About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Is Mary Anastasia O'Grady Really That Ignorant of Argentine Economic History?

Foaming at the mouth - this time with glee - Wall Street Journal Chicago-school huckster and snake oil salesperson Mary Anastasia O'Grady has declared that Argentina has entered into an era of "hope" because Kristina Kirchner isn't on the October ballot. Thus, a reign of terror has come to an end. As O'Grady barks in the WSJ (13 Sept 2015): "Biblical pestilence, plagues, fire, drought, floods, even skyrocketing prices are scary, but not more so than the continuation of the insidious kirchnerismo."

Of course, she goes on to say that all of Argentina's economic woes are the product of Nestor and Kristina Kirchener, that ruled in succession from 2003 to 2015. Kirchener, she says, "took office in 2003 as the country was struggling to recover from a currency and debt crisis." That is a really great way of saying a total economic and political collapse and four-year great depression caused by the economic shenanigans and crony capitalism of Carlos Menem - himself a convicted arms smuggler and bribe-taker. Even before Menem there was an incredible inflation crisis, and prior to that, the right-wing military dictatorship left Argentina with a massive debt before it collapsed. 

It burns me up that the right comes into places like Argentina and gives you a dirty war and total financial collapse and from O'grady you get it being called "a currency and debt crisis." When the left comes in and implements policies that pull the bulk of Argentines out of poverty - but that still fail to fix the overall problem's of Argentina's economy - it is worse than Biblical plagues. 

I don't think Mary Anastasia O'Grady is stupid - so I can only assume she is so doggedly wed to her narrow narrative of fascist-governments-licking-the-boots-of-American-and-British-bankers-and-massive-poverty-is-fantastic that she knowingly omits the past. Argentina has trouble of a nature that neither the right nor left has successfully offered the best solutions for. Instead of using her influence at the WSJ and with American capital to analyze the situation, O'Grady uses it to build more enmity between "us" and "them." Giving Mary Anastasia O'Grady a soap box to stand on is like those parents that took their nine-year-old to the gun range and gave her an uzi: too much power in the hands of somebody that just doesn't know what they are doing.