Fortune Gives, And Fortune Takes Away

There is a quote of Michel Houellebecq that I like very much. “Anything can happen in life,” he once said, “especially nothing.” And this may be true. But sometimes, even nothing can have wide-reaching effects.

This was the first thought that came to mind when I tried to understand how things could so quickly have gone from good to very bad for Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. Sometimes there is no discernible reason for one’s fall from grace. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be enough of a reason.

So much depends on what the Stoics called fortuna, or Fortune.


How quickly it can all unravel! Let us use Brazilian politics as an example. In the December 5, 2011 edition of the New Yorker Magazine, Rousseff was the subject of a glowing article that celebrated her transition from communist radical to head of state. The future was bright. Everything was moving in a forward direction.

And then, all of a sudden, it wasn’t. The economy faltered after 2012, and nothing the government did seemed to make it any better. Inflation began to fester, then took off at a full gallop. For all her attempt to look presidential, the Brazilian president seemed (at least to this writer) aloof, distracted, and perpetually flummoxed.

But it is hard not to separate Rousseff from her predecessor, ex-president Lula. An astute politician who left office with nearly an 80% approval rating, he seemed blessed by fortune. He rose from extreme poverty to become president; and when I say extreme poverty, I mean extreme.

His father had had two families and a total of twenty-two children. He began working as a machinist at the age of fourteen and lost a finger five years later. His first wife died in childbirth because he had lacked access to medical care. But somehow he overcame these handicaps and entered politics; some would say he was at the right place at the right time. As Brazil’s political system became transformed after the end of the military period in the 1980s, his star rose.


Lula ran for president in 2002 when his predecessor Henrique Cardoso retired. It was a time of rising economic progress in the world, and the market for commodities was exploding. Everyone thought it would last for a long time. But perceptive observers would have smiled at the rosy, optimistic predictions. They would know that nations, like people, are often prisoners of their histories. In retrospect, it seems that much of Lula’s achievements were transitory, or perhaps even illusory. He happened to be at the right place at the right time.

When Lula got into office, he was able to ride the wave of success created by Cardoso’s anti-inflation program. Cardoso had completely overhauled Brazil’s currency system and replace it with the real. It was a massive reset of the national economic system, but it worked. Lula cobbled together some social programs created by Cardoso and greatly expanded them into what would be called the Bolsa Familia system (“family grant”). It is a massive program that provides financial assistance to poor or disadvantaged families; it reaches about a quarter of the country’s population.

Lula also initiated a consumer credit system for many citizens who had been unable to access loans of any kind. Under the credito consignado, financial institutions would be able to deduct payments directly from people’s employers. Lula might have presided over the program, but it would not have worked without his predecessor’s successes.  Cynics would say that it was a simplified way for big business to pick the pockets of the average consumer.

These accomplishments—which look less impressive now than they did in 2010—came at some cost. Many would say that Lula simply tossed around a lot of money, rode the economic surge of the time, and coasted off the hard work of others. Corruption was still there, if one was prepared to look past the emotive headlines praising Lula.

The Brazilian press reported a huge government scandal in 2005 called the mensalão (“big monthly”). It was the usual story of payoffs being made to cement political alliances. Two of Lula’s closest aides (Antonio Palocci and Jose Dirceu) were brought down in the scandal, and it was opening this that paved the way for the rise of Dilma Rousseff. The philosophically-minded reader will no doubt smile at the irony of this fact.


Corruption was always there. But when the money was rolling in, and the economy was steaming forward, no one wanted to pay it too much attention. Lula was even reelected in 2006, despite being surrounded by scandal and corruption. He was hailed as the world’s best statesman, and he basked in the glory. Lula was everywhere, flexing his muscles; he even pushed to gain a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

But fortuna always has a way of exacting her own revenge. One day we are riding the crests of waves; the next day, those same waves may grind our bodies against the seafloor.

Sometimes my Brazilian friends harangue me with great passion about how bad Dilma and Lula have been for the economy. As an ignorant foreigner, I listen politely, aware of the limitations of my knowledge of the subject. No doubt those in office should be held to account for the things that happen on their watches. But one could also see these two politicos, I gently suggest, as victims of circumstance, in the same way Herbert Hoover was when the Depression hit in 1929.

