Editor’s Note: This was originally published at Mitchell’s International Liberty.
What’s the greatest economic tragedy in modern history?
The obvious answer is communism, which produced tens of millions of needless deaths and untold misery for ordinary people. Just compare living standards in North Korea and South Korea, or Chile and Cuba.
But if there was a second-place prize for the world’s biggest economic failure, Argentina would be a strong contender.
Here’s one fact that tells you everything you need to know. In 1946, when Juan Perón came to power, Argentina was one of the 10-richest nations in the world. Economic policy certainly wasn’t perfect, but government wasn’t overly large are markets generally were allowed to function. Combined with an abundance of natural resources, that enabled considerable prosperity.
But Perón decided to conduct an experiment in statism.
Here’s how Wikipedia describes his economic policy.