O unhappiness index it is a very simple measure of economic malaise, but it says something about the prestige of rulers. is the sum of inflation rate with the unemployment ratean idea by American economist Arthur Okun (1928-1980).
In general, also Popularity of Brazilian Presidents varies with this index of unhappiness or suffering (“misery index”).
The economic distress index started to fall around March and is expected to drop further. It seems plausible that the popularity of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) has bottomed out, starting at the beginning of the year, because of the increase in the number of people with some work.
Like any other simple explanation, resorting only to the suffering index is a big mistake. But it is not good to despise tricks and effects of inflation and employment on political conversation.
Despite coming off rock bottom, Bolsonaro’s assessment and voting have improved very little so far, even with less economic suffering and the announcement of the Aid Brazil fatter. It doesn’t mean that lower inflation, more jobs and money from benefits in hand can’t bring more votes to Bolsonaro.
From the point of view of the Bolsonarista campaign, it is electoral suicide to wait and see, however. Something needs to be done. THE persistence of Lula da Silva’s (PT) loose leadership can provoke a stampede of candidates and allies. More than losing support from politicians, who may not count for much in the world of social networks, Bolsonaro may see the disappearance of other presidential candidates and their votes, votes that guarantee at least a second round.
Before the electoral fraud, inflation of 10% a year was expected until the eve of the first round. Now, 8% is predicted. The unemployment rate and the number of employed people improve much faster. This is in an environment where the workforce and the level of occupation (people of working age who have jobs) have returned to averages from 2012 to 2019. The unemployment rate at the end of this year could be the lowest since 2014.
But the price level, especially for basic things like food, is at a horrible level. The real value of the average salary is still the lowest in the decade. At least until 2021, the onslaught of work was much greater for the poorest 30%.
Wherever you look, average salary, of the poorest or by unit cost of work (average salary per unit of product, in reais or in dollars), the worker is at a liquidation price. Perhaps, for this reason, companies hire more (there may have been a reduction in other labor costs with the labor reform).
In the two months leading up to the first round, there is little time for significant extra improvement in employment and further decline in inflation, even though wages are now rapidly deteriorating. In December 2021, the average real wage was falling by 11% per year; in June, at 5%. From now on, less salty electricity bills will also arrive and Emergency Aid will drip. The cooling off of the economy was delayed until the end of the year.
Finally, note the obvious: the real, violent campaign begins only at the end of August. We will also see the religious conflict and other “culture wars”, the conversation with the mass of voters who barely lived under Lula, the expectation of what the future of the income of the poor will be, the digital lie and who knows even mass and violence in the road. It is almost always difficult to anticipate the final, decisive motto of campaigns.
This columnist comes back at the end of August to see this ghoulish sururu. Until then, vacation.
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