Speaking about socio-political changes in Latin America, former governor luis fortuno He expressed that “Puerto Rico is not free from that wave” of populism, which he criticized with former Argentine President Mauricio Macri at a roundtable meeting in San Juan on Thursday.
“Populism first tries to convince you that it’s coming to attack you, but in reality it takes you away, it takes away your freedom, it kills your chances to move forward.” gives and it ends. You in misery” Fortuño argued against sweeping governments.
Although both former presidents used the term populism, and what Macri called “right-wing populism”, he focused his criticism on interventionist government positions or measures involving left-wing ideologies during the course of the activity, which was sponsored by the Center for Economic Renewal. went. , Growth and Excellence (Grow).
“We’ve seen this for the past few decades where we’ve been trying to promote a reliance on government, where the government is bigger, keeps more of our money because they’re going to handle it better than us,” Fortuno said, How he represents populism in Puerto Rico.
However, economist Alba Brugeras explained that economic fundamentalism is strengthened by crisis and can be seen in both leftist currents—those who seek elements such as greater control of the local economy and deglobalization, as well as conservative currents that seek complete control. We do. ,
With regard to criticism of large governments, the Economist argued that the analysis should not be about size, but if it is large enough to be efficient.
Regarding the government of Puerto Rico, he argued that “It has also been accompanied by austerity measures and shifting to other non-government sectors so that they can meet those needs, but the needs are not adequately covered”, He indicated that we should talk about poor distribution of government resources.
Meanwhile, Macri said the problem with these governments that “mortgage the future” is that they propose things that can’t be financed with income from taxes, allowing them to issue currency. which in turn increases inflation and, therefore, consumers see an increase in prices.
“Since populism is a global threat, we must give it a global response, and we must build a narrative where we are all responsible, not the realm of politics, but the sphere of politics, the whole of civil society, the business world, universities And the media. Explain to the public that the offer that I give you everything for free one day, ”the former Argentine president argued.
Both former presidents agreed that just as a family cannot spend more than it spends, governments cannot spend more than they do.
However, both Fortuño and Macri increased the public debt while serving as president. In 2018, Macri agreed to a $50 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. In the case of Puerto Rico, Fortuño’s tenure represents the largest jump in public debt in a four-year period.
As far as non-revalidation was concerned, the former Argentine president argued that the problem was that he did not manage to bring down inflation fast enough because he did not have control of the entire government machinery and was unable to meet those high expectations. They did not fulfill what they had promised to the people.
“I would have worked on the symbolic a lot. As an engineer, I believe that action and change speak for themselves, but today the narrative is also very important,” said Macri, who chaired Argentina from 2015 to 2019.