Milei’s Long-Term Victory Depends on Him Winning in the Battle of Ideas
On Sunday, Javier Milei was elected president of Argentina by a comfortable margin, with 56 percent of the vote. He will be sworn in as president on December 10.
Over the past year, however, Milei has made a name for himself as an extremely vocal critic of socialism, central banks, and many types of government intervention in general. He has become memorable for fiery commentary condemning the Left’s ideology and tactics while expressing an interest in immediate (i.e., not gradualist) change. He has said he seeks to abolish Argentina’s central bank and introduce the US dollar as the country’s dominant currency.
His fiscal policy is far more in the free-market direction than any other head of state in a country as large as Argentina (with 46 million residents). Milei has expressed admiration for the work of Murray Rothbard, F.A. Hayek, and a variety of economists who are more centrist than Rothbard and Hayek, but which we might reasonably describe as more-or-less free market. Moreover, Milei self-identifies as a supporter of the Austrian School of economics.
If Milei remains committed to reining in (or abolishing) the central bank, lowering taxes, and cutting government spending, Milei has the opportunity to push through real economic reforms that could provide relief to the beleaguered Argentinian middle class. These people have suffered greatly under decades of easy-money-induced price inflation, and an ever-growing burden of taxation and regulation.
Many libertarian supporters of Milei (both inside and outside the country) have responded to Milei’s candidacy with celebratory enthusiasm. Some have declared him the next Ron Paul, and many others seem to assume that his election will translate into actual implementation of his stated policies. That could happen, but unfortunately, the hard part has only begun.
It is entirely possible that Milei is sincere in his stated goals and in his apparent commitment to radical opposition against the disastrous status quo in Argentina. If so, that is excellent news. After Milei’s election comes the real test, however. Ass
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