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Old 11-13-2011, 11:42 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,245 posts, read 23,751,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glucorious View Post
Post
I don't know enough about his logic and assumptions to say that any economic growth means greater prosperity. However, I can say the economic growth of sub-Saharan Africa was under very different circumstances than that of Brazil's (as in comparatively very little infrastructure beforehand and a massive growth in population).

Nobody knows definitively what will happen, but we are not completely blind to the future either and oftentimes there are a good body of data to back up future projections. This being a forum, it's fine to argue them and it's better to have some knowledge on the subject despite not being a prophet.

It's an interesting question you have there and in the same paper that coined the term and in others that followed, BRIC is projected to catch up to the rest of the world eventually though the emphasis is more on how much of a major player those countries are rather than the per capita wealth of its citizens. I think it does often end up the most populated countries/entities that aren't in dire straits do often end up accreting a lot of wealth as they are able to leverage the overall economic/political might to become even more powerful.

I think they've (BRIC and some others, especially in parts of Latin America and Southeast Asia) had a lot of time to catch up, but in the meantime the countries had gone through a lot of instability and foreign intervention--the kind of intervention that is less likely to occur now that these countries as a whole are not viewed as a direct military threats and have rapidly developed their infrastructure. And again, it's not simply economic growth but large economic growth per capita and the structural changes made in order to allow that large economic growth (per capita).
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,588 posts, read 4,667,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonio84 View Post
Some people here may be interested in reading the following (then again, maybe not )

SA’s inequality rises as Brazil’s falls

For those not too inclined to reading:


I have read the article you posted, and I strongly disagree with the author's point of view that the privatizations of the 90's had importance to the reduction of social inequality in Brazil.

The privatizations did nothing to reduce social inequality. During the government of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso (who made the privatization process), social inequality was still rising in Brazil.



It was only under president Lula da Silva that social inequality started to be reduced.

Lula's government invested on Embrapa, the federal company of agricultural research.

Lula's government supported "family agriculture" (the small farmers).

Lula's government raised the minimum wage, creating more domestic demand.

Lula's government created Bolsa Familia, that transfered money to many poor areas of the country, boosting the demand for consumption in those areas, and making comercial activity flourish there.

Lula's government created the PAC (Programa de Aceleracao do Crescimento - Growth Acceleration Program), that is a huge program of public investment on infra-structure (the "Brazilian New Deal").

Lula's government helped a lot the small enterpreuners, making SEBRAE stronger (SEBRAE is the nationwide service of support for new small enterpreuners) and creating a less bureaucratic way of registering small enterpreuners and making them legal, called "Empreendedor Individual" (Individual Enterpreuner).

Lula was a great president, and now Dilma Roussef is also doing a great job, specially because she is doing something that Lula was afraid to do: confronting corruption, and curbing it.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
5,599 posts, read 8,303,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalaMan View Post
I have read the article you posted, and I strongly disagree with the author's point of view that the privatizations of the 90's had importance to the reduction of social inequality in Brazil.

The privatizations did nothing to reduce social inequality. During the government of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso (who made the privatization process), social inequality was still rising in Brazil.



It was only under president Lula da Silva that social inequality started to be reduced.

Lula's government invested on Embrapa, the federal company of agricultural research.

Lula's government supported "family agriculture" (the small farmers).

Lula's government raised the minimum wage, creating more domestic demand.

Lula's government created Bolsa Familia, that transfered money to many poor areas of the country, boosting the demand for consumption in those areas, and making comercial activity flourish there.

Lula's government created the PAC (Programa de Aceleracao do Crescimento - Growth Acceleration Program), that is a huge program of public investment on infra-structure (the "Brazilian New Deal").

Lula's government helped a lot the small enterpreuners, making SEBRAE stronger (SEBRAE is the nationwide service of support for new small enterpreuners) and creating a less bureaucratic way of registering small enterpreuners and making them legal, called "Empreendedor Individual" (Individual Enterpreuner).

Lula was a great president, and now Dilma Roussef is also doing a great job, specially because she is doing something that Lula was afraid to do: confronting corruption, and curbing it.
I'm wondering how Brazil has improved in terms of civil rights and rule of law, police corruption etc in the past 10-20 years? One of the first things I ever remember hearing about Brazil was the Candelaria massacre in 1993, would something like that just not happen now? (For those who don't know about it: Gunmen Said to Be Police Kill 7 Street Children in Rio - New York Times)
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,405 posts, read 55,267,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
What about European (and later on maybe South American) integration? I think it's likely we're about to see some strong trading blocs appear.
Specifically speaking about Brazil, they arent going to trade with Europe in any way that might undermine the economic interests of China or Russia.

