Something great is happening in South America.
The people of Brazil are rejecting a corrupt socialism that has ruined the nation’s economy. Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberty Party (PSL) in Brazil is a lock for president this weekend while running against a committed socialist. This is great news and shows a shift in the thinking of the people of South America.
South America has had an ugly history of socialism leading to corruption, crime and poverty. Venezuela is a great example of the failure of socialism. According to The Heritage Foundation, Venezuela ranks last in the Americas for economic freedom — even behind Cuba.
Heritage reports “with the economy verging on collapse and the government clinging tenaciously to power, much-needed reforms will not be addressed by a regime that has proved unwilling or technically unable to move Venezuela back from the brink of bankruptcy and debt default. Fiscal and monetary policies will remain expansionary, and ad hoc policy interventionism and heavy state control of the economy will persist. Venezuela’s economy has been stifled for years by blatant disregard for the rule of law and principles of limited government.” The people of Brazil decided that the insanity of following the path of Venezuela style socialism was a pathway to misery and stagnation.
Brazil’s past experiment with socialism and the Workers’ Party was a failure. Former President Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva is jailed on corruption charges. His successor, Dilma Rousseff helped continue the economic decline of Brazil and ended up getting impeached for corruption. The Bolsonaro’s campaign against socialism and corruption is striking a note, because the Workers’ Party is corrupt. Brazilian’s are sick and tired of the empty promises of socialism and total government control over the means of production and natural resources.
Mr. Bolsonaro is proposing an agenda that mirrors the small government approach of President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Bolsonaro is pushing for “the privatization of state companies in all sectors.” He believes that he can “nullify issues of corruption in state owned companies” through the removal of political appointees from running the nation’s biggest enterprises. Mr. Bolsonaro wants better relations with the United States and a lowering of government intervention in the economy.
Just as American’s rebelled against the political class to put Donald Trump in office, the same is happening in Brazil. Time reported on Aug. 23, 2018, “it’s hard to overstate the rage and disgust at the establishment in this country. Since the last election, a sprawling probe into corruption at the state oil giant has led to the impeachment of one President, the jailing of another and the disintegration of a fragile faith in the political class. Brazil has suffered its worst recession in history. With public services crippled by a lack of funds and rampant crime, 7 in 10 Brazilians say they have no trust in any political party.”
The Time piece takes shots at Mr. Bolsonaro, yet recognizes that the fruits of corrupt socialism have led Brazil to the point that they are ready to embrace an anti-establishment leader. Much like the left refuses to give President Trump credit for a booming economy, the left in the United States and Brazil have used Jair Bolsonaro’s many controversial remarks to distract the Brazilian people from the fact that if Mr. Bolsonaro wins, they will have better lives.
Of course the liberal New York Times has editorialized against Mr. Bolsonaro and glossed over the corruption of the Workers’ Party. The Economist trashed Mr. Bolsonaro while glossing over his opponent, Fernando Haddad’s, horrible record as mayor of Sao Paulo where he lost re-election in 2016. Tom Rogan points out at the Washington Examiner that Mr. Haddad is ” a devout socialist and loyal party man” who was “charged by prosecutors for taking bribes from a construction company while serving as Sao Paulo mayor.”
The Workers’ Party in Brazil is the functional equivalent of a corrupt political crime network, yet the liberal media is too angered by the politically incorrect statements of Mr. Bolsonaro to give him some credit. They don’t like Mr. Bolsonaro’s tone and his words, yet they can’t give him credit for his promised deeds.
Socialism, and big government, is a failure that is on display throughout the world. Thankfully, Brazil, by far the largest nation in South and Central America, may be choosing the way of capitalism and free markets. That choice will bring a better life and a great example of how a nation can move from Cuban and Venezuelan style state run economies to the free market examples from the north. Mr. Bolsonaro understands that getting away from socialism will lessen crime and corruption while bringing prosperity to the people of that nation.
• Brian Darling is a former senior communications director for Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican.
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