Javiar Milei, recently elected president of Argentina, did not hesitate to confront the “world elites” during the World Economic Forum in Davos. Milei's trip to the event was as symbolic as her statements: she chose a Lufthansa economy class ticket to fly from her country to Switzerland.
While waiting for her flight, Milei sat next to other passengers and took the economy class line, a testament to her solidarity with the Argentine people. Later statements at the World Economic Forum were also sharp, bluntly condemning those he said were promoting global poverty while selfishly glorifying themselves.
Milei pointed to Argentina's economic plight: 40% of the population lives in poverty and faces 200% inflation. As the IMF's largest debtor, Milei called Argentina a “kleptocracy” in which the powerful absorb wealth to support electoral factions of their choice.
You can think what you want about Milei, but taking a Lufthansa flight to Davos while so many “ESGfocused” officials and executives are arriving on private jets sends exactly the right message. pic.twitter.com/VtOWcIGF33
— Michael A. Arouet (@MichaelAArouet) January 16, 2024
In the speech, Milei firmly positioned free market capitalism as a crucial solution to ending global poverty. He argues that this is the only moral system that can achieve this, citing historical examples of GDP per capita growth and how capitalism has helped to dramatically reduce extreme poverty around the world.
Milei spoke directly about the impact of free market capitalism on wealth creation, demystifying the popular idea that the economy is a solid “pie” that needs to be redistributed. Instead, he insists that the economy is not a gift but must be created.
The Argentine president emphasized that today's world is richer, more peaceful and more prosperous because of economic freedom and individual property rights. At the same time, he reiterated that countries that respect these principles are significantly richer than those that are oppressed.
Milei criticized the progressive opinions prevailing in Davos and blamed the heads of state and government present at the forum for the persistent poverty in Argentina. He called for support for liberalism and ended his speech by shouting “Long live damn freedom.”
Milei's message in Davos was as clear as his political positions in Argentina, where he faces strong opposition from lawmakers and unions. Although its plan to implement liberal economic policies is ambitious, there are still doubts about its feasibility given the existing domestic challenges.
Argentine President Javier Milei flew from Zurich to Davos on a commercial Lufthansa flight. His fellow travelers seemed to be big fans. pic.twitter.com/I6D5CEW00n
—Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) January 17, 2024