Javier Milei was elected president of Argentina this Sunday after the far-right, ultra-libertarian candidate beat left-wing opponent Sergio Massa in a runoff election. Milei’s views and his campaigning style can be described as fringe, as he announced his intention to abolish Argentina’s central bank and posed with chainsaws on stage while vowing to “cut down” public spending.
Milei’s messaging and the fact that it reverberated with the Argentine public can only been seen in context of the nation’s desolate economic situation and many citizens’ lack of hope for improvement through moderate political channels. An analysis of data by the Conference Board shows that Argentina, together with “failed states” Libya and Syria, is the country which posted the most years of negative GDP growth since 1951.
Other than these “failed states”, Argentina has not experienced a protracted civil war in recent years, even though the country suffered its fair share of insurgency in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in connection with the dictatorship led by Juan Domingo Perón. Still, the country has been battling economic woes in the current age with on-and-off-again recessions. While Argentina might be more developed than others on the list, it has been caught up in a cycle of overspending, inflation, debt-making, unsustainable cuts to government programs and bad fiscal policy.
Other countries which have struggled with recessions include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the least developed countries in Africa, followed by Chad, a landlocked African country where 85 percent of the population depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.
For former Soviet and Yugoslav Republics, data is only available starting in 1971. Nevertheless, Ukraine and Moldova appear in ranks 7 and 8 out of 133 countries and territories, showcasing the severe impact the fall of Communism has had. Between 1990 and 1999 Ukraine experienced ten consecutive recession years, while Moldova posted nine.
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