No one was more of a prodigy than Herbert Hoover. In the 1920s, he was considered a brilliant engineer and technocrat, a man who could work miracles. And yet it all evaporated after 1929. He would spend the rest of his life trying to vindicate his legacy. Perhaps the analogy is misplaced, and perhaps not.

“But you don’t understand! They’re corrupt!” my friends tell me. I know, I know, I say.  And maybe they are right. But has not corruption always been there? Isn’t it often a matter of circumstance as to who takes the blame?

I remember one time I was with a girl in one of the museums in Rio de Janeiro. On display in one of the cases was the blood-stained shirt of President Getulio Vargas. Vargas shot himself in the chest in 1954 in a suicide brought on by an apparent fit of depression.

I told the girl I was with that it was sad that he had killed himself. It’s too bad, I said, that he had been afflicted by depression. But she was not sympathetic. Her eyes narrowed, and she looked at me bemusedly. “He was depressed,” she said, “because he was caught stealing money.”

Read More: 16 Ways To Save More Money

84 thoughts on “Fortune Gives, And Fortune Takes Away”

  1. Look…what happened was…Communism.
    Communism (& socialism) don’t even work on paper. Simple, really. Retarded ideology created by a narcissistic, racist, untalented moron.

    1. No matter how many times you point out how communism/socialism has been tried and failed, there is ALWAYS some “true believer” idiot somewhere with their standard reply: “It just wasn’t done right!”

      1. True that. Look at the mental gymnastics used to convert National Socialism from the leftist idea that Hitler loved on it’s head and spin it as right wing. Now, they are doing the same with the USSR, spinning that as government run capitalism. Goebbels would have loved loved loved loved the modern leftist Democrat party.

  2. Brazil, also Venezuela now in the dumps. Argentina is stable, but is in a sorry state compared to its past wealth a hundred years ago, which surpassed everything else in the hemisphere.
    How long will it be until the wealth reserves of the USA are tapped out, the international dependency on the federal reserve note ends, and we are in permanent recession? Our politics and policies are not much worse than those of the failing states. Only the wheel of fortune has continued to bless America. For now.

    1. There have been massive grifts in America recently but there hasn’t been an uprising because of the level of comfort we have. The establishment has done a stellar job controlling the media and dumbing down the American public.

      1. “. The establishment has done a stellar job controlling the media and dumbing down the American public”
        Exactly. And also being sure that the comfort level of our lives does not go below a certain par.

        1. Definitely it. Cheap stuff from China instead of good paying jobs to buy stuff that’s not poisonous or made by slave labor. And the Millenials still have their parents house’s to stay in. But it’s disappearing fast. There’re almost no opportunities left. And the Left keeps promising free education. I suppose that’s because the past two generations have huge college debt and no jobs to pay it off with. Once we get the mass homelessness that’s on the horizons there SHOULD be an uprising. But lest’s see.

    2. Here to hoping the safety valve by the name of Trump succeeds. We are in a bad spot, but standard of living is hight enough that are poor live in better condition compare to Brazil. America will have its misfortune soon, but can this misfortune be fleeting? Can repair or replace damage segments of country and culture before storm of misfortune fall upon? Whatever happens, we will become of bedrock for shamble remain of a civilization to anchor on.

    3. If we’re lucky. The more likely scenario is a civil war, broken down by the 3 r’s that endlessly plague the states: Race, Region, Religion.

    1. Isn’t that the truth? All of these places that are supposed to be up and coming, “vibrant” and never quite arrive.

  3. The problem resides in the fact that socialists will keep on spending money until the country implodes. Rousseff, Lula and their gang are just starting to get what they deserve.

    1. This. Commie presidents always perform well in developing countries, until suddenly all resources are sold, and the money stops flowing.

  4. Decent article but it paints way too rosy a picture. This isn’t regular people in office going through periods of good and bad. These are branches of the NWO corrupting, consolidating and destroying. Same thing happens here.

