You see evidence of it all over the world. It has been like that for 5 years, in many senses:
Life is becoming harder and harder for the average person. Prices are skyrocketing; jobs are being lost in many places, never to be replaced; currencies are significantly being devalued or are appreciating in damaging ways for the local economy. The list goes on.
Officially, I believe the inflation rate in Argentina is 9%, but the reality is somewhat different. In the space of a few weeks here, I have seen the prices of transport and accommodation rise significantly; locals I have met tell me that the real inflation rate is likely 125% over the past four years. A hotel room for example that would have cost 70 Pesos, 2 years ago, will now set you back 200 pesos in some towns.
You feel that something is amiss. I felt that in Malawi last year and wasn't surprised when there were riots there a couple of weeks ago protesting increases in the cost of living. If I found costs for some items there expensive, can you imagine what it is like for the locals? I remember petrol prices in Zambia in 2010 were higher than in the UK, one of the most expensive places in Europe to fill up your car.
Locals everywhere, with the exceptions of a couple of Asian countries, complain of rising prices, unemployment and creeping poverty.
I fear Argentina will suffer another crash at some point in the coming months or years, but you feel that with many countries. Travelling teaches you many things but it is also a window on the world, telling you how things really are rather than listening to the lies and the propaganda we are fed by our media. The middle class is getting squeezed in dozens of countries and more and more people are being dragged into debt. I don't see any way out for the poor. I have seen it, so I know this is the reality. The ongoing 'currency wars' are bad news for most of us. I fear that the corrupt, self-interested morons who rule us are leading us to a very, very dark place...
Copa America 2011
A blog from the 2011 Copa America and road trip around Argentina.