It is forbidden to rule

Image: Igor Starkov
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By IGOR GRABOIS*

Considerations on the capture by neoliberalism of the public machine

It is impressive what neoliberalism has done to the Brazilian public machine. The president-elect has, in practice, to ask to govern. And I'm not talking about passing laws through Congress and such. I'm talking about the attributions of the Executive Branch.

A series of public bodies have “mandates”, which shield their leaders from popular vote. The independent Central Bank – it must be from the father and the mother, because it is dependent on the market – is the most glaring case. Bob Fields Neto, a partner of the sinister Paulo Guedes, still has two years to sabotage the government's economic policy.

Aneel, the agency very captured by the regulated, the companies in the electricity sector, warns the transitional government that energy will increase by 5,3%, in some distributors by more than 10%. By calculations that no one knows which ones. It would be enough to change the directors of Aneel and implement low tariffs. Only not. Aneel has a “mandate”. The sector is completely privatized and it is necessary to “respect the contracts”. Residential and business consumers be damned.

The situation is repeated in many other sectors such as airports, telephony, ports. Even Embratur has a “mandate”. Bozo nominated Accordionist Gilson for a four-year (!) term. The next government is prevented, in fact, from implementing a policy for tourism. The Accordionist Gilson, it is common knowledge, thinks that tourism is gambling and sex tourism.

At Petrobras, with a statute that favors minority shareholders, the company's president, former secretary of Paulo Guedes, announces that he will stay until April 2023, until the new Shareholders' Meeting. He will take the opportunity to sell some more parts of the company.

Vice-president Geraldo Alkmin is negotiating with Sebrae to postpone the election of its directors to February. Sebrae is part of the S system, but receives truckloads of public money in order not to support, with concrete measures, micro and small companies.

Most people don't know this. The increase in electricity goes to the lap of the new president. The increase in interest rates and contractionary monetary policy will make the Treasury and fiscal policy dry ice, with devastating effects on prices and jobs. The account will also be paid by Lula.

This market has branches, the Central Bank and so-called “contracts” that only benefit companies. And they still want to impose a name they like on the Ministry of Finance and dictate fiscal policy. Fiscal policy is the only one that the president, at the moment, can implement, since monetary and exchange rates are the responsibility of the “independent” Central Bank.

In order to implement the program chosen by the ballot box, it is mandatory that the institutional arrangements implemented since the FHC government be rediscussed, with the return to the ministries of the power usurped by the myriad of regulatory agencies that work in favor of the privately regulated.

*Igor Grabois é economist.

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