    1. Can you please STFU about the NWO.
      I don’t mean to sound like a SJW but there’s no conspiracy here. Regardless of whatever happens in the rest of the world Brazil will screw itself through socialist policies (in fact, I invite liberals to come here since it has every single cockamamie social “improvement” scheme they can think of, at least on paper).
      What happened, and I say this as a libertarian anarchist that despises democracy and would much rather a monarchy, is that the democratic process was run properly as prescribed in the constitution. There was no coup, there were no black helicopters and there was no NWO or J.E.W.S. or Lizardmen or whatever.

      1. No I will not stfu. You are below the ROK standards. If you deny there are elitists that would benefit from and promote a global government you have your head up your ass. Call it the NWO or call it the rich corrupt country club it’s all the same and it’s happening. It happens through corrupt corporate /political interests and they don’t need any cheesy helicopters and shit. Those are side projects and minor details if true at all. The conspiracy theorists focusing on that bs are meant to discredit and distract from my point above. Learn to act like a man not some explosive child.

        1. “How can a Monarch be trusted to protect his country’s constitution?”
          He “protects” it by tearing it up, thus protecting the people, instead of sacrificing the people upon the altar of the letter of the law.

  5. And this country is supposed to host the Olympics. I would guess that millions of dollars allocated to projects has disappeared.

  6. Pretty nice article. I wish to contribute with two pieces of relevant information: Firstly, the current crisis was very predictable for those of us who were following my country’s political situation. The question always remained in Rousseff’s ability to supress (or otherwise mislead) the population’s rage when the ecomonic crisis reached it’s peak. The Worker’s Party would either irrevocably tighten it’s grip on Brazil’s throat or collapse. Fortunately, it seems that the second outcome will prevail. Secondly, for those who might be interested in further details on Brazilian political landscape after recent events, i’d recomend reading everything from Alex Newman and Bob Adelmann in here: The amount and quality of info in those articles are amazing, it’s stuff even Brazilians don’t get from our (lying, corrupt, biased and incompetent) corporate media.

    1. One simple question: how serious is the corruption in Dilma’s government?
      Because from the outside, it seems like nothing. Fake statistics are the standard right now in most countries. Even US statistics are fully cooked up. When I see the charges… well, in my country that just would make one day headlines as maximum.

      1. Greboaba, that question is indeed simple, but the answer, unfortunately, is not. I’ve spent all day scratching my head and thinking on how to best answer that. Even now I can’t decide on how to explain the extent of the damage Lula and Rousseff imposed on Brazil. It’s not corruption by itself, it’s that the corruption was only a means to an end, and that end was to turn Brazil into a full Communist Dictatorship. On the money front, investigations by our Federal Police revealed that in the last ten years, about 700 billion BRL went missing, but the real value probably surpasses a trillion BRL. This is not just ‘stolen money’, per se. It also involves gross mismanagement and purposeful financing of bogus or otherwise politically motivated enterprises. As an example, I present Petrobrás, the State controlled giant that has a monopoly on oil. Petrobrás lost 85% of it’s market value in just about five years. Gas prices are on the rise in Brazil, and will continue to be even as the global trend is for then to fall. Petrobrás bankrupcy has been wrought because Rousseff needed to finance both her reelection campaign in 2014 and to pay for what we call ‘dirty blogs’: sell out internet blogs that receive a huge amount of public money to create government friendly factoids (Ryan Holiday’s book “Trust me, I’m lying” describes in some extent the MO of those blogs). The state controlled mailing company, the Correios, had a pension fund for it’s employees: it’s all gone. It was all used to finance some racket for venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro. Correios employees had a 15% cut on their salaries that will last for at least 15 years, no raises will be given during that time and any of then retiring from now on is in for a very lenghty, expensive and probably futile judicial battle. Also, Brazil has been financing Cuba, Bolivia, and lots of African dictatorships. A lot of that money was also used for the “mensalão”, and that means that since Congress has been bought by the Executive, Brazil cannot be considered a representative democracy, and all legislation passed in the last ten or so years are under suspicion. But all that is just money. There are worse ways to ruin a country. Messed up education policies is one such way. The goverment pushed some crackpot policy that posits that grammar is an element of class warfare, so now if you correct somebody’s spelling you can be called a bigot. A good prosecutor can theoretically land you criminal charges for RACISM (I know, right?) if you insist on opressing the downtrodden with your “burgoise grammar”. That and other similarly idiotic policies created a whole new generation of appalingly illiterate youngsters, all duly indoctrinated with the most vulgar Marxism and absolute hatred for the market economy and anything resembling conservative values, of course. Murders in Brazil are reaching 60000 victims per year; it skyrocketed after a nationwide draconian gun control law that was shoved down even after a national referendum resulted that 64% of the population repealed the law. This, and the Worker’s Party leftist rethoric that “criminals are society’s victims” are to blame for all those deaths. Lula is clearly a psychopath, and the shining example of his success in lying and slandering his way to the Executive has caused an impact in Brazilian society. People here are becoming clearly more vicious, manipulative and dishonest. I don’t know what country you’re from, Greboaba, and I’m sure there’s places worse off than here, but Brazil can give any country in this planet a run for it’s money on criminally insane politicians.

