An Update on Milei, a Correction on Libertarianism

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

John Stossel gives an informative update on how things are going in Argentina, which elected as its president Javier Milei, a professed capitalist who campaigned on a promise to reduce the size of the government.

One of the things I wondered about when I'd heard he was elected was how much he'd actually be able to accomplish.

The short answer is more alone than an American president could:

The media say Milei will never pass his reforms, and leftists may yet stop him.

But already, "He was able to repeal rent controls, price controls," says economist Daniel Di Martino in my new video. He points out that Milei already "eliminated all restrictions on exports and imports, all with one sign of a pen."

"He can just do that without Congress?" I ask.

"The president of Argentina has a lot more power than the president of the United States."

Milei also loosened rules limiting where airlines can fly.

"Now [some] air fares are cheaper than bus fares!" says Di Martino. [bold added]
This is quite interesting and, given Milei's apparent popularity with Trumpists, I hope they notice the huge chasm between Trump and Milei on imports (for starters).

The article is a very interesting read, but has a major drawback: Although I think both the author and Milei are well-meaning, they are under the false impression that big-L Libertarianism is a friend to capitalism, and regard Murray Rothbard favorably.

This is interesting to consider in light of a recent hour-long interview (also embedded below) titled, "Libertarianism: Big Tent or Big Mess?," between Ben Bayer of the Ayn Rand Institute and Nikos Sotirakopoulos of the Ayn Rand Center UK. Within, Sotirakopoulos delves into "[t]he connection between libertarianism and the progressive left," which was largely initiated by Rothbard.

Stossel, Milei, and other better Libertarians correctly blame the left for Argentina's current mess: They and their fans would do well to consider how and why this alliance during the foundation of their political movement might undercut and ultimately defeat the battle to achieve capitalism. This engaging interview, which I listened to about two months ago, would be a great place to start.

-- CAV

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