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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Argentina - something to be proud of in spite of tough times
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Friday, September 09, 2005

Argentina - something to be proud of in spite of tough times

argentina is a plucky country... the crisis they faced with the currency meltdown in 2001 was devastating to millions, wiping out life savings, tossing people out of work, and throwing many into deep poverty... they're still not out of the woods and there's plenty of work left to do but it's good to get news like this...


Argentina’s ranking as 34th in the 177 countries surveyed [the latest human development report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)] leaves it much closer to Norway at the top than to Niger at the bottom. The report cites Argentina as having the best quality of life in Latin America (even if that region is singled out as having the worst income inequalities in the world, even ahead of Africa) — moreover Argentina achieves this regional supremacy even though the data input for the report largely stems from 2003, a year when the country had barely started to emerge from its 2001-02 meltdown.


[T]he richest fifth of the population has over half the national wealth while the poorest fifth has barely three percent. The report also points out that by 2003 the population below the poverty line had more than trebled since the start of the century.
The natural reaction to such figures might be a burst of egalitarian zeal but studying the report’s statistics for the rest of the world should warn against the illusion that levelling everything downwards might make a country poorer but at least everybody will be more equal — on the contrary, the income gaps in basket case Niger are almost eight times higher than in opulent Norway. There is thus no alternative to levelling upwards with sustained and shared growth — especially looking at the countries with which Argentina was often compared a century ago, Australia and Canada, whose world rankings this year are respectively third and fifth.

"levelling upwards..." now THERE'S something that the u.s. should be working towards but, sadly, is going in the opposite direction...

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