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Economist’s Rocket to Rio | The Dirty Blogs React

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Source: Escrevinhador, who admits to having talked trash about the upcoming Economist cover before reading a single word of it.

Been there. Done that:

Rodrigo Vianna now turns his brain, waits forever for Windows to boot and load, and takes on the Dismal Scientist on its own ground. 

The latest edition of the British monthly The Economist, with its cover story harshly critical of Brazil, produced a grand euphoria aomong the neoliberal hordes.

In a previous  post, I offered a preliminary rebuttal, based solely on the cover art and cover lines, which were self-explanatory as to the contents of the article.

Now that I have overcome my own laziness and read all nine articles, along with the introduction, I can offer your a more consistent criticism.

First of all, let us put our guns away. I like The Economist. It is elegant and expertly edited.

Or rather, I used to like it. But it was not the cover art offensive to Brazil that changed my mind. I am not used to caring much about such things, and in fact I am less of an egomaniac as some have accused me. I also have thousands of complaints against the government and Workers Party, with which, it is always good to remind readers, I have no relationship or shared tendency.

What changed my mind about The Economist was the final article referenced on the cover, a shameless libel in favor of armed interventions by the U.S. It is well established that most readers of The Economist live in the U.S.

This is true. My local bodega actually carried it alongside the Post, Daily News and the rest of the motley crew. God I miss Brooklyn.

The article, favorable to the military-industrial complex, shows us, unfortunately, that the sponsors also have a big voice.

But returning to the article on Brazil, I swear to you I read all the coverage in a spirit of the utmost good will. Journalist Helen Joyce, like almost everyone at The Economist, is a great editor and strikes me as a disciplined professional. They gave her the mission to write a series of articles biased in favor of the Brazilian opposition, and she did so with dignity. I respect this.

At the same time, we have to understand the reasons behind the apparent editorial about-face. The Economist has an event scheduled for São Paulo in October, with the following sponsors:

ScreenHunter_2627-Sep.-28-00.071

The first two are investment funds who have lost billions with Dilma’s decision to reduce interest rates, and the third is a U.S. oil company that wound up abandoning the Libra auction with its tail between its legs, whispering in the ears of the opposition the fairy tale that the Brazilian government is “interventionist.”

Joaquim Barbosa, as incredible as it sounds,will give a talk on … political reform, a subject he has mastered to the same degree as the former Supreme Court president Ayres Brito has mastered quantum physics and the feeding patterns of birds. Which is to say, he understands nothing.

The business model of The Economist, then, is as clear as the blue eyes of Eduardo Campos. The magazine wants to seduce the moneyed right wing of São Paulo. And there is no better means to do this than to talk trash about Brazil.

About the article in itself, some observations:

The section opens in a ridiculously professorial tone. In the very first article, the reader runs across the following warning:

“Having come so close to taking off, Brazil has bogged down. Helen Joyce explains what needs to be done if the country is to regain its place”.

With all due respect to the capable Helen Joyce, if she really had the solutions to problems besetting a nation as complex as Brazil, she would not be a mere Economist reporter, but an international consultant making millions per year.

All the more so because the “solutions” outlined by Joyce are nothing more than neoliberal clichês, or worse, the bizarre anti-populist ideals  of the ecconomists associated with the Toucans. In the paragraph that concludes her report, Joyce confesses the partisan slant of the entire story:

“Brazil may overcome its high and poorly distributed public spending, by limiting any increase to at most half the growth of GDP, as economists linked to the PSDB continue to suggest.”

This proposal is socially criminal and politically colonial. Not to mention transparently stupid. If anyone suggested such a course of action to the U.K. they would be laughed at, with The Economist leading the jeers. But as the subject is Brazil and how it can benefit the speculative investors who read The Economist, it is presented not only as a valid solution but as a brilliant one.

The problems pointed to by the magazine are real. There are serious infrastructure. Public works take forever to finish, and always end up costing more than the price originally agreed upon. Public services leave much to be desired.

Even so, I find myself imagining how useful it would be to put this reporter in a time machine and travel back in time one decade. Soaring unemployment, foreign debt out of control, high inflation, interest rates orbiting Jupiter, no credit for the poor, a situation of social tragedies in vast areas of the country. And above all, a criminal lack of investments … in infrastructure.

The Economist story deprives the reader of a realistic summary,, with hard data, on the universe of public works currently underway in Brazil.

The reader would certainly feel less pessimistic if you informed him that among the 100 top infrastructure projects, a large proportion are taking place in Brazil.

We cannot forget the lovely English roadways or their magnificent rail system and modern ports and airports, built with blood, resources and labor from the colonial exploitation of the Third World, including Brazil.

Brazil is self-constructing itself with its own financial assets and its own hard work, without subjugating and humiliating other peoples, without waging war.

Yes, we are in the middle of a slower, more difficult process here. But when we close this growth cycle, we will have achieed a dignity that few other nations can claim.

Transaction continues TKTKTK

A parte em que fala de política me pareceu leviana e hipócrita, como se fosse um problema só do Brasil, ou como se ela tivesse se baseado em informações colhidas na imprensa partidária. Independente dos problemas do sistema político brasileiro, que são inúmeros, na comparação com outras democracias ocidentais, exibimos um dos melhores índices de alternância política e produção legislativa. Em lugar nenhum do mundo, a democracia é um mar de rosas, nem os políticos, seja na Inglaterra, EUA, em qualquer lugar, são exemplos de idoneidade. Mas nos últimos anos testemunhamos no Brasil a criação de instâncias de controle administrativo e combate à corrupção, além das ferramentas e leis de transparência, que hoje são referência no mundo.

Me parece que os “protestos” de junho, ao afetarem a popularidade do governo, acenderam as esperanças da revista de uma vitória da direita em 2014, e isso a fez se aproximar da oposição. A bem da verdade, a Economist vem se aproximando da oposição há tempos, sobretudo desde que o governo decidiu acelerar a queda dos juros básicos, medida que afetou severamente a rentabilidade dos fundos de investimento que patrocinam a publicação. As matérias pedindo a cabeça de Guido Mantega serviram apenas para desmascarar a ridícula arrogância da publicação, e sua defesa de rentistas globais que, há décadas, chupam o sangue dos brasileiros.

A matéria, vista como um todo, é um retalho de contradições, porque louva a ascensão da nova classe média e o baixo desemprego, mas critica a universalização do sistema previdenciário, sem fazer a conexão entre as duas coisas, além de omitir que se trata de um avanço que a Inglaterra e toda Europa conquistou há décadas.

É lamentável constatar que a elegante e sóbria Economist tenta agradar os vira-latas medievais de Higienópolis às custas de vender soluções profundamente nocivas aos interesses populares e à nossa soberania política.