Bloomberg Businessweek

Brazil’s Great Leap Backward

Corruption, scandal, and recession have wiped out years of social and economic gains

The proliferation of street beggars and potholes is perhaps the most obvious symptom of Brazil’s economic and political meltdown. Then there’s the less visible fallout, such as the cancellation of school lunches, the cuts to lifesaving medical research, and the reductions in security budgets that have allowed crime to flourish and contributed to the ongoing deforestation of the Amazon.

Nearly three years of belt-tightening following the end of the commodities boom have squeezed government funding for education, health, and law enforcement. The ripple effects of austerity are exacerbating near-universal contempt for the country’s political elite

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