The Nobel-prize winning economist Simon Kuznets once analyzed the world’s economies this way — he said there are four kinds of countries: developed, underdeveloped, Japan… and Argentina.
If you want to understand what happens when inflation really goes off the rails, go to Argentina. Annual inflation there, over the past year, was 124 percent. Argentina’s currency, the peso, is collapsing, its poverty rate is above 40 percent, and the country may be on the verge of electing a far right Libertarian president who promises to replace the peso with the dollar. Even in a country that is already deeply familiar with economic chaos, this is dramatic.
In this episode, we travel to Argentina to try to understand: what is it like to live in an economy that’s on the edge? With the help of our tango dancer guide, we meet all kinds of people who are living through record inflation and political upheaval. Because even as Argentina’s economy tanks, its annual Mundial de Tango – the biggest tango competition in the world – that show is still on.
This episode was hosted by Amanda Aronczyk and Erika Beras. It was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler with help from James Sneed. It was engineered by Maggie Luthar, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and edited by Molly Messick. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money’s executive producer.
The economy explained. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, “Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.” Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening.