The Hemisphere: Going Up

One of the main props of Juan Perón's popularity has been his policy of holding retail food prices at artificially low levels. Last week the prop was unceremoniously yanked away. Argentines awoke to find the costs of basic foodstuffs up as much as 100% overnight.

In the past, prices had been held down by a combination of price fixing and subsidies. Bread was price fixed, so were cooking oils and fats, milk, soap and, in Buenos Aires, meat. But to entice these products into the open market, the government repeatedly had to increase its subsidies to the producers.

On the lowest grade of...

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