ANALYSIS – In another extremely positive political development overseas, a ‘far-right’ populist, better called an anti-woke radical libertarian, has won the presidency in Argentina.
The leftist-hating, free market advocate, Javier Milei, hopes to shake up South America’s highly statist second-largest economy and its extreme socialist politics.
While Argentina and the U.S. are very different political animals, and former President Trump and Milei don’t share similar views on a lot of things, Trump congratulated Milei on his landslide victory, saying he would “Make Argentina Great Again!”
According to a statement by Milei’s press office after the two spoke on Thursday, Trump will also visit Buenos Aires to meet with the Argentine president-elect.
One thing they do have in common is their hatred of the left and love of incendiary language (read to the end).
A hundred years ago Argentina was one of the six wealthiest countries in the world, but thanks to the socialism of Juan and Evita Perón, and their Peronist party, the beautiful country has dropped to a dismal to 66th place, below Mexico and just above Russia.
Milei, who leads the country’s La Libertad Avanza (Liberty Advances) party, won the presidential run-off with some 56% of the vote, well ahead of left-leaning Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa’s 44%. Milei will take office Dec. 10.
The self-described anarcho-capitalist is pledging economic shock therapy, by among other things, slashing bloated government spending, shuttering the central bank, and ditching the thoroughly devalued peso for the U.S. dollar.
These potentially painful reforms resonated with voters angry at the economic malaise. Still, as Fortune noted, Milei’s “party controls only a handful of seats in congress, and policies like dollarization would be an incredibly complex undertaking even with broad political support.”
Meanwhile, many “investors think Milei is the best shot at salvaging the economy after years of market pain.”
While Milei gained attention for quirks that were atypical for a potential head of state — his unusual hairdo, love of his cloned dogs and a penchant for campaigning with a chainsaw — he won fans among investors for his promise to usher in a business-friendly era for Argentina. Economic growth is elusive, the peso has lost more than 90% of its value in four years, and around 40% of the population lives in poverty.
John Fund writes in National Review:
Milei, a free-market economist, is an ally of both the U.S. and Israel and a sworn adversary of China and Latin American leftists. His plan to dollarize the Argentine economy will blunt China’s effort to undermine the U.S. currency. As analyst Juan P. Villasmil puts it: “Argentina’s economy is the second most powerful in South America, so having it led by an openly pro-US leader in a continent filled with socialists isn’t bad news.”
Milei describes himself as an Austrian economist, but there is also some Chicago School influence. He named two of his dogs after Milton Friedman and Robert Lucas, and a third after Murray Rothbard.
Elon Musk and other U.S. business leaders are already looking forward to an open and more free Argentine economy. Milei has a strong team of advisers from free market think tanks and has forged an alliance with establishment conservative parties to help him govern.
And Milei is a firebrand and fighter much like Trump. Expect him to take a wrecking ball to the socialists. The UK’s Express quoted Milei as saying:
“You can’t give s**t leftards an inch. All collectivists, all kinds of collectivists. […] They are s**t!
“If you think differently from them they will kill you. This is the point. You can’t give s**t leftists an inch, if you give them an inch they will use it to destroy you.
“You can’t negotiate with leftards. You don’t negotiate with trash because they will end you!
Milei added: “And since they can’t beat us with real arguments, they just use the repressive apparatus of the state with loads of taxpayer money to destroy us and yet they’re still losing!”
Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.