subject:  Argentina circles the drain Date:  11/19/2012  10:19 PM
Author:  fleg9bo Number:  656050 of 886807

As you know, Argentina has been run by the socialist Kirchner family for a while now, first the husband and later the wife. It's working about as well as socialism usually works and may well be a portent of what we will be experiencing here after four more years of Obama.

To the extent it has succeeded, the Kirchner economic model has relied on the 2001 default on $100 billion in debt and interest, a weak peso, protectionism, confiscation of private property, capital controls, broken contracts and high taxes. In other words, it has depended on other people's money. Now, as Mrs. Thatcher warned, that money is running out.

...forecasting 2012 GDP growth of only 1.5%. Inflation is estimated by independent economists at almost 25% annually. As salaries are adjusted upward to compensate for the loss of purchasing power, workers are being pushed into higher tax brackets. Argentines traveling abroad now have to explain their plans to government bureaucrats if they want to buy hard currency.

Add these pocketbook issues to the rising rate of violent crime, recurring corruption scandals, increasing antidemocratic efforts to silence independent media outlets and pronouncements from Mrs. Kirchner's inner circle that it wants to amend the constitution to allow her to run for a third term. The Kirchner government has also angered labor leaders by letting it be known that it plans to shift union control of hundreds of millions of dollars in health-care premiums to the government.

And yet many of those joining the massive anti-government protests are doing so not in hopes of free-market solutions, but because the welfare state is not delivering enough free goodies. Argentina is a little further past the tipping point than we are.

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