Civil chaos is developing in Brazil as what started out as a protest against a rise in bus fares has now exploded into mass demonstrations against political corruption and a million Brazilian protesters take to the streets across 80 cities in worst night of violence yet.
The always excellent Investor's Business Daily explains in an editorial what is happening there and why. Recognize any parallels to political/economic developments in the good old USA?Brazil's rulers have been taken aback by the millions of countrymen surging up against them, venting their fury. What we have here is a fresh example of why socialism fails.
Up until now, a million Brazilians in the streets usually had something to do with a soccer match or, perhaps, a samba festival.
This time, it wasn't about festivities.
What started as a protest against a 9-cent fare hike on public transport fireballed into a gigantic public protest against political corruption, high taxes and lousy public services — and the government itself...
The New York Times reported that Brazil's leftist ruling Workers Party — full of 1960s-era guerrillas, community organizers, academics and radicals — "finds itself perplexed by the revolt in its midst."
After all, hadn't they been good socialists, shoveling pork to the poor, protecting local industries from foreign "predators," employing bureaucrats and taxing "the rich"? Yes, they did, and the result is a nation awash in corruption, angry at special interests, poorer from protectionism and beset by high taxes.
Now the people are marching. And the Workers' Party (PT) philosophy of rule by special interests is at least one reason why.
Brazil's rulers have been widely praised by everyone from Bill Clinton to Hugo Chavez for their handouts to the poor, in the name of "social justice." But they have done very little to create opportunity to enable poor people to get off handouts and earn a living.
What's more, they've forced others to pay for it and live with its bad effects, leaving all sides pretty angry...
Brazil's rulers have adopted the poor as their constituency, but have bought off big business and public employees too — creating a web of powerful interests who benefit from its rule. Those on the outside pay for it all.
Worse, the left-leaning regime's protectionism hurts consumers in the name of economic nationalism.
A recent International Chamber of Commerce study ranked Brazil dead-last among the Group of 20 nations in terms of having an open economy, meaning protectionism is the rule of the day. Keeping foreign competitors out has made life easier for Brazil's oligarchs — but it's made life miserable for Brazil's consumers, who must deal with higher prices and fewer choices.
It also hurts Brazil's entrepreneurs, who can't get the investment and capital equipment they need....
They also deal with 6.5% inflation, police brutality, shoddy teachers and hospital unions, and rafts of regulations and bureaucrats.
All of this is not a bug, but a feature of socialism — a socialism by so-called experts. And just like Spartan aristocrats more than 2,000 years ago, Brazil's rulers now watch, dumbfounded, as the helots revolt.
Americans are a pretty passive lot with a high level of trust in their government, not Obama, but their institutions and their history. However, if we continue to pursue policies like those of Brazil (think ObamaCare or amnesty and its consequences) someday our own helots will revolt.http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/062113-661024-brazilian-grievances-can-be-attributed-to-socialist-rule.htm?p=full