Via Dean Baker, we learn about NYT carping about Mrs. Kirchner of Argentina. As Baker says, there were no positive sources in Alex Barrionuevo‘s piece, but instead this sort of vague complaining that she shouldn’t have won 53% of the vote (and the socialist FAP won 17%, so the right was reduced to a tiny minority):
“Argentina is … a post-authoritarian, democratic government that has not embraced the principles of macroeconomic stability…
…Argentina’s regional and international profile “has diminished dramatically” under the Kirchners… “They carry no geopolitical weight.”
….the government’s authoritarian style…
…the government’s vulnerabilities — corruption and cronyism,” .
…“When the money runs out, there will be a political reckoning,”
This thinly-veiled contempt is pretty remarkable considering that a decade ago, the Western press said that Argentina would never recover from its debt default–and, yet, somehow Nestor Kirchner not only helped the country survive, but brought it to prosperity. As Barrionuevo concedes, “Still, despite predictions that the economic model would collapse, the economy grew by 9.2 percent last year….”
I have no idea whether Kirchner will be a good leader for the problems Argentina’s people face. But I trust the Argentines. They made an informed decision, having watched her performance through one term of office.
Our papers are run and written by small-minded, snotty brats, and what they produce is not news. It’s propaganda.
Update. Mark Weisbrot, writing in The Guardian:
Since Argentina defaulted on $95bn of international debt nine years ago and blew off the International Monetary Fund, the economy has done remarkably well. For the years 2002-2011, using the IMF’s projections for the end of this year, Argentina has chalked up real GDP growth of about 94%. This is the fastest economic growth in the western hemisphere – about twice that of Brazil, for example, which has also improved enormously over past performance.
The benefits of growth don’t always trickle down, but in this case, the Argentine government has made sure that many did. Poverty and extreme poverty have been reduced by about two thirds since their peak in 2002, and employment has increased to record levels. Social spending by the government has nearly tripled in real terms.
Inequality has also been considerably reduced…
Gee, it’s a real mystery why she got re-elected.