  7. QC, Lula isn’t some worker’s paradise martyr.
    He’s another dime a dozen union thug using syndicalism and a “concern” for the poor to get to power.

  8. Also, Dilma only rose to power because Lula (riding on the previous president’s coattails) was using government money for “development” and he threatened to cut welfare if anyone but her were elected. She was his frontwoman.
    Unfortunately for him, she’s insane. The pretext for her impeachment was breaking a fiscal responsibility law called “LRF” by having the treasury, through public banks, write checks for itself to finance the government beyond its current revenues. Kinda like what your FED does.
    As Brazil goes, that alone wouldn’t have gotten her impeached but she’s so confrontational and such a bridge-burner that nearly every one of her allies abandoned her and she won’t listen to anyone about how to run a country.
    Think of an incompetent narcissist that is under a hideously exaggerated D-K effect. That’s her.
    I’m surprised she’s hasn’t been committed.

  9. They voted in a dyke communist, blew 13 billion on the world cup, then they were surprised when their economy went to shit?

    1. ^^^^
      This. Anyone with half a brain after seeing what happened to Greece for the Olympics should know better than to invite international events into their country. The World Cup and Olympics are nothing more than a ponzi scheme for bankers.

      1. It says a lot when Qatar gets the World Cup, assuming we haven’t been enveloped by a world war by the year 2022.

      2. I would very much agree in regards with the Olympics but the World Cup can actually be very profitable for a nation if they have established infrastructure re- stadia. USA, England, Germany for example.
        It would seem the problem Brazil had was building unnecessary monstrous white elephants in poorly planned areas.

    2. I remember they had the police murder a bunch of their homeless kids to make them look better for the World Cup too.

    3. Well it was hardly just the world cup that made their mostly resource based economy go to shit, but it certainly did not help. All resource based economies are now struggling, though not as bad as Brazil & Russia. They will get some benefit out of some of the infrastructure spending but it was a huge waste of money. FIFA are really the only ones that come out getting richer every 4 years. It would have been great if they could have leveraged off the world cup spending to greatly reduce the spending on this years olympic games, but that’s not really the case, with the games this year costing a further $18billion.
      Many of the other nations that have hosted the olympic games also are still paying off the interest on them. Qatar which is hosting the 2nd next soccer world cup is planning on spending a staggering $65b. Maybe oil prices will be riding high again then for them. Its great to be a showcase to the world and be seen as world class country during these events but it now comes at a huge price tag for the less developed ones.

  10. the person who wrote this post is totally wrong and has a sence of right like 100% all mexicans, if things are all ready f#cked might as well continue stickingt my hand in the trough, but that is why these 3rd world countries never ever progress , because everybody does these things (as I live in mexico , I was born in mexico , my parents are white americans) nothing ever becomes better!

    1. Integralismo and copying European nationalism was bad for Brazil. By dropping the reference to White folks, Vargas paved the way for future anti-Whiteness. “The man” should be an emperor mixing traditional nobility with meritocracy.

      1. Sounds like the evil white man theory of history. Vargas capitalized on World War 2 by building the mining infrastructure. He is responsible for creating Vale and Petrobras. Without Vargas they would still be a giant coffee plantation.

