Juice Cows and Argentina’s Farmers Strike

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Mural by Anchu and Mondo Lila was painted not long after the famous farming crisis and the row between Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and El Campo. The monster appears to signify the government who is robbing money (milk) from the farmers (cows).

farmers strike argentina campo buenos aires buenosairesstreetart.comMilking the cows

For those who need reminding, the farmers strike began in March 2008 following the newly elected president’s decision to increase export taxes on soya. Rural leaders and in particular small farmers were angry at the price hike, the government’s refusal to negotiate and Cristina’s confrontational stance. The conflict led to four months of protests and road blocks that caused temporary food shortages and the soaring price of beef, milk and other agricultural produce. It seems nothing has changed, the Argentine farmers went on strike again as recently as a few weeks ago and are still at loggerheads with the government.

Talking about cash cows, we came across this great definition of how Argentine politics works:
“To understand what’s happened in Argentina, let’s recall the old cow-based definitions of political economies:
Socialism: You have two cows. The State takes one and gives it to someone else.
Communism: You have two cows. The State takes both and gives you the milk.
Fascism: You have two cows. The State takes both and sells you the milk.
In Argentina today, the situation looks like this: You have two cows. The Peronists take the milk, export it for record-high world prices, pay off their political cronies, subsidize their urban-poor political base and give the farmers whatever is left.” (James Roberts, Heritage Foundation, June 2008)

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