MP, what do you like about Argentina ?
- undata mircea_popescu: what makes you like Argentina? Things like wealth taxes don't convey a sense of respect for private property, though I can see how that'd be irrelevant to BTC wealth.
mircea_popescu Da fuck do I care about their taxes. But I like everything. I suppose i should spell it out huh.
So... let's see.
I. Buenos Aires is a large city. I'm a city person, I like big cities. It's not just that it's big, tho. It's big the right way, it's pre-Giulianii New York-big city. I'm a New Yorker at heart, always have been. Of course I like it.
II. The beef is fabulous. People who have shared a steak with me here know exactly what I'm talking about. People who haven't... well, let's just hope they will eventually, for the sake of their eternal soul.
III. The government is powerless. This isn't some play pretend Internet toughmanship. The government is powerless. More than half of the people employed are employed under the table. Most transactions are cash based, which means nobody is paying VAT. You can regularly go into a shop and ask for a discount, if you pay cash, because the owner won't report the transaction.ii The official exchange rate is 8-something, the actual rate is 14-something. The street is fucking the Ministry of Finance right in the ass, which is exactly as it should be.
III.b. Because the government is powerless, the crime rate is abysmal. Buenos Aires is easily safer than any place in the US. Any. It's safer than a gated community, it's probably safer than hiking through the woods, 50 miles from the closest human settlement. That's how shit works : government breeds crime, and then under the guise of "being tough on crime" it breeds even more crime. There can not exist human happiness inside a place with a strong government. You may think this through, and agree with it, and nod your head. Once you walk the streets with me here, and observe the policemen going solo in the squad cars you'll understand what it actually means. Think about it, they don't perceive the need to team up the troopers. It's not violent enough to require it, out here. Hm ?
IV. The chicks look european (southern rather than northern) and are poor. It's basically the Ukraine, and we all love the Ukraine, for exactly that reason. So yeah, dinner and a show will run you fifty bucks provided you go to a top shelf theatre and drink champagne with your dinner. It will also be a rare experience for whatever chick you deign pick off the street, one she's not enjoyed in a decade and might never enjoy again.
V. It's about to go to shit. The Argentine economy is sorely mismanaged, and while the dollar will continue to collapse against the Bitcoin, the peso will take some major tumbles against the dollar.
VI. They actually know how to live. Strega, for instance, and I don't have to order it through who knows what elite deli. There's good coffee. While pot's not really my thing, people pass blunts around and you can scarcely go for ten blocks without smelling it. There's a party every night. Where ? Everywhere lol.
VII. The air. The air is actually sweet, it never got really cold, it doesn't seem to get really hot (people here think otherwise, fuck them, they have no fucking clue - they also think "the insecurity" is a problem).
There are, of course, a lot of things not to like. I won't bother with all of that. Suffice to say that of all the places I've been, over five continents, Buenos Aires is by a large margin the best choice. And so here I am, and here I'll stay. Probably, forever.———
- Yeah, "tough on crime" big government is bad news. Whodda thunk it. [↩]
- Yes, old idiots are using credit cards. We mock them for it, yet. We'll probably hang them for it, before it's all done. [↩]
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
"The chicks look european (southern rather than northern) and are poor. It’s basically the Ukraine, and we all love the Ukraine, for exactly that reason. So yeah, dinner and a show will run you fifty bucks provided you go to a top shelf theatre and drink champagne with your dinner. It will also be a rare experience for whatever chick you deign pick off the street, one she’s not enjoyed in a decade and might never enjoy again."
Damn, this is what I spend on dinner normally (when I go out)...I need to move.