        1. I was thinking about the integralismo ideology. Before Vargas, it was normal in Brazil that Whites occupied the upper levels of the ladder. Which was good as long as Whites did not have to compete with slaves. When Vargas promoted integralismo, he put an idea of a “new man,” a mixed-race, moreno, specifically “Brazilian” man above the Whites who basically built the country. I’m not saying that either Whites or Vargas was specifically evil, I’m saying that integralismo and botched nationalism were huge political mistakes.

  11. At least they’re not Venezuela…those folks are REALLY fucked. How fucked? No TV or cell phone service. And that goes out for those who whine about data rates. And that’s saying a lot when Gawker publishes a good article about the situation. So I challenge Mr. Quintius Curtius to do one better and write an article about it.

    1. I worked down there a few years ago for a month and it was horrible. The food was disgusting for what you could get and it got everybody sick, they had just gotten over a toilet paper drought and I saw people hustling basic bathroom commodities on the street like they were dope. I felt bad for how poor they were, the poor in America still have it better than a lot of people around the world. I was working with locals who had a decent job and still no running water at the house and electricity was going out pretty often. Anytime anybody mentions socialism I just think about those kids I saw playing In the trash while filthy as fuck living in a half ass concrete hut with half a roof.

      1. My father went down there on a fishing trip years back. Not a place he’d recommend going back to.

  12. One thing that I have noticed about Brazilians is that they are so obsessed with national pride that they will engage in idiotic policies just so that they can feel like the big boys of the G7. They brag about starting their industrialization with aircraft production, which is crazy. They produce planes that they lose a fortune on as a result, while leaving an economy that instead of being built around highly diversified manufacturing and services with broad internal consumer consumption is hopelessly dependent on commodities for export. They are blessed with a commodity bubble thanks to China for around 7 years. Instead of taking that money and investing in roads, shipping rails, harbors, and airports, they blow it all on the World Cup and Olympics.
    What they don’t seem to realize is that if you want to make it to G7 levels, you have to start at the bottom like everyone else did. Steel & textiles instead of airplanes. Basic Infrastructure instead of sporting events. There is no shame in that. China, for all of its flaws, got that. Brazil just does not and if you try to explain it to them you can expect an earful about what an evil gringo imperialist you are.

  13. Hoover, along with a lot of others at the time, thought that the government could somehow magically engineer an economy into never having a down cycle. It’s completely possible if you repress the economy and never let it have an up cycle. Many of the proposals that Hoover was willing to implement had been proposed and flatly rejected by Coolidge as unconstitutional and unnecessary infringement by government on the people and the businesses.
    This could devolve into a long dissertation on what caused the depression to be so extreme, the fact that Hoover was essentially willing to try any solution to the problem was an issue, things like Smoot-Hawley only made the situation worse at it started a trade war. The government, much like 2008, needed to back stop failing banks. Beyond that, other countries didn’t do much and their economies recovered much faster after the 1929 panic.
    Cardasao implemented much needed reform. Lula expanded those reforms and made it so that the desperately poor had a way to access credit and possibly move out of poverty. His years as a machinist probably gave him some idea of how things work. Rousseff is just another communist, which is to say no idea how any fuck thing works but they just know they are going to give to the poor and make the rich pay for it, somehow.
    When it comes to favor, I prefer the readings of Boethius. Lady Fortune may smile upon you, but she is a fickle mistress. It is better to be prepared that you do not depend on her favor.

  14. Depends on what you mean by “fortune.” The whole story did not create itself. There is a word going around, a word saying that the CIA lulled a number of Petrobras officials into stealing money. The HSBC bank networks seem to have played a prominent role in handling the dirty bucks. Later, when the CIA had enough files about Petrobras officials stealing billions, it just had to send them to the media to create the whole Petrobras affair.
    True, South America has always been plagued by corruption, but here it was a conscious power who took advantage of this defect to push for its own plans.
    Once the Petrobras corruption was exposed (more precisely, the corrupt men were exposed, but not the CIA/HSBC globalists who lulled them into stealing), an enormously powerful movement started promoting the Impeachment. A movement which includes the Globo media network, one of the firsts in Brazil, Freemasons, powerful Jews, companies such as the restaurant network Habib’s and so on. They all led the average Brasileiro to convert his legitimate frustrations into a blind hatred against Dilma and Lula.
    Fortune? If by “fortune” you also mean intrigue, then yes, “fortune” did it. However, I would favour a more precise formulation, which focuses on who did (and still does) what.

