Economic analysis, between passion and objectivity
In Economics, as in other social sciences, voices of dissent and different points of view are something ordinary. It is unlikely that a particular view is widely shared by all. At university, the professor of Econometrics used to say: "... there are adherents to different schools of economic thought; and those schools of thought could be seen as corporations. The bigger a school becomes, the wider their particular vision imposes; so they can change paradigms.” Similarly, I always remember the former professor of Economic History´s words, who used to recommend: "Guys, never get stuck with a single book or a single author; explore around , read books that make you think, even more if that reading contradicts your own feelings; read those books that mobilize and nail the sting of doubt." I will never forget those words, which have helped me to accept other points of view, and that helped me to question my own way of seeing things.
Today, I have had mixed feelings about my performance in the economic journalism. I was excited about the growing interest of the audience for our radio program “Business Climate”, but sad to receive many critics for being “gloomy and pessimistic”.
In fact, some people have criticized the way we describe the current economic situation and perspectives. I must confess I do not mean to bring grief to people who listen to us, nor I do not pursue to sow more uncertainty in the field of decision makers. Instead, the great desire that drives me as economic analyst is to contribute to the sustainable development of our beloved Argentina, Mendoza and Uco Valley. Certainly, it is impossible to be completely impartial and objective. There is always some bias in our analysis, starting with the selection of the topics that we put on the table for discussion and analysis. You can focus on those specific facts that show good performance or you can focus on more controversial and negative indicators. Last week we discussed the profitability problems that are afflicting the regional economies, and the particular and gloomy situation of the fruit industry. Today we have talked about the phenomenon of the informal dollar, and we have interviewed the former Economy Minister, Mr. Roberto Lavagna. Speaking of the "blue" or informal dollar, we had to refer to the challenges faced by the Argentine government, given the devaluation pressures. Inevitably, when we wanted to understand what was happening, we had to point out what, in our opinion, is the main cause of this problem: the lack of confidence and the systematic loss of value of the national currency, in addition to the cultural Argentine pattern that indicates that economic agents always seek shelter in the holding of dollar assets, whatever the underlying cause of uncertainty is.
The above argument is part of my assessment of the situation, but I do not pretend to become an opposition member to the government. Moreover, as an ordinary citizen, I wish the best success to successive governments. I have no affiliation to any political party, although I am convinced that participating and working in politics is something that ennobles citizenship. For all these reasons, my diagnosis is based on what I perceive of economic reality, given my training and given the tools I use to analyze... Furthermore, I would like to note that I am not the only heterodox economist that warns about necessary corrections in the current economic policy. In fact, a few days ago, the prestigious weekly magazine Le Monde Diplomatique –with progressive trend recognized- has spoken in favor of adjusting the “fine tuning” in economic policy; and the economists that belong to the “Phoenix Plan” -that are quite close to the official position- have agreed that many changes should be implemented.
Let me finish by saying that in the next program "Business Climate", we will try to incorporate a space dedicated exclusively to business owners and entrepreneurs in the Uco Valley, those who ( despite everything) are still betting to the development of our region. I believe these innovations will give a breath of fresh air that is demanded by some of our listeners.
Thank you all for listening to our program week after week. And thanks for dedicating some minutes in reading this little article.