"And contrary to the popular press, China is probably not the fastest growing country in history. That prize probably belongs to Argentina in the four decades before 1914, but the subsequent decades nonetheless turned out pretty badly. There is a furious debate on where Argentina went wrong. Some argue that Argentina’s relative decline began with the Uriburu coup in 1930, after which it seemed that the main role of government was to disrupt economic liberalization and income redistribution and unassailably to protect the existing elite. Others blame Juan Peron, whose presidency in the 1940s and 1950s entrenched a near-autarchic state-corporatism, which some would call fascist. Finally others argue that Argentina’s decline only really occurred in the decade that began with Peron’s death in 1974, followed by the 1976 coup that established the right-wing administration of Jorge Rafael Videla. Nearly all the explanations stress the breakdown of civil society, the entrenchment of the elite and the resistance to income redistribution. This might be a lesson worth learning for China and other developing countries."
Here is what I said earlier this year:
"I often wonder when most people look at Argentina, do they draw the wrong conclusions? Its rising inequality in the face of discredited market reforms that causes knee jerk populism. Inclusive market reforms that limit inequality are what is needed to put Argentina, Venezuela, etc on a stable economic growth path. Knee jerk populism is worse than crony capitalism but the poor often don't see it that way."