Im very impressed with the BRIC nations growth and really like that tens of millions of people are improving their quality of life.

I have lived off and on in Brazil for the better part of 2 decades and I have seen a dramatic rise in the quality of life there. Its amazing indeed.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,588 posts, read 4,667,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben86 View Post
I'm wondering how Brazil has improved in terms of civil rights and rule of law, police corruption etc in the past 10-20 years? One of the first things I ever remember hearing about Brazil was the Candelaria massacre in 1993, would something like that just not happen now? (For those who don't know about it: Gunmen Said to Be Police Kill 7 Street Children in Rio - New York Times)

"Chacinas" like that of Candelaria didn't happened in the last 15 years. It's all past. The "Death Squads" that used to kill street kids like in that incident in Candelaria have completely disbanded.

Crime is still a serious problem in Brazil, but you can be sure that it's in a lesser extent than Colombia or Mexico.

Police corruption in most Brazilian cities is just slightly higher than that in the NYPD.

And in terms of "rule of the law", the Brazilian Judiciary is a very solid and professional institution (even with some cases of corruption of judges that arise sometimes).
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:09 AM
 
1,176 posts, read 2,764,590 times
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Everyone has their own views. One thing Cardoso definitely did, even when he was just Finance Minister, was stabilize the currency and reduce inflation (which was so bad that people would go to the supermarket on the last day of the month, since there could be a big price jump the next day). That had a big impact on what people could afford and was a necessary step towards the current "boom." I would say that SOME social/economic inequality was reduced under Lula, but at a high financial cost (the new president is facing a deficit, though she's declared there won't be cuts in social or infrastructure programs; big cuts will have to come from other areas). Lula spent a lot of money. The bills are coming due now. And inequality varies widely by region. The inequality will continue to diminish if the government spending is used to create opportunities, not just being in the form of giveaways.

One thing not discussed in many articles about Brazil's growth is debt. Not just the aforementioned government debt, but also personal debt. Brazilians have a very high level of debt, including credit card debt, with interest rates that can range to well over 100% per year. Also, the cost of living is very high. In part due to very high taxes. Not just income taxes (which, as in many other countries, many people simply don't pay), but also taxes on products. Import duties on cars just went up again. An imported car in Brazil can cost easily 2 x what it would cost in the U.S. Even domestic cars are pricey and, at least until recently, often came without basic safety equipment such as air bags (largely because consumers, paying high costs, put priority on flashy items over safety items). Electronic items such as TVs, computers, etc., even those made in Brazil, are super expensive (some people get around this through shopping expeditions to places such as Miami and New York). Gas costs much more than in the U.S. No question that corruption has had an impact on costs, but that's a whole other topic. .

The big question is whether the growth is sustainable.

For someone contemplating living in, or even just visiting, Brazil, be prepared for prices that may be higher than you expected. This is not due only to the weak U.S. dollar (which is actually strongr than it was a few months ago).

Last edited by Samoi137; 11-17-2011 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,588 posts, read 4,667,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samoi137 View Post
Everyone has their own views. One thing Cardoso definitely did, even when he was just Finance Minister, was stabilize the currency and reduce inflation (which was so bad that people would go to the supermarket on the last day of the month, since there could be a big price jump the next day). That had a big impact on what people could afford and was a necessary step towards the current "boom." I would say that SOME social/economic inequality was reduced under Lula, but at a high financial cost (the new president is facing a deficit, though she's declared there won't be cuts in social or infrastructure programs; big cuts will have to come from other areas). Lula spent a lot of money. The bills are coming due now. And inequality varies widely by region. The inequality will continue to diminish if the government spending is used to create opportunities, not just being in the form of giveaways.

One thing not discussed in many articles about Brazil's growth is debt. Not just the aforementioned government debt, but also personal debt. Brazilians have a very high level of debt, including credit card debt, with interest rates that can range to well over 100% per year. Also, the cost of living is very high. In part due to very high taxes. Not just income taxes (which, as in many other countries, many people simply don't pay), but also taxes on products. Import duties on cars just went up again. An imported car in Brazil can cost easily 2 x what it would cost in the U.S. Even domestic cars are pricey and, at least until recently, often came without basic safety equipment such as air bags (largely because consumers, paying high costs, put priority on flashy items over safety items). Electronic items such as TVs, computers, etc., even those made in Brazil, are super expensive (some people get around this through shopping expeditions to places such as Miami and New York). Gas costs much more than in the U.S. No question that corruption has had an impact on costs, but that's a whole other topic. .

