After a period of growth that saw nearly 30 million citizens emerge from poverty at the start of the millennium, since 2014 Brazil has been going through a succession of crises with dramatic social consequences. The latest, caused by the pandemic, has widened inequalities to the point of observing an unprecedented social regression. Today, one in seven Brazilians suffers from insecurity and nearly one in ten survives below the extreme poverty line. If the social policies put in place by Lula during his two mandates keep the most vulnerable on a drip, the State has an ever-decreasing budgetary room for maneuver to maintain this aid.
What economic assessment can be made of Bolsonaro’s mandate and what share of responsibility can be attributed to the head of state in the social slump that Brazil is going through? What place does the issue of inequality occupy in the electoral campaign? If Lula came to win at the end of the ballot, would he be able to put Brazil back on the path to social justice, both politically and fiscally? And finally, what will happen to the country if this ticking time bomb of poverty is to explode?
To answer these questions and many others, Florian Delorme receives Joao Whitaker Ferreiraprofessor of urban planning at the University of Sao Paulo, Christine Terraprofessor of economics at ESSEC Business School, associate researcher at CEPII (Center for prospective studies and international information) as well as Mireille Razafindrakotoresearcher at the IRD (Institute for Research and Development).