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The Fall Offensive: the US, France and Brazil
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The fall of 2017 will witness the most brutal assault on working and middle class living standards since the end of World War II. Three presidents and their congressional allies will ‘revise’ labor legislation, progressive income tax laws and regulations and effectively end the mixed economy in France, the US and Brazil.

Throughout the summer, public opinion has been diverted by US threats to launch new overseas wars, France’s rhetoric about forming a post-Brexit, Berlin-Paris pact, which will remake the European Union, and Brazil’s President Michel Temer’s corruption and crime scandals.

These superficial controversies will be overwhelmed by fundamental class conflicts, which promise to alter the present and future structural relations within Western capitalism.

President Trump’s Fall Offensive: Profits, Wars and Epidemics

President Trump proposes to enrich capitalists and intensify class inequalities via his radical transformation of the tax system. Corporate taxes will be cut in half; overseas corporate taxes will be abolished; and wage and salaried workers will pay more for fewer social benefits.

Trump can count on the support of the Republican leadership, business and banking elite and sectors of the Democratic Party in his plans to roll out a massive tax giveaway for the billionaires.

Trump’s cabinet, led by the Goldman Sachs trio and his troika of generals will ensure that the budget will include slashing the funds for education and health in order to increase military spending, expand wars and cut taxes for the rich.

Even more aggressive threats against North Korea, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and China, greater overseas war spending and troop levels in Afghanistan and the overt militarization of policing, immigration control and domestic intelligence will result in drastic cutbacks on federal programs for the poor and working classes. Declining access to quality health care for workers and deterioration in workplace safety conditions will fuel the opioid addiction epidemic leading to hundreds of thousands more premature worker deaths by overdose, injury and inadequate, incompetent care.

President Emmanuel Macron: The Capitalist Offensive in France

In France, the workers and middle class face the most comprehensive attack on their employment rights and progressive social legislation in modern history.

President Emmanuel Macron has declared his goal of completely transferring socio-economic power from French workers to capital by gutting all pro-labor laws and protections. Employees will have to negotiate with their bosses, one plant and one office at a time, thereby undermining the collective bargaining power of a united working class. Employers will be free to hire and fire workers with virtually no restrictions or consequences. Temporary and short-term ‘garbage’ contracts will proliferate, destroying long-term worker stability. Macron will eliminate the jobs of over 100,000 public employees while slashing corporate taxes by over $50 billion euros.

In contrast to massive tax cuts for the bourgeoisie, Macron proposes to increase taxes on French pensioners, hitting millions of retirees. Once in place, Macron’s legislative agenda will concentrate power, profits and wealth of capital while increasing inequalities and class polarization. Responding to the economic interests of the bankers, Macron promises to lower the deficit to 3% of GDP through massive cuts in health and education.

Under the pretext of ‘reducing unemployment’, Macron will promote part-time and temporary employment for French youth and immigrant workers, stripping all French workers of their hard-fought gains in job security and labor rights. Macron justifies his assault on labor by dismissing workers as ‘lazy’.

Brazil: The Great Fire Sale

Michel Temer, Brazil’s ‘unelected’ President plans to privatize 57 public enterprises – the crown jewels of Brazil’s economy. This will amount to the biggest capitalist asset grab in two centuries!

Included in the sell-off are: oil fields, energy transmission lines, highways, airports, as well as Brazil’s mint and lottery. Electrobas, Latin America’s biggest electricity generator, is up for grabs. In addition, Temer plans to raise interest rates charged by the state-owned development bank BNDES to increase the private bankers’ share of lending and profits.

This naked grab of profitable state enterprises by private domestic and foreign investors will lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and the lowering of wages, salaries and pension payments. Temer started to slash state pension liabilities by increasing the age of retirement by several years. Wages and social benefits have been frozen for the foreseeable future. Presidential decrees, which dictate the terms of labor contracts, threaten collective bargaining.

The Capitalist Offensive: Results and Perspectives

These presidents have declared their intention to launch full-scale ‘class war from above’ – the consequences of which remain to be seen. The presidents, who rule by fiat, are treading fragile terrain. Each is facing major political, economic and social challenges.

All three presidents have lost public support since taking power, especially among their lower middle and working class-class voters.

Macron’s approval dropped from 65% to 40%; Trump from 49% to 35%; and Temer (who was not elected) barely retains 5% (and falling) public approval.

Brazil: Facing the Abyss

Despite uncertainties over the regime’s stability and future, foreign investors and the financial press supports Temer.

