“Economic freedom, limited government, and unrestricted respect for private property are essential elements for economic growth. This phenomenon of impoverishment produced by collectivism is not a fantasy. Nor is it fatalism. It is a reality that we Argentines know very well.”
A world leader at the World Economic Forum in Davos clearly explains to the attendees just how much damage the shift to socialism inflicts on an economy, gradually lowering the standard of living.
This is not theory, and not open to debate. As Milei himself pointed out, one has to look no further than his home country, Argentina, whose rate of inflation soared to an astounding 211% in 2023, signaling a collapsing economy. Resulting in the expected political change.
In Milei’s own words:
“The Argentine case is the empirical demonstration that no matter how rich you are, no matter how many natural resources you have, no matter how skilled the population is, no matter how educated it is, no matter how many gold bars there are in the central bank's coffers. If you adopt measures that hinder the free functioning of markets, free competition, free price systems; if you hinder trade, if you attack private property, the only possible destiny is poverty.”
For the first time in my life, I wish I was fluent in Spanish. But I am not, so this English translation will have to suffice. His speech resonated loudly with me, because either Milei has read my book, or much more likely, we both studied economics and reached the same logical conclusions.
He begins his speech by directly placing blame for global economic decline on the Davos-attending influential white-badge wearing CEO’s and political leaders.
“..in recent decades, motivated by some bien-pensant desires to help others, and others by the desire to belong to a privileged caste, the main leaders of the Western world have abandoned the model of freedom for different versions of what we call collectivism.”
For those that have read my book, “collectivism” is what I call “centralization”, an economic phenomenon whereby too many economic decisions are made by too few, resulting in market inefficiencies. The opposite of a more decentralized economy, with an abundance of individual decisions, free markets, etc.
Here is Milei’s own definition:
“Collectivism -- by inhibiting these processes of discovery and hindering the appropriation of what has been discovered -- ties the entrepreneur's hands and makes it impossible for him to produce better goods and offer better services at a better price.”
An overly centralized economy, or one that has shifted towards collectivism, tends to stifle innovation, which is the natural byproduct of a free market. Leading to stagnation.
Milei asks, why abandon such a successful economic model?
“How can it be, then, that academia, international organizations, politics and economic theory demonize an economic system that has not only lifted 90 percent of the world's population out of the most extreme poverty? Thanks to free enterprise capitalism, today, the world is at its best. There has never been, in all of human history, a time of greater prosperity than the one we live in today.”
Good question. Why are the intellects of Davos suggesting that the rest of the world follow Argentina’s path to poverty, rather than Argentina pursuing a proven path to prosperity? They disguise this shift towards centralization using benign code-phrases such as “public-private partnerships”.
I will tell you why. Because as the Davos-attending CEO of a large corporation, the last thing you want is some upstart entrepreneur disrupting your steady revenue. Likewise, as the Davos-attending political leader, you stand to personally benefit if government grows in size, and not the other way around.
Many suggest that the Marxist style of socialism does not exist, that the states are not controlling the means of production. True, but we live in a different world than what Karl Marx experienced. There are other, more modern methods of centralizing an economy.
“Today states do not need to directly control the means of production to control every aspect of the lives of individuals. With tools such as printing money, indebtedness, subsidies, interest rate control, price controls and regulations to correct supposed "market failures," they can control the destinies of millions of human beings.”
As in the Federal Reserve monetizing massive amounts of debt to bail out large banks, and to enable excessive government spending.
Milei concluded his speech with a hopeful message for the free-market believing business leaders and entrepreneur’s:
“I would like to leave a message to all the businessmen present here and to those who are watching us from all corners of the planet. Do not let yourselves be intimidated by the political caste or by the parasites that live off the State. Do not surrender to a political class that only wants to perpetuate itself in power and maintain its privileges. You are social benefactors. You are heroes. You are the creators of the most extraordinary period of prosperity we have ever experienced. Let no one tell you that your ambition is immoral. If you make money, it is because you offer a better product at a better price, thus contributing to the general welfare.”
Javier Milei, I salute you. I would like to think that you represent the beginning of the rebirth of Argentina, which will serve to inspire the rest of the world.
Long live freedom, damn it!