The cronies lose in Argentina, Peronistas defeated

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Electorally anyway. There remains support among a significant part of the Argentine population for a large welfare state. (Which can be a challenge in a country which occupies a space somewhere between developed and developing.) But this is progress. The soft-fascists (sometimes not so soft), the Peronistas, have been beaten, though they still control the Argentine congress.

There is support for the welfare state but there is also much support among many for a less robust welfare state and for free market reforms. There is a relatively large middle class which sees that in order to move forward economically prices must be freed, capital controls eliminated, and rule of law strengthened.

Tall orders in a country in which much of the population is deeply dependent on subsidies and other political gifts and has been for decades.

(From Reuters)

Macri defeated leftist ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli as voters punished outgoing President Cristina Fernandez for her handling of the economy and her abrasive style of leadership.

The 56 year old faces a number of economic challenges. Slow growth is driven by unsustainable spending, inflation is at well above 20 percent and capital controls have backfired to leave foreign reserves at nine-year lows.

The country is also mired in a messy debt default that is blocking access to global credit markets.

Macri, who served two terms as mayor of Buenos Aires, has promised to dismantle a web of currency controls and trade restrictions that have deterred investors and hobbled growth.

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*This is also a great moment to point out the strong connections historically between the Peronistas, who many would refer to as “leftist” and the fascists in Europe before, during, and even after World War 2.