    1. The agency is the boogeyman of every unpopular and communist regime around. They get way more credit than they deserve.

    2. Certainly shadowy elites could have played a role in causing the corruption, but Petrobras officials didn’t HAVE to fall victim to their temptation. The blame ultimately lies with no one but themselves.

  15. I do like your articles Quintus, for a while i haven’t appeared in ROK, and i really enjoyed to come back and observe that you still keep it up with the good work, but i don’t think Dilma and Lula’s political problems relies exclusively on fortune, i’m not trying to be pretentious but this situation was not that hard to see it coming.
    I am a Brazilian too, but as someone whom future relies on the law, i have to say that the thing i care the most is the current situation towards the judiciary instability we live in, right now Supreme courts ministers have less respect than ever, many processes they vote for have fundaments against what is write in our constitution, it’s a shame and i fear for the next inquisitorial moves they can do illegaly, or legaly depending on who’s in charge of sanctioning new laws or ignoring inquisitorial acts that does not affects a select group of individuals in power.

  16. Impeachment? she’s lucky to not be hanging from a noose right now. Violence towards politicians needs to return

  17. Just a quick observation that my father and I have been making, myself recently and my father since 2008 when the fed bailed us out of another depression.
    Does anyone notice at all that the economy is doing magnificently awful, unemployment rates (or at least worker participation rates) are very low, we have all these problems (like student loans, etc.), and yet the market data illustrates a thriving economy? DOWJ has reached just over 18000. Isn’t this a record, or close to a record, high?
    If any of you have seen the movie Hot Fuzz, the situation that we are in with our outright bad market data giving people false hope and ideas reminds me of when the question was asked (paraphrased): “Does anyone here notice that the murder rate of this town is so low, but the accidental death rate is unnaturally high?!”
    The murder rate of course being what our economy actually is, and the accidental death rate then being represented by the false market data.
    What is going on with our world? Don’t answer that (because it’s blatantly obvious what’s going on with our world).

    1. People don’t want to know as long as those checks clear and their welfare benefits arrive.
      Unemployment is closer to 23% last I checked (shadow stats), the market is artificially propped up and we are going to have another housing crash shortly. I surmize the US will default on the debt, but with machinations of Obama and crew it seems to be done intentionally.

    2. The record-high stock prices are due to the Fed’s quantitative easing, i.e. artificially boosting it up to appear healthy. Since it failed to ACTUALLY boost the economy, it all has to collapse eventually. The Fed just had several emergency closed-doors meetings with Obama and banks.
      The stock prices are in no way indicative of the health of the national economy, especially since most/all of the companies involved are multinationals who screw over Americans for an extra 0.1% yearly profit.

    3. Our system is running on fumes and being kept afloat long enough so that the elite can pick the carcass clean.
      Our government is issuing 75 year bonds now. This means that they will take the money today and use it to pay off debt, and some poor taxpayer will have to pay it back 75 years from now.

    4. Yeah! I’ve noticed that too. They say the umemployment rate is good, but there are more people out of jobs or under-employed now than I’ve ever seen. While the media is pushing all this garbage on us, the politicians are blowing smoke by complaining about fags in bathrooms. Both sides are using THAT one to avoid talking about the problems.

  18. The feminist Dilma failed because she ignored the simple truth: communism ends when other people’s money ends. She could have prevented the economical crisis by cutting the money wasted on state programs, but she was just an incompetent put by the feminist left party who wanted a women for ideological reasons.

  19. So true.
    But even on a smaller scale.
    The sales person who gets the job just as the market for the product they’re selling picks up.
    The person who is made manager of a store that just happens to be in the right location, selling the right product, at the right time.
    Everyone claims success. And often being in the right place at the right time once in your career can propell your prospects forward.

