Lula’s Government in Brazil: A New Left or the Old Populism?
Fernando J. Cardim Carvalho
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Fernando J. Cardim Carvalho: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Chapter 3 in Political Economy of Brazil, 2007, pp 24-41 from Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract The election of Brazilian President Luiz Inâcio Lula da Silva in 2002 was surrounded by a diffuse but very strong expectation of change. In fact, the new president himself, in his inaugural address, opened his speech stressing the word change. Lula’s voters expected him to take the necessary steps to resume economic growth, after almost 25 years of semi-stagnation, and to achieve some measure of income and wealth redistribution. A few segments of his electorate seemed to expect him to move even beyond these goals, to promote some form of radical structural change in the Brazilian society, although different groups could entertain different ideas as to which structural reforms should be given priority. At a minimum, both Lula’s voters and opponents seemed to expect (or to fear) a change in the macroeconomic policy mix implemented by President Cardoso in his second term, particularly in relation to the maintenance of high interest rates and of a fiscal policy that privileged financial transfers over public investment.
Keywords: Interest Rate; Monetary Policy; Fiscal Policy; Public Debt; Industrial Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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