Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lula, Sa Zom!

Brazil is tipped by many as one of the few countries that will ride out the global economic downturn the least dazed. Such a feat would not have been possible without an enlightened leadership embodying vision, sovereignty and empathy as opposed to nincompoops who outsource their thinking to say the World Bank. Here is how Lula proves his mettle in the Financial Times:

" We could not grow, it was said, without threatening economic stability – much less grow and distribute wealth. We would have to choose between the internal market and the external. Either we accepted the unforgiving imperatives of the globalised economy or we would be condemned to fatal isolation.

Over the past six years, we have destroyed those myths. We have grown and enjoyed economic stability. Our growth has been accompanied by the inclusion of tens of millions of Brazilian people in the consumer market. We have distributed wealth to more than 40m who lived below the poverty line. We have ensured that the national minimum wage has risen always above the rate of inflation.

We have democratised access to credit. We have created more than 10m jobs. We have pushed forward with land reform. The expansion of our domestic market has not happened at the expense of exports – they have tripled in six years. We have attracted enormous volumes of foreign investment with no loss of sovereignty.

I hope for a world free of the economic dogmas that invaded the thinking of many and were presented as absolute truths. Anti-cyclical policies must not be adopted only when a crisis is under way. Applied in advance – as they have been in Brazil – they can be the guarantors of a more just and democratic society.

I do not give much importance to abstract concepts. I am not worried about the name to be given to the economic and social order that will come after the crisis, so long as its central concern is with human beings."

Dream, dream dream dream...

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