‘Brazil’s fall’

Com o título acima, Dilma Rousseff estampa a capa da primeira edição da Economist em 2016. A publicação traz dois textos sobre o Brasil — um editorial e uma reportagem.

O editorial faz um resumo dos problemas do país e sugere medidas para amenizá-los. A revista acredita que Nelson Barbosa pode ter mais sucesso que Joaquim Levy em sua empreitada (por motivos semelhantes aos mencionados por Bernardo Guimarães), mas não demonstra otimismo em relação à realização das reformas necessárias.

It is therefore hard, despite Mr Barbosa’s advantages, to feel optimistic about the prospects for deep reform. Voters hold politicians in contempt. The opposition is bent on impeaching Ms Rousseff, a misguided battle that could dominate the political agenda for months. The PT has no appetite for austerity. Achieving the three-fifths support in both houses of Congress needed for constitutional reforms will be a tall order.

A reportagem basicamente aprofunda os pontos do editorial. Entre outras coisas, cita crises passadas, o papel da Constituição de 1988 nos problemas estruturais, a possibilidade de dominância fiscal e as dificuldades políticas.

They [prominent economists] forecast a “muddling-through” in which Ms Rousseff holds on to her job, Congress passes a few modest spending cuts and tax rises, including a financial-transactions levy, the Central Bank continues to fight inflation, the cheap real boosts exports and investors don’t panic. After three years of this, the theory goes, an electorate fed up with stagnation and sleaze will give the PSDB a clear mandate for change. […]

But the fact that muddling through may be possible does not mean it is assured. It hinges on the hope that politicians come to their senses more quickly than they have done in the past (witness the lost decade begun in the 1980s). It also assumes that Brazil’s penchant for consensus will hold its people back from social unrest on the sort of scale that topples regimes in other countries. The anti-government protests of 2015 were large, drawing up to a million people in a single day. But they were middle-class affairs which took place on sporadic Sundays, causing Ms Rousseff more annoyance than grief. As wages sag and unemployment rises, though, tempers could flare. If they do there will be every chance of a facile populist response that does even deeper economic damage.

Assim como o ensaio de Kenneth Maxwell publicado em agosto na New York Review of Books, a matéria da Economist oferece uma boa síntese dos recentes acontecimentos e da atual situação do Brasil. São ótimos textos para, por exemplo, enviar a amigos ou conhecidos estrangeiros que queiram se informar um pouco sobre o país.

[Atualização] O Estadão traduziu a reportagem da Economist.