One of the giants of the South experiences the highest rates of impoverishment in the Americas.
Argentina used to enjoy a very high and atypical standards of living compared to those of the region, until the early seventies of the last century.
Contrary to the majority of neighboring countries, which were improving, Argentina began an inverse process with ups and downs: the quality of life has been in almost permanent decline over the last 50 years.
The pandemic and the measures implemented against it has accelerated this process exponentially. The quality of life has been in almost permanent decline over the last 50 years.
The Social Debt Observatory estimates that the loss of private employment so far in 2020 exceeds 900,000 jobs, between the informal, mixed and formal economies.
Unemployment is around 15%, according to official numbers, though it is surely higher than that, since the data only takes into account the population that lost their job and is looking for a new one.
If you add those people to the ones that are not actively looking for a job, because there is no market or it is impeded by quarantine restrictions, the outlook is worse and unemployment is close to 30%.
The fall in Argentine GDP is heading to be the highest of all the G20 member countries, estimated at 13%, the worst in absolute terms in Argentine history, added to the worst labor crisis since 2002. Put in plain figures, it means about 3.8 million people are without work.
The Government of Alberto Fernández excuses itself in the pandemic and in the dire economic state of indebtedness that his predecessor left him to explain the current situation. His predecessor did the same and thus each of the leaders with their predecessors.
In the midst of all this theater of political recriminations, the Argentine society ends up more impoverished in each cycle. In Argentina people do not have new problems, we have the same old problems as always unsolved.
The country has not had the capacity to generate sustainable productive development over time, as famous state policies are useless and do not go beyond the government of turn.
If the production structure does not improve, Argentina will not be able to move forward. What is being lost is the ability of the middle class to hold onto hope.
People say that they would never imagine living in this situation. Losing their jobs the way they lost them, having to live up to the help of relatives, etc. It is incredible that this can happen to anyone in such a short time, to be left with nothing.
The quarantine applied due to covid-19, made it impossible to keep employment.
Some of the measures of the State of Exception in which Argentina has lived since March 19, when the president announced the first compulsory rules social isolation, are the prohibition of dismissals, double compensation in the event of any, and the impediment to declare the bankruptcy. But they do not seem to have had their effects based on the data and the experience of workers, and the recovery will be slow and complicated.
A while ago Argentina was known for its innovative solutions, but now there is a basic problem: employment has not been generated in the private sector for ten years. Argentina was going entering, even before covid, into a lost decade. That means ten years of no growth.
At the industrial level, a lot of ground was lost. If everything were magically solved tomorrow, Argentinians would need five years of sustained growth at a rate of 4% per year to reach the economic levels of March 2020, but not even that would bring the country back to the rosy years people saw in the 1980’s.
To reach 2011 numbers, for example, the country would have to grow at the 4% rate until 2033.