You know things are bad when the guy in charge of security got mugged at knifepoint outside the opening ceremony.
Two articles shed some light on Brazil’s problems:
The Olympic ‘movement’ has become a destructive force for Brazilians outside the arenas, as people were displaced from the favelas at huge expense (emphasis added)
At one point Da Penha was offered about $600,000 for the three-story house where she lived with her husband, mother and daughter for more than 20 years. She turned it down — and became a leading local activist who took her fight to the IOC and the United Nations. Municipal guards — a city security force — broke her nose during one fight, when the residents tried to form a cordon preventing demolition. Her home was finally knocked down in March, and she and her family now reside in one of the stark white utilitarian cottages with no vestige of the past, boxes of belongings still stacked in a small front room.
Behind the push and the enormous expense was Lula:
The 2016 Olympics were supposed to showcase the socialist paradise he had cultivated: an urban utopia mixing affordable housing, national industrial champions and orderly public-transportation networks to provide a tranquil—and environmentally approved—living experience.
Mary O’Grady is right to say that Lula conned the world:
Brazil’s politicians aspire to first-world grandeur but insist on preserving third-world institutions. It’s not because they don’t understand the effectiveness of independent institutions and checks and balances. It’s because they do understand it.
. . .
Under Lula and later Ms. Rousseff—who won elections in 2010 and 2014—the commitment to fiscal discipline gradually eroded. The government-owned bank Caixa Econômica Federal and the national development bank (BNDES) rapidly expanded credit. This was inflationary and risky, but the central bank ignored the problem.
While Lula and later Dilma were hawking Brazil as a world-class player, they did little to reduce the burden of government on entrepreneurs. The 2016 World Bank “Doing Business” survey, which studies the relative ease of entrepreneurship in 189 economies, ranks Brazil 174th in “starting a business,” 169th in “dealing with construction permits,” 130th in “registering property,” 178th in “paying taxes” and 145th in “trading across borders.” That doesn’t sound like the stuff of an economic superpower.
Neither does Brazil’s deeply entrenched corruption.