The nationalization (theft) of private assets belonging to foreign companies means, in no uncertain terms, that the country will not see significant foreign investment in probably twenty-five years. It's a shame.
They apparently also pulled an interesting one: Their citizens are not allowed to take their money out of the country. There's a convoluted process through which you have to open a bank account in US dollars and then you can move money out. Except that the government is monitoring everything. They have to ability to seize anything they want at any time. They control exchange rates too.
A fine example of how things can derail when the masses elect presidents (because they are being paid-off in so many ways for their vote).
I guess YMMV.
I do agree with some of your points (although the restriction to buy dollars has nothing to do with taking money out of the country), but please don't take all your news from a purely US/free-market point of view. Argentina had that for a decade under president Menem and got fucked in all kinds of ways.
(Also, please notice the 'nationalization' [more correctly, forced purchase of the company's stock] of certain assets was long overdue because of the way the private companies where managing them. It's easier to appreciate when your family lives in the place, I'm afraid.)
It seems to me Argentina is in a pretty dire situation at the moment. There is even a, small but real, possibility things could collapse into a failed state or dictatorship if the economic situation spirals out of control.
Edit: The economic freedom gap is actually bigger than South and North Korea! Argentina (158th of 179) is only just hovering above the failed states/dictatorships. I expect next years ranking will also be worse as things have gotten worse.
Not a chance. At all.
also, while it's amusing to read the comments here as someone living in santiago, i have to say that i am big fan of bbaa food + culture. it's a pretty awesome place. even if you don't want to work there, i'd encourage anyone to have a vacation in buenos aires.
Economically Argentina is very tough, but culturally it's a wonderful place, and my personal attachment to it - despite my many complaints - transcends money and perhaps even logic.
Chile is a wonderful country with many things going for it, but it's not like it's paradise, and not everybody wants to live there.
Sadly, If I were from another country, I wouldn't even consider coming here for business.
That said there are some amazing business people here. Argentinians are amazingly resilient and adaptive. There are also many fantastic coders here, many working for US startups.
Here is an inspiring article about how various entrepreneurs coped during the previous crisis 10 years ago.
I honestly believe the current government is, in many ways, the best this country has had for the past 30 years (at least), even taking into account its many and very real shortcomings (the mangling of official statistics and the outrageous restrictions on foreign currency ranking very high among them).
I am obviously partial in the matter, but I also believe Argentina still has much going for it. The upper education system in particular remains very good in most places and is completely free. I attend the University of Buenos Aires and can attest to this, even though I'm by no means a top student. The resources aren't abundant, but the quality of the education itself is excellent.
Lastly, the government is forcefully buying the oil company that used to be state-owned until the early 90s neoliberal selling spree happened. It's not like it's arbitrarily taking companies by force. I think there's some kind of consensus in economics about oil being a strategic resource, so I'm not sure it's fair to extrapolate from this one data point.
They took over the majority of the shares by force. Buying something is when you voluntarily agree on a transaction. When the government cuts off the communication to the head quarters as the nationalization is announced and then go with armed guards to escort the Spanish bosses out of the building. That is what's called "an offer you can't refuse".
The Spanish have a different story on the oil company. It's hardly an advertisement to set up a business there anyway, which is what I am talking about.
Finally, I don't think being the best government in Argentine history is a very high bar to reach. You were the 7th richest country in the world in the 1920s, with plenty of resources, and now a place starting poorer than you like Japan with hardly any resources (plus getting burned to the ground and nuked twice) is three or four times richer. There are tons of examples like that beyond Japan, the governments of Argentina have been a string of disasters in terms of providing for the people and not filling mass graves with them. Taking the current government though, I'd hardly say inflation three to six times higher than Chile is a great government. But when inflation in the past has been measured in hundreds of percent I concede that this could be a reasonable government when the only comparison is past Argentine governments.
In that ranking, they basically measure reputation, citations of papers in other papers and # of PhDs students. It depends how you measure quality.
Finally, I don't think being the best government in Argentine history is a very high bar to reach...
Yes, that's correct.
In a nutshell, when Argentina was rich there were very rich and very few landowners, who also controlled the goverment, and a lot of poor people that worked for them. It was feudal "capitalism". There wasn't much of a "middle class" or "rising middle class". Of course, a democracy can't work in those conditions. There were fraudulent elections, coups and, of course, the response of the mass of the poor was either following the few intelectuals of the elite that proclaimed comunism as the solution, or to cling to father figures in goverment(Perón). The people were slaves, treated as slaves, and then reacted as slaves.
Aggregate stats across a number of areas plus opinion is a reasonable measure, albeit imperfect. Again I have provided many stats and figures and nobody has provided anything contrary other than assertions (and in one case cast some doubt over the Internet penetration). One would suspect that if the education is so good in Argentina people would have better researched arguments (ok that's a low blow, but people are downvoting). Feel free to provide another measure though. I don't think the roles will be reversed, though it might come out even under another measure as they are close in this one.
I think we broadly agree on your other point.
