Fallacy of success of social policy of lula and rousseff governments
FALLACY OF SUCCESS OF SOCIAL POLICY OF LULA AND ROUSSEFF
Fernando Alcoforado *
The Bolsa Familia program and low unemployment rate have been presented by the
governments of Lula to Dilma Rousseff as indisputable proof of the success of social
policy of PT (Worker Party) adopted in the last 12 years in Brazil. More than 50 million
people, or over 25 % of the population are served by the Bolsa Familia program, ie ,
equivalent to the population of South Africa. As the unemployment rate, its most recent
value (5 % in October 2013), according to IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and
Statistics), is not only lower than that of Switzerland (3.1%) and Austria (4.9%).
In 2013, the Rousseff government allocated 20.6 billion reais for the Bolsa Família
program to benefit 14.1 million households, or one in four Brazilians. It should be noted
that in 2004, the dimensions of the Bolsa Familia program were much smaller because
the total amount disbursed was 5.5 billion dollars, divided by 6.6 million households.
For 2014, the figures indicate that a record should arise because the budget for the Bolsa
Família program is 25.2 billion dollars. Such a rapid rise in the number of people
dependent on government assistance did not happen in part of Europe plunged into a
severe economic crisis since 2008.
It can be stated that if the curve of growth of recent years is maintained, half of
Brazilians could be benefited from the resources of the Bolsa Familia program in ten
years. The governments of PT use the Bolsa Família program as an example of a
successful social policy. It is, however, a fallacy because the number of dependents of
the program increases each year. A social policy of the government would only be
successful if it reduced the number of beneficiaries of the Bolsa Familia program evolve
with time. The increase in the number of beneficiaries of the Family shows that poverty
continues to increase in Brazil.
For the PT government, there is little to lose and much to gain from the uncontrolled
growth in the number of beneficiaries of Bolsa Família program with the use of public
funds because, besides being a relatively inexpensive program that has little popular
rejection, remains dependent on the state a portion increasing of citizens who feel
compelled to vote for the current power holders in electoral contests. With proper
advertising, loyalty that electorate every four years is usually high. This is an outright
purchase of votes with public money.
One of the most serious problems of the Bolsa Família program is the fact that only 12
% of enrolled in the program have shed the money today, according to the Ministry of
Social Development. And you cannot say that they necessarily have overcome thanks to
help from the government misery. The effect of the Bolsa Família program can also be
one explanation for the low unemployment rate recorded in Brazil [See the article by
Gabriel Castro Por que o número de beneficiários do Bolsa Família só cresce (Why the
number of beneficiaries of the “Bolsa Família” Program only grows) posted on the
website < http://veja.abril .com / news / Brazil / number - of - beneficiaries - the - bag -
so - family - grows >].
The methodology applied by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics)
considers only the unemployed person who has more than ten years, sought a job in the
thirty days preceding the survey and did not return. With Bolsa Família program
guaranteed indefinitely, some economists argue, many people do not engage diligently
looking for a new job. As a consequence, they are not seen as statistically unemployed
The IBGE placed the current unemployment rate in Brazil in just 5.3% in October 2012
and more recently by 5% in October 2013. Paradoxically, the index of the Department
of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (DIEESE) situates rate unemployment in Brazil
at 10.5 %. Why is there such a discrepancy between the two indices? Article by
Bernardo Santoro of Liberal Institute under the title Governo manipula para baixo taxa
de desemprego do Brasil (Government handles down Brazil's unemployment rate),
published on the website < http://www.epochtimes.com.br/governo-manipula-para-
baixo-taxa-desemprego-brasil / #. U0fKhZBOXcc>, shows that the two indices, the
IBGE and DIEESE are not certain. The methodology applied by the IBGE is absurd,
without any seriousness and masks the real index. The author of this article states the
Imagine that gentleman enters the train car and sells bullet is considered employed, and that
beggar came begging and you paid for cutting grass of your garden and / or yard. All are
considered employed according to IBGE methodology. Now, if you pay the beggar with a plate
of food and some leftovers for him to take away, or change a service one unemployed for a
favor, all are considered "unpaid workers" without compensation, but employees? Yes, this is
the definition of the IBGE.
