Far-right Brazilian Bolsonaro, ‘free’ market darling

This 30 October 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Where’s Brazil headed under its new leader Jair Bolsonaro?

Pinochet should have killed more people’. That’s just one of the many outrageous statements made by Brazil’s new president. After a divisive campaign, filled with corruption allegations and even a stabbing, Jair Bolsonaro stood victorious.

He’s the first non-centrist or leftist leader since the end of Brazil’s military dictatorship more than three decades ago. So how will he shape the country?

Guests: Julio Morais – Founder of the NGO, the Public Administration Institute Myriam Marques – Co-founder of Defend Democracy in Brazil Elcior Santana – Senior associate at the Centre for Strategic Studies

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Far-right Brazilian President Bolsonaro, darling of the market

The new, far-right president of Brazil is notorious for his controversial statements about LGBTQ people, the military dictatorship and the death penalty. Yet many economists and investors are enthusiastic about Jair Bolsonaro, who promises to liberalize the Brazilian economy. …

The new Minister of Economic Affairs, Paulo Guedes, is known as a Chicago Boy; he studied economics under US Nobel laureate Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago.

Like his mentor, Guedes is a champion of [neo]liberalism and free-market capitalism. …

“The most important promise of the government is a pension reform, which makes investors very happy, but such a reform is politically very complicated,” explains the economist. …

There has been a long-standing proposal to reform the pension system, but so far it has not been possible to pilot this reform through Congress.

The question is whether Bolsonaro will succeed where his predecessor, Michel Temer, failed. In the nearly three decades that Bolsonaro was in the House of Representatives, he did not manage to get any bills worthy of approval approved.

Moreover, the government of former military officer Bolsonaro is heavily leaning on the army. Brazilian military personnel have very favourable pension conditions and it does not appear that the former generals in the cabinet are keen on giving up those privileges.

Maybe Bolsonaro will try to keep pensions for ex-generals high; while ‘reforming’ pensions for ex-privates and civilians downwards to starvation level.


13 thoughts on “Far-right Brazilian Bolsonaro, ‘free’ market darling

  1. Service Workers protest strike against the University of São Paulo

    Thirteen thousand service workers who have yet to receive pay for the month of December 2018 are on strike against several campuses of the University of São Paulo. Strikers expect other campuses to join the strike.

    Management has promised to make up for the lost wages in two payments, February and May, contingent on the availability of resources. Dissident workers claim that the University is being starved of funds as a step toward its privatization.

    Brazilian Ford workers strike over layoffs

    Auto workers at the Taubaté Ford plant walked out of the plant last Tuesday in response to the company’s layoff of twelve workers. The decision to strike was made in a mass assembly of workers at the plant, last Monday, January 21. The Ford Plant in Taubaté produces engines and transmissions and employs 1,300 workers in two shifts.

    Management claims these layoffs were necessary to adjust for a drop in overseas sales, indicating that more sackings would be forthcoming. The company rescinded the layoffs on Thursday, and the workers returned to work under orders from the Metal Workers Union of Taubaté (Sindmetau).

    However, the timing of the job cuts appears to be a clear provocation and pressure tactic by Ford to obtain concessions with Sindmetau, with which it is in contract negotiations. Negotiations are expected to conclude by mid-February.



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