Dollars and Limonada: Milei’s Struggle for Argentina’s Economy


Throughout the campaign, the ultraliberal candidate failed to address a crucial issue—where would the necessary funds come from to dollarize South America’s second-largest economy? Argentina’s lack of US dollar reserves continues to be a serious concern for the country’s economic stability.

One cannot help but draw a parallel between Milei’s campaign and the effort to make lemonade without any limes. Without any cash reserves at hand, it seems like a daunting task for the candidate to achieve his proposed economic reforms.

A symbolic representation of the “mileista” campaign is the motosserra, or chainsaw. This tool aims to demonstrate Milei’s desire to drastically reduce government spending. It is a logical and necessary step for a country where the government consumes nearly 40% of the Gross Internal Budget (GIB). Milei argues that government expenses, including the cost of maintaining a motorcycle fleet, constitute one-third of the total expenses.

However, as the campaign progresses, it appears that the motosserra’s power is waning. During the second round of campaigning, Milei’s tone has softened, signaling a shift in his approach. While he has been critical of Argentine government subsidies in the past, he now promises a more gradual approach to change. He warns that there will be no drastic increases in the cost of essential services like electricity or fuel.

Interestingly, Sergio Massa, one of Milei’s competitors, has also moderated his stance regarding the size of the state. Perhaps, anticipating the government’s widespread scare tactics, Massa adjusted his own plans to shrink the size of the state. He assures the public that he will not resort to firing public employees or privatizing essential sectors like education or healthcare.

This shift in tone is a calculated political move by Massa. He understands that in order to gain the support of the radical voters who placed him in second position during the first round, he must distance himself from the status quo. Recognizing that these voters would not be inclined to support his opponent, Milei, Massa aims to position himself as a more moderate and viable alternative.

With the second round of elections approaching, the question still remains—can Milei effectively implement his proposed reforms if she wins? While his ideas might resonate with some sectors of society, the practicality and sustainability of such measures should not be overlooked. Beyond the rhetoric, governing a country as complex and diverse as Argentina requires a nuanced and well-thought-out plan.

It is crucial for any leader to not only have bold visions but also the means to turn those visions into tangible actions. Milei’s campaign has generated significant interest and debate, which is indicative of the discontent and desire for change among the Argentine population. However, it is vital for voters to critically evaluate the feasibility of the candidate’s proposals and assess the potential consequences they may have on the nation’s economy and society as a whole.

As the election day draws closer, the Argentine electorate must carefully consider the implications of their decision and choose a candidate who not only promises change but also possesses the necessary capabilities to lead the country forward.