Group Blog Week 2, Blog 1
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 9 of 9 › view all entries
Argentina suffers from a rough and violent history. When a president first comes to power, the country rejoices over the promises of the president. After a few years, it becomes obvious if the promises of the president are not fulfilled or his policies are actually destructive. The government becomes so unpopular that the population supports the military to overthrow it. Initially the people are overjoyed that the president is finally gone, because the military rule does not seem as bad as the country under the president’s rule. This was the case for the first of the military dictatorships, until the overthrow of Isabel Peron in 1976. When that military overthrew Isabel, the country completely changed. Videla was the first junta leader, followed by three other leaders until 1983. This time between 1976 and 1983 is known as the Dirty War. These dictatorships imprisoned any political activist of any party, but especially anyone who had contacts within the Peronist party. The people were tortured and killed and became known as the “disappeared”. During this time, the Argentines saw the worst military rule in the history of the country. After the military lost to the British at the battle of the Falkland Islands, the military’s reputation was weakened. The loss of respect and authority after the defeat to the British over the Falkland Islands helped the people of Argentina to pressure the government into holding elections and bringing back a democratic state. The first president of this newly formed democracy was Alfonsin.
After speaking with some Argentine students, we believe that there will not be a military coup in the next five years. The main reason for this is because the people have seen the unthinkable. In the past, military rule was better than having to live under the president’s policies. The people would accept the transitions of power and military rule. However, after living through the dictatorship of 1976-1983, the people never want to experience a violent and oppressive government again. Anything the President does will never be as bad as that dictatorship. The generation that lived through that time period is still alive and strong. They know what it was like and would never let this country return to military rule for fear it will be the same as the Dirty War.
Mary Beth Strawn
Following the financial crisis of 2001, Argentina's GDP has grown at the outstanding rate of 10% in 2005. While the country's economy continues to do exceptionally well compared to their recent history, we do not feel that this 10% growth rate can continue for the next five years. We consulted with some Argentine friends from our residencia, and they felt that the GDP would drop below 10% very soon, but would continue to show positive growth simply at a a lower level. However, they noted that this would simply be a leveling out or stabilization effect. Directly after economic crises, many economies appear to do outstandingly well, but this effect usually drops to a more reasonable level within a few years. This drop in GDP can be attributed to multiple factors. In order to get out of a crisis, a boom must occur, and these booms need to great enough to cure the slump. Another factor that makes it difficult to maintain such a high GDP growth percentage is the compounding effect of growth. For example, if Argentina's GDP grows 10% this year, next year's basis for determining growth is ten percent higher than it was the previous year.
It is also interesting to note that East Asia's GDP growth has been between 7% and 8.5% over the last few years. East Asia is growing mainly due to technological innovations, while Argentina's recent growth is mostly attributed to increase in agricultural goods. Once Argentina's GDP growth evens out, it seems unlikely that its increasing agricultural profits would be able to top a technologically based economy's GDP growth, which is above evidenced to be multiple percentage points below 10%.