President Temer’s isolation from Brazil’s voting public has weakened his power in the Congress, and among the domestic banking elite and oil and power corporations. However, if the trade unions call for widespread militant strikes by manufacturing workers, public employees and the landless rural workers’ movement (MST) is effective and paralyzes the economy, Temer may be forced to resign before his program is implemented. Meanwhile, President Temer faces numerous judicial investigations for corruption.

Strategically, Temer can count on international support, especially from the US State Department, Treasury, Pentagon and the European Union. The neo-liberal regimes in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Colombia and Mexico have voiced strong support for Temer, especially since they have also received bribes from the same Brazilian corporate oligarchs! Under Temer, the Brazilian economy has declined by over 5% since he took power in a ‘legislative coup d’état’. His budget deficit exceeds 9% and unemployment has doubled to over 11%.

Despite support from foreign and domestic elite, Temer’s presidency will not survive. Under mass pressure and with looming elections, Brazil’s Congress may decide to allow the courts to prosecute Temer and block his proposed sellout of public assets.


Credit rating agencies are going to downgrade the Brazil’s economy to ‘junk’ status, undercutting new investments. With new elections on the horizon in 2018, it is clear that Temer will not even run for the presidency and his proposals to privatize Brazil’s major firms may not succeed. The economic recession has sharply reduced tax revenues and the possibility of receiving any significant boost from privatization is dubious. Even Temer’s initial regressive measure – the slashing of public pensions- has bogged down in bureaucratic infighting. However, the opposition to Temer’s capitalist offensive has yet to strike a decisive, organized blow.

The Congressional opposition, led by the center-left Workers Party (PT), is a distinct minority with many of its leaders facing their own corruption trials. The PT is incapable of blocking, let alone ousting, Temer. The rightwing opposition in Congress is divided between those who back Temer – based on party patronage – and those who want to replace Temer while pushing for his anti-labor agenda. The trade unions, led by the CUT, have mounted sporadic protests and made rhetorical gestures, while the MST (the landless rural workers) and associated ecological and homeless movements, which lack militant mass urban support, would be unable to topple Temer.

Ex-President Lula Da Silva has regained some degree of mass voter support but faces corruption charges, which may ban him from political office – unless there is a major mass mobilization.

In sum, the rightwing, pro-capitalist offensive in Brazil is comprehensive — offering public assets and private profits– but weak in institutional support and economic fundamentals.

A big-push from the Left could undermine the political base for Temer’s economic team, however, it is not clear which party or leaders would replace him.

France: Bonaparte in the Palace, Workers on the Streets

When President Emmanuel Macron was elected President of the Fifth Republic, he carried a mass electoral base as well as the support of France’s leading business and banking organizations. However, in the run-up to the launching of his capitalist offensive the mass base has evaporated. Voter disapproval is rising rapidly. The militant wing of the trade unions (CGT) prepares to launch general strike. His regressive tax agenda has alienated wide sectors of the petit bourgeois, especially public-sector employees.

Macron’s concentration of executive power (his Bonapartist complex) has turned his allies on the right against him.

The outcome of Macron’s offensive is both likely and uncertain.

For one thing Macron enjoys a majority in the French Congress. The economy is growing and investors are exuberant. Tax-conscious small business groups are happy. Labor is divided with the class collaborationist CFDT and FO refusing to join with the trade union opposition.

The European Union is united, up to a point, in its support for Macron. Equally important, Macron is determined to crush street protests and sporadic, partial strikes with demagogic appeals through the corporate mass media, coercion and outright state repression.

The political party opposition, led by the left socialists and the nationalists, is divided. The Socialist Party barely exists. Pensioners and students are opposed to Macron, but have not taken to the streets. Few among the professional class and liberal academia retain any illusions about the ‘new centrist President’ but few are willing to actively confront the ‘the new Bonaparte’.

Macron has fashioned a formidable alliance between the state apparatus and the business ruling class to crush worker opposition. But popular opposition is growing and is furious at his agenda and insults: ‘They (French workers) have had it too good...’ To defeat Macron, they must unite the opposition and build a strategy of prolonged class warfare.

Macron will not give in to transitory strikes. If Macron’s capitalist offensive succeeds, it will have enormous implications for the French working class, especially the rights of workers and salaried employees to organize and struggle. A victory for Macron will profoundly undermine the structure and membership of popular organizations, now and in the future. Moreover, a defeat for French workers will reverberate throughout the EU and beyond. Conversely, a victory for labor could trigger mass struggles across Europe.

