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Proposals for a better democracy

2023-03-27T09:30:24.080Z


There are pending debts in the social, economic, environmental and institutional spheres. On December 10 of this year Argentina will reach, for the first time in its history, 40 years of uninterrupted democracy. This is going to be the 10th presidential election that we have had since 1983. Without a doubt, reaching this anniversary is an achievement in itself: 41 years ago we had no certainty that it would happen. But it is an achievement that coexists with outstanding debts in vario


On December 10 of this year Argentina will reach, for the first time in its history, 40 years of uninterrupted democracy.

This is going to be the 10th presidential election that we have had since 1983. Without a doubt, reaching this anniversary is an achievement in itself: 41 years ago we had no certainty that it would happen.

But it is an achievement that coexists with outstanding debts in various dimensions: socially, economically, environmentally, and also institutionally.

Argentina has the lowest levels of interpersonal trust and trust in institutions in the world, which puts the future of democracy at stake.

In this context, it is urgent that we think about that future.

But of course, in contexts of mistrust and uncertainty, projecting the future is not an easy exercise.

However, it is precisely in these contexts where it is not only possible to think about the future, but it is more necessary than ever.

If we do, the next 40 years may be better than the first.

What can be these actions that bring us closer to a better future?

Let me give you two examples: First, the pension.

It is our main public expense, which represents 12 points of GDP.

Most of this investment (7 of the 12 points) are schemes that are outside the general pay-as-you-go system: pensions that have some exceptional criteria.

They can be higher benefits (retirements of up to 1 million pesos) or earlier retirement ages (which can reach 45 years in some cases).

In parallel, 55% of people do not reach 30 years of contributions and can only retire thanks to pension moratoriums.

It is a problem that is especially serious for women, who suffer higher rates of informality in the labor market.

Such a system is not sustainable and will surely lead us to the most pessimistic scenarios that we identified for 2063.

It is time to reorder our pension system.

Instead of extraordinarily privileging only some professions, we could discuss with what criteria, as a society, we would like to assign them and if the pension system is the best mechanism to reward those professions.

Also, to rethink the entire system more strategically, creating a universal component for all the elderly and another component that rewards each year of contributions made.

Secondly, education, which is surely the most direct route to reach positive scenarios in 2063. But in Argentina only two out of ten young people finish secondary school at the expected age and with basic learning (reading, writing, adding , subtract, divide and multiply).

It is possible to reverse this situation.

And we can start by preventing the 180,000 students who drop out of high school each year from doing so.

For this, it is necessary to be able to identify students who are at risk of exclusion in time and act preventively.

With that spirit, more than a year ago we started working from CIPPEC with the provinces of Mendoza and Entre Ríos.

We promote the digitization of educational information and create Early Warning Systems.

In a short time, more than 500 schools in the two provinces will be able to identify which of their students are at risk (for example, due to low grades, teenage pregnancy or bullying) and will be able to take preventive action.

This is the first time that these Early Warning Systems have been implemented in South America.

We hope that, as happened in the United States or in several Central American countries, from its existence it will be possible to substantially reduce school exclusion (the so-called dropout).

Of course, this is not the solution to all educational problems.

But it is a concrete and feasible action by which we can start.

These are just two of ten recommendations that would allow us to resolve critical issues.

The other eight aim to direct us towards positive economic scenarios (Redefinition of tariffs and subsidies for a sustainable energy sector and the Youth Employment Law), the social (Childcare system, Extension of the school day in secondary school, and Integrated Housing Improvement Policy), the institutional (Digital Transformation of the State and Professionalization of public employment) and the environmental (Sustainable agro-industrial production).

The anniversary of the 40 years of democracy can be an inspiration to generate concrete agreements on where we can and want to be in the next 40 years.

These 10 recommendations that we are proposing are concrete actions, financed and with technical and political feasibility analysis, by which it is possible to start to move towards the most optimistic scenarios for 2063. We can have a better and fairer democracy for the next 40 years , we just need to have the courage to stop using the excuse that uncertainty does not allow us to act.

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Source: clarin

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