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Many times, the simplest answers contribute to the understanding of the deeper problems. Two years ago, William Bald, one of the most respected Argentine economists nationally and internationally, former senior advisor to the research department of the IMF, responded to a question from LA NACIÓN: “Outside they see us as a kindergarten (…) there are brilliant kids, but there is an impressive noise. The boys throw stones at each other (…) We don’t have a teacher to control the problems.” And he added: “The series of defaults make it difficult to attract foreign savings, they don’t trust us. As soon as we make a move that seems strange, they run away. Because of us, because of our history. It is not that the capital market is cruel to us, that they come, steal from us and leave, as populists like to say. The ones who steal are us, that’s why they run away”.

It is unfortunate that leaders of political coalitions are more concerned with stealing charges than with solving the serious problems that affect all citizens

The recent, arduous and not yet closed negotiations with the International Monetary Fund that avoided, in principle, the fearsome default just a few days ago, unfortunately confer a blatant relevance to Calvo’s statements.

After a biennium of that harsh but accurate description, and having produced a government change in the country, Agustin Etchebarne, another renowned economist, director of the Liberty and Progress Foundation, recently returned to the issue of lack of trust based on our own ineptitude and stubborn persistence in error.

“Argentina –said Etchebarne– does not have an exchange rate problem, it has a credibility problem. With the current international prices of raw materials and low wages in dollars, we should have excess foreign exchange thanks to the trade surplus. But the lack of credibility produces a flight of capital that can be accelerated by a succession of desperate and useless measures” that the ruling party has been implementing.

At the head of its rulers, Argentina should give clear signs of wanting to get out of the hole in which it finds itself submerged and of working hard in that direction: the marches and counter-marches, the political bid for the fight itself; the as intemperate as failed denunciations of plots of all kinds and even of hard or soft blows do nothing but subtract credibility from the country

Both specialists could take refuge exclusively in their technical knowledge about the progress of the economy to explain the reason for Argentina’s decline, decline or free fall. However, his reasoning goes beyond that framework to delve into a deeper problem: lack of confidence is more than the response to poor –or invisible– economic management. It is the expected reaction against unwise behavior in matters as broad as education, health, justice, security, respect for norms and institutions, freedom of expression, transparency and control of government acts, condemnation of corruption, fight against drug trafficking and equality before the law. And the list goes on.

It is as notorious as it is unfortunate that Argentina lives all the time in a vehement confrontation between the government and the opposition and, as has been observed after the last elections and the negotiations between the Government and the IMF, with growing bids for power between the own political coalitions, more concerned with stealing charges than with solving the serious problems that affect the country’s inhabitants as a whole.

The deepening of poverty is answered with stories or occasional patches; to insecurity, with vagueness, chicanes and statistical concealment; to the advance of drug trafficking, with shameful diversions of responsibilities, putting the problem in the hands of those who consume and not those who endorse drug crime; a possible investment is reacted with legal insecurity; to the educational debacle, with crossed and inconsequential accusations; to the health crisis, with ideological responses that delay, discourage and even prevent the search for solutions; to the freedom to market, with prohibitions, regulations and traps; to the compliant citizen, with tax asphyxiation and terrible examples that are weighted with a disastrous exaltation of the Creole vivacity practiced by a few who never or almost never receive a sentence, and to corruption, with denunciations of non-existent plots and with more and more impunity.

Never like today should there be coherence between speech and public actions. It is not credible that a government that finds its greatest electoral wealth in the maintenance of poverty promises to eradicate the growing and brutal poverty

What country in these conditions can aspire to generate internal and external trust?

Impossible to believe in a Nation in which its rulers promise to convene consensus among all forces while, from the main public lecterns, the creation of enemies is constantly encouraged.

It is unreasonable to explain –and much less justify– that a president who reaches out to the United States in search of solutions runs into the arms of Russia and China, reviling the main actor with whom he is negotiating in parallel.

Difficult to bet on a nation stuck in a “bad versus good”, aggravated because, in the midst of a devastating pandemic, the President referred to his people as the only true “good Argentines”.

At some point, much sooner than later, those with public responsibilities should begin to honor the mandates given to them by a citizenry tired of the lack of solutions.

Why believe in the benefits of self-proclaimed popular governments when their main leaders cannot explain the origin of their bulky fortunes and pressure the Justice to declare them free of all guilt even with ample evidence of corruption against them?

Why trust those same governments that promise to eradicate poverty when they find their greatest electoral wealth in poverty?

“It’s not just the economy, stupid”, the phrase coined almost 30 years ago could be rewritten by Bill Clinton when he disputed the presidency of the United States with George Bush.

The range of reasons that make us unbelievable is enormous. And not just in the eyes of the world. This is attested to by the enormous proportion of young people –and not so young– who emigrate incessantly because they do not see a future here, much less a promising one. Sometimes not even worthy.

“Containers full of gray matter are leaking from us (…) Those of us who work, work more than ever, but there have never been so many Argentines who cannot work,” he said Marcos Aguinis in To do. Bases for the Argentine Renaissance, a book published in 2005, which is once again highly relevant today.

Argentina is a beautiful tourist bus whose wheels are not working properly”, graphed not long ago the brand new ambassador of the United States in our country, Marc Stanley.

At some point, much sooner than later, the huge number of political, business and union leaders who only seem willing to fight for spaces of power should take charge of the multiple failures that prevent us from moving forward to move to teamwork.

As a society, we need to regain the confidence and strength that allow us to get out of the trap. What else must happen to stop this fatal course? To simply sit and wait is to renounce the future.


www.lanacion.com.ar

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