Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Wages of Populism

When you reach a critical mass of a voting population that falls in love with populism, no nation can prosper.

Combined with the cult of personality, which by nature is based on emotion and feelings, with populism you get poor economic policy, and a civic culture driven by division and corrosive political philosophy.

Populism is a path that leads one of few ways:economic ruin, revolution, or the disappearance of that nation as it falls apart in to its factions, or is absorbed by a stronger nation who picks up the leftovers.

One of the first signs of a culture in collapse is when it mortgages its future, debases its currency to nothing, as eventually loses the ability to even defend itself - the third order effect of the populist's consuming previous generations capital for short term power.

Via UKDefenceJournal and IHS Janes, behold the wages of decades of populism; behold Argentina - and the results of decades of Peronism, dictatorship, and populism;
In August 2015, the Argentine air force retired its Mirage fighters, with only a handful of them even flyable.

Things don’t look any better for the other services, the depleted Argentine Navy rarely puts to sea, has almost no spare parts and for the most part, doesn’t actually have any ammunition. 2012 saw the training ship ARA Libertad seized in Ghana on the orders of a hedge fund seeking reparations from the Argentinian government. Shortly afterward, the corvette ARA Espora was stranded in South Africa for seventy-three days after the German company hired to repair a mechanical fault refused to carry out the work as a result of the Argentine government’s unpaid bills. 2013 saw the sinking of the decommissioned destroyer ARA Santísima Trinidad in port as a consequence of poor maintenance.
Even the submarine crews, despite benefitting from a recent upgrade, need at least 190 days of immersion practice and in 2014 only spent 19 hours submerged. A similar situation is faced by the four destroyers: Almirante Brown, Heroina, La Argentina and Sarandí, with engine problems and they need spares, plus they don’t have any weaponry.

The Argentine Army has deployed on operations without some of even the most basic equipment and rarely has the resources for training.
Good thing its neighbors desire nothing of or from that nation. Chile and Brazil could take it in a walk;
The Argentine Air Force is drastically cutting staff working hours and decommissioning its last fighter aircraft amid continuing budget issues.

A recently published daily agenda indicates that the service’s working hours have been significantly reduced, from 0800 to 1300; rationing of food, energy consumption, and office supplies has been directed headquarters staff and property residents; and only the minimum personnel required to staff headquarters, directorates, and commands are working.

These orders, issued on 11 August, take effect 18 August. A next step will cut Monday and Tuesday as working days. Moreover, air force officials said any aircraft taken out of service will not undergo maintenance for now.
Sad. Argentina should be a rich and prosperous country. Vast natural resources, a good population, and friendly geography. What is it lacking? Good governance.

If you want your nation defended - economic policy matters. Politics matters. The people elected in to power matter.

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