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“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”


This is a history lesson. It happened in Argentina, it could happen in the U.S.
In the early 20th century, Argentina was one of the richest countries in the
world. While Great Britain’s maritime power and its far-flung empire had
propelled it to a dominant position among the world’s industrialized nations,
only the United States challenged Argentina for the position of the world’s
second-most powerful economy.

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Like the United States, Argentina was blessed with
abundant agriculture, vast swaths of rich farmland laced
with navigable rivers, and an accessible port system. Its
level of industrialization was higher than many European
countries; railroads, automobiles, and telephones were
In 1916, Argentina elected a new president.
Hipólito Irigoyen had formed a party called The
Radicals under the banner of “fundamental
change” with an appeal to the middle class.
Among Irigoyen’s changes: mandatory pension
insurance, mandatory health insurance, and
support for low-income housing construction
to stimulate the economy. Put simply, the
state assumed economic control of a vast
swath of the country’s operations and began
assessing new payroll taxes to fund its efforts.
With an increasing flow of funds into these
entitlement programs, the government’s
payouts soon became overly generous. Before
long its outlays surpassed the value of the
taxpayers’ contributions. Put simply, it quickly
became under-funded, much like the United
States’ Social Security and Medicare programs.
The death knell for the Argentine economy,
however, came with the election of Juan Perón.
Perón had a fascist and corporatist upbringing;
he and his charismatic wife, Eva, aimed their
populist rhetoric at the nation’s rich.
This targeted group “swiftly expanded to cover most
of the propertied middle classes, who became an
enemy to be defeated and humiliated.”
Under Perón, the size of government bureaucracies
exploded through massive programs of social spending
and by encouraging the growth of labor unions.
High taxes and economic mismanagement
took their inevitable toll even after Perón had
been driven from office. However, his populist
rhetoric and “contempt for economic realities”
lived on. Argentina’s federal government
continued to spend far beyond its means.
Hyperinflation exploded in 1989, the final
stage of a process characterized by “industrial
protectionism, redistribution of income based
on increased wages, and growing state
intervention in the economy…”
The Argentinian government’s practice of
printing money to pay off its public debts had
crushed the economy. Inflation hit 3000%,
reminiscent of the Weimar Republic. Food
riots were rampant; stores were looted; the
country descended into chaos.
By 1994, Argentina’s public pensions — the
equivalent of Social Security — had imploded.
The payroll tax had increased from 5% to 26%,
but it was not enough. In addition, Argentina
had implemented a value-added tax (VAT),
new income taxes, a personal tax on wealth,
and additional revenues based upon the sale
of public enterprises. These crushed the
private sector, further damaging the economy.
A government-controlled “privatization” effort to
rescue seniors’ pensions was attempted. However,
by 2001, those funds had also been raided by the
government, the monies replaced by Argentina’s
defaulted government bonds.
By 2002, “…government fiscal irresponsibility…
induced a national economic crisis as severe as
America’s Great Depression.”
In 1902, Argentina was one of the world’s
richest countries. Little more than a hundred
years later, it is poverty-stricken, struggling to
meet its debt obligations amidst a drought.
The populist plans for
the U.S. cannot
possibly work,
because government
bankrupts everything
it touches. History
teaches us that
ObamaCare and
unfunded entitlement
programs will be utter,
complete disasters.
Political leaders of today (both major parties) are guilty
of more than stupidity; they are enslaving future
generations to poverty and misery. And they will be long
gone when it all implodes. They will be as cold and dead
as Juan Perón when the piper must ultimately be paid.

Sung by Madonna

It won't be easy, you'll think it strange And as for fortune, and as for fame
When I try to explain how I feel I never invited them in
That I still need your love after all I have done Though it seemed to the world
You won't believe me They were all I desired
All you will see is a girl you once knew They are illusions
Although she's dressed up to the nines They're not the solutions they promised to be,
At sixes and sevens with you The answer was here all the time
I had to let it happen, I had to change I love you and hope you love me
Couldn’t stay all my life down at heel {au Refrain}
Looking out of the window,
staying out of the sun Don't cry for me Argentina
So I chose freedom The truth is I never left you
Running around trying everything new All through my wild days my mad existence
But nothing impressed me at all I kept my promise
I never expected it to Don't keep your distance

{Refrain:} Have I said too much?
Don't cry for me Argentina There's nothing more
The truth is I never left you I can think of to say to you
All through my wild days my mad existence But all you have to do is look at me
I kept my promise To know that every word is true
Don't keep your distance {au Refrain}

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