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Ian Vasquez: What Has Javier Milei Accomplished in Argentina?

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JAQ Vasquez thumb 16×9 v8b | Photo: Luis Soto/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom | Illustration by John Osterhoudt

How’s it going in Javier Milei’s Argentina?

Milei, Argentina’s self-described libertarian president, notched his first legislative victory last week. Argentina’s Senate passed a major omnibus bill, also known as the “Bases Law“, that’s been debated since February.

It would further deregulate the labor market, privatize national industries, cut taxes for foreign companies investing in Argentina, and hand emergency powers to Milei.

Because Milei’s party controls seven out of 72 Senate seats, the bill only passed with a lot of compromise and a tie-breaking vote by the vice president, and it could get pared down even more by the lower chamber before reaching the president’s desk. Nevertheless, the proposed changes were dramatic enough to inspire large, raucous, and destructive protests outside of the National Congress building during the debate.

Reason‘s Zach Weissmueller was in Argentina last week during that debate shooting a forthcoming documentary. While there, he attended a conference jointly hosted by the Cato Institute and Libertad y Progreso, a libertarian think tank. Milei gave a keynote speech there, following a warm-up act by Elon Musk.

This week’s guest, Ian Vasquez, is vice president of international studies at Cato and an organizer of that conference. Vasquez joined the show to share a thorough update on the political and economic situation in Argentina since Milei’s inauguration.

Watch the full conversation on Reason‘s YouTube channel or the Just Asking Questions podcast feed on AppleSpotify, or your preferred podcatcher.

Sources referenced in the conversation:

  1. Javier Milei’s speech at the Cato event, “The Rebirth of Liberty in Argentina and Beyond”
  2. Cato’s X livestream of the event in Argentina
  3. Argentina’s inflation rates over time
  4. Reuters: “Argentina dollar bonds hit record highs as Milei rally powers on
  5. Reuters: “Argentina posts fourth month of fiscal surplus under Milei, but margin narrows
  6. Argentina and the International Monetary Fund
  7. Buenos Aires Times: “Milei polling well, six months after taking office, despite Congress struggles
  8. La Nación:Milei loses positive image and management approval, although he remains the most valued leader
  9. Buenos Aires Herald: “Javier Milei’s omnibus bill 2.0: these are the key points


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 01:27 Conference highlights and keynote speeches
  • 02:36 The broader significance of Milei’s presidency
  • 05:17 Milei’s popularity and economic lessons
  • 11:31 The Peronist legacy and Argentina’s economic crisis
  • 20:35 Milei’s economic reforms and achievements
  • 24:31 Challenges and future prospects for Argentina
  • 29:19 Dollarization and central bank policies
  • 38:25 Public opinion and Argentine society’s radical shift
  • 40:32 Emergency powers and accusations of authoritarianism
  • 43:53 Argentina’s illiberal democracy
  • 46:17 The power of unions
  • 51:00 Protests and government response
  • 54:16 The Nayib Bukele model debate
  • 01:01:43 Drug war and economic focus
  • 01:04:35 Cultural change and individual rights
  • 01:09:40 Libertarian perspective on Milei
  • 01:11:30 What should more people be asking?

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