While the coronavirus is being fought with each vaccine and in each intensive care room in the world, leaders and intellectuals are already discussing what could be the best responses to the social and economic challenges that the pandemic brought, or that it undressed in all its seriousness. In Argentina that debate had a chapter this week, with a meeting organized by the UBA and the UCA.
In the School of Politics and Government, of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Argentine Catholic University (UCA), a new virtual meeting of the Cycle “So that the day after we can be better”, of the Cycle 2021 “Building Bridges”, was held. in which it was discussed Pope Francis’ proposal for the transformation of the world economy towards an inclusive capitalism.
Moderated by Lourdes Puente, Director of the School of Politics and Government of the UCA, and Pascual Albanese, vice president of the Institute of Strategic Planning, explained Juan Ignacio Maquieyra, Executive Director of the Fratelli Tutti Political School; Enrique Del Percio, Rector of the University of San Isidro; Alicia knight, Dean of the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the UCA; Javier González Fraga, former President of the BCRA; Cristina Calvo, Director of the International Program on Democracy, Society and New Economies of the UBA; Marcelo resico, Director of the Development and Institutions Program of the UCA; Delfina Lopez Freijido, specialist in Sustainable Finance; and Juan Manuel Urtubey, former Governor of Salta.
After the words of the organizers Jorge Arias and Alexander Drucaroff (Argentina Conversa), the moderator Pascual Albanese marked the limits of the field: “in the world a consensus is growing that a profound rethinking of cultural, social, economic and political practices is urgent. Thus, there is an urgent need for a just and viable economic system. What can be done? to do about it from Argentina? “
“Globalized society makes us closer, but not necessarily more siblings. It seems that capitalism is not responding to the needs and desires of the human being,” he began. Juan Ignacio Maquieyra. “The development model that is presented to us today is not only deeply unfair and unequal for those who live in a popular neighborhood, but on many occasions it also does not generate fulfillment for the middle and upper spheres of society. Although today it is failing in many aspects, politics should not stop having that ultimate meaning, “he warned.
Enrique Del Percio picked up the glove: “Brotherhood does not imply a perfect world; anyone who has brothers knows it. But unity is, and must be, always superior to conflict. Inclusive capitalism proposes a brotherhood that starts, not from a mandate, but from a fact that calls us to assume that we are brothers and that calls us to fulfill ourselves in a community. “
The Dean of Economic Sciences of the UCA, Alicia knight began to sharpen the lens: “in addition to the role that companies have, it is the institutions that define the way of distributing wealth. Need a system that generates that wealth, but we also need rules of the game and a State that allows leveling the playing field and making more people live better. Today the notion of growth is left behind for economic theory, and we speak of development, which is growth and human promotion simultaneously. “
More earthly still, Caballero opined that ” there is no factor that drains more resources and prevents those resources from being used for the common good than corruption. It is corruption that prevents many laws that exist, for example on the environment, are not enforced. Punishing corruption is fundamental to speak of an inclusive capitalism. “
Javier González Fraga -economist, businessman and former president of the Central Bank- began with a tombstone for classical liberalism: “the spill theory can no longer defend itself. For this reason, we need a State that causes the macroeconomic equilibrium necessary for the investment conditions to be generated, and thus be able to create more jobs, with a more inclusive capitalism. Today, inflation is the great generator of poverty. In addition to avoiding corruption, we must fight the mafias. Education, housing, and support for small businesses and micro-enterprises must be central policies. We have to generate a great national agreement focused on the need to generate employment. An agreement that is multi-party, multi-year, overcomes the crack, and that defends the Republic and freedoms. “
In order to Cristina Calvo, “There are limitations of the dominant economic thought, and today it is not certain that the increase in GDP equates to an increase in well-being, because there can be a recovery in growth but without accounting for environmental costs. We are concerned with the just transition and transformation because change costs are always paid by the most vulnerable. We have to put the focus on regeneration, and alignment of incentives, to try to get out of the frustration of continuing to cling to incomplete models. “
Marcelo resico considers that “Argentina has not yet found inclusive capitalism, that is, a system that recognizes and encourages individual and group initiative for productive undertakings. This system must guarantee competition, but to suppose that competition occurs naturally is a mistake: they are necessary adequate laws and a State that guarantees that privileges are not generated. “
Sustainable finance specialist Delfina Lopez Freijido agrees: “to achieve the scale and speed of the changes that are needed, direction and coherence from public policy are needed. I believe, for example, in a Ministry of Sustainable Development as an instrument of change from the state.”
Juan Manuel Urtubey, former governor of Salta and candidate for the vice-presidency of the Nation, keeps his eyes on the economy: “we have to balance the macroeconomy and we have to have long-term sustainable development policies. We need to get to work on the fiscal and current account balance, generate conditions to be competitive, and policies so that the goods generated are distributed. But the big problem with the functioning of our economy is that we can’t distribute what we don’t have. “
“What’s more, it is necessary to guarantee a higher institutional threshold than the one we have today“Urtubey stressed.
The conference -which can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbBsPLtgwy4- was organized together with the Bioeconomy Program of the Faculty of Agronomy of the UBA, The Millenium Project, the Latin American Center for Globalization and Prospectiva, Argentina Conversa, the Institute for Strategic Planning, and the New Political Action Network (Red NAP).