Economic Rant: The World Against Brazil.

By 23:24 , , , ,

In my sophomore year of college, in Professor "Frankie" O'Brien's Macroeconomics class, I did my end of the semester project on Brazil's economy.  The project required us to discuss the ongoings of any country's economy over the last 20 years.  When I made my obvious pick of Brazil, I was very excited to get started and learn a little more about the recent history of my country.  After just a few hours of research, I regretted my choice miserably.  Not only is the recent history depressing, it's downright agravating (fyi - this project took place circa 2004 B.L. - Before Lula - not that he means anything, it's just that we just so happened to start doing well A.L.).  


The other day, while walking to the train with my friend, Giordani, from work, for some reason we started talking about the economy and the current financial crisis.  And since Giordani and I are complete goofballs (this is apart, nevermind when we're on the same wavelength), we came up with a theory that for the past 25 years or so, the entire world has been against Brazil.  Here's our economic proof with a brief history for this period which is much shorter than my 20 page Macro project, I promise. 

- 1985-1989 - End of Dictatorship / I'm born.  I like to think of 1985 as the beginning of B.C.E. - Brazilian Common Era.  President Elect Tancredo Neves passes away and José Sarney takes over.  The decade ends with continued economic instability and is coined, "a decada perdida," or the lost decade. 
- 1990-1994 - Collor economic plans cause hyperinflation, he's impeached, and privatization occurs in many industries, opening up foreign trade.
- 1994 - Plano Real is established. Woohoo - economic stability! Wait a minute, nope - Mexican peso crisis.... more inflation.
- 1995-1997 - FHC's administration implements acts to combat corruption and some progress is made in economic stability.  More businesses start to go private, bringing more foreign investors to Brazil. 
- 1997 - 98 - BAM! Russian Recession and East Asian Crisis.  15% of foreign investors pull out of Brazil. 
- 1997-2002 - FHC continues in office, and is more aggressive in budget distribution and implementation of social security reforms. 
- 2002 - Unemployment rate reaches a considerable low.  More foreign investment.  More economic stability... and then Argentina goes and f's everything up for the rest of Latin America. 
- 2002-2004 - Slow and steady growth... 
- 2004 - 2008 - Significant growth.  Focus on internal (social projects, combatting corruption and violence), and external (international trade, attracting foreign investment) factors. 
- 2008 - U.S. ruins it for EVERYONE with not knowing when spending too much is more than enough.  

Granted the above is not necessarily scholarly or 100% precise, or even any sort of actual theory that the entire world wants Brazil to fail at life (although it is curious that everytime the country starts to do well someone with invested interest in and for Brazil decides to go and have a crisis), but I like to think of it as a nice overview of how Brazil cannot become a world power economically... yet.  Everyone is saying Latin America is not going to be as negatively affected by this recent financial crisis/recession started in the U.S., which is GREAT for us.  At the same time, however, I can only help but think that in the next year Brazil will go back to its slow and steady growth of a few years ago.

A lot of my friends in the U.S. keep saying, "Your economy's good down there, I might move down too!"  But unfortunately, the fact of the matter is - Brazil isn't ready yet.  We're going to need more than just a few years of growth and we'll get there, mmm-k?!?  

Then again, we'd be the cockiest motherf'er's on the planet if we did reach world superpower status... maybe it's for the best we keep to ourselves for now. ;-) 

sources cited: wikipedia, desenvolvimento.gov.br, usp.br

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