As I mentioned the other day, Brazilians have been growing increasingly dissatisfied over the past couple of years as they’ve started to wonder how it is that their government is managing to spend billions upon billions on (straggling and still incomplete) infrastructure, transportation, renovation, and stadium projects, but so many of their fellow citizens are trapped in poverty without access to adequate hospitals or schools. Like so many governments that bid to host major international sporting events, the regime of their leftist, Cuba-supporting President Dilma Rousseff has promised that the juice required to host the World Cup starting next week and the Olympics in 2016 will eventually be worth the squeeze because of all of the job creation and tourism it will bring about, but the economic payoff from these sorts of events reliably falls vastly short of both the promises and “investments” the host country made on its behalf (particularly countries with markedly socialist tendencies and insanely corrupt bureaucracies).
The national frustration has recently been bubbling over in the form of both public demonstrations and political sentiments, according to Pew:
The national mood in Brazil is grim, following a year in which more than a million people have taken to the streets of major cities across the country to protest corruption, rising inflation and a lack of government investment in public services such as education, health care and public transportation, among other things. A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 72% of Brazilians are dissatisfied with the way things are going in their country, up from 55% just weeks before the demonstrations began in June 2013.
Opinions about the national economy have changed even more dramatically over this one-year period. Two-thirds now say Brazil’s once-booming economy is in bad shape, while just 32% say the economy is good. In 2013, the balance of opinion was reversed: a 59%-majority thought the country was in good shape economically, while 41% said the economy was bad. Economic ratings had been consistently positive since 2010, when Pew Research first conducted a nationally-representative survey of Brazil.
What’s more, a full 61 percent of those soccer-lovin’ Brazilians think that hosting the World Cup has been bad for their country because it has taken money away from public services, while 52 percent think that President Rousseff is having a negative influence on Brazil (and for a comparison, 84 percent felt that her predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was having a positive influence in the final year of his presidency in 2010). Rousseff is up for reelection later this year, and it looks like the World Cup she surely hoped would boost her campaign prospects is instead turning into quite the albatross.