Sunday, August 14, 2011

Argentine Parallels

Argentina was one of the most prosperous countries in the world right after World War II. But it was bankrupted by military dictator Juan Peron and his consort Eva.  He came to power by forming a populist movement and a cult of personality, taking as his example Mussolini and Hitler.  He’d seen them both as a young Army Officer in Europe in the 1930’s.

He squandered the national wealth by setting up unaffordable social entitlements to solidify his powerbase. Yet the economy failed to generate the wealth to pay for them, preoccupied as Peron was with his legal plundering.  These policies ruined Argentina, which  has still not recovered over fifty years later.

The similarities with our situation in the United States are striking: a charismatic President bankrupting the nation with social entitlements intended to solidify his powerbase, and hoping to run the country forever.

Neither Peron nor our President seems to care about the effects on the country itself, as long as it gives them power. Saul Alinsky supposedly once said “it is better to rule in hell than serve in Heaven”. This seems to be our Administration’s present motivation.

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