Political Aspects of Unemployment: Brazil’s Neoliberal U-Turn

Throughout the world, the reversion of fortune suffered by the Brazilian
economy since reaching its zenith as recently as 2010 has confounded shrewd commentators, seasoned analysts and market players alike. As 2015 unfolded, ominous projections (“An Economy on the Brink”, “Brazil’s Economy Falters” “Worse May Be To Come”) were no less widespread than expressions of bewilderment (“Whatever Happened to Brazil”, “Brazilian Waxing and Waning”, “Brazil’s Scandalous Boom to Bust Story”), and, more recently, of alarm (“Goldman Sachs Says Brazil Has Plunged Into ‘An Outright Depression’”) concerning the fate of the South American BRIC country.

Despite profuse official protestations to the contrary, however, Brazil’s afflictions turn out to be of its own making, as it so often proves to be the case. Looking at the set of clearly laid-out policy choices made by the Brazilian government – and the almost as clearly spelled-out political objectives underlying them – should provide enough explanatory evidence to sort out this cautionary tale for developing countries everywhere.

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