No one will say anything new if they talk about the dislocated price race, of how he shakes the skinny pockets of those who live on a fixed income or if he hammers with the worn measures that the government rehearses all the time. And more than a great contribution to the chair, it would be a mistake to say that there we have one of the classic adjustments of neoliberalism: it bears the stamp of a political front supposedly national and popular.
There is everything in this sea of figures in the heights, even some little spread. For example, the climb of the cost of building materials that, similar to a pacman, is eating the so-called investment in bricks, an old alternative to the parallel dollar that also serves as a refuge against the inflationary spiral.
According to the latest INDEC statistics, in 2020 the cost of materials increased by no less than 64.4%, which already leads us to think that saving on houses and apartments is beginning to be too expensive a vein. Or that it is running out: in 2019, the same thermometer marked 50.6%. And what to say later about the dream of a home, a room for boys or the historic housing deficit.
There are several ways to measure 64.4% of the materials. One is 36.1% of the consumer price index; another, the 42.1% that showed the food item and one more, if you prefer, goes through the steep 57% of meat and 58% of vegetables. 40% of the official exchange rate was far behind, that is, a devaluation flower that in another context would have served to improve the fragile external competitiveness of national production.
Again hovering at the bottom of the table, retirements lost ugly versus the cost of the basic food basket: 35.3% versus 45.5%. And again champion of champions, the parallel dollar jumped 111% since the beginning of last year94 points more than in 2019, the period prior to the inauguration of Alberto Fernández-Cristina Kirchner.
What is remarkable, although nothing strange here, is that inflation and especially that of 2020 had passed 30% despite a collapse of the economy calculated at 11% and despite, also, the freezing of gas rates and electricity: 0.6% in the year, reports the chapter of the index that represents them. Tightly, the cost of public passenger transportation hits a modest 20%.
It is clear then that, in addition to being dislocated and violent, we are facing a price structure laden with distortions where the inertial factor gravitates, of those lagged prices that seek to recover positions and of the advanced ones that seek not to lose them. All messy and always pointing up.
Obviously, prices do not move by themselves. But it is clear what happens when there is no articulated anti-inflation plan and when the management is limited to putting controls on controls, to intervene in the markets or simply to prohibit. That is, the unorthodox menu that Kirchnerism usually applies without having a model or, if you like, without a previously organized model.
Says a former Minister of Economy very distant from neoliberalism: “One can be heterodox, because you cannot leave everything to the market, but If you do not take care of the fiscal accounts, or combine them with monetary and exchange measures, you are lost. It is always necessary to appeal to the resources that orthodoxy has experienced and accept that the economy has its rules. “
There is also no way to manage and make play some serious economic role to the interest rate when inflation moves in the zone of 30% long, up to 50% per year. “Where do you put the rate there and where do you put it if you want it to serve, for example, to keep the dollar at bay?” The former minister asks himself and in fact answers.
A case of a similar kind arises from the survey that the World Bank did a couple of years ago, among some 140 countries. The conclusion: none with an inflation greater than 20% per year grew.
The average of the lowest you go up says that Argentina has not grown since 2011, that is, that it is going backwards and that it is also slowing down. Even worse: in the accumulated of the last three years it falls around 16%. And what does inflation count ?: it counts that in that period we have accumulated a round, impressive and destructive 200%.
There we have Coronavirus and much more than Coronavirus. And if we look back, we will see a relentless advance of decadence, albeit uneven indeed. Whoever rules governs.
This backdrop clearly shows where the economy is today, and outlines the claims of some official reports. As it is to maintain that the industry is recovering the levels prior to the pandemic, although the UIA itself affirms that we are still 2.3% below February.
An expanded focus adds that the sector has fallen 17% since 2018, that is, in just three years. And it employs fewer workers than in 2009, that is, eleven years ago.
For greater abundance, the INDEC counts that construction accumulates 28 months in a row down the ravine and that commerce, wholesale and retail, has fallen in 27 of the last 29 months.
A piece of data from the same table: against December 2019 they have been lost 238,000 jobs of those registered, in white. Additional and striking, because it is assumed that layoffs were prohibited.
It is clear, wherever you look, that if we are facing an economic rebound it is imperceptible. And that does not move the ammeter.
It is worth then to loosen the euphoria of those who speak of a news, on the eve of the October parliamentary elections and when the GDP for the second quarter will be known. As compared to the 19% drop in 2019, it would take a big leap.
Because of the context, it can also be a leap with a lot of statistics and little of those things that improve people’s lives. Like employment, prices and wages.