Slogans for the tribune, with loose data and inaccuracies


In his lengthy speech, with much of its content devoted to the economy (and one might almost say, devoted to criticizing the economic policy of his own government), Vice President Cristina Kirchner did not leave a slogan without affirming or commenting, and in no case did she go to the true origin of the problems.The fiscal deficit is not the cause of inflation, he said, and justified State spending (here and in much of the world) to assist society in crises. He then cited a global ranking of countries in 2021, where Argentina is in 13th place (-2.8% of GDP). “The United States takes the cake”, he thus referred to the first place occupied by that country. Precisely, the phenomenon of inflation today is global (largely the result of the rise in prices caused by the war in Ukraine), but she herself admitted that “Argentina had its own inflation that has been going on for decades.” So? In his recent book “A vaccine against decadence”, deep research with abundant data, economists Osvaldo Giordano, George Hill Y Carlos Seggiaro they report that the country had a fiscal deficit in the last 60 years. Beyond the “multi-causal” character of a complex phenomenon such as inflation, it is clear that in our case the state red, generated by unfundable expenses (beyond the justice of many of them), has a direct relationship. The economist Andrew Borenstein, from Econviews, showed on his Twitter account (@coloboren) a more than eloquent graph: in 1980, consolidated public spending did not reach 30% of GDP. It rose to 35% in 1987, remained above 30% in the much-maligned 1990s, fell to 27% in 2004 and has practically not stopped growing since then, to the present, when it is around 47% of the product.Cristina also insisted on the demonization of public debt, as if such a thing (whether in pesos or dollars) were an arbitrary initiative of whoever is in government. “All inflationary crises originate in indebtedness”, she affirmed, with some reason. The problem is that, once again, Kirchnerism fails to point out that the origin of the State debt is precisely to finance the deficit in its accounts. As in any family, when you spend more than you earn, you have to finance the difference in some way. Beyond the economic policy mistakes made by governments of different persuasions in recent decades, there is undoubtedly a key to the problem. “Every time the country borrows in dollars, the bi-monetary economy makes the country jump,” said the vice president It is true that Argentina suffers from this condition (no, ma’am, Macri did not invent it), but she did not clarify, once again, that the main cause is not the economic actors’ compulsion to flee, but the deep distrust generated in investors and ordinary citizens by the different political efforts. “The dollars are out. The Argentine economy produces dollars that are evaded, ”she accused. Undoubtedly, some portion of that money has a spurious origin and destination (without going any further, some of the legal cases that harass the vice president talk about it). Hence, the foreign currency that the Central Bank has is not enough to pay the “import festival for a long time” that, according to Cristina Kirchner, would be taking place. He seemed to contradict himself on this point when commenting on the trade balance figures of a series of countries, and highlighting that, while the United States has a deficit of more than 1 billion dollars, “Argentina has a surplus”. Indeed, in the first four months of this year the foreign trade balance was positive at US$2.83 billion. In 2021, the surplus reached US$14,751 million, largely thanks to the international prices of the main exports.Then? Is it wrong to import? There he left one of the main messages towards the management of Alberto Fernández, again, as if it were not his own government: “We must think about how to more adequately articulate this policy, with the Central Bank, the Ministry of Production [mensaje para el recién llegado Daniel Scioli]Customs, which controls import prices”. To talk about probable self-inflicted damage, this is one of the central knots that the Government does not find it easy to untie. Much of these imports are inputs, parts or pieces that the companies installed in the country need to manufacture products, which results in more economic activity and consumption, which Cristina likes to highlight so much. As current evidence shows, in vast sectors the machine is beginning to stop due to the difficulties of having these inputs.We will see if Alberto Fernández pays attention to him…

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