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Extremely myopic, indeed. Peron was an authoritarian and a demagogue, but he improved most social indicators of the country. Sure, GDP diminished but that was part of the cost to make Argentina an industrialized nation. Also the infrastructure of the country improved significantly.

IMHO, it's quite hard to understand a right-leaning socialist government from the point of view of a US citizen. There's no reference.

I don't think it's that difficult with proper reference to historical examples. The first socialist welfare programs in Europe were instituted by authoritarian, nationalist, militarist Prussian leadership shortly following the unification of Germany. It was part of Bismarck's strategy to undercut the republican reformist sentiment left over from 1848, and bind the common people to the state through conservative handouts.

Another interesting book looks at the welfare programs instituted in Nazi Germany as part of their corporatist 'third way' economic system (supposed to avoid reliance on free trade industrialism and inoculate against cosmopolitan bolshevist appeals): http://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-Beneficiaries-Plunder-Racial-W...

Right-leaning socialism was the original socialism in practice in Europe.

If education was truly that bad, I have a hard time seeing those improvements as social ones. They seem more like a side effect of strong authoritarian policy.

I don't buy the article's explanations thus far; though it appears to be one of a series and I look forward to reading more.

But I also am not swayed but your assertion that progress in a socialist country is too alien for we crass capitalists to gauge.

"Sure, GDP diminished but that was part of the cost to make Argentina an industrialized nation."

That sentence doesn't even make sense. The whole point of industrialization is to boost economic output. That's what it does almost by definition.

The nationalization had a major impact on outputs and in particular on agriculture exports. Go to Gapminder.org and check GDP during Peron's first presidency 1942-1955.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peron (not great but a good start.)

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