Volume 43, Number 171,
October-December 2012
The Third Peronist Government’s Economic Plan.
Gelbard’s Term (1973-1974)
Cecilia Vitto

Following 18 years out of power, Peronism formally returned to the government on May 25, 1973. The third Peronist government activated a variety of diverse sectors with extremely different and even opposing orientations and expectations, which were basically unified around the unquestionable figure of Perón. The central nucleus of the alliance that the return of Peronism to power represented and of the economic policy that would be implemented was the union movement organized in the cgt and the business group that brought together small and medium-sized national enterprises (the cge). This alliance proposed defending the domestic market and “national” capitalism as one of its key tenets, with full employment and income distribution favorable to salaried workers.2

They also sought to provide the public sector with the tools to make this process feasible. On the other hand, they sought to stimulate development of the national private sector to counteract the economic power of foreign capital and the “national oligarchy” and reverse the process of denationalization and dependency, by promoting development of small and medium-sized enterprises (smes).

One of the main priorities of the third Peronist government’s initial program was to make capital accumulation compatible with more equal income distribution. The Plan foresaw that an annual cumulative growth rate for production of goods and services of 7.5% would be reached between 1973 and 1977, a rate that would be supported by a high rate of increased investment, an increase in productivity for installed capital and doubling the volume of merchandise exports. These goals implied reorganizing the economic and capital structure, which was fundamentally linked to promoting smes, stimulating industrial exports and redefining the role of the State.

Oriented towards this last goal, as can be seen in Table 1, they projected that the notable increase in the annual level of capital formation would be accompanied by a change in its composition (with a significantly larger increase in public investment). Achieving this objective meant that gdp growth had to be greater than the increase in consumption, which required modifying certain societal behaviors, specifically the propensity to save.

2 Leftist groups of Young people were also part of the alliance that came to power in 1973, as they had played a significant role in the final years of the “Argentinean Revolution” and during the electoral campaign. They were encouraged by Perón from his exile in Madrid and were waiting to re-establish their position within the movement, to the detriment of the “union bureaucracy” that they were strongly opposed to. Another central dispute took place within the national bourgeoisie among members linked to the production of non-exportable salary goods (mainly textiles and food) and those involved in dynamic production subordinated to multi-national companies (like automobiles), to which the Minister of Economy was linked..

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PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 194 July-September 2018 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
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