November 27, 2023

Javier Milei

Argentina elected right-wing libertarian Javier Milei as its new president [last] Sunday… Milei is pledging economic shock therapy. His plans include shutting the central bank, ditching the peso, and slashing spending, potentially painful reforms that resonated with voters angry at the economic malaise.” Reuters

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From the Right

The right is supportive of Milei, arguing that Argentina's desperate economic situation calls for radical change.

From the Left

The left is skeptical of Milei, arguing that his plans are likely to make Argentina's economy worse.

The left is skeptical of Milei, arguing that his plans are likely to make Argentina's economy worse.

Libertarian Perspectives

“Americans who think they have little to learn from this spiraling South American country should realize that Argentina was once one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Historians point out that just before the beginning of World War I, Argentina was richer than the primary European powers, Germany and France, and almost twice as wealthy as Spain. Its per-capita gross domestic product was on par with that of Canada, and up until the Great Depression, it was one of the largest exporters of food in the world…

“In 1929, however, Argentina abandoned the gold standard, a move that was followed by new protectionist trade measures. The aftermath of World War II would usher in strongman Juan Perón, giving rise to Peronism, a blend of national socialism and fascism that would dominate Argentina’s political system for the next 75 years. Argentina’s triple-digit inflation might be new, but its economic dysfunction goes back decades. It defaulted on its debt three times in the last quarter century alone, even as it continued to expand the state’s role in (and grip over) the economy. All of this spelled disaster for Argentines.”
Jon Miltimore, Washington Examiner

“On social and economic issues, Milei has advocated reducing or eliminating the role of government. (The one arguable exception is his support for abortion laws, but that is an issue that has long divided libertarians.) America's conservatives are moving in the opposite direction: ginning up culture wars to justify further intrusions into individuals' right to live as they see fit, and competing with the progressive left to pander with promises of more economic interventions…

“Milei's election looks a lot like a rejection of the kind of economic nationalism that leading politicians in America are pushing, from Biden's ‘Buy American’ mandates to Trump's anti-trade and anti-immigration views… Milei's win should be a beacon to pro-freedom politicians in the northern hemisphere. Not only is it possible to run a campaign based on cutting the size and scope of government, but an unexpectedly large coalition of voters might be prepared to reward such boldness.”
Eric Boehm, Reason

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