Another interesting fact, if an individual gives up looking for work, it is not considered
unemployed , but "discouraged", and that means it will not enter the calculation of the index,
so will not affect the increase in unemployment or employment, even being unemployed. Get
it? Not? Rather, the subject gives up looking for work and are not considered unemployed.
Simple as that!
In this account of "discouraged" is a part of the beneficiaries of Bolsa Família Program (BFP)
who are unemployed and decided to live the benefit, rather than work. Most of the other
beneficiaries are in the same situation as "People Not economically active". Yes, BFP
beneficiaries do not enter the account of unemployment, even if they are unemployed, but
really they are employed, so come on account of employment. Two weights and two measures.
Ie, the person has no job, no longer wants to work but is considered "discouraged", not
affecting the unemployment rate. Or, I have no job, but I'm not unemployed. The Government
managed to create a new category to replace parasitism. In this same category also enters who
is receiving unemployment insurance because it is to the IBGE getting insurance is not
unemployed, just "discouraged", even if he have a job.
Shocked? Calm, as the situation worsens! Not content to leave all these unemployed out of
unemployment, IBGE decided that people who were not working in the week of the survey, but
who worked at some time in the previous 358 days, and were willing to leave unemployment
as "People marginally connected to PEA (Economically Active Population)" and excluded
from the index (some beneficiaries of the Bolsa Família Program are located here as well).
Again, are unemployed, but why not just enjoy it and want to work, are not considered
Finally, people who are "moonlighting" and receive less than the minimum wage are
considered "employed". For example, the individual replaces an attendant at a gas station for a
weekend and get R$ 50. Even though he worked only two days in the month and received less
than 10 % of a minimum wage, the IBGE considers "employee".
Noting that nonsense, the editor and translator of Ludwig von Mises Institute Brazil,
Leandro Roque wrote the article A real taxa de desemprego no Brasil (The real
unemployment rate in Brazil), in which he takes all these people who are unemployed
and not considered by IBGE, but does not enter the index, and puts together the other
5.3% who are also unemployed in October 2012 , but the IBGE could not do magic to
delete the index , they are: 1) People disheartened; 2) People unoccupied ; 3) People
with income less than the minimum wage / hour / minute; 4) Persons marginally
attached to the PEA (Population economically active) ; and 5) " Workers " unpaid.
With all those unemployed who were left out of the index score was scary, instead of
5.3% of the IBGE (October/2012) and / or DIEESE 10.5% in the same period, we have
impressive 20.8 % of unemployed in Brazil. The same methodology is applied today
vary between 20 % and 20.5 % the unemployment rate due to low mobility of this in
2013 (from 5.3% to 5 % depending on the methodology of dishonest IBGE) . Even the
lowest rate since 2009 was 20 % according to the calculation of Leandro Roque, carried
through all the variables collected by IBGE since 2002. Course the PT and especially to
President Dilma Rousseff what matters is that the index magically stay below reality.
A paradoxical situation is that, on one hand, the official unemployment rates are at
historically low levels and on the other, public spending on unemployment insurance
rises nonstop. The logical thing would be public spending on unemployment insurance
to be the minimum possible with occurrence of low unemployment rates. This
contradiction exists only because the official unemployment rate is wrong, undersizing
the number of people without jobs effectively in Brazil. The Brazilian government is
cheating the official data of formal employment.
Adding the growing unemployment with the increasing expense of Bolsa Familia
program, one can conclude that there are many Brazilians increasingly depending on
state handouts to keep. Can this be a sign of a healthy economy? Of course not. Can a
government on such data celebrate the economic and employment picture in Brazil?
Obviously not. Just as the neoliberal governments of Collor, Itamar Franco, Fernando
Henrique Cardoso, Lula and Dilma Rousseff failed to neoliberal economic policies
which resulted in meager economic growth over the past 24 years, Lula and Dilma
Rousseff governments also failed in its social policy not reducing the unemployment
rates in Brazil.
Alcoforado, Fernando, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the
University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning,
regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São
Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo,
1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do
desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona,
http://www.tesisenred.net/handle/10803/1944, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel,
São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era
Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social
Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG,
Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora,
Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global
(Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011) and Os Fatores Condicionantes do
Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), among others.