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Brazil, don't panic. Capitalism has an unfixable bug


São Paulo Stock Exchange Rafael Matsunaga under a Creative Commons Licence

Capitalism is falling across the globe, not just in the South American country, argues Bruno De Oliveira.

10 Economic Myths that we need to junk
December 2015, Issue 488

The Economist's edition of January 2015 constructed a catastrophic scenario of Brazil’s economic fall. The discourse is that all will be better for the rich if measured first and last by its efficiency at producing a profit.

The point that some are in utter denial about is that it is time to reboot: or don't panic capitalism just has an unfixable bug.

In the case of Brazil, it is indicative of greater global problems that haven't gone away yet such as neo-imperialism.

The Economist discourse creates a Brazilian dilemma. Should Brazil remain concentrating its effort and resources toward improving ordinary peoples’ lives or should it please Wall Street's unfixable bug?

In the last 13 years of the centre-left leaning Workers’ Party (PT) achieved significant social change for the ordinary people in Brazil.

Firstly, it reduced poverty 76 per cent. The World Bank reported on Brazil's significant achievement in ‘Reduce Poverty: A New Lesson from Brazil for the World’.

In addition, the organization noted that ‘In keeping with this philosophy, the South American giant has created the first global centre for poverty reduction, Mundo Sem Pobreza (World Without Poverty), which will effectively become a market of ideas and experiences in applying programs to benefit the most disadvantaged citizens.’

Furthermore, ‘The starting point and inspiration for this effort is the most successful Brazilian program of all time: Bolsa Familia, which in its decade of implementation has managed to reduce poverty by half in Brazil (from 9.7 per cent to 4.3 per cent), thanks to its broad scope and coverage – some 50 million low-income Brazilians, or a quarter of the total population.’ Of the Bolsa Familia card holders 93 per cent are a woman, causing a noticeable change in the lives of women living in rural areas, according to a survey conducted by Unicamp.

It is also important to mention that the UNICEF reported that Infant mortality fell by 70 per cent in Brazil.

The Economist article should concentrate in highlighting that capitalism is falling across the globe and not just in Brazil.

What will future editions cover? Britain's fall, America's fall, the EU's fall? Or will it cherry pick other particular countries?

SOS Alternatives to Capitalism
Richard Swift investigates
alternatives to capitalism,
including socialism, anarchism
and deep ecology.

We should be looking for viable alternatives to an archaic, arbitrary and falling system. We should be discussing systems that aren't based on exploitation or on the unrealistic aim of endless growth and the class/cast system. We should be looking for alternatives to neo-colonial remedies to economic problems.

According to the magazine, a central target should be pensions which have risen by nearly 90 per cent in real terms over the past decade. Women typically retire when they are 50 and men stop work at 55, nearly a decade earlier than the average in the OECD (a club of mostly rich countries). Brazil’s government pays almost 12 per cent of GDP to pensioners, a larger share than older, richer Japan. It seems like the central message of the article was that the lazy uncivilized simple folks of Brazil should adopt the tradition of the civilized men and let the ordinary people starve or work themselves to death.

Brazil is a country administrated to work for the masses, a system that works for ordinary people and not just for the wealthy few. As noted by the New Internationalist's edition in July 'The main villain of the piece is our current system, which is committed to runaway growth based on ecological destruction and levels of social inequality unimaginable just 30 or 40 years ago. '

President Dilma Rousseff’s administration has problems to deal with but Rousseff is not the only administration with significant problems to deal with. It isn't Brazil nor any other nation that is falling but it is the system which is on its last days as has been noted by such prestigious economists as Thomas Piketty and Ha-Joon Chang. Time to reboot: or don't panic capitalism just has an unfixable bug, but they won't tell you.

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