  20. ROK giving credit to these Marxist scum?
    Do you have any idea of the strategies used by PT(Worker’s party) to migrate Brazil from a sane country into a politically correct, self-entitlement estimulating nation of BEGGERS?
    Bolsa Familia is no acomplishment to be proud of. SUS (the “universal” healthcare system, wich I know from inside) does not bring a tenth of what a decent helthcare system should look like. Public education is on the rags, and blacks, indians and poor people have priorities in entering universities (wich account for 80% of the cost of public education), while in kindergarten, at the age of 6, kids watch videos crafted with public money from the ministry of education advertising “sexual diversity”, saying they don’t have to pick one gender for their sexual partners.
    Accomplished government? This is the face of Brazil shown overseas. A happy, wonderful “don’t give a shit” kind of country. To the one that thinks, down here feels like hell. DAMNED BE THESE MOTHAFUCKIN COMMIE SCUM.

  21. All politicians are corrupt and those who aren’t, are just good hiding it. At least here in South America.
    Here in Venezuela we have a corrupt government, from the president to the local “community councils” (consejos comunales), and what we have to replace them? More corrupt politicians.

    1. It is the same everywhere. I assume that any politician in office is a crook. Any politician running for office is only a wanna be crook.

  22. I remember watching something where it postulated what would have happened if FDR was president when the Depression hit instead of Hoover. Some believed that people would have been clamoring for someone who “understand the economy” (Hoover) instead of a charming politician (Roosevelt).
    Frame is everything, and sometimes we simply can’t control it.

  23. They used to call that the tides of fortune since they regularly come and go. The other saying I like is, “Count no man lucky who is not in the grave.” This is a way of saying that no matter how good things look they can go south in a hurry so the only way to be truly permanently lucky is to die before your luck runs out.

  24. I’ve never understood what it is with South American countries and trying to go full-on socialist, Bernie Sanders style. Even when everyone is poor and there’s no money to go around, and there’s a culture of corruption and bribing everyone, the gov’t still tries to tax money that isn’t there for bloated programs for free school, welfare, etc.
    Give it a rest, jeez

    1. It’s what get people voting, but I’m pretty sure democracy works. Oh wait lol
      Did I mention that voting here is mandatory?

  25. As for Rousseff, I find it difficult passing blame onto “Fortuna” where a former(?) radical communist is concerned. I prefer to think of it as her chickens coming home to roost. At any rate, I only hope Fortuna proves just as stern with our own home-grown Marxist and SJW politicians.. the ones currently riding high on the wave of popularity and consumerist-driven plenty.

  26. You haven’t understood Brazilian Politics and History if you have not studied the São Paulo Forum, created by Lula and Fidel Castro in 1990, to unite the left-wing authoritary parties for a communist hegemony in Latin America. Without this, and without understanding that the Worker’s Party has a plan of dictatorial power, usurping democratic governments for the “greater good” of the Party, the situation in Brazil can be seen as being just a bad case of “corruption”. Reducing what’s happening in Brazil to corruption is disconsidering the plan for conquest of Latin America by the communist left. Just see how the Worker’s Party is now outright lying and screaming about everything. Even the vice president, that they have elected twice, is in the supposed “conspiracy”, according to them. Impeaching Dilma is just the beginning. It will take years of hard work by the people and the destruction of the current system to make this country better. We are in for a fight, but not the left’s fight.

  27. Oriental guru once said: ”the best government is very small but very cleptocratic and corrupt.” They knock on your door once a year to collect taxes and then they run and hide, leaving you alone in peace for the remainder of the year.

  28. Lula is the Bill Clinton of Brazil… both posed as if economic bubbles were something they accomplished in order to push an agenda. They did not care if this agenda was good for the country. Lula clearly didn’t escape his past, and let it rule him through adherence to his ridiculous ideology. So he is being punished. However Clinton, who is willingly a scumbag and liar, got off scot free while taking credit for the results of the Reagan years and the dot com boom, with none of the blame of 9/11 he should have gotten for ignoring Osama bin Laden after he attacked and said he would try again, on the same building. This says something very chilling about the world and the supremacy of natural law over constructed values and morality. Traditional society was the only thing that kept this at bay.

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