The United States

A powerful opposition could confront President Trump’s capitalist offensive, but it will not be led by the highly bureaucratized trade unions representing less than 8% of the private sector labor force. Trump’s enemies among the Democratic and Republican Party elite have dismissed Trump’s ‘working class’ supporters as ‘white supremacist and neo-Nazis’. American workers’ concerns have been trivialized and marginalized by the divisive politics of ‘identity’, so blatantly used by both parties. Trump’s capitalist offensive in favor of a regressive pro-corporate tax cuts and the gutting of social welfare (health, education, housing, environment and worker safety) has failed to provoke sustained, unified social opposition. In the US, the pro-business elites dominate and dictate the agendas of both the incumbent Trump regime and the ‘elite opposition forces’.

The official ‘anti-Trump opposition’, which terms itself a ‘resistance’, promotes ‘identity’ interests linked to elite political representation. It works hard to undermine any possibility of working class unity based on common socio-economic interests by focusing on marginal and divisive issues. In the midst of mass poverty, declining life expectancy and an epidemic of suicide and drug overdose deaths, the ‘resistance’ forces of the elite opposition concentrate on manufactured foreign (‘Russia-gate’) conspiracies and life style issues (trans-genders in the US Special Forces) to overthrow the Trump regime. They have no intention to forge any class alliances that might threaten Trump’s regressive capitalist agenda.

The struggle this fall in the US will not be between labor and capital: It will spotlight the contradiction between what remains of Trump’s business protectionist agenda and the Democrats’ neo-liberal free trade policies. The capitalist offensive against labor in the USA was already determined by default. US trade union officials are marginal and inconsequential actors, incapable and unwilling to politicize, educate and mobilize workers.

Trump’s capitalist offensive appeals to investors and boosts the stock market. The majority of his economic team is tied to Wall Street bankers against so-called economic nationalists. Trump’s mindless chauvinist rhetoric to the populace is openly dismissed by the plutocrats within his own cabinet, who complain they have been targeted by ‘fascists and anti-Semites’ (meaning Trump’s deplorable and angry voter base).

The United States is the only country in the industrial world launching a massive, sustained capitalist offensive without an anti-capitalist opposition. The American working class is openly ‘deplored’ by the major elements of the elite opposition and blatantly manipulated by its fake ‘champion’, Trump.


The consequences are pre-determined. The capitalist offensive cannot lose; both capitalist sides ‘win’. Under the Businessman-President Trump, multi-national corporations will secure lower taxes and degrade working class living standards and social benefits. Bi-partisan agreements will ensure that banks are completely deregulated. The elite anti-Trump opposition will ensure that ‘their’ capitalists get favorable neo-liberal trade agreements, guaranteeing their access to cheap immigrant labor and a non-unionized workforce denied workplace safety and environmental regulations.

While France and Brazil face real class war, the ‘classless’ US slouches toward nuclear war. Macron confronts militant trade unions, Temer faces the fury of broad social alliances, and Donald Trump marches after ‘his Generals’ to nuclear conflagration. He invades Russian diplomatic properties; points nuclear weapons at Moscow and Beijing; holds massive offensive exercises and stations THAAD missiles on the border of North Korea; and escalates US air and ground force operations in a 16-year losing war in Afghanistan.

Workers in Europe and Latin America choose to fight capitalists in defense of their class interests, while US workers have become passive spectators to the looming possibility of nuclear war, when they are not in a prescription-induced opioid stupor. Defeating the capitalist offensive in France and Brazil can advance the cause of social justice and ensure concrete benefits for workers and masses of people; Trump’s unopposed capitalist military offensive will send clouds of nuclear ashes across the world.

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  1. Thomm says:

    More socialism. Fail.

  2. Trump’s mindless chauvinist rhetoric to the populace is countered by plutocrats in his cabinet who claim they are targeted by fascists and anti-Semites.

    ROTFL. That just about sums it up.

    • Replies: @Z-man
  3. Sorry, not feeling sorry for French workers. It is notoriously difficult to fire or even discipline one of them. It is time for some market discipline in France, as well as some deportations of foreign stock.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  4. become one of them. at least money wise. work hard, save your money, invest.

    brazil is being looted atm. it has been on the receiving end of economic warfare since it started showing it’s potential. became target #1 in latin american since it joined BRICS.

    trump is just being a retard. the MIC is in it for the money, they will not actually push the button. but just in case, clear your bucket list ppl. no regrets if you see a mushroom cloud.

    when marine le pen lost, I knew france was kaput.

