So the police are striking because they are not very well paid. In Tucuman, the salary has been increased to 8,500 pesos, a bit more than 1000 euros.
In Salta, the provincial government offers only 6,500 pesos, and says that this “would inevitably increase taxes” and that they “won’t agree a raise that is not covered by the provincial budget. That would be an inadmissible act of irresponsibility.”
And yes, provincial governments are revenue-constrained so they don’t have a choice except stay within their budgets. But the national government is not revenue-constraint and could help the provincial governments out. Instead, I saw cabinet chief Capitanich on TV declare that fulfilling the police’s demands would upset salary policies for public servants. He argued that a doctor or public attorney gets a higher salary in recognition of his degree.
WTF?! So spending some time at university and bringing cases against criminals merits a high salary but actually arresting those criminals (or preventing their criminal actitivity), some of which may be armed so that one has been given a gun oneself does not? Shouldn’t hard, dangerous, undesirable jobs pay better?
So yeah, from what I read they haven’t repudiated neo-liberalism here and they obviously haven’t understood MMT.
— Edit: I’ve taken a bit of a short cut above. The reason that hard, dangerous, undesirable jobs are better paid (in theory) is that there are fewer people willing to do them which drives up their price. In a similar vein, if a certain qualification is in high demand and in short supply, for instance because the training to acquire it is long and tedious, it would be higher paid. So if people were flocking to be in the police forces and few people trained to be a doctor, Argentina’s salaries made sense. I am just not convinced that this is truly the case…