I am open to you providing links to enlighten me on some aspect or another of why it's so good. But even if the rankings were quite bias you are virtually at opposite ends to Chile on some. I mean even asking leading and bias questions with a specific agenda to make Argentina look bad it'd be hard to get such huge differences. Given everything else backs that up, and some commentators here with anecdotes are saying so too, you will have to forgive me if I discount your talk as misplaced patriotism until you can back it up with some form of links or stats.
> But a lot of those factors apply to Chile
That's BS. Argentina has some of the best hackers in the world. I've yet to hear about chilean talent of that level.
And Buenos Aires has a booming IT industry.
Both national and local governments are terrible, sure. But you are way off stating we are close to a dictatorship.
You sound like a Fox News "expert".
That said, even with some other factor causing IT to be big and the number of hackers to be large it's all invalidated by the extremely poor governance. And yes, when you are only a few stops short of North Korea or Zimbabwe on many rankings there is a possibility you will go back into dictatorship (if you remember Argentina was a dictatorship very recently). Besides I said the chance of that happening was "small".
Edit: N.B. GDP per capita is closer if you go PPP. But that's a bit deceptive when you might be buying cloud hosting in USD or EURO so you not only have less in real terms in the Argentine case, but you are being wiped out by catastrophic inflation (from three to six times higher in Argentina depending on whether you believe the government statistics or those of the commentators).
First of all, since WHEN metrics really show anything? Let me remind you all the companies developed here in Argentina, that made it globally, like Patagon, Mercadolibre, Startups.com, OLX, ElSitio, etc versus companies in Chile. Chile? Really? Where do you get your numbers? I'll get them right for you :
66% average internet penetration in Argentina. That means 27 million people. Want to know more about Chile? What about wide band penetration?
There you go.
I'm not even going to start about the "dictatorship" because that's just bollocks. If "recently" for you is 26 years, then yeah, we have a "recent" dictatorship. One that the US government helped. As they did in Panama, Chile, and so many other countries. So please, refrain yourself before even saying the word.
Last, but not least, official inflation records against those that are real, are just double. No "three to six". It's huge, but it's not what you're buying.
PS : I don't defend AT ALL the Argentinian Government. I'm actually against them, but I can't really stand that somebody, just from what they read online or hear "from friends", starts giving opinions and recommendations. So, if things get "hard", then just leave Argentina alone and make business in Chile? Bitch, please, that's what you would recommend somebody in other countries? "Don't create value in your country, because it's TOO hard. Instead, make other countries wealthier. That's fixes the problem".
Please, come and live in Argentina for a while, and you'll learn a lot more than just reading Wikipedia.
I think you are being a little naive regarding countries. 26 years is extremely recent when we talk about countries and their institutions. I've also addressed dictatorship in another comment. The US comment is a red herring.
You seem to have misread me on inflation. I said it was three to six times the Chilean rate, not that the real rate was three to six times the official rate. I.e. if the Chilean rate is 3.something and yours is 10.something it's roughly three times more, but if your rate is actually 20 or 25 as some suggest you will be roughly six times higher than the Chilean rate. This is massively important to running a business of any kind.
I am not going to bother responding to your insults other than to say it's not appropriate on Hacker News (or anywhere) and there seems to be a lot of ego and patriotism from the Argentine commentators in this discussion. A criticism of a country is not a personal criticism.
This cheer-leading seems somewhat ill-considered, given your top global wealth early last century your country is practically a textbook cautionary tale. It's not an Argentine Yahoo! being compared to first world Googles either, it's more like someone at AltaVista claiming they are in the big leagues with Google because once upon a time they were good. To revert to weaker arguments: nobody I know would dispute this state of affairs as I have put it. And nobody would dispute that it's absolutely plausible that with good governance Argentina could have been as rich or richer than Japan right now, as rich or richer than Spain (and with far less debt than those two). But governments count, and you got some bad ones. Chile on the other hand is benefiting (albeit mildly) from making far better choices and it's clear to an outsider which is better and all data points to that (GDP, education, corruption, economic freedom, inflation). Either all those sources are wrong or my case holds. I don't see anyone from outside Argentina making the case that it's as wonderful as you people say. That's telling. Most good countries have people from outside showing them respect. For example, I admire some of what the Chileans have achieved and consider them better than quite a few first world countries now on a few metrics. They deserve praise and respect for that hard work getting things right. But respect is earned with work, not with claims of greatness that aren't backed up with anything other than insults.
Maybe you're right and Paul Krugman is wrong
Indeed (btw. where is Chile on the chart? can't seem to find it).
Undoubtly there are good "hackers" in Argentina, like in every country with good education but high levels of poverty (Greece, Ukranie, Russia, etc.). Maybe the reason is that becoming a hacker is basically free, You only need internet and free time.
About the proof, go check any important security conference, I'll guarantee you that you will find one or more Argentinian teams there, wondering why everything is better and cheaper outside their country, except of course that disgusting thing foreigners call "food" :)
I don't understand your point, that's 14,883,552 (Argentina) vs 7,535,921 (Chile).
India has a 7.50%, but that is 87,983,101 people online, (additionally i know some pretty good hackers come from there)
I even met people who I hope will be life-long friends, like rubyrescue and his wife.