Why Dilma or Aécio, Brazilian voters explain

In a few hours, tens of millions of Brazilians will decide the most exciting presidential elections in this country since the redemocratization. President Dilma Rousseff (PT) and senator Aécio Neves (PSDB) are neck to neck in the polls.

I picked two very international Brazilian voters to defend their candidates. Moira Verso is a translator based in Switzerland. Bruno Gorga is an economist who just moved to São Paulo after some time in Singapore.  Since Dilma is a little ahead in the polls, I am publishing Moira’s piece first. They represent well what Dilma and Aécio voters think their candidates can do best.

Why I am voting for Dilma, by Moira Verso

The fact that I don’t live in Brazil anymore made me want to vote for Dilma even more. If I still lived there I might vote for no one, since two things would weigh on my decision and, eventually, they would neutralize each other.

1 – My rejection t0 the political project represented by PSDB, which doesn’t necessarily stand for the minimum state, but does embrace a state of minimum rights. To talk about free initiative and free market in a country deeply market by social differences and wealth concentration is a dramatic political and moral mistake.

2 – The manipulation of facts, analysis and and projections by Brazil’s mainstream media, which makes many people believe Brazil is in decay. In fact, Brazil has just begun a path of small revolutions and change of perspective — and it took 500 years for that to happen.

But when I moved to Europe I noticed that Brazil is actually paid attention to, sometimes envied and even desired. Those living in Europe at this moment can see how life is under the current global financial crisis. It is not a matter of reducing expectation for our standards of living here, it is simple lack of jobs. There are too many people and little employment available. Most Brazilians have no idea what it means to be the seventh largest economy in the world in the middle of this turmoil. And that is because the current administration has prioritized job creation.

Unlike many have said, keeping jobs in Brazil wasn’t a choice made to harm national industries — after all, industries worldwide have been affected by China’s voracious rise. Policies to keep jobs have been so important that many Brazilians can barely think of themselves as unemployed. That is a great achievement. For that alone, seeing it all from abroad, I can’t choose to vote for no one.

Maybe I would make the same choice in Brazil if I could skip all the bias in the media and just compare the social agenda of the eight years PSDB remained in the Presidency and the 12 that PT has spent there. Ending extreme poverty, as the UN has just recognized, doesn’t happen by chance or in an act of self-determination. There needs to be a movement. A movement that Dilma represents.

Why am I voting for Aecio, by Bruno Gorga

I believe Brazil’s biggest challenge for the next decades is to promote better equality of opportunity. That attempt should develop in two different areas:

The first is by redistributing income. These money transfers are being executed by PT’s government and, as far as I know, they are pretty successful at it (Bolsa Familia and other redistributive programs). Second is by giving freedom for individuals to pursue their own initiatives, facilitating the entry of new companies, breaking oligopolies, increasing the safety net for failed entrepreneurs and, most of all, providing a predictable environment for businesses to thrive.

The first objective, even though being well executed, depends on the availability of resources by the treasury and, furthermore, depends on the maintenance of the purchase power. Meaning that if the government runs out of money it cannot keep performing transfers. Secondly, if prices rise too fast than the same amount cannot buy the same things, not serving anymore as a tool of redistribution. Dilma’s administration has not been able to handle the basic rules of macroeconomic policy making. They tried to reinvent the wheel and failed. Following the basic text book would be better, just to keep national accounts in place.

Furthermore, many of Dilma’s supporters and party members do not believe in the relation between fiscal expenditure and inflation, or between interest rates and inflation. This is alarming and indicates that the right measures won’t be taken in case she wins, leading to probable disruption of national accounts, increase in inflation and further aggravation of Brazil’s inequality problem.

The second objective was completely abandoned during Dilma’s government. Through the BNDES it gave more benefits to large corporations, even fostering the consolidation and monopolies in certain sectors. Dilma’s economic development policies seem to me quite in opposition with her social development ones. 

This is to say that I am voting for Aecio because, in the path for higher income, wealth and opportunity equality in Brazil there should be income distribution, however, that mechanism can only go so far. There needs to be a better environment for productive activity. Aecio has signaled that he will maintain and expand the redistributive policies. Even thought that won’t be in such a large scale as Dilma would do, the macroeconomic adjustments are mandatory for the maintenance of the achievements made so far.

About Mauricio Savarese

I am a Brazilian journalist who got tired of reporting only in Portuguese. Politics and football, these are my turfs. Twitter: @msavarese. Email: savarese.mauricio@gmail.com

Posted on 26/10/2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. bamabrasileira

    As I could have guessed, the guy who voted for Aecio has a clearer understanding of the “big picture” of how a country works, and how current trends can determine the future. The Dilma voter has a predictably myopic and prideful view of how a country functions, and she clearly does not understand that the foundations of the great achievements of the PT party were laid by an economist president (Cardoso) who understood fiscal policy, but who also began the “Bolsa” programs that are so heavily associated with PT. I also love how she leaves out the part about how the majority of the jobs people have in Brazil do not pay very well, and that one of the major reasons people have these jobs is because foreign companies have invested in the country, after gaining confidence in Brazil’s ability to NOT be Cuba – confidence which they are now losing. Brazilians not are solely dependant on working for crappy family-owned companies anymore, which the Dilma voter seems to miss completely (not surprisingly).

