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On Milei

The genuinely interesting question is this: could he trigger a global return to liberal free market reforms? Argentina is hardly the country you would choose for a bold experiment.

Well, no, it’s exactly the place you would choose to try it.

But as is also said:

Of course, he will face plenty of opposition. Civil servants, and state semi-monopolies will block him when they can. The IMF which endlessly indulged the lavish spending of the Peronists will oppose him, and so too will the World Bank, along with the rest of the Davos establishment.

Or as I’ve said:

Milei, in Argentina, diagnosed that the entire Argentinian state, its economics, its management – in both senses, what is done and who is doing it – is rotten and needs to be swept away. He got elected. Of course, for all those others who are part of the management of other states this poses something of a risk. What if it works and then their own restive managees decide to do the same? We’d thus expect the establishments of everywhere else to not just denigrate but actively block anything Milei tries to do. As, of course, the domestic managerial class will also be trying to do the same.

Not gonna be easy. But here’s hoping.

13 thoughts on “On Milei”

  1. The problem is he can do the things he wants to do only with majority votes in both houses in his pocket. Which he doesn’t have. So i guess he’ll try to do it all by presidential decree, and there’s the quandary. Big likelihood he’s not going to do any of the stuff he promised which means electoral failure or he does but he does it by the traditional South American means i.e. democratic failure.

  2. Democratic failure’s a feature not a bug. The only counter to extra-democratic is extra-democratic. He needs people on the streets throwing bricks. Or better.
    It’s something the Leave side should have understood over Brexit. Democracy is only an opinion poll. It’s power gets things done. Or not done. If you haven’t the power, doesn’t matter what the electorate vote for.

  3. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠐⡀⠜⠋⠀⠀⠀⠀⣀⠀⢀⣠⠀⠀⠀⢀⣀

    Isn’t Argentina famed for giving out Free helicopter rides?

  4. BiS

    Well yes, but remember that left wing/statist/collectivist power is good and noble and possibly even democratic, where free market/roll back the state/individual freedom-ist power is bad and fascist and [vapours!] presuages if not is actually the literal death of democracy, even if the former results in orders of magnitude more death and destruction than the latter.

  5. @TPG
    It’s not about which particular side you’re on. It’s about which is likely to win. The left* do have a poor record by certain metrics. But they’re undoubtedly successful in what counts. Winning.

    *Never sure if “left” is a good description. In the process of winning, they more resemble what might be thought of as extreme far-right. They just have good press. The why of that I’ll leave to your imagination.

  6. There are 522,000 Civil Servants in the UK. I’m sure that most consider themselves to be working hard on necessary jobs.

    But as a thought experiment: Prepare 522,000 envelopes and stuff 469,800 of them with ‘You still have a job’ tokens and 52,200 of them with ‘Thank you for all your efforts but your employment has ended’ tokens. Would the UK be seriously affected?

    And such thought experiments are behind Milei’s thinking. He could be correct, if he ever manages to achieve something.

  7. Quite so, BIB, obstructionist civil servants and judges going against the popular will should be gifted one way over the ocean helicopter rides. A policy we could follow here. Call me Dave has promised to get tough on human rights judges. What could be tougher? Wouldn’t have to pay out their generous pensions either. Win win.

  8. Presumably its easier to stop State employees getting in the way than it is to make them do something they don’t want to. I mean you could free up planning by just sacking all the planners so that people could do as they pleased without having to worry about planning enforcement. No change in the law required. The question is will Milei have the power to cut off the money supply to the State apparatus? If so he can clear the decks pretty easily.

  9. I wish Milei well.

    I have also got him in my 2024 death pool (if there were a prison pool I’d have him in an accumulator).

    He needs popular support and the support of the Army and the police. (He could do with the media as well but I suspect he’s got Bob Hope there.)

    If there are enough junior-senior officers in both who either see that Argentina needs to change path, or that there’s something in it for them, or both, and the families of the ‘civil servants’ who lose their jobs can’t rouse the rabble, maybe he’ll be OK.

    My money, sadly, is against him.

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