As the legacies of the dictatorship came into sharper focus throughout 1984–
1985, it was not just external financial difficulties that concerned economic offi-
cials. The regime had also radically transformed the workings of the Argentine
74 “Chernobyl Chickens”
economy. The moveawayfrommanufacturing toward finance produced several
simultaneous consequences: While small and medium-sized businesses, industrial
workers, and other popular sectors bore the hardships of the new economic model,
oligopolistic producers with ties to transnational
their days,” which would ensure that the workers would return on Monday.
Farmers also expressed clear preferences about the age of their workers.
Almost every farmer I spoke to related stories of high school and college
students who left at lunchtime and did not return or who lasted in the job
only a few days. Th is situation is undoubtedly tied to the economy’s moveawayfrommanufacturing jobs toward service sector work and the upgraded
expectations that come with an increasingly college-educated citizenry.
“Years back, everybody was workers