Interview with Argentine economist Claudio Katz

bigbadwolf

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Insightful interview with Claudio Katz in Monthly Review:

The case of Argentina now is that there have been major changes and transformations, but the distribution of income remains as regressive as, or more regressive than, in the '90s.

The government of Cristina Kirchner has adopted some measures of nationalization, for instance, pension funds, which had been privatized and were again taken into state hands, and a set of small companies also went into the orbit of the state. But first, they are not strategic enterprises, this is the first key difference with Venezuela. Not only are these non-strategic businesses, but the most striking thing is that, when a nationalization in Venezuela has a direct impact on Argentina, such as the nationalization of the Argentinean firm Techint, Kirchner's government has come to support the claims and criticisms made by the business groups after the nationalization.
 

bigbadwolf

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sergio said:
So your point is that Argentina is not so radically socialist as some believe?
Hehe, that's a good one. Who believes? Nestor and Cristina are both defenders of the capitalist status quo (as is Lula in Brazil). That's always been clear. Of course, the Kirchners and Lula have to, er, "triangulate" a bit more since they can easily be submerged by populist dissatisfation (after all, South America is not the ultra-reactionary USA).
 

sergio

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In terms of the big picture the Kirchners will defend capitalism though they will do all sorts of stupid things to scare off investors which in turn will just help to impoverish the people. They do like the idea of a strong state which increases their power however I can't see them trying to turn Argentina into Cuba.
 

RWS

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bigbadwolf said:
. . . . Nestor and Cristina are both defenders of the capitalist status quo (as is Lula in Brazil). That's always been clear. . . .
It's not so clear to me. I perceive the Kirchners to be opportunists, with the amassing of personal fortunes their chief goal.
 

bigbadwolf

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RWS said:
It's not so clear to me. I perceive the Kirchners to be opportunists, with the amassing of personal fortunes their chief goal.
But would you agree that the amassing of personal fortunes would be easier by upholding the capitalist status quo than otherwise? That's all the status quo needs for it to be upheld: selfish opportunists intent on a fast and crooked buck.
 
sergio said:
In terms of the big picture the Kirchners will defend capitalism though they will do all sorts of stupid things to scare off investors which in turn will just help to impoverish the people. They do like the idea of a strong state which increases their power however I can't see them trying to turn Argentina into Cuba.
What about the growing shantytowns?
 

Lucas

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Recoleta Carolina said:
What about the growing shantytowns?
The growing shantytowns are growing at a fast pace now, is very difficult to dismantle them without a mayor logistical and humanitarian catastrophe, politicians would try to avoid any political fall out from all this, also most of the people living there about. 85-90% are from neighbors countries as Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras etc., attracted to the big city for various reasons but mostly and particularly because Argentina offers better employment opportunities for the very poor, free education, free health care for their kids and family, better living conditions than those countries, Mercosur and the open border policies contributed in a mayor proportion to generate all this mess.

And no, Argentina will not become Cuba in the foreseeable future, 50 years from now any thing can happen.
 

Lucas

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RWS said:
It's not so clear to me. I perceive the Kirchners to be opportunists, with the amassing of personal fortunes their chief goal.
bigbadwolf said:
But would you agree that the amassing of personal fortunes would be easier by upholding the capitalist status quo than otherwise? That's all the status quo needs for it to be upheld: selfish opportunists intent on a fast and crooked buck.
I endorse bigbadwolf on this one, why would you kill the golden eggs hen if you want to get most of those eggs in your pockets?
 

fedecc

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Maybe because tyou know you have a limited time in power and you don't really care about the long term, you just want to take as much as you can while you can.
 
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