  5. @Priss Factor

    Says the guy whose job is talking bs on you tube- money for nothing and your chicks for free

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  6. DFH says:

    Funny how the use of mass immigration (supported by capital) to undermine domestic labour is nowhere mentioned

    • Replies: @yeah
  7. TheJester says:

    The French knew exactly what they were getting when they voted Emmanuel Macron into the presidency and gave him a majority in Congress. He said he was going to reform French labor laws to rid them any remaining legacy of leftist, socialist programs … such as functioning labor unions. Hence, Macron is doing what he promised to do. What could the electorate expect, especially since Macron had been an apparatchik in the Rothschild banking family?

    Now we read that only 36% of the French electorate continue to support him, making this one of the biggest and quickest narrative collapses in European electoral history.

    Being an Anglophile and Germanophile (at least pre-immigration), I’ve never understood the French. The only sense I can make of the Macron phenomenon is that the French Left loves to man barricades. They had lost something over the years they were in charge and busy socializing the French way of life. Something fundamental was missing. They had a deep felt need to get back into opposition so that their Communist past and Marxist slogans could again give meaning and purpose to their lives.

  8. The fall of 2017 will witness the most brutal assault on working and middle class living standards since the end of World War II.

    Maybe not. I’d say the Greek middle class already went through the most brutal assault on working and middle class living standards since the end of World War II.

    A big reason that it was subjected to that, ironically, is that the Greek working and middle classes were highly responsible and had been generally living below their means. That means that they had low personal debt and were therefore targeted to be saddled with public debt thanks to the greedy bankers and chicken sh!t politicians.

    In any case, the working and middle classes, worldwide, shall continue to be assaulted by the usual gangsters in banks and government until they wake up and understand that it’s a huge class war out there, and the bankers, corporatists, militarists, and politicians are the major threats. The threats are not what the morally bankrupt ( sorry for the redundancy) media manufactures and spoon feeds to the masses.

    • Replies: @Wally
  9. yeah says:

    “Funny how the use of mass immigration (supported by capital) to undermine domestic labour is nowhere mentioned”.

    Good catch! Petras really should have exposed that scam. Not that some are not already aware of it. A big problem of our times is that language has been purposely debased to obscure reality. Capital and big money’s assault on labor and the common folk today comes dressed in “new left” clothing. Let the unwashed hordes busy themselves fighting over bathroom rights, LGBTQ obsessions, and other non-issues of identity politics that make up the “progressive” movement in the US. Keep them distracted and pick their pockets, is the game plan. And when the lunacy starts showing – as it is now – toss out the whole of the true left agenda, workers’ rights and all, to cheers from a public growing fed up with the loony left agenda. Open the floodgates of immigration in the name of progressivism, motherhood, and tender-hearted left liberalism and use the resulting societal disruption to exercise full spectrum control over the people.

    Guys, we need to see through this left-right labelling game. We are being defrauded by false labels. Examine issues on their merit one by one and not in packages, not by the label affixed on the proponent or the packet of issues. There is no left and there is no right; these are fraudulent marketing labels. The “left” today is the tyrant, the hand of big money, the corrupter of our language, the enforcer of political correctness, the stealer of our liberties. It is the “right” that today is for the common man, for our citizenship, for our liberties.

    Petras has painted a grim picture of things to come. Americans will need good old common sense, good old decency, a love of liberty, and a tool bag of logic and mental clarity to battle this creature that perpetually sows confusion by switching between left and right clothing.

    • Replies: @Z-man
    , @Wally
  10. I feel sorry for the Brazilians, since they never actually voted for this joker Michael Temer and were the victims of a Soros-backed ‘golpeachment’ scheme. But I do not feel sorry for the French in any way, shape, or form. Macron never hid from them what he was going to do once he got elected–shit, he was Hollande’s Minister of the Economy, for crying out loud! The French cannot claim to have been duped. They voted for this; now let them suffer.

    In contrast to massive tax cuts for the bourgeoisie, Macron proposes to increase taxes on pensioners.

    Do you all remember before the election, how all those French pensioners professed to be worried about what would happen to the value of their pensions if Marine Le Pen got elected and followed through on her threat to drop the euro? I just laughed myself hoarse! ‘Well, go ahead and vote for Macron,’ I thought. ‘He’ll just slash your pensions straight up.’ Now it’s happening … serves them right, I say.

