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Has anyone been there for a long period of time or lived there?

If so what is your opinion of the country, did you like it (secularly speaking)?
ooops i thought i posted this in offtopic forum
I am Argentine

It is one of the best countries in South America if you refer to standard of life, only Uruguay and Chile are better. (if you are not poor, Chile has a weak welfare state)

Saying that does not make me proud, Argentina was one of the wealthiest countries on earth from the 1880's to the 1940's, even 30 years ago if someone would have told us, Chile is going to be a wealthier country than Argentina by 2010, we would have considered him crazy.

The economic performance of Argentina from the end of ww2 to the oil crisis of the 70s was mediocre, and from the oil crisis of the 70s to 2001, a disaster.
But to be sincere, the economy has recovered a lot since the crisis we had 9 years ago. from 2003 on the economy has grown at Chinese 9% rates per year, in a way, this past decade was the first good decade of Argentina in a long long time. Mainly because of high commodities prices. The currenct crisis does not exist in Argentina.

The main problems of Argentina are inflation, (much of our growth is not based on investments but on consumption), and structural indigence of around 10%, we have real lumpen proletarians, a social class whose parents were unemployed, they never saw their parents work, have no work ethic, drink and slouch all day, they drop out of high school, and many end up involved in crime.
They survive because we have a rather big nanny State for a third world country, so they basically get free money, food etc, like the people who live in the USA from stamps.

Politics are dominated by the Peronist party, the policies applied by the peronist party during the 90s caused the 2001 crisis, but they had the luck of leaving government in 1999, so another party had to deal with the problem, the new president was not able and had to leave the presidential house in a helicopter. Basically, the political system imploded and only the Peronist party survived, they have become something like what the PRI used to
to be in Mexico.

Peronism has no ideology, the backbone of the peronist party are the Unions and the Lumpen Proletarians whom they control through clientelism ( they give things to the poor in exchange for votes), Argentina has a very large middle class, so peronists by themselves are not enough to rule, so the peronists have to make alliances, for example nowadays they are allied to the leftists-progressive pro homosexual pro abortion University class (journalists, sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers), in the 90s they were allied to free market libertarians. Such contradictions are possible because they have no ideology, it is an organization for power.

If I had to explain it to an American, I would say Peronism is something like a mix of Jimmy Hoffa, Chicago Machine, Croony Capitalism, and nationalist populist rethoric.

Most of Argentines are not peronist, but peronists are the biggest minority and they are organized. If another party manages to win defeating the peronists, the peronist Unions make life impossible for them, causing the government to collapse. At the end, people prefer peronists to chaos (even if it is chaos caused by the peronists because they don't tolerate being out of power)

In Argentina most of the population used to be of European Stock, untill 1870 Argentina was a country almost the size of  India with only a million and a half inhabitants, basically a desert.
From that date till the end of ww2, many millions of Europeans settled here, mainly italians and spaniards, but also germans, irish,french, poles, ukrainians, armenians, syrians and jews. They settled mainly around Buenos Aires and the fertile central areas of the country.
But since that moment, because of immigration from Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile and Peru, and because the births rate of the poorer provinces that received little euro immigrants are much higher, my impression is that we are only around 50% european. more than 10% of our population is Paraguayan-Bolivian without counting their sons who get Argentine nationality. There have also been large internal migrations to Buenos Aires.

Argentina is one of the greatest food exporters in the world, we are only 40 million, but produce enough food for well over 300 million. Argentina became wealthy in the 1880-1945 period because of the invention of the refrigerator ship that allowed us to export food to the British Empire (Argentine beef for example)
When the Brits were replaced by the Americans as the greatest power we were not able to adapt because America is a very large producer of food itself, its economy is not complementary to ours like the British one was.

On crime, Argentina is a rather safe country, the issue with Americans is that they are used to having in a big city, some extremely safe parts in which people live without locking their doors, and another extremely unsafe parts that have Colombian murder rates. In Argentina, the poorer and wealthier neighbourhoods have similar murder rates for example. Buenos Aires which is one of the least safe places in Argentina, has a lower murder rate than Miami, New York or LA (and obviously, much much lower than Detroit or Baltimore)
I suggest you read this blog, as many posts as you can, it's a great reflection of Argentinian society as of this moment. It's in my feed reader:
thanks guys, justlurking just sent you a pm
hey justlurking i like to read what you have to say aout argentina!