Saturday, September 24, 2011

About Argentina

Hey guys, I'll rant for long this time

This is just the first post of the series, hope you enjoy it.

Argentina is a country that is screwed up since a long long time.
Our constitution is a bad copy of the ones from United States and France, countries that declared their
independence a few years before us.
For instance, in the article 21 it says that “every citizen has the obligation to arm itself to defend the country
and/or the constitution” that’s fantastic, but then it’s screwed as it continues “in accordance to the laws
dictated by the congress or decrees by the executive”.
So, you can defend the constitution only if the ones who are violating it allow you… pretty contradictory if
you ask me.

Then article 25 says that the government can’t restrict or limit the immigration of any foreigner with good
intentions and will to work. Reality shows that this open borders policy allowed and continues to allow the
immigration of tons of bad people, like WW2 war criminals, terrorist, drug dealers and entire families from
countries in the region looking for a government to provide them houses, health and education.

In Argentina people thinks that the government has the obligation to provide you with houses, work, free
education and free health services, so there are tons of people who continually do protests, cut streets and
highways etc asking for what they think is their right, most of times that people is used with political goals by
the opponents of the party that has the power at the moment.

Long history short, I never saw or read about a good government in this country, we had a collection of
demagogues populists, military dictatorships and utterly useless guys.

The inflation

I was a child but I remember the hyperinflation…
In the picture you can see the inflation numbers, in the ‘89 we had like 8000%
The stores changed the prices of their products multiple times a day, so when the people got their salary
they went running to the stores to spend it all in food.
I remember the bills starting having so fucking many zeroes in them that the people started calling the bills by
their color because they had no clue how to read those numbers, everyone was a millionaire at that time

So, the riots started and Alfonsin, the president at that moment had to leave.

Then Menem won, and the country was somewhat stabilized, but the price of it was the destruction of the
national industry, the unemployment started to grow like crazy, and in 2003 it was more than 20%

In 2001 was the big crisis when the riot started and finished with the president at that moment, De La Rua,
resigning. The country hit rock bottom at that moment.
There was a ton of people that had not work, the banks run out of dollars so all the deposits were retained
in what is known as “El Corralito” so you couldn’t retire or use your savings, there was a small quota of
money you could get monthly.
The states governments didn’t have any money either, and the federal government didn’t send any, so they
started emitting bonds that were used as normal money.

It was in those years when bartering started, in each town started to appear the “bartering clubs” where
people offered services or things to exchange.
That helped a lot of people to pass those hard times, but it also was used by delinquents in order to sell stuff
that previously was impossible, like forks, doors, cups, toilets, you mention it.
At that time I was living in a small city on the sea shore, so there were a lot of houses that were only
occupied in summer, those houses were completely emptied.
So the government tried to enforce some controls on the bartering clubs, but they continued until the
situation somewhat stabilized and then they closed.

2001 was a hard year, but this wasn’t Mad Max, the people kept going to work everyday, schools and
stores opened, we still paid taxes and the police could detain you and send you to jail just like always.

The rioting was in some specific places in the federal district, the rest of the country continued as always,
shitty but working.

The insecurity on the streets grow, but that’s the product of years of abandonment and lack of education and
culture of work, drugs have a big part on it too.

In 2003 50% of the country was under the line of poverty, that means that 50% of the country didn’t have
the money to live a standard life, and there was a 25% of indigence.

Because of that the “Villas”, similar to the favelas in Rio, started to multiply and continue to grow everyday
non stop. In there the state has no presence, and drug dealers and delinquents rule. 

Now everyday people is killed in car robberies and everyone lives scared, even smaller cities and towns
started having serious security issues.

I could talk about that for a long time… let’s finish this part in here, I’ll add more later.

What I can tell you is that things aren't like in the book Patriots, when there is an economic collapse, the shit
doesn't hit the fan to everyone at the same time, there isn't a clear line between SHTF and no SHTF.
People tries their best to continue with their usual life, because they have a wife and sons to feed, and if you
get your ass killed or in jail they'll be alone when they need you the most.
You start living cheaper, you stop spending on useless crap, some people grow food in their gardens, or rise
animals to eat, or look for new ways to get some money, like collecting used paper to sell it to recyclers.

Some people does crazy things, like and old man whose son was sick and needed the money for medicines,
so he bought a deactivated grenade and went to the bank to tell the manager that if they didnt give him his
dollars everyone would die. The old man got his money, but a few days later was arrested.

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