The coming storm

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By JOSÉ DIRCEU*

The coming storm, in a combination of social, economic and institutional crisis, will put everyone to the test. no one will escape

The trend is a worsening of the political-institutional scenario and of the economic and social conditions for the country that will affect everyone, without distinction, the government and its supporters – the extreme right, the liberal right, the business and financial elites and the monopoly media . Not even the left, the only one that confronts the Bolsonaro government head-on, will escape. Only a program of profound reforms in the tax and financial system associated with a social revolution can save the country.

Certainly, we are moving towards a general political-institutional, social and economic worsening. No growth for the next few years. Recession this year, with the end of emergency aid and rising unemployment, which is unequal and affects young people, women and black people the most. The pandemic continues to be treated, in practice, as non-existent by the government, although, as what happens in Europe and the United States indicates, it could get worse, taking the economy by storm. Its consequences, which we cannot foresee today, will certainly lead to a greater social crisis with immediate repercussions in the political-institutional environment.

Absolute contempt for the environment, education and culture, religious fundamentalism and obscurantism go hand in hand – and the most serious thing – as a State policy. There is a prey on the assets accumulated by generations of hard work, human losses, suffering, poverty and misery, now sold in the basin of souls via deals that make the privatization of the FHC era a small business. There is no shame and much less fear. The government and the economic and financial elites expropriate labor income without sophistication, simply withdrawing rights and cutting public social spending as if the social situation of the majority of the Brazilian people were not already very serious. top of form

They insist and persist in a policy, called austerity, for workers and the middle classes, which has not worked anywhere in the world and which today is contested even by the IMF. While Europe and the United States resume the policy of indebtedness and issuing currency via public debt, and their central banks and governments maintain income and employment, invest and finance companies, here we only talk about spending ceilings, public debt at higher interest rates. We reached the point of absurdity of cutting wages and raising taxes, not on income, wealth and equity, on profits and dividends, profit on equity, large fortunes, inheritances and donations, but on goods and services, further aggravating our structure unfair, indirect and regressive taxation.

social revolution

The current moment demands the exact opposite of what the Bolsonaro government does. It requires a social revolution, with broad tax and banking reform. There is no more time to waste. Brazil demands a minimum emergency plan now. Immediate monthly basic income of BRL 600 for those enrolled in the Single Registry and immediate increase in the Bolsa Família amount by at least 50%.

The country cannot hesitate to support public investment in infrastructure, housing, sanitation, health and education and innovation. The 2020 and 2021 budgets should be revised to have more extraordinary credits for health, education and science and technology. With the BNDES and public investments, we can support an immediate aid program for micro, small and medium-sized companies and make investments that in the medium term guarantee economic growth and avoid the imminent disaster in the path followed by the government.

The deception that the pandemic has gone through, with its devastating effects on life and the economy, is a dangerous adventure, ignoring the new wave of contamination, still vigorous, by the coronavirus in several countries. Just as dangerous as the insistence on the belief that austerity, privatizations and administrative reform bring back economic growth even without income distribution.

The facts belie the messianic fervor in neoliberalism, which is losing strength in the world. There is a new global consensus on the role of the State and public investment, and now Europe and the United States are following this path. Without putting an end to the current tax structure and the banking cartel, Brazil will remain on the margins of growth with social welfare. Worse, it will only reinforce the concentration of wealth via the expropriation of income and wages through absurd real interest rates and regressive taxes.

Do not come up with the excuse of the deficit and the public debt or with the propaganda that we are issuing inflationary money to justify the unjustifiable – more concentration of wealth. In addition to the role of the BNDES and the public debt, we have the BC's financial surplus via foreign exchange operations that can support the emergency minimum income program and Bolsa Família. Apart from the fact that our indebtedness is lower than that of most developed countries, including the United States.

The central issue is that, while in the world you pay minimal or even negative interest, here we pay absurd real interest and spend 5%, 6% of GDP on debt service. Much less is it necessary to sell the international reserves that we accumulated during the Lula era to balance the public accounts. Rather, they must ensure that our country withstands any worsening of international trade and lending and investment.

We are already prisoners, here and in the world, of the banking and financial system. For this very reason, under no circumstances should we accept the so-called independence of the Central Bank with fixed mandates, which represents, in practice, making its directors irremovable, removing any decision on monetary policy from the Executive and, consequently, in the current fiscal and economic scenario. The bank's almost total power over the last directorates of the BC is enough.

conniving elites

Finally, a word about the political degradation of the Bolsonaro government, under the conniving and conciliatory gaze of the majority of the country's economic and political elite, including the monopoly media, in the illusion that the captain will remain popular and is already adapting to good manners. of the political game of the Centrão and the right-wing liberal opposition, of the “Rule of Law” governed by the STF. Not even the evident and public evidence given by the president of an incapacity for the position, the dangerous and harmful presence of his family and the risks of the return of militarism make our political, judicial and business elite wake up to the risks that democracy and the nation run.

The coming storm, in a combination of social, economic and institutional crisis, will put everyone to the test. No one will escape, even the left, the only one that remains in frontal opposition to this mismanagement to which we are being subjected.

* Jose Dirceu he was Minister of the Civil House in the first Lula government. Author, among other books, of Memoirs (general editor).

Originally published on the website Power 360.

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