The failure of Brazil

Huff Post reports:

The rise of right-wing movements and parties across the globe took a giant and dangerous leap forward Sunday when far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election. …

His victory will put , the fourth-largest democracy in the world and the largest in Latin America, in the hands of a far-right figure who has expressed little appreciation for democratic governance and has consistently aimed violent rhetoric at black Brazilians, LGBTQ people, women and indigenous people. 

Bolsonaro was stabbed during a campaign event in September and spent much of the election’s final two months campaigning from a hospital bed.

He will now take the reins of a beleaguered and discontented country. Over the last four years, Brazil has experienced a deep economic recession that it has struggled to escape, a sharp uptick in violent crime that has resulted in 60,000 homicides annually, and a widespread political corruption probe that has implicated hundreds of politicians from across the political spectrum.

Since its last presidential election in 2014, one president, Dilma Rousseff, has been impeached; another former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has been imprisoned on corruption charges; and its current president, Michel Temer, has been linked to a political bribery scheme.

Bolsonaro sounds a pretty nasty piece of work. But his elections reminds us that the extremes do well, when the incumbent parties fail. The fact he says nasty things about minorities pails in comparison with a murder toll of 60,000 a year, the last presidents all corrupt, and a failed economy.

Brazil, like Venezuela, used to have a reasonable economy. But they have bloated state pensions where you retire at age 55 on your near full salary. Unemployment is now over 12%. The economy shrunk 8% in 2015 and 2016.

I doubt it will improve under Bolsonaro. But desperate people vote for desperate politicians.

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