A superestrutura da dívida

Artigos

O livro origina-se da tese de doutoramento do autor, aprovada pela Universidade de Brasília em junho de 2010. Dela resultaram quatro artigos, cada um deles relacionado a um capítulo, publicados em periódicos científicos entre 2014 e 2016.

Beginning with an analysis of the global context of substitution of neoliberal for developmentalist ideology, The politics of financialization in Brazil examines the financial expansion of the Brazilian economy that has taken place in the last two decennia. This process occurred in a context of a reorganization of economic relations, in which the state’s role was fundamental despite the neoliberal discourse. Efforts to restore the profits of classes whose incomes were reduced by welfare policies were subjacent to this discourse. In Brazil, the neoliberal ideology began to be consolidated in the mid-1990s, with the Real Plan as its landmark. In addition to inflation control, the plan sought to attract over-accumulated capital that was circulating globally in search of profitable outlets. Reproducing the historical connection between capitalism and the state, a financial expansion of the Brazilian economy also occurred under this association, in which public debt was the great engine.

In The class character of macroeconomic policies in Brazil of the real, I discuss ways in which several important fiscal and monetary policies implemented in Brazil after the Real Plan interfered with class relations and how they reveal the financial class character of the state. The fiscal policies analyzed are the release of federal tax revenue entitlements, the so-called fiscal responsibility, and the goals for the primary and nominal fiscal results. In the realm of monetary policy, the analysis focuses on the priority given to inflation control and inflation targeting. The results suggest that these policies facilitated favoritism towards the financial fraction of capital; the policies constitute an institutional apparatus for the reproduction of the income that finance extorts from labor through the state.

Fiscal superstructure and the deepening of labour exploitation analyses the expropriation of workers’ incomes through public debt and taxation, in a fiscal system that is capable, more than of enabling a redistribution of surpluses, of deepening future labour exploitation. Based on recent Brazilian experience, the paper shows that the increase of both public debt and interest on that debt has led to increased taxation, whose burden is eventually levied on workers. Combined with a decrease in state spending on social wages, this has led to an increase in the aggregate rate of labour exploitation, revealing the exploitative character of the state fiscal superstructure.

The objective of Macroeconomic policies and economic democracy in neoliberal Brazil is to investigate some of the forms of conduct of macroeconomic policies related to a substantive concept of democracy, characterized by popular participation – direct or through representatives – in decisions that unevenly affect the material well-being of the entire Brazilian population. Special attention is given to decisions about the country’s public indebtedness in the years following the launching of the Real Plan. Empirical evidences show a limited democracy, revealed by the material inequality, which in turn reproduces political inequality and restricts real freedom. This is combined with the selective bureaucratic insulation of economic policy decisions, and the parliament’s failure to deal with the macroeconomic agenda. The latter is thus left to the control of the executive branch’s economic apparatus, which on one hand submits itself to substantial political influence from finance and, on the other hand, restricts popular participation in decisions on both fiscal and monetary policies.