KUHNER: The Peron pattern
February 15, 2009
America is heading down the road to socialism – and ruin. Numerous proposals have been enacted to reverse the economic downturn.
As National Review’s Jonah Goldberg has rightly noted, modern American liberalism is a form of fascism – otherwise known as national socialism. Its goal is to establish a centralized corporatist state, in which a ruling class manages to transfer power from the private to the public sector.
The disastrous path on which America is currently embarked was tried in another country – in the Western Hemisphere: Juan Peron’s Argentina. During the 1940s until a 1955 coup ousted him from power, Peron presided over a fascist state.
What is not commonly known about Argentina is that prior to World War II, it was an economic powerhouse.
Within 15 years, however, Argentina went from being one of the richest to one of the poorest countries.
This was due largely to Peronist policies. Upon coming to office, Peron, along with his popular wife, Eva, established a corporatist state characterized by lavish social spending, elaborate welfare programs, protectionism, confiscatory taxation and runaway deficits.
Peron used strident class warfare rhetoric, attacking big business, the banks, corporations and the propertied class. He greatly strengthened labor unions, making them pivotal allies of his regime.
The failure of Peronism should serve as a warning: Socialism and a sky-rocketing national debt can permanently impoverish even the wealthiest nations. America is not immune from the laws of economics. Prosperous republics – ancient Rome, the Italian city-states, Argentina – have seen their wealth squandered, never to recover.