    I hope that Aecio will win the next election, and that he will spend more time in the Northeastern states, because people here vote based on emotion rather than logically being able to connect the dots of the last 15 years!

    While we are waiting for another president to take office, I hope that our current department store manager president does not completely undo all of the great gains the country has acheived since Cardoso took office.

  2. Brasil_Researcher

    Brazilians in Brazil are either ideological and ignorant or simply naive.

    The fight in Brazil, again, was about the power of government/public central banking vs private central banking (such as the ECB and the Federal Reserve. Government/public central banking (and by using public banking that must compete with private banking) is simple. The money is a public utility that must be used for the benefit of all people of that nation (high risk, high interest rates, low risk, low or very low interest)..since the government (government bank means it belongs to the people, must work for the people) has control over it, it prints the money (it has a limit) and must invest it in the productive economy (wealth is measured by producing, not by consuming) that benefits the whole economy and not the speculative economy that doesn’t do anything for the economy (read more about QE’S, the banking crisis in Europe and in the US). Private central banking is basically almost the same, but you big difference is..it does NOT answer to anybody, because it’s private, you borrow the money/credit from the ones that have it (private bankers can only print the money you use in trade and commerce by owning and are the shareholders of the private central bank) and they can change the interest rates whenever they want. They don’t care who create the rules, you give them the power to print, they control your destiny…it’s that simple.

    If you understand that, and listened to both very well, the choice was simple..Dilma: pro public banking, Aecio pro private banking in the name of (make the central bank more autonomous..independent)…a voter should ask..independent from who and who will control it if it’s independent?

    F.H.C. when he was finance minister DID NOT created the PLANO REAL, by admitting, he knows nothing about FINANCE.
    Here is the story and it’s clear most young Brazilians are clueless what inflation is and what HYPERINFLATION really is.

    Little note: It’s disinflation/inflation, ups and downs, basic supply and demand. deflation/hyperinflation..that is the worse situation you don’t want to happen..(The United States of America and Europe are facing deflationary situations, so you can imagine where they are heading..and it’s NOT NEW…READ HISTORY…It seems people don’t learn from the past, though they always say it..learn from the past)

    Moira Verso typed: It is not a matter of reducing expectation for our standards of living here, it is simple lack of jobs.

    It’s even worse. reducing our standard of living here is a reality and every year changes and accelerated faster since 2008…all in the name of Austerity measures to save the in reality bankrupt banking system that played casino, have been bailed, continue to be bailed out (now it’s clear that bailed in are coming, documents are signed, look it up…meaning your saving and checking account are gone when the bank is in trouble…Brazilians, sounds familiar?..it already happened in cypress, where all people lost their checking and saving account..and in Spain where they pay taxes if they want to remove money out of their savings). Austerity measures means..eat less, go less out, have less fun, pay more to save the “economy”…banks are important for the economy. People, when you take good money for the bad broken system..there is simply no growth and jobs will be lost. Another problem is outsourcing of jobs, which is an old topic that is now hunting us..outsourcing of manufacturing jobs. Some people in Brazil are in favor of “cheaper costs in the name of FREE TRADE”. People, it’s not Free trade for you, it’s free trade for the corporations that prefer to make their products overseas (cheaper, less rules etc etc China is paradise) and export it back without paying taxes for the imports so the the consumers in their “homeland” can buy the products very cheap. Question is..how cheap? Or will the prices be a bit cheaper but the PROFITS will be fantastic, so that the stocks will go up, shareholders will be happy and the banks make more money (more fees they collects by trading of shares, buy/selling). People, it’s a fantastic ideology, but in reality it will be a nightmare for the local economy (great example in the US is Detroit city…look it up..before “free trade” when it was a manufacturing power house..results after free trade deals signed. The city is bankrupt and now must borrow more money from the banks to survive..).

    The word private is a beautiful word, it’s good but when you hear it from a banker..do your homework to understand what they mean with privatizing, because in their language, it means something else. same word, different meanings. Playing with words is one of their jobs and all what they need is their “friends” in the government to deregulate..meaning loosen the rules, all in the name of making the economy “efficient”. You need to ask yourself again, efficient for who? For me the worker or the money junkie?

    This is nothing new in Latin America, when you do your homework.
    Learn from the history, learn what money is (hint it’s not wealth) and how and for who it’s suppose to work, and why it’s important who controls it or you are a slave (debt slave..it’s the interest rates that matters..that’s the profits).

    I am personally glad for Brazilians that Dilma Rousseff has won. You don’t have to agree with me, but i advice you to learn/understand why the money junkies and it’s propaganda machine such as the economist in the UK, wallstreet journal in the US etc etc in the so called west (Brazil is also a western nation, but bash it because it does not have a private central bank)..were desperate for a win of Aecio or from nowhere no experience at all but was willing to give all the bankers the power..Marina Silva (she deeply cares about the environment..really?)

    Why Public central bank (100% owned by the government..who is the government? if you live in a Republic, what Brazil is, it’s the people) is vital or you will end up being owned by the view.

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