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9/18/12

America: The Next Agentina?

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The parallels are instructive and interesting.  We have no crystal ball. We have been in deep economic hurt with legions of the unemployed and house foreclosures. Some people look at government policies, past, present, and possibly future, and worry that we are seeing only the tip of a tidal wave to hit us in this century. Consider this:

"A short century ago the US and Argentina were rivals. Both were riding the first wave of globalisation at the turn of the 20th century. Both were young, dynamic nations with fertile farmlands and confident exporters. Both brought the beef of the New World to the tables of their European colonial forebears. Before the Great Depression of the 1930s, Argentina was among the 10 richest economies in the world. The millions of emigrant ­Italians and Irish fleeing poverty at the end of the 19th century were torn between the two: Buenos Aires or New York? The pampas or the prairie?

A hundred years later there was no choice at all. One had gone on to be among the most successful economies ever. The other was a broken husk.

There was no individual event at which Argentina’s path was set on a permanent divergence from that of the United States of America. But there was a series of mistakes and missteps that fit a general pattern." More

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