Four years ago, The Economist put on its cover a picture of the statue of Christ the Redeemer ascending like a rocket from Rio de Janeiro’s Corcovado mountain, under the rubric “Brazil takes off”.

Since then the country has come back down to earth with a bump, according to the article.

“In 2012 the economy grew by 0.9%. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in June in the biggest protests for a generation, complaining of high living costs, poor public services and the greed and corruption of politicians. Many have now lost faith in the idea that their country was headed for orbit and diagnosed just another voo de galinha (chicken flight), as they dubbed previous short-lived economic spurts”

The solution, according to the article:

“… if Brazil is to recover its vim, it needs to rediscover an appetite for reform. With taxes already taking 36% of GDP—the biggest proportion in the emerging world alongside Cristina Fernández’s chaotic Argentina—the government cannot look to taxpayers for the extra money it must spend on health care, schools and transport to satisfy the protesters. Instead, it needs to reshape public spending, especially pensions.

Second, it must make Brazilian business more competitive and encourage it to invest. The way to do that is not, as the government believes, to protect firms, but to expose them to more foreign competition … it needs to open up.

Third, Brazil urgently needs political reform… but getting those who benefit from the current system to agree to change it requires more political skill than Ms Rousseff has shown.”

Source: The Economist

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