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Oscar Grau

Articles by Oscar Grau

When Balancing the Budget Hurts the Economy

19 days ago

Immediately after taking office, the president of Argentina, Javier Milei, signed a decree and reduced the number of ministries from twenty-two to nine. Although tens of thousands of public employees have been disposed of since then, the celebrated reduction is still symbolic, because it only ordered some ministries to absorb others and did not reduce public employment significantly. Milei has managed to achieve five budget surpluses so far. Public works have ceased to be financed to an important degree. Milei closed some government agencies, cut some subsidies, and almost completely stopped discretionary money transfers to provinces. However, Milei expanded the welfare state—including the multiplied pesos (in real terms) for various welfare programs.Likewise,

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A Hoppean Dissection of Javier Milei

June 13, 2024

In his book, Democracy: The God That Failed, Hans-Hermann Hoppe talks about the neoconservative movement in the U.S. emerging in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the left became increasingly involved with Black Power, affirmative action, pro-Arabism, and the counterculture of those times. In opposition to all this,many traditional left-wing (frequently former Trotskyite) intellectuals and cold war “liberals,” led by Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz, broke ranks with their old allies, frequently crossing over from the long-time haven of left-wing politics, the Democratic party, to the Republicans. Since then the neoconservatives… have gained unrivaled influence in American politics, promoting typically a “moderate” welfare state (“democratic capitalism”),

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A Rothbardian Dissection of Javier Milei – Part II

May 31, 2024

Read part I here.Milei and the Chances of PrivatizationThough privatizations have not yet arrived, the state-owned airline is on the agenda. The company was renationalized in 2008, forcing taxpayers to prop up an airline that has been directly bailed out by the government since 2021. For true privatization, all regulation prohibiting competition and all taxation in the industry should be abolished—falling short of this, it should come with deregulation and less taxation. Milei has proposed to give the company’s shares to its employees and thereby transfer ownership to them. They would either bear responsibility for the company or sell their shares. While this may be the most expedient method toward privatization in a country where unions have so much influence and

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A Rothbardian Dissection of Javier Milei – Part I

May 30, 2024

Do you hate the State? Javier Milei, the current president of Argentina, seems to. “The State is a killing machine.” “The State is a criminal organization.” “Taxation is theft.” “Philosophically, I am an anarcho-capitalist.” These are quotes from Milei, a man who offered Argentina a “true liberal option”—classical liberalism. He claims to be a “liberal-libertarian” and an admirer of Murray Rothbard (1, 2, 3). He has said he is a minarchist in the short run, but willing to embrace anarcho-capitalism in the long run.Rothbard asked why there should be any significant political disputes between anarcho-capitalists and minarchists in our statist world. “We could and would march hand-in-hand in this way if the minarchists were radicals, as they were from the birth of

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