Changing Argentina’s Inertia: Is it Possible?


Hard to identify the origin, but my conclusion for why Argentina is constantly in decline or a below average growth is a lack of taking self responsibility and resiliency on the individual level, across all socioeconomic classes. Blaming the government for the most minor issue, fighting amongst themselves and not treating institutions, infrastructure etc like it is their own. I was in Tokyo a couple years ago and was amazed how no one really mentioned that their city had been completely destroyed 3 times in the past 100 years, they rebuilt, all pitched in and moved forward...People love to criticize (and justifiably oftentimes) the USA, but while the current Argentine and other socialist governments love to gloat and point out all the current issues the USA has as kind of a I told you so, we're not so bad message in comparison, I bet my last cent the US will pick itself up from the current crisis and in 10 years from now it will be a distant memory, while Argentina will still be in a woe is me attitude blaming soy prices, coronavirus, the government, Peronism, Macri, bad luck, IMF, themselves, etc.


Argentina's problem is not the people or the culture. It is (i) a weak central government relative to the provinces, combined with (ii) geographic concentration of wealth in Buenos Aires (baseline wealth inequality further concentrated by geography, (iii) history of peronism, (iv) tariff structure to favor domestic production that makes rejoining world economy exceptionally painful, (v) weak geographic position for trade, and (vi) lack of strategic geopolitical relevance (with resulting disinterest of stakeholders).


Always said the problem with Argentina is its Spanish and Italian background plus it's location in the world map doesn't help. There's no EU here to take them by the hand and guide them into the 21st century.
My Argentinian husband always said that progress was brought about by the British. You can see it in the railway system, education, public gardens, and so much more. Too bad they're gone.


While I certainly know a lot of people who are of Italian descent, I find a lot of Argentines I know are from eastern european countries- Poland, Hungary, Russia, and so on. I also know quite a few Middle Eastern Immigrants, who all get called Turcos, even if they are Maronite Christians from Lebanon, or Persians, or Jews who fled Egypt in the early 60s when, to quote one guy I know, they started seeing "jews hanging from lamp posts" in Alexandria, where he lived then.

Which is to say Argentina, particularly the BA region (which is around half the total population of the country, if you go out a 100 kilometers or so) is not very Spanish, and real Italians will just laugh if you say its "italian". Its a 20th century melting pot, much like NYC is. I can walk down Santa Fe and see recent african immigrants, Bolivians, eat at a restaurant with a trendy Columbian chef, meet my friends who last names all end in "sky", go see an art show by brazilians or germans who live in Savaedra, see toys designed by a 3rd generation Japanese Argentine friend of mine, and on and on.

My take on the inertia is that its the 100 families- the ogliarchs who still, in spite of that nasty ol' Peronism, still own pretty much everything- the banks, the tv stations, the utilities, the land, the factories, the transportation network, the newspapers, the majority of buildings in BA, and most every big company or sports team.

The concentration of wealth here is intense and in a very few hands. Driving around the provincia, and going past 25,000 hectaire estancias that have been in the same family for 150 years is quite common. And thats just their summer homes.