The people of Argentina perhaps feel a little shocked and maybe even a bit awed at the sight of the President of the United States proclaiming another bout of grand theft after such a short time following the criminal plunder of their country by his clients, bosses, and bretheren. The President of the United States, the spokesman for the very same theives that looted the country the last time is back around, salivating over the prospect of stealing billions more.
Neo-liberal policies have been the ruin of Argentina. Argentina has actually been under the neo-liberal gun since a military coup occurred in 1976. The militarys economic policies reversed decades of protectionist policies aimed at encouraging industrial development and internal development. International money speculators were invited in at that time.
In 1989 Carlos Menem was elected on socialistic principles and once in power, he turned 180 degrees and implemented neo-liberal economic polices. Domingo Cavallo, (Harvard educated) became the finance minister. They operated under the guidance of the IMF and opened the Argentinaian goods market to trade. They opened the capital markets to unrestricted foriegn capital inflows. They privatized all state enterprises. They pegged the peso to the dollar to curb inflation. This screwed Argentina's potential for export. They privatized the mail, the airports, the banks, the rail system, social security, the national oil company, the phone companies, gas, water, electricity (all public utilities) and subways. They were sold to the rich at rock bottom prices. This all placed Argentina in a very precarious position. At the first sign of trouble, the parasites could easily run off with all the wealth. And they did.
The IMF run the Hayak, Mises, Freidman doctrine to the letter. They force developing nations to open their economy to foriegn investment and allow publicly owned utilities to be sold to the highest bidder. They are to balance budgets even at the expense of sick, the elderly and those down on their luck. They restrict the role of government as much as possible. They cut wages and social programs.
The IMF would have blacklited the USA in the era of the New Deal.
The neo-liberal economy effectively moves wealth from the bottom strata of society to the top. This is really what it is all about. It is an expensive large scale scam. They use public money to pay off debts and then sell the entity to the highest bidder. The investors walk off with a money tree and have no loyalty whatsoever to those they steal from. When times get tough, they simply walk away with the billions of dollars. Under neo-liberalism, if you are in the top 20% income, you win. If you are in the bottom 80% you lose.
There are essentially four steps that the IMF encourage or force countires to take. They are: First, privatization. This is blatant theft.
(2) Capital market liberalization; allowing the capitalists to run away with the bank when things get hot. They also want to seduce speculators and will force high interest rates to do it. The clear winners here are the international banks and the US treasury (which controls the World Bank) .
(3) Market based pricing mechanisms and cutting subsidies to food, water, gas, etc..
(4) Free Trade. Well of course.
The 1990's were a period of privatization of state run enterprises and de-regulation in Argentina. The nation has been at the mercy of the global capitalist casino and has payed a hefty price. Following the lead of the likes of Milton Freedman and Augusto Pinochet, the Argentina government adopted a private pension fund and this has been a contributing factor in their recent economic crisis. The Insurers of Retirement and Pension Funds (AFJP) has bled 300 million of workers pension dollars a month into the hands of international capitalists. They have also introduced zero deficit economic policies which includes slashing the 2002 budget by 7 billion dollars as dictated by the IMF.
Throwing pension funds to the so-called free market has allowed foreign investors steal workers pension funds. They pitched the idea of privatizing pension funds as a method to "generate domestic savings" and to enhance economic growth and job creation. What it did do is create an opportunity for vultures from Wall St. to make a quick profit and leave.
The economic crisis had been brewing for some time and it devestated that nations economy when those neo liberal chickens came home to roost.
The workers of Latin American countries have been plundered and impoverished under the greed and ideological nonesense of modern capitalism, or neo liberalism. But the very same thing is happening to America, Canada, Europe and all industrialized countries. Evidence of that is evident in the urge we all feel to qualify that word, "industrialized". It should be post-industrialized. We too wil be sacrificial lambs to be slaughtered at the alter of capitalism. What happenes tonight in Argentina wil happen tomorrow in New York, Paris, and London.