March 21, 2016

CHANGE: A Political System Fails in Brazil.

In October 2014, Dilma Rousseff was sworn in for a second term as president of Brazil. She had succeeded her mentor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was leader of the Worker’s Party and the most popular politician in Brazil — so popular that many in the opposition were afraid to challenge him.

Seventeen months later, Dilma struggles to keep her job, support for the government is at a historic low, and Brazil watches the largest street demonstrations in its history. What has changed?

One of the reasons for the revolt is economic. Right after Dilma’s reelection, it became clear that she had lied to the nation. After more than a decade of uncontrolled spending sustained only by the temporary boom of commodities, the government — surprise! — had run out of other people’s money. Brazil’s economy shrank 3.8 percent in 2015, and the markets predict a similar decrease this year. Unemployment and inflation are running out of control.

Centralized command of the economy will work next time, I’m sure.

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