This Sunday officially started the second stage on the way to the general elections October. The economic stagnation for a decade, unbridled inflation, the “lack” of dollars and the deterioration of the living conditions of the working class place the economy at the center of the electoral campaign debate.
The proposals of the main candidates have a noventista aroma and have a consensus: adjust to those below. The IMF has already maintained contact with the Bullrich and Milei teams, and like the ruling party, all share honoring the debt and complying with the Fund. The single list what rejects the adjustment consensus and proposes a way out in favor of the popular majorities is the Unity Left Front with Myriam Bregman y Nicholas del Caño as candidates for president and vice.
Consensus of the IMF candidates: let those below pay for the crisis
Last week Carlos Melconian, president of the Institute for Studies on Argentine and Latin American Reality (IERAL) of the Mediterranean Foundation appeared in Córdoba with Patricia Bullrich, who chose him to be Minister of Economy if he wins the elections. So, the Mediterranean Foundation once again takes center stageit is remembered that it was the same as promoted Domingo Cavallo as Minister of Economy in the 90swho launched convertibility and culminated in unemployment greater than 20% and poverty greater than 50%.
The foundation was created in 1977 by a group of businessmen during the military dictatorship and was constituted as a means of placing the interests of business from the country’s hinterland at the center of the agenda. It currently has among its authorities businessmen such as Sebastian Bago (Bago Laboratories), David Uriburu (Techint), Sergio Roggio (Roggio construction company), Marcos Brito (Macro Bank), Adriana and Adrian Urquia (Deheza General Oil Company).
On a “very tough” day, as Melconian defined it (referring to the elimination of Racing, the club of which he is a fan, against Boca in the Copa Libertadores) he stated in the presentation with the Juntos por el Cambio candidate that they have “a disruptive plan but within the system, institutional”.
The economist proposes to recognize the “bimonetarism” and reform the Civil Code to allow contracts in both currencies (peso and dollar). In June, when he presented his plan, Melconian detailed measures of “first order”: labor and pension system reform which he considered “a great sign for long-term fiscal sustainability,” also state reform, reduction of ministries. In Córdoba, Melconian promised to “flood” the country with capitalist and concrete proposals. A combo of measures that target the working class, includes adjustments and more labor flexibility. Nothing new under the sun, the economist was president of Banco Nación since Mauricio Macri took office until January 18, 2017, and his criticisms of said government were about “gradualism”: for Melconian, a more drastic fiscal adjustment was needed. The recipe is now being repeated, Patricia Bullrich added in the presentation “we want to propose that to stop the chaos in Argentina, order is needed”, that is, greater repression.
For his part, Javier Milei’s proposal dollarization of the economy is a plan that will destroy the purchasing power of wages As a result of the strong devaluation that its implementation would imply, there are various estimates on the exchange rate at which the dollarization would be made in dollars, in some calculations it reaches up to US$1 equal to $10,000. The economist, whose idol is Domingo Cavallo, proposes a greater adjustment than the one required by the IMF, as he has already reiterated on several occasions. A menu of proposals that according to his words point against the political caste, but the caste that does not question is the businessLarge companies that allocate little of their profits to investment, receive multiple benefits from the State such as tax exemptions and are the ones that fled the missing dollars from the Central Bank, are the real looters.
Both Milei’s dollarization and the “bi-monetary” approach of Melconian and Bullrich speak of “stabilize” the economybut omit what the previous step it is a shock and a blow to the income of the working class even though they present different ways to achieve it.
The Unión por la Patria candidate and Minister of Economy seeks to polarize with Javier Milei with the intention of reaching the second round. Sergio Massa advanced with the fiscal adjustment since he arrived at the Palacio de Hacienda. In the first seven months of the year, primary spending fell 8.3% in real terms while interest on the debt rose 21.2%, according to the report by the Congressional Budget Office (OPC).
After devaluing the measures announced by the minister to “alleviate” the effects of the rise in the official exchange rate they have little flavor and exclude the informal ones. As estimated by the Institute of Thoughts and Public Policies (IPYPP), More than 11 million workers were left out of the measures. In addition, the business chambers rejected the payment of the fixed sum, pro-governors and opponents also indicated that they will not pay. In other words, the number of workers who are excluded will be greater.
The bosses cry, but between 2017 and the first quarter of 2023 during the macrismo and the FdT government, the transfer of income from work to capital reached 101.4 billion dollars, as calculated by a recent CTA Cifra report. The document details that medium-large companies that must pay the “fixed sum” of $60,000 without state aid should pay out around $218 billion, which “is equivalent to 1.2% of the transfers of income from work to capital that have taken place in recent years ”. They should only allocate a small portion of what they pocketed in recent years to pay the lump sum, but they refuse. wretched.
Massa’s plan is to hold out until October without being forced to devalue, according to his statement, the exchange rate would remain at $350 until said month, but inflation, as the consultants estimate, will have double digits in August and September, it could force a new jump in the dollar. . The minister anticipated that the IMF is asking for more devaluation, for this reason there may be another rise in the official exchange rate. Continuing under the command of the Fund has concrete consequences: more inflation, adjustment and deterioration of popular income.
Adjust to those above
On the road to October there are not just three lists as the media wants to install. The left is also present, it is the only list that denounces the adjustment in progress and rejects the looting of the IMF. What must be put into debate to get out of national decadence and avoid a new catastrophe for the working people is a program of another class, which affects the interests of large companies, banks, and agricultural employers.
Emergency measures are needed such as wage increases, retirements, social programsthe implementation of a Emergency Family Income for all the informal, unemployed and monotributista workers of the lowest categories. To rebuild the country’s reserves and attack the causes of inflation, it is necessary to mobilize for the sovereign disregard of debtthe nationalization of foreign trade under workers’ administration, nationalize the banking system and the creation of a single state bank. Enough of precarious employment, work with rights for all: reduction of the working day to 6 hours, 5 days a week, without affecting the salaryamong other measures.
It is necessary to reorganize the economy on other bases, putting the needs of the social majorities first and not the thirst for profit of the usual powerful.