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
  11. Beckow says:

    It is hard to take these articles from the ‘left’ seriously. The so called left has betrayed its potential supporters by becoming a freak circus advocating open borders, bathroom wars, and even engaging in its own chauvinism against ‘white privilege’ (and lately against Russians). Trade unions who represent the ‘workers of the world’ are not trade unions, they are a useful tool for the management to make sure that supply of cheap labor is infinite. Macrons exist because there is no real left, just screaming and hysteria to hide that they have sold out.

    It is impossible to have decent living standards, social protections and open borders. It cannot be done with billions waiting to move from the Third World. Oligarchs know it, leftists don’t seem to. The left chose open borders, so they have become irrelevant. We are just living with the consequences. Macron couldn’t exist without the fact that ‘socialists’ first emasculated French working class. But the people did have a choice (kind of), and they chose global utopia over self-interest. Now for the consequences.

  12. JamesG says:

    “The fall of 2017 will witness the most brutal assault on working and middle class living standards since the end of World War II.”

    Fixing: “The fall of 2017 will witness a modest attempt to reverse the left’s destruction of the West.”

  13. @Colleen Pater

    Says the guy whose job is talking bs on you tube- money for nothing and your chicks for free

    LOL. That’s so true. BS feeds on BS.

  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Pull themselves up by their opiates, or get a job with UNICOR. Send ’em another white van too, with love and American attonement. lolz!

  15. Beckow says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    “Macron will just slash your pensions straight up.”

    The pensioners in France voted for Macron in incredible numbers and assured his victory no matter what the rest of the country would want. They have it good and want to keep it that way. They know that when Macron cuts pensions it will not apply to them – it will only apply to younger people, the future pensioners. That’s the way it has always been done.

    So nothing will be ‘served’ to them, they will remain protected. We fool ourselves when we try to tell them that they are voting against their own interest. They are not, they are rationally protecting their own interests: open borders and low wages so they can get cheap services, monetary austerity so there is no inflation, multi-culturalism so they get more interesting restaurants (and more, but I don’t want to go there).

    We need to clearly see that the demographics is set-up this way, the ones voting for Macrons might be short-sighted and selfish, but they are rational. This is the Achilles heel of today’s Western democracies – the native, working, family voters are no longer a majority. They work for everyone, pay for everything, raise the few remaining children, maintain the last vestiges of normalcy, but they are easily outvoted. It will go on until the economics of it all collapses, but it will not change with ‘elections’.

  16. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    The French and the Brazilians don’t really have elections. Americans, similarly, had no real choice in 2016. The role of the press is to maintain legitimacy of this scam – so alleged liberals (and alleged conservatives) like Paul Krugman will write that people are going to get what they deserve “for voting the wrong way” and “workers don’t really matter anyway”
    in elections. Congratulations, you sound like Paul Krugman.

  17. Z-man says:
    @Priss Factor

    Yeah that Jew from Goldman Sacks has to go!

  18. Z-man says:

    Guys I still think Trump will buck his ‘shysters’ and protect the American middle class…but we shall see.

    By the way that picture amuses me, two homosexuals with two nice hookers, ahh America in 2017. LOL!!!

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  19. Wally says:
    @jacques sheete

    The Greeks? Spare us.

    One of laziest people on the planet, hence the mess they’re in today, and deservedly so.

    jacques sheete just makes things up.

    A Greek boyfriend perhaps.

    • Troll: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @Anon
  20. Wally says: • Website

    And the ‘6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’ is the enabling propaganda.


    Science, rational thought, & logic simply demolish the ‘holocaust’ storyline.
    And that’s why there are Thought Crime Laws that imprison those who engage in free speech about it.
    Truth is hate to those that hate the truth.

    Belief in the ‘holocaust’ = belief in the impossible = religion.

    The ‘6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’ are scientifically impossible frauds.
    see the ‘holocaust’ scam debunked here:
    No name calling, level playing field debate here:

  21. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Any person accusing others of being gay as often as you do is gayer than eight guys blowing nine guys.

    • LOL: Delinquent Snail
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @Wally
  22. @Anon

    Thanks for that, but the clownish blowhard is not even worth responding to.

    • Replies: @Wally
  23. Wally says:

    Israelis, also one of the laziest people on the planet.

    You know a lot about being gay.

  24. Wally says: • Website
    @jacques sheete

    You know you will be demolished in debate, so you run for cover.

    That’s the Zionist way.

