Argentina faces hard times,
A new semester and another column on world
affairs is my New Year's gift to y'all. I don't know about your Christmas,
but my holiday this year
was pretty lucrative, despite the current
recession in this country.
After basking in my materialistic glory
for a few days, I decided it was time to turn the news back on and see
what else the world had been up to. I
was despondent to hear about Argentina
and the really depressing holiday season it had this year.
The country had already been battling against
a four-year-long recession when, this holiday season, things really took
The Washington Post reported on Dec. 24
that in early December unemployment in Argentina hit rock bottom, with
a national percentage rate of
18.3 percent. This was of absolutely no
assistance to the massive debt the nation has accumulated the past few
years. They owe a steep $132
billion, which is enormous considering
Argentina only has a gross population of roughly 36 million.
With all this going against them, Argentineans
certainly did not have a holly, jolly holiday. More and more shops were
forced to have "going out
of business sales" as opposed to "holiday
sales." The Post also reported that the most popular gifts this season
were staple items, such as
deodorant, soap, toothpaste, etc.
Now in the back of one's mind, one may
be thinking, "Well, that is not too bad." Well, it is. Unlike the stereotypical
Latin American country,
Argentina hasn't usually been poor. So
this new low standard of living is hard to swallow.
With the rest of America, and even the
world, concentrating on the wars in the Middle East, it is important to
look at the despondent situations in
other countries as well -- and to count