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Montevideo, February 21st 2019 - 00:15 UTC

Bolsonaro, not the best choice for Brazil, say 350 economists in open declaration

Saturday, October 20th 2018 - 07:15 UTC
Full article 24 comments
The experts stated Bolsonaro's leftist rival, Haddad, was “the best alternative” to uphold “Brazilian democracy and the institutions of the Rule of Law” The experts stated Bolsonaro's leftist rival, Haddad, was “the best alternative” to uphold “Brazilian democracy and the institutions of the Rule of Law”
With Brazil's presidential run-off election just over a week away the statement was seen as a counterpoint to the wave of investor enthusiasm for Bolsonaro candidacy With Brazil's presidential run-off election just over a week away the statement was seen as a counterpoint to the wave of investor enthusiasm for Bolsonaro candidacy
Much of that comes from Bolsonaro's choice for economy minister: Paulo Guedes, a US-educated liberal economist Much of that comes from Bolsonaro's choice for economy minister: Paulo Guedes, a US-educated liberal economist
The signatories of the declaration include 200 Brazilian economists and 160 from the US, Britain, France, Germany, India and other countries. Pic George Akerlof Nobel Prize The signatories of the declaration include 200 Brazilian economists and 160 from the US, Britain, France, Germany, India and other countries. Pic George Akerlof Nobel Prize

More than 350 economists, among them a Nobel Prize winner, have signed a declaration saying Brazil's frontrunner to be president, far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro, is not the best choice for his country.

 The experts stated that Bolsonaro's leftist rival, Fernando Haddad, was “the best alternative” to uphold “Brazilian democracy and the institutions of the Rule of Law,” according to the text and list published by the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper on Friday.

With Brazil's presidential run-off election just over a week away, on October 28, the statement was seen as a counterpoint to the wave of investor enthusiasm that has greeted Bolsonaro's candidacy.

A large part of that comes from Bolsonaro's choice to be his economy minister: Paulo Guedes, a US-educated liberal economist who has talked of reducing Brazil's notoriously protectionist policies, selling off state assets to reduce the public debt, and streamlining taxes.

The signatories of the published declaration, counting 200 Brazilian economists and 160 from the US, Britain, France, Germany, India and other countries, include professors, economists, researchers and former consultants to bodies such as the World Bank.

The most prominent names were George Akerlof, an American professor who shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics, and John Williamson, a British economist who coined the term “the Washington Consensus” for a set of policy prescriptions for developing countries in crisis.

The declaration said many on the list were critics of the economic policies enacted by Haddad's Workers Party when it was in power in Brazil between 2003 and 2016. But they shared a view that democracy, civic freedoms, and tackling prejudice and inequalities were “essential values” at stake in the election. Thus they supported Haddad's bid “for political and economic stability, environmentally-sustainable development, social inclusion, and the fight against corruption.”

Haddad has pledged to put a lid on privatizations, maintain the over-generous pension system, tax the super-rich, and boost spending in an effort to reignite Brazil's economy, which is in the doldrums after two years ago exiting its worst-ever recession.

Bolsonaro is the comfortable favorite going into the run-off, having handily won the October 7 first-round election. Polls credit him with 59% voter support against 41% for Haddad.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Enrique Massot

    @Chicureo

    You believe you can justify about everything by sticking labels to people.

    Unfortunately, calling Lula and his political party “Marxists” or “Socialist Marxists” is just a lie.

    Let's see a description of Lula as Brazil's president:

    ”Instead of the drastic social changes he proposed in the past, (Lula's) government chose a reformist line, passing new retirement, tax, labour and judicial legislation, and discussing university reform.“

    Indeed, all including the business class benefited under Lula's government. The truth is, he worked for a more human Capitalism with a better redistribution of the national resources.

    This is what you and similar dinosaurs attempt to tarnish by applying ”scary“ labels such as described above. However, you are outdated, stuck in Cold War terminology. You should know that the words that are being used today in replacement are ”terrorist,“ ”corrupt,” etc.

    Even backward people need to update their little book.

    Oct 25th, 2018 - 06:59 pm +2
  • DemonTree

    Economists prefer the 'socialist' candidate? What is the world coming to?

    Oct 20th, 2018 - 09:38 am 0
  • Voice

    ...because they are predictable, a safe bet.

    Loose Cannon, very far Right and no track record understandably give rise for concern...

    Oct 20th, 2018 - 12:21 pm 0
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