Milei’s dollarisation plan isn’t as crazy as it sounds (Ben Ramanauskas, 11/28/23, Cap X)

As the great economist Simon Kuznets once said, ‘There are four types of countries in the world: developed, underdeveloped, Japan, and Argentina’. The economy of Argentina continues to confound economists. Despite once being one of the wealthiest nations on Earth, it is now an economic basket case which experiences endless cycles of borrowing, money printing, high inflation, and default due to the failed policies of its politicians – and it is the ordinary people who see their livelihoods destroyed. There is nothing normal about Argentina’s economy.

Moreover, an independent central bank only works if it is actually independent and run by competent officials. This is hardly the case with Banco Central de la República Argentina. It has enabled successive governments in their profligacy by excessive money printing which has led to inflation of over 142%.

Dollarisation is perhaps the only thing which can help to put an end to Argentina’s rampant inflation. Milton Friedman wasn’t quite right when he said that inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon. However, he was spot on with Argentina. The central bank has printed so much money that the peso has been completely debased. Replacing it with the much more valuable US dollar would help to put an end to this and get inflation back under control.

This is not just economic theory – the experience of other countries show that this can work. El Salvador, Ecuador, and Panama which have all dollarised and Peru which has semi-dollarised all have the lowest inflation in the region, and the fully dollarised nations have seen their GDP per capita surpass that of Argentina in recent years.