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Privatization has been the source of growing global exhilaration. By the early 1990s, "at least eighty-three countries were conducting some sig- nificant form of privatization," prompting commentators to describe the world-wide movement as "profound" and "unprecedented" -an "economic revolution." Policymakers throughout the developing world have embraced privatization as the means to efficiency and productivity, lower prices, economic development and modernization, democracy, equality, justice, maximization of social welfare, and the elimination of social evils.
According to former Argentine economics minister, Rogelio Frigerio, the influx of private capital, particularly foreign capital, "will allow us to increase production, the sole goal of any economic system. Greater production means more work and better salaries, full employment, an improved standard of living, that is to say, a solution to the social problem, both for the urban population and for the rural population." Minister Frigerio's claims are notable because they describe not the privatization initiatives of the 1990s but rather those of the 1950s. This earlier "solution to the social problem" was followed by a return to statist economic policies in the 1960s, a renewed commitment to free en- terprise, a swing back to nationalization in the 1970s, and only then by the latest round of Argentinian privatizations.
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