ARGENTINA: a refresher class in history

Jeffrey Kuhner , Washington Times. 2/21/09
The disastrous path on which America is currently embarked was tried in another country. A fact not well known is that Argentina , prior to World War II, was an economic powerhouse. Beginning in the 1880s and continuing through the 1920s and 1930s, it was regarded as one of the most prosperous and advanced nations in the world. Then Juan Peron and his wife Eva took control in the 1940s until a coup in 1955 ousted them from power.

Argentina had a strong industrial base, thriving agricultural exports, huge cattle ranches, and a broad and expanding middle class. Like America , it served as a magnet for immigrants from all over the world, especially Italians. Within 15 years under the Perons, Argentina , however, went from being one of the richest to one of the poorest countries. To date it has never fully recovered.

Upon coming to office, Peron, along with his popular beautiful wife, Eva, created a state characterized by lavish social spending, elaborate welfare programs, protectionism, confiscatory taxation, and runaway deficits. Juan Peron used class warfare rhetoric. He attacked big business, the banks, the private corporations, and the propertied class. He gave the labor unions power and made them pivotal allies of his regime. Then Peron expanded the bloated government bureaucracy to intervene in every aspect of business and life, which led to internal corruption.

Peron's central socialist economic planning destroyed industrial productivity and growth. The world's investment capital fled. Taxes, inflation, unemployment, and interest rates soared and the middle class was wiped out. Finally, an independent judiciary and media ceased to exist. Eva's cult of supporters fostered a climate of violence and political enemies of the regime were exterminated. Argentina degenerated into the typical debt-ridden Latin American country that it still is today.

The failure of Argentina under Peron should serve as a warning to us. Socialism and a sky-rocketing debt can permanently impoverish even the wealthiest of nations and America is not immune from the laws of economics.

Obama is taking the first dangerous steps toward an American version of Peronism. His followers see him as a political messiah and a revolutionary change agent. He and the Democrats are plundering the country, using it as a vehicle to reward supporters and punish foes. They plan to confiscate wealth by taxing the rich and successful business class. Obama's plan to do away with secret ballets will strengthen the labor unions. His wife, Michelle, is the Eva Peron of our time, a glamorous, chic, socialist fashion trend-setter who is beloved by the media.

Just remember, "Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it

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Comment by FLR on May 11, 2009 at 10:46am
Thank you for posting this.

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