Lessons Australia should learn from Argentina


A JP Morgan survey found that Australian business leaders are “cautiously optimistic about the economy”, while nearly half expect a recession in 2023. It also noted that energy prices “continue to put pressure on Australian businesses.”

Similarly, the Reserve Bank of Australia shown In November 2022, “the outlook for a significant slowdown in the global economy has strengthened … driven by persistently high inflation and rising policy rates, the European energy crisis and a range of headwinds impacting the Chinese recovery. there are,” he said.

These conflicting predictions are reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (set in London and Paris). The opening sentence of the book couldn’t describe Australia’s economic outlook better.

It was the best age, the worst age, the age of wisdom, the age of foolishness, the age of belief, the age of disbelief, the age of light. It was a season of darkness, a spring of hope, a winter of despair. Everything was before us, but nothing before us. We were all going straight to Heaven. In short, that period was very similar to the current period.

Dickens’ story is also a timely reminder that in economic matters Australia can learn much from the comparable historical developments of other countries, such as Argentina.

Argentina and Australia have comparable arable and pasture land. In 1900, both countries had a population of about 4 million. Since then, Australia’s population has grown by about 21 million, and Argentina’s by 41 million.

In the early 1900s, Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world. The name comes from the Latin Argentum, meaning silver, and it had a magnificent natural harbor at the mouth of the Plate River. Rio de la Plata, Spanish for the river of silver. The River Plate he is the mouth of three major rivers and the outlet of many mineral, agricultural and livestock products from the rich hinterland.

Epoch Times photo
Aerial view of the Port of Buenos Aires on the Rio de la Plata River (River Plate) taken on August 5, 2022. (Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images)

develop trade in Europe

Across the Pacific, Europe’s population was exploding at the seams after the coal-fired industrial revolution.For the 400 years before 1750, plagues and famines regularly visited England, and the average population growth during that period The rate was about 3% per century.

Between 1750 and 1850, the population increased by 300%, largely due to increased life expectancy, not due to increased fertility. But the tariff-protected prices of locally grown grains made bread more expensive than the average household, and the poor had to make potatoes a staple food. By 1840, the population was growing so rapidly that food production and distribution could not keep up.

In the 1840s, Britain had a parliament of about 650 members who passed laws to protect trade and well controlled food prices. Yet, in the words of Edgar Sanderson, in 1840, “famine was rampant, and emaciated emaciated men, wrinkled women, and emaciated children were looking everywhere.”

Then, in 1845, the situation became desperate when blight destroyed the potato crop in Ireland.

In response to these difficult economic conditions, an active group of men was promoting the idea of ​​free trade, the idea of ​​slashing taxes on trade and removing government price controls. They formed the Anti Corn Law Alliance.

This alliance persuaded governments to abandon effective price controls on staple foods and to accept free trade, although “corn” was then used to denote wheat, oats, barley and rye. became. This included the abolition of the ‘protection’ tax on most of his 1,200 listed items, and amendments to the Navigation Act to provide competition between foreign and British merchant ships.

From abundance to scarcity

Around the turn of the century, in the early 1900s, Argentine meat and grains became the food of Europe. Argentina was also second only to the United States in terms of the number of immigrants from Europe, and a booming economy made her the seventh richest country in the world by 1908.

The British company Swift built a slaughterhouse on the River Plate to accommodate its brisk trade with Europe. The invention of the ship chiller in 1876 and his 1914 opening of the Panama Canal allowed Australia to compete, and Swift built the same slaughterhouse on the Brisbane River at Cannon Hill in 1913. .

Since its prosperity in the first decades of the 20th century, Argentina is now an economic basket case from which it must import meat and grains for socialist taxation programs.

Epoch Times photo
Demonstrators wave flags with images of the late President Juan Domingo Perón and his wife Eva Duarte in Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 17, 2020. (Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images)

Historical data expert Aaron O’Neill says: claimed “Juan Perón’s election in 1946 proved to be a defining point in Argentina’s history”, and his “isolationist policies and radical spending contributed to severe inflation”.

Many scholarly essays have been written about the collapse of Argentina’s economy, but the end result of a Peronian dictatorial policy of big unions and big governments lying with big corporations that wildly weather the basic needs of the populace is certain. speaks for itself. .

Will Australia follow Argentina’s path?

A similar policy is currently being implemented in Australia, but it is a futile attempt to follow dangerous scientific advice and meet unrealistic emissions targets set by a conglomeration of different countries.

Charges against carbon dioxide will be tried in court, clearing the air for a thriving future in a green world and going nowhere further down the road in Argentina.

But Australian schools teach revisionist history, whitewashing the raw past to disinfect and popularize political goals hostile to economic progress and human well-being.

Swift’s Cannon Hill Abattoir building on the Brisbane River is a metaphor for today’s Australian economy.

When a young engineer was assigned to investigate and ensure the structural stability of this impressive structure, he discovered that the façade concealed a decaying building infested with rust, rats, and cockroaches. bottom.

Indeed, it is time to wipe Australia out, starting with a drastic reform of the outdated, corrosive and demoralizing tax system. Uncontrolled spending policies and big government collusion with big unions and big corporations to implement cozy joint projects don’t do much for Australia.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.