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Decline and death of the State: its transformation for efficiency and the common good

Decline and death of the State: its transformation for efficiency and the common good

A Unjust and inefficient state is the most regressive and thus feeds a seasonal weather not only for its necessary transformation but for its jibarization and functionality to a more concentrating and exclusive system.

It is clear that Milei’s triumph, among many reasons, is due to this shortcoming: a State that does not fulfill its functions or fulfills them poorly.

Although this situation is the cause of the dismantling and dismantling that began in the Dictatorship and deepened in the 90s, curdled in the crushing delegitimizing discourse, which turned us into epigones of Bernardo Neustadt, it is also due to the inability of national and popular projects, conditioned by indebtedness, lack of resources or the pandemic to reconvert a viable State, one that is not co-opted by mafias and/or prevent them from allowing them to deploy virtuous policies of development and equity that re-legitimize their role and actions.

How different everything would have been if in recent years, and leaving aside the good policies that existed in certain cases, beyond the contextual and structural difficulties mentioned, the issue of improve citizen service, faced blank employment policies, reconverting social plans, providing quality public goods to the most needy, lowering inflation, rationally reducing subsidies, rebuilding mortgage credit, exiting legitimate transitory instruments such as exchange restrictions but that cannot be a permanent element of managementas well as social plans.

A Federal and inclusive State with institutional quality and transparency would have generated empathy in citizensespecially in young people who did not know another State, antibodies necessary for it not to have caught on, beyond the incentive of the followers of Neustadt, the delegitimizing discourse.

I am going to dedicate a few lines to analyze the two central aspects of this discussion.

1) At a conceptual level there is extensive literature that demonstrates how countries that are developed today managed to be so for a Present state which deploys a battery of instruments -direct investment, subsidies, support prices, directed credit, preferential rates, government purchases, market reserves, commercial protectionism, joint ventures with the private sector-, etc. I recommend reading the book “Kicking away the Ladder” by South Korean Ha Joon Chang, which conceptually means “Kicking away the ladder.”

The book demonstrates how the US and Europe historically empowered themselves with a present State and limited its intervention when they became developed. Intervention role that they take up when there are economic crises like that of 2008 and 2009 or the pandemic. Again without judging the efficiency or beneficiaries of such interventions. Regulate, spend, limit or encourage. Act and period.

The same thing happens in the countries of Asia that have grown the most in recent decades, leaving aside the Chinese case. For example, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam to name three of the many successful cases in the region. Between 1980 and 2000, even despite the financial crisis, Asia grew 6.3% on average annually compared to 0.6% in Latin America. I take this period because it reflects how Asia takes off after the 70s, leaving behind Latin America that was much more advanced than East Asia until the 60s. Siam Di Tella could not be what Hyundai was due to the lack of reasonable public policies of selective stimuli with productivity commitments in the private sector, in Argentina starting in the 1970s.

From a practical and moral perspective, Pope Francis in the encyclical Evangeli Gaudium points out “The State is responsible for the care and common good of society based on the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, and with a great effort of political dialogue and creation of consensus, plays a fundamental role, which cannot be delegated in the search for the integral development of all. He talks about the State as a means and an end that is human development.

From the philosophy of law, John Rawls, defending a present State, affirms that the only inequalities in public intervention that should be tolerated are those that benefit the most disadvantaged sectors.

The existence of market failures that prevent productive and fair accumulation and distribution of wealth, the existence of monopolies and oligopolies, the necessary investment in areas and people that are not properly served by the market, justify a virtuous intervention. As Willie Brandt said, “As much market as possible, as much State as necessary.”

2) There are countless examples where the State is and has been efficient. The railways of Western Europe, the British or Canadian health system for their coverage and quality unlike the health insurance of the USA, a more expensive and exclusive system. The state-owned Aerolíneas Argentinas has much greater geographic coverage, profitability and punctuality since its nationalization than the private emptying of Iberia and Marsans.

Many private sector companies were able to deploy due to their virtuous partnership with the State. The case of Techint. Of course there are also cases where state intervention was unsuccessful. It is clear that one way of leading and administering the State is exhausted, that there was use and abuse of instruments that did not allow a development project or perpetuated a crisis that led to high inflation, lack of quality employment, poor or insufficient benefits. But both in the State and in the Argentine and global private sector there are virtuous and vicious examples.

It is clear that except in cases of extractivism, exploitation of high incomes, vile concessions or in companies that become global after “they “The State lent them the ladder,” There cannot be companies that do well if the country or the State does poorly.

When you want to recreate a 1990s-style model, it is clear that the world, unlike the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall, is not moving towards peaceful global liberalization, but is deepening a regionalization of hegemonic blocks in conflict that make an extreme openness strategy, like the one proposed by the Government, suicidal. A hypothetical Trump victory will reinforce that world with a strategy that has nothing to do with the economic model libertarian mini anarchist.

A development project requires human resources promotion, quality public investment, development of productive chains in association with the State, regional integration with neighboring countries, to have scale and be able to compete in certain niches such as Asia in this world of block war.

The IMF and the World Bank have recognized the gross error they promoted in the 90s when they promoted cash fiscal adjustments to the detriment of investment in capital goods and human resources that conspired with long-term growth. Like the transfer of education to the provinces without institutional, human or financial resources, or when YPF was sold at the bottom of oil prices to account for its sale and “improve the primary surplus” at the end of the 90s.

Outside of questions of ethics and social sensitivity, close the accounts by throwing out qualified personnel that are difficult to traindestroying the science and technology system, reducing productive investment, health and education, is an economic myopia that It already cost Argentina dearly since the second half of the 70s and especially in the 90s.

But There is no room for nostalgia, you cannot go back to the State that was. The country and the world is different from what it was decades ago. Citizen demands, the organization of production and work given the profound technological change and social relations as well.

Of course, the popular and progressive sectors must analyze what worked poorly, what medium and long-term development project was missing, what instruments were poorly applied, what tax and public spending reform was not applied, what Nation-Province relationship was not updated , that healthy reform of the State in its three branches, including public companies, was not promoted, that reasonable changes in labor relations were not made. what rThe structuring of a fair and sustainable pension system (retirement and social assistance) was not addressed.

A new Social Contract. New ways. We need another more intelligent and efficient State. A State that thinks about human development, reconciling ethical issues and social promotion as well as economic efficiency. The alternative to barbarism is to think of another State in virtuous interaction with the private sector, along with other forms of social organization, cooperatives, sectors of the popular economy, participation of workers and users of services in the ownership of service companies. Develop networks of people, connecting knowledge and needs. Think about a “New Organized Community” in accordance with the new times.

Director of Synthesis

Former President of the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic

Source: Ambito

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