Latin Americans might have expected, after following the free-market economic policies of the ‘Washington consensus’ for a dozen years, that the region would have begun to savor the fruits of openness. But with some exceptions—notably Chile, Costa Rica, and much of Mexico—the fruit has turned out to be bitter, as economic openness appears to have accelerated social disintegration.
The press is full of diagnoses of the Argentine collapse. Most blame the Argentine political class. There is surely truth in this, and it is an opinion shared by millions of Argentines. But this drama has a larger, less easily personalized setting: tax evasion, the stubborn problem of Argentine exports, and global financial volatility.