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In our lesson Argentina is the future we explained why we seem to have a crystal ball and are capable of predicting the future.  Argentina never ceases to amaze up. There is no depth to which it will not sink. However, in this case, it’s all our fault. We simply lacked the imagination and were looking forward, when we should have looked backwards. The answer? Bribing Senators. The next logical step.

Today, we read the article “Prosecution asked for six years in prison for De La Rua”, which appeared in the Argentine newspaper Clarin.

It made reference to an event that presumably took place in 2000, when president De La Rua allegedly bribed four senators. The objective of the bribe was to secure votes in Congress to pass the controversial law of Labor Reform. The law was approved. Its goal was to diminish the power of the largest Unions and at the same time, to lower salaries. This law was demanded by the International Monetary Fund to grant bridge loans and so prevent Argentine’s bankruptcy.

The interesting part is not the overwhelming influence that the IMF, a group of un-elected bureaucrats, exerts over many countries. The interesting part is what the president presumably did to lock-in votes: straight bribery.

Political favors? That’s obsolete. That’s so passé.

Cold, hard cash is cool and in.

That’s right. Why negotiate through messy political favors and strange deals behind closed doors if a small enveloped slipped between coffee breaks can do the trick?

Why sweat the wait of not knowing if your law will be approved, when you can have all the confidence that it will…. for a price.

And why not? In the end, what’s the difference between a straight bribe and a political favor? Semantics. Just semantics.

Besides, government coffers are always full, since the presses are running full speed ahead minting brand new currency. Why not use this colored paper?

From now on, all Senators and members of Parliaments or Congresses should take notice. Don’t settle for less than cash!

And why not? In Argentine, in the Province of Buenos Aires, in the good old days of the 70’s there was a well-known Police Station commanded by an enlighted and pioneering officer with a most enterprising view of human affairs. They had a typed (single space) price-list of briberies which will enable you get you out of almost any problem. You could find anything in there, from trivial car accidents right down to murder (false witnesses extra, of course).

And why not? Cash is only the next logical steps. When things get desperate, only cash will do. As the history of Democracy’s demise continues, we expect more of these episodes. After all, if it worked for the Romans and the Argentines, there is no reason for it not work for other countries.

Argentine president leading by example. Bribe a senator, secure a vote. It’s all in a day’s work.

Now you know where your tax money is going to be. The question is, will you be agreeing with it or not? Your question, your answer, your choice.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.



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