Libertarian presidential candidate Javier Milei, an anti-system economist who shook up the political chessboard in Argentina by winning the most votes in the primaries, is pushing controversial proposals in economics, healthcare, education, science and downsizing the state.
Below are some phrases from the last three months of the electoral campaign, which define his thinking in the run-up to the presidential elections on October 22.
Ready to go
Making the leap into politics just two years ago when elected deputy, he is already acting as if he were the president-elect: “I’m working as if I were taking over tomorrow, we have everything assembled should we be summoned,” he assured.
To combat triple-digit annual inflation, Milei proposes a halt to printing money and dollarisation.
“It’s super-easy to dollarise Argentina. This would end the fraud of the peso, which is melting like ice cubes in the Sahara,” he said.
To complete his plan, he proposes the elimination of the Central Bank.
“Last year the Central Bank robbed six points of gross domestic product via its inflation tax and this year it will rob six more points. So it’s a fraud and that happens because inflation is not a tax approved by Congress,” he maintained.
And he is sure that he will not scare investors: “Is there anybody more pro- market than me?” he asked.
Milei says that relations with the United States and Israel would be privileged in any government of his. In contrast, he would break off with China because in that country “people aren’t free, they can’t do what they like and when they do, they get killed. I don’t cut deals with Communists.”
“My allies are the United States and Israel and, what’s more, I’ll move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” he affirmed, explaining: “When the ONE [as he refers to God] ordered Moses to break the first tablets of the law, the first word he pronounced was Jerusalem and it was there King David established the capital so the embassy must be transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”
Organs and abortion
“The sale of [human] organs is merchandise,” opined this economist who admires Adam Smith.
“My first property is my body. Why am I not going to be able to dispose of my body? There are 7,500 persons suffering as they await transplants so something isn’t working right. We are seeking market mechanisms to solve this problem,” he proposed.
He also urges repeal of the abortion law approved in 2020.
“When you construct on the basis of an incorrect moral principle, the result is filth. How can being able to kill other human beings be a right gained? As a liberal, I believe in the unrestricted right to life based on the defence of life, liberty and property. I defend life, biology says that life begins with conception,” he maintained.
Social justice: an aberration
“We are at the end of the model of the caste based on that atrocity of where there is a need, there is a right but they’re forgetting that somebody has to pay for that right. Its maximum expression is that aberration called social justice which is unjust because it implies unequal treatment in the face of the law,” he said in opposition to social benefits received by over 19 million people in a country with 40 percent impoverished.
Milei does not feel part of the political system.
“For me the state is an enemy, as are the politicians who live off it,” he assured.
“Micky Mouse is the aspiration of every Argentine politician because he is a disgusting rodent whom everybody loves,” is his opinion.
If Milei is president, who would be his economy minister?
“Somebody as orthodox and as fond of the chainsaw as me,” he responded in reference to his plan to reduce the state to its minimal expression.
Pencil in hand, he crossed out several ministries in a gigantic diagram in a television interview. The Women, Gender & Diversity Ministry was one of them because “it’s not about rights, it’s about privileges. What you have to guarantee is equality before the law,” he affirmed.
He also proposes eliminating the CONICET (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científica y Técnicas) scientific research council.
“That should stay in the hands of the private sector so that they [scientists] earn their keep serving others with goods of better quality at better prices, as decent people do,” he affirmed.