I’m shocked – Shocked! – to discover that a South American, socialist government could be wracked with corruption to the point of (nearly) destroying a country. Will Jair Bolsonaro Make Brazil Great? Again? OK, I’m not that shocked.
A decade of corruption scandals produced political chaos in Brazil. Kickbacks, graft, and cronyism at big state-owned companies such as the oil giant Petrobras and private concerns such as the mammoth Odebrecht conglomerate have left many Brazilians disgusted with their elites.
“Lula,” the longtime head of the socialist Workers’ Party, has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for money-laundering and corruption and faces multiple additional charges as well.
His protege and successor, former President Dilma Rousseff, was impeached and removed from office in 2016 for budgetary misconduct. Her successor, market-oriented centrist Michel Temer, has also been tarnished by corruption accusations.
Enter Jair Bolsonaro, a politician that many compare to President Trump. He is blunt and describes his opponents with “colorful language.” (Oh, and he was stabbed, because the Left doesn’t like to play by anyone’s rules.) Whatever he is, Brazil needs something.
Brazil is on track to exceed the record 63,000+ murders recorded last year. Martial law has been imposed in Rio de Janeiro to contain its notoriously lethal gangs. Mr. Bolsonaro promises tougher law enforcement — and allowing ordinary citizens to arm themselves.
According to the Wiki, that means that Brazil has a murder rate* of about 29.9 per 100,000 residents. The USA has murder rate‡ of about 5.3 per 100,000 residents. (South Dakota‡ has a murder rate of 3.1 per 100,000.)
Sweden. Brazil. And The Socialist Paradise of Venezuela – in which the ruling party refuses to cede power democratically. It is almost as if socialist policies don’t really work out for people in the long run.
* Seems there is some disagreement between various studies of crime in Brazil, but that 63,000 number is right in the middle of the various choices.
‡ Crime statistics for the USA (national and state) come from the 2016 FBI Uniform Crime Report. (I’m sure the Wiki will get updated in the future, as new crime stats become available. But these are the numbers as of the publication date of this post.)