by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer
Argentina is on the brink of defaulting on its debts. What this means is that, if its now worthless paper money is not accepted as full repayment of what it owes, then its assets are subject to seizure by creditors. Since much of Argentina’s assets are located outside of Argentina, the socialist nation’s urban economy will collapse, leaving its farmers in the proverbial driver seat, in control of the nation.
Argentina’s farmers are now its only producers of real wealth, that is, food. The urban economy produces false wealth, that is, pieces of paper with numbers on them, promising to rob Peter to pay Paul and then promising to rob Paul, as well. These pieces of paper are not, however, nourishing to hungry city dwellers.
The government does, however, have another form of real wealth: guns, ammunition and an army that, although incapable of defending the nation against foes like Britain (a la the Falklands War), is well practiced in the art of ‘terrorizing’ its citizens.
A likely political move for Argentina: collectivizing its farms. We know how well that worked in Soviet-era Russia, with the starvation/extermination of 20 million Ukrainians in the 1920s. More recently, North Korea used the former USSR’s method of execution when it starved a million of its peasants on its farming collectives. (By the word, “we,” I mean, of course, people who actually bother to follow the news, a slim minority of us, indeed.)
It is questionable, however, whether the Argentine army can actually seize the farms and confiscate enough food from them to feed its people. Even if they can bully the farmers, soldiers likely cannot do the work required to raise crops. Farming is a lot more complicated than gardening. The farmers themselves may surrender, but how hard will they work to feed the army that is seizing their land?
The politicians in Buenos Aires might try to strike some kind of deal, but unless they meet the demands of the farmers—and they will certainly not cede power to them—the result is going to be famine and civil riots in the cities. Buenos Aires is more than big enough to host a world-class food riot.
The impending Argentine disaster is a warning to the United States and Western economies around the world. Central banks can print money, but they cannot grow food. In the US, the central bank is the Federal Reserve, and it has been printing paper money (or worse, just entering ‘ones and zeroes’ in computer databases) for years. Their intent is to hold down interest rates and impoverish citizens who depend on interest earnings on their savings to sustain them in their old age.
The US is blessed with an adequate food supply, but millions of acres of farmland have already disappeared due to industrial growth and government regulation. Very few family farms remain, with big industrial corporations owning most food production.
The US government may seize the assets of these companies by declaring a national emergency. It is questionable whether food production will then decrease as a result. An interruption in the food supply of only one week will empty the grocery shelves of major cities such as New York. Hungry New Yorkers will then arm themselves, and go on the hunt for the scarce reserves of food that might remain.
Socialism has always put intense focus on the redistribution of wealth. When the ‘wealth’ finally runs out, its only remaining asset is brute force. Eventually, that too will be depleted because soldiers have to eat.
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