Photo: Sebastião Salgado

You’re Wrong If You Think Brazil’s Crisis Is About Corruption

10 problems explaining the situation

Brazil is a unique country with vast amount of resources and the seventh economy in the world, but with a history of deep dependency on the United States and Europe, the model of the central countries came to be a massive problem for the socioeconomic organization of the country.

The first problem is the distance between the elite and the working class. The Brazilian elite has an European model of consumption, which is too much for a country that still deals with people in the condition of extreme poverty. And further, the poor working people are seen as a negative reference for the society, as some people without meaning and/or completely denied. Those poor working people — which represents 80% of the population — are strong enough to be a conscious class and also be organized in political parties and social movements proposing their agenda. But, the centralized power of the elites makes the struggle to be more difficult after 500 years.

Problem number two is the land concentration in the agribusiness causing rural poverty and unemployment in the fields — so, that’s the main reason that exists the revolutionary famous Movimento Sem Terra (Movement of Landless Rural Workers, also known as MST). The third problem is the income concentration since the 10% richer owns more than 40% economic power in the country, and 10% the poorest just 1,4%. Reprimarization of the economy is the fourth problem because the industry in Brazil is falling in pieces in the last years — happening just because the low investments in science and new technologies — , and the agribusiness is far more fomented by the government and representatives because their immense capacity of lobbying in Brasília.

Also, dealing with enormous lobbying — which is theoretically illegal in Brazil — , we have the fifth problem of tax evasion that reaches R$550 billion annually (2015), more than double of the national investment in public education and public health (R$224 billion) together. And this money could be helping to eradicate the sixth problem, which is the massive public debt of R$2.02 trillion — reflecting 45% of the national budget in 2013. And remember, in 2013 we had just 7.7% of the national budget destined to public education and health.

Important to remember as well is the seventh problem: housing deficit of the 8 million people. And the last ones, the eighth: technological dependency, since the low level of technological production and patents; the ninth: low level of education and labor; and the tenth and most important: absence of a future project for the country.

Photo: Ricardo Stuckert

So, in Brazil, we have a middle class identified with the First World countries, but we are still an emerging country with a huge amount of intern issues to fix. However, the most important and first thing to do is the Brazilian economic and political establishment remind that just with the help of the Brazilian people they can develop this country, otherwise, the people will finally push them out like they did when elected Lula and Dilma. And also, the people organized won’t let the elite throw Dilma away as they want right now.