The big question is whether the growth is sustainable.

For someone contemplating living in, or even just visiting, Brazil, be prepared for prices that may be higher than you expected. This is not due only to the weak U.S. dollar (which is actually strongr than it was a few months ago).


The stabilization of the currency and reduction of inflation was important, but many of the measures of Cardoso's government were not really necessary for the stabilization of the currency. Those measures were taken just to follow the IMF agenda of "austerity".

Between 1995, when Fernando Henrique Cardoso took office after stabilizing the currency, and 2001, social inequality actually raised in Brazil.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:36 AM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 8 days ago)
 
5,283 posts, read 8,062,580 times
Reputation: 4290
I personally think people put too much emphasis on income distribution and not enough where it actually counts, wealth production.

There's a thread somewhere on City-Data about the distribution of wealth in the major metropolitan areas of the US and one of the most unequal places is also one of the wealthiest, the Stamford-Bridgeport Metro Area in Connecticut. That area has a Gini index of well over 0.500, similar to levels seen in many Developing Countries.

Here's the 'catch.' If you live in such area (I do) or have ever visited the area, then you will know that it doesn't looks like a Developing Country with several groups of people living well and other groups living in ramshackle slums.

What's the difference?

Unlike most Developing Countries, the Stamford-Bridgeport Metro Area is one of the most productive places in the world with a very high GDP per capita, unlike anything seen in Developing Countries. The pie is so large that even those that get a relatively small piece, their piece is large enough to allow for a comfortable lifestyle.

This is why economic growth is, in my opinion, much more important than wealth distribution. In fact, too much wealth distribution can stifle economic growth, which is not good.

The pie needs to get bigger so that everyone can get a bigger piece. That's the way to greater prosperity, with a few wealth distributing policies in place for the sake of political and social stability, since most people tend to favor wealth distribution over growth. But growth is the most important aspect in increasing overall well being.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,588 posts, read 4,667,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonio84 View Post
The pie needs to get bigger so that everyone can get a bigger piece.
We had a Finance Minister here in Brazil during the military dictatorship, called Delfim Netto, that used to say exactly the same thing:

"Primeiro temos que fazer o bolo crescer, para depois poder dividir"

("We first need to make the pie grow big, so that after we can divide the pieces").

The problem - people say here in Brazil - is that during the military dictatorship they made the pie to grow a lot, but they "forgot" to divide it...
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:00 PM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 8 days ago)
 
5,283 posts, read 8,062,580 times
Reputation: 4290
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalaMan View Post
We had a Finance Minister here in Brazil during the military dictatorship, called Delfim Netto, that used to say exactly the same thing:

"Primeiro temos que fazer o bolo crescer, para depois poder dividir"

("We first need to make the pie grow big, so that after we can divide the pieces").

The problem - people say here in Brazil - is that during the military dictatorship they made the pie to grow a lot, but they "forgot" to divide it...
In 2009, Brazil's Gini Coefficient was 53.9 and its GDP per capita (PPP) was $10,200 USD. (https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...k/geos/br.html)

Today, the Stamford-Bridgeport Metro Area of Connecticut has a Gini Coefficient of 57.4. In other words, The top 20% earned 57.4% of the areas wealth while the lowest 20% earned 2.5%. (America's widest gap between rich and poor is found in Connecticut - The Business Journals)

Basically, Brazil has a much more equal distribution of wealth than does the Stamford-Bridgeport Metro Area, but since the latter has a much bigger pie overall (don't know what's the GDP per capita of the area, but my guess is that it doubles, if not triples the GDP per capita of Brazil), the levels of poverty seen in Brazil simply doesn't exist in the Stamford-Bridgeport area.

Had the Stamford-Bridgeport area had a GDP per capita equal to that of Brazil (around $10,800 USD) with everything else remaining constant, then the area's poor would had been living in worst conditions overall than their counterparts in Brazil, simply due to the higher inequality levels. Had the area been even poorer than Brazil, the living situation of the lowest 20% would had also been worst.

Point being that the size of the pie matters more than the actual distribution. There's no other explanation for why an area that is not just richer but also much more unequal is able to offers its poor a higher quality of life than another place that is poorer and much more equal. If income distribution was more important than growth, then the poorer and more equal society should be the one offering its poor a better quality of life, but that's not how it works in the real world.

But, like I said before, the average person tends to not want to believe in these realities. This is why they favor income distribution policies over growth policies, thinking that it will benefit them more when the opposite is true. For this very reason, income distribution is often more a political issue than an economic one, since its often used to gain politically while economically the benefits are not as great, especially over the long term.
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