May 27, 2017
The Washington Post printed a Reuters article that included a major mistake in economics. The piece is about the plotting of conservative politicians and business leaders trying to plan for the likelihood that their ally, President Michel Temer, will be indicted and removed from office for corruption. It told readers:
“Amid the political turmoil that comes just a year after his predecessor was impeached and removed from office, preserving Temer’s agenda of austerity reforms and pulling Brazil’s economy out of recession is more important than saving the leader himself, sources in three parties that are his main allies said.”
Actually, this statement is contradictory. The austerity is one of the main causes of the recession. If they want to pull the economy out of recession then they should be reversing the austerity. Hopefully, Mr. Temer’s allies understand this and it is just the Reuters’ reporter who is confused.
The next sentence added:
“Those measures range from reducing a gaping budget deficit through opening doors to foreign investors to weakening labor laws and tightening pensions.”
Readers may have been confused by the phrase “tightening pensions.” The normal English translation would have been “cutting pensions.” It is understandable that politicians who are trying to pursue policies that are unpopular may use euphemisms to conceal their agenda. It is not clear why Reuters or the Post would.