Brazil failed to control inflation in 2021? It is not like that

Rising food and energy prices put pressure on inflation last year | Photo: Arquivo / Gazeta do Povo

Inflation data in the first world for 2021 has come out – the second year in a row of a full-fledged pandemic – and it is as follows: The United States, the world’s number 1 economic powerhouse, had inflation of 7% in the year. It’s the worst since 1982 – which means the last time a disaster like this happened was 40 years ago. The other rich countries, measured across the OECD, were not doing any better. They were just under 6%, the worst result in 25 years. Inflation of this magnitude, for a serious country, is a tragedy.

It is also the inevitable consequence of what the governments of the United States and the wealthy in general did during the year: they pushed money into businesses and directly into the pockets of citizens, believing that it was worth doing everything to maintain their various blockages. , and face the calamities caused by them. Since money doesn’t grow on trees, exactly what is happening here happened there when the government opened the safe in an attempt to deal with a problem: mad inflation.

The economic debate right now in Brazil, however, in another of its usual illusions, has decreed that international reality does not exist – ugly inflation, nowadays, only exists in the Bolsonaro government. Brazil has had to face the economic disgrace caused by Covid like any other country in the world; has done more or less the same things as other governments, essentially opening the public safe in various relief missions. This ended in 10% inflation – and the outrage of left-wing economists, journalists and bankers. “What a horror,” everyone says. “This Guedes ended up with Brazil”.

What did they want in a year like 2021? Brazil is not on Mars. It is obvious that there has been inflation – not least because the most enthusiastic critics of the government have spent the year demanding more and more public money to “save lives”. It turns out that Brazil’s 10% inflation last year is a hit, compared to the inflation of the best performing countries. Lula-Dilma’s reign, without any Covid, ended with inflation exceeding 14% in 2016. So what is the problem with the 2021 figure?

There is no problem; rather, there was a solution in a context of global calamity. Inflation of 7% in the United States or 6% in Europe is equivalent to more than 20% in Brazil, or God knows how much – it is already on the verge of drifting, so much so that it did not happen. produced there for 40 years. The fact, backed up by numbers, is that Brazil performed better on inflation last year than most countries in the world.

The public is not likely to hear that. On the contrary: all the news is a “failure” to fight against inflation, plus the misfortunes that accompany it: unemployment, recession, poverty. There is no rest of the world in these lamentations; there’s no inflation anywhere, no stagnant economies, no shortage of work, no loss of income, or whatever. The only government on the face of the Earth is the government of “Bolsonaro”.

It is the result of a system. Journalists from the economic space, with their stories of denunciation already written in advance, will question economists already knowing, also in advance, that they will say exactly what they want to hear. Combine the hunger of one with the desire to eat of another and what you have is the 10% “inflation scandal” – plus recession, unemployment and poverty caused not by the “lockdowns” that crippled Brazilian production two years ago, but “for Bolsonaro”. Economic information is everything these days.

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