One of Argentina’s unresolved matters in its Bicentennial is related to poverty, which increased notoriously during the ‘90s, when it rose. ..to over 40%. The country has natural resources and it is far from being overpopulated; in other words, it doesn’t share the causes that provoke poverty in most of the world. Then what explains the poverty of 1/3 of Argentineans?
When this real social wound reaches the media, there are several arguments: that the poor have a much heavier fiscal burden than the rich, down to blaming everything going wrong to public corruption, passing through the discussion about whether which is more important in order to revert poverty, a tax reform or adequate social policies capable for instance of combating patronage systems, drugs and insecurity. There is, however, a crucial issue that goes by unnoticed: the relation between the productive model and poverty.
In modern economies, the participation in wealth takes place through production activities, as employer, employee or independent worker: the first instance of the distribution of goods is access to a worthy job. But which are the jobs that are well remunerated? In economy, and to a large extent, prices determine profitable activities, at least in principle. However, not all the economies generate work in the same measure, which is determined by technique and technology. The possibilities of generating employment in a given “productive profile” come across obvious technical limitations, it isn’t just a question of popular imagination, voluntarism or ideology.
Also available in Spanish.