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Lula-Alckmin Program: banks, privatizations and Petrobras

by | Jun 21, 2022 | Brasile | 0 comments

An important aspect of the Lula-Alckmin plan is the use of public banks for financing, in addition to the non-privatization rules. Financing through public banks is nothing new for the Workers’ Party, and we know that important sectors of Brazilian capitalism have benefited from this to develop. Including those who, today, take a stand against Workers’ Party, governments, as is the case with “the old Havan”. Regarding the non-privatization rules, they mainly refer to Eletrobras, Correios and Petrobras. The problem is that, now, a lot of things are already privatized, and the program doesn’t explain exactly what it plans to do. Eletrobras was privatized these days, leaving the future of energy distribution in Brazil somewhat uncertain. Also open is the future of Petrobras, today the symbolic enemy of the government.

The plan says that the company will be placed at the service of the Brazilian people and not foreign shareholders. Generic but correct. However, here we have the following problem: we know that Petrobras is a mixed capital company, and that the government has two actions, namely, dividends and control or administration. The government is the one who, in fact, manages Petrobras, being able to establish fuel prices policies that sometimes rise alarmingly. In Congress, proposals on the subject are being processed, as discussed in a previous text in the Diário de Goiás, such as the creation of funds to regulate fuel sold domestically. Even though commodity prices have risen a lot in the international market, benefiting Brazilian producers, this value also rises in the domestic market, making food more expensive. With the dollar on the rise, those who gain from this rise in prices do not invest in buying machines or creating jobs internally, which makes it necessary for the country to have regulatory funds. Regulation is a word demonized by liberals. But what a regulatory tax there is in any developed economy, even in the most liberal country in the world: the US.

This is a fundamental issue, considering that today Petrobras is the new imaginary enemy of the government. As Brazil went through a long military period, and returned to democracy, conspiracy theories began to appear here and there. We are in a government that used this tool the most. The President finds someone to blame for everything that happens. Today, for him, Petrobras is the creator of a chaos that can happen in Brazilian society. It is as if he has nothing to do with the company that is semi-state: he is not the government, he is not the main head of the company, he has not appointed the president of the company, he is not responsible for an energy policy. This practice of finding the enemy is starting to get old, even among Bolsonaristas. Today, they are somewhat ashamed to take to the streets to defend the government.

Then, in the plan, there are some elements in relation to the expansion of the Bolsa Família, elimination of the consumption tax, which in Brazil is very high. Here, dividends from those who work in the financial market are not taxed, but food is taxed. We need to invert this. In addition to making a progressive income tax towards the rich, considering that today the poor and the middle class are the ones who support the state. Even so, the document is shy about it.


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