By Sam Loose | BRAZIL
Once the world’s fifth largest economy, the past two decades have shown a steady financial decline for Brazil. This financial instability is a direct result of Democratic Socialist policies implemented by the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers Party or PT) and the Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB). The left wing grip over the Brazilian economy has worked only for the politicians. The Brazilian government has a long history of corruption made evident by Petrobras scandal, where it was revealed that government officials had been using the nation’s nationalized oil industry to benefit themselves through embezzlement and the sale of contracts. With the pockets of politicians growing ever larger while GDP crumbles, consumer buying power decays, unemployment skyrockets, and debt rises. Brazil is ready for a change, and his name is João Doria, the Mayor of São Paulo, who has expressed a willingness to run for president in 2018 or 2022.
João was born as the son of a federal deputy in the Chamber of Deputies (Brazil’s equivalent to a Congress), who was ousted in the 1964 Brazilian coup d’état and was exiled to Paris, where he spent most of his childhood. João would complete his studies in Europe where he would receive a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Paris followed by a Masters from the University of Sussex. At around this time, Joao and his family slowly began the process of returning to Brazil, establishing several businesses within South America, which João would help manage. It was here where he would learn skills in business.
Doria is often referred to as one of the two ‘Brazilian Trumps’ based not on his political views, as is the case with Jair Bolsonaro, the other ‘Brazilian Trump,’ rather on his business and political career. Despite being born into a wealthy family, Doria is more or less a self-made man, starting to work at the age of thirteen years old. With very little help from anybody but himself, Doria worked; he worked until he was the best version of himself. Trough sheer effort and dedication, Doria found himself at the top of the market, running six different companies, one of which intertwines over 1,000 businesses making 52% of the private part of the Brazilian economy to create and negotiate partnerships. Doria also has a long history in the Brazilian film industry, even hosting the Brazilian version of “The Apprentice.” Joao Doria has his spot in Brazilian history as one of the most successful businessmen, accusing his wealth in a transparent fashion.
Doria has not only proved himself to be a successful businessman, but also an outstanding politician. While Doria himself does belong to the PSDB, he shares but only a minuscule amount of their views, while still using the PSDB as a springboard for political support, similar to how Libertarian candidates in the United States use the Republican Party as a political platform, not as an ideology. The key piece of the Doria plan is fiscal conservatism, aiming to rewrite tax codes and regulations, keeping money in the hands of the individual instead of corrupt politicians, whilst simultaneously stimulating the market. To boost the number of people seeking medical care in private hospitals, Doria de-funded the mismanaged and inefficient public hospitals and instead funneled the money into private hospitals, ensuring a free market while the poor also get the highest quality of care. In his time as mayor of São Paulo, Doria has worked to reduce poverty while cutting back on welfare, by substituting welfare programs with job finding programs, teaming up with twenty-seven companies to get people of poverty via the private market. Doria, like many libertarians, values a transparent government, showing strong support for operation car wash, a federal police investigation of corruption within the national government. Doria has also expressed a libertarian social policy ensuring freedom of speech, religion, and love are all maintained and preserved. While Doria does maintain an anti-drug legalization policy, he had demonstrated a non-authoritative method of combating drug crime, treating drug addiction as a disease, not a crime, putting users into rehabilitation and not behind bars.
Joao Doria is the change Brazil so desperately requires, and has expressed a willingness to run in either of the two upcoming presidential elections. His speech at the Brazil freedom conference wooed many. If his landslide victory in the São Paulo mayoral election, being the first candidate in 24 years to win the first round, is any indication, Brazil is ready for a free market candidate.
While Doria may not be an all-around libertarian, with intent to maintain gun control, he offers future Libertarians a shot at election while also carrying Brazil into a new age of prosperity, and for that reason, Doria has my full support.