    “Ach,” he said, “we’ve often fantasized about drawing up an indictment against Adolf Hitler himself. And to put into that indictment the major charge: the Final Solution of the Jewish question in Europe, the physical annihilation of Jewry. And then it dawned upon us, what would we do? We didn’t have the evidence.”

    – “holocaust historian” Raul Hilberg, from

    “I owe my permission to submit the Zionist plan for the final solution of the Jewish Question.”

    – ‘Father of political Zionism’ Theodor Herzl, letter to the Czar, November 22, 1899.

    “Alone the fact that one may not question the Jewish “holocaust” and that Jewish pressure has inflicted laws on democratic societies to prevent questions—while incessant promotion and indoctrination of the same averredly incontestable ‘holocaust’ occur—gives the game away. It proves that it must be a lie. Why else would one not be allowed to question it? Because it might offend the “survivors”? Because it “dishonors the dead”? Hardly sufficient reason to outlaw discussion. No, because the exposure of this leading lie might precipitate questions about so many other lies and cause the whole ramshackle fabrication to crumble.”

    – Gerard Menuhin / righteous Revisionist Jew, son of famous violinist

    • Replies: @Anon
  25. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Is your calling Israelis lazy supposed to bother me?

    I think I figured out why you got married. Rock Hudson got married too.

  26. @Z-man

    What makes you think trump will change his tune back to what got him elected? He’s disappointed and decieved us from the get-go. And now that hes surrounded with people that have the same agengda as the people in charge for almost a century, i dont see him flipping again.

  27. @Seamus Padraig

    Sorry to contradict you in one point, about which I am pretty sure (I live in Brazil and this information has been openly admitted by the parts involved): the “golpeachment”, as you so aptly named it, was not Soros-backed, and in fact Soros gave (gives?) money to at least one (I suspect more) organization (Ninja Mídia) which was active against the ousting of former president Rousseff. On the other hand, at least one organization in the frontline for Rousseff’s impeachment (Movimento Brasil Livre – MBL) was (is?) partially backed by the Koch Brothers. So you would be closer to the truth if you called it a Koch-backed “golpeachment”.

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  28. A worthy piece on the current situation in some important countries and a not so important one, which happens to be my own living place, Brazil. I disagree with you about one point though, namely, the one expressed in the sentence below:

    “In addition, Temer plans to raise interest rates charged by the state-owned development bank BNDES to increase private bank share of lending and profits.”

    I disagree with this on two angles. Firstly, and most importantly, that it would be a bad measure. What Rousseff and Lula did was very harmful to the economy, and consisted in giving money for free to a few friends, mostly big corporations, and letting little businesses die due to the abusively high interest rates. But, secondly, I also disagree that Temer, the current president, is actually doing what you say he is doing. By all accounts, he continues to do exactly the same as Lula and Roussef did.

    As for the privatizations, it is obvious that they would, if carried out, which I doubt, harm the country, especially in the case of Eletrobrás, which should never be privatized, for very obvious reasons which nevertheless seem to escape most educated people I talk to.

    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
  29. @Brás Cubas

    I may not be exactly right about one point in my comment, specifically the following sentence:

    “But, secondly, I also disagree that Temer, the current president, is actually doing what you say he is doing. By all accounts, he continues to do exactly the same as Lula and Roussef did.”

    What I gathered is this: Temer really toughened BNDES’s loan policy when he took office. His appointee for the institution’s presidency was a hardliner who apparently prompted many complaints from companies which applied for loans. But after some time in office she resigned and I am not sure what the situation is right now with the new BNDES president.

    Anyway, I insist that Temer’s initial policy was the correct one. The way things were with Rousseff was not leading to anything good. There are accounts, which I find plausible (but for whose veracity I cannot vouch), of companies which got loans at very low interest rates, then put part or all of that money in private banks for market (i.e. very high) interest rates, and when the time came to pay back the loan they had a lot more than what they took without actually producing anything.

  30. @Brás Cubas

    Koch, Soros … what’s the difference, really? Either way you have foreign oligarchs picking your president.

    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
  31. @Seamus Padraig

    Koch and Soros are not equivalent. The fact that a guy has a lot of money does not necessarily imply he has a similar worldview to any other guy who has a lot of money. In fact, their actions in Brazil, supporting opposite political organizations, are a clear evidence of that. Koch is a strictly rightwing libertarian. Soros is a globalist, but he places political globalization above economic globalization; otherwise he wouldn’t give money to leftwing organizations who oppose economic globalization.
    But you are right that they have that in common: they are both foreign oligarchs picking my president, and this is not good.

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