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Consider this: Out of Argentina’s population of 44 million, there are only 6.7 million private-sector employees and 2.3 million self-employed workers who are paying for 15.3 million people subsidized by the state, including public employees, pensioners and people who receive government subsidies.
In other words, about 9 million workers who don’t work for the government maintain 15.3 million who are paid by the government. No country on Earth that can afford such government largess in the long run.
By comparison, neighboring Chile has a much healthier mix of public and private workers. About 6.6 million people work in the private sector, while there are only 1.1 million public workers and 1.5 million pensioners. No wonder Chile’s economy has grown much more than Argentina in recent decades and that Chile has been more successful in reducing poverty.
In the United States, there are 142.4 million people working in the private sector versus 22.4 million public workers and 43.7 million pensioners. Much like in Chile, the number of people working for private employers is much larger than those maintained by the state. Again, it’s no surprise that the U.S. economy has worked better than Argentina’s.
Alejandro Werner, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s Latin America department, told me the IMF has no official statistics on Argentina’s ratio of public and private workers, but basically confirmed the figures I showed him.
“According to various studies, Argentina has less than one private-sector worker for each public employee or pensioner paid for by the state,” Werner told me in an interview. “Chile and the United States have more than two private-sector workers for each worker paid for by the state.”
without the massive public debt, financed by foreign investment suckers, that simply would not be possible.