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Politics– in Brazil

Not that I really follow Politics in Brasil, I’m having a hard enough time keeping my house running, working, raising a child, growing a child, and keeping up with this blog.  But if I did, I’d be following the US’ election (my husband is an ardent Republican, so we spend many a night up till 2am watching each and every GOP debate).  I do happen to know a few Democrats, and one of them recently posted a Gallup poll stat, intending to demonstrate that things aren’t as bad as we think.  I tend to disagree, as I’m one of the few people I know who are happy with their financial situation.. and that’s because I’m in the ever so lovely (albeit expensive) Brasil.  Lucky me!!!

The Gallup Poll stats paint a pretty dismal picture of the US.  Basically when I started College the world was all roses, and then slowly began to decline until it hit right about where we are now:

The extent to which Americans are suffering financially because of the nation’s protracted economic downturn is evident in the large numbers — 49% — saying their personal finances are worse than a year ago. With barely 3 in 10 saying their finances are better, this is among the worst evaluations Americans have given of their finances since Gallup began measuring this in 1976.

Half the US Feel Worse Off Financially- Gallup Poll

So I mentioned this to the spouse, who pointed out that when President Lula left office after like 8 years, his approval rating was 88%. This is completely unheard of in US politics.  Almost all of our Presidents are hated by half or more of the US Population, then years later we look back on them with rose colored glasses. But still that high of a rating is unheard of in the US.

Now not everyone (I hear) loves Dilma, but I ran some stats on her, and she’s at a 72% approval rating as of January.  Employment is up, trade is up, and Brasil moved from 7th to 6th in GDP.  This is a growth economy.  So again, while people have their opinions, she seems to be doing okay.

Because I can’t be TOO pro Brasil, I will point out that there is still a lot that Dilma needs to take on politically.  For instance, the insane taxes.  I can always tell the Brasilians at the airport as they’re the ones with the carryons stuffed to the brim, and two 70lb suitcases.  Prices here are crazy high.

People still work like dogs here, other than the fact that they get like a month off for their Holiday, but the rest of the year they work HARD.  Crime is also a big issue, as I’ve noticed the whole pyramid scheme of employment seems to be big here. I.e the rich get richer, and the poor well they get a little less poor.  So the rich here are ever so rich, and the poor, well I’ve visited homes without toilet seats or formal showers.. and yes that’s normal, and no they were not in a favela.  Education is sadly still and issue here, and I think if that were to improve we would see a marked improvement in the living standards, crime, and salaries.  But Brasil is a huge area to manage, there are tons of severely rural towns, that we risk destroying rain forest by helping to “move into the current century” and provide running water etc., so it’s not an easy country to manage, and the solutions are not one size fits all.

And of course, again I’m just some random expat blogger, so in the end what do I really know?

About scrubgrub

I'm just another soul on the internet, posting random thoughts into the ether, because well I love stumbling on other peoples random thoughts, so I figured why not add mine to the mix too. I'm also the mom to two very funny little boys, and how can you not share that with everyone?

5 responses »

  1. Good points, really!

    Along with the growth, I would probably say Brazilians are a less critical group of people. So when somethings going good, even if there are still problems, they are more likely to be happy.

    Americans, on the other hand, well, they are not like that. Americans are much, much more critical.

    It’s a double edged sword for both groups. It makes Americans sometimes have unrealistic expectations and can make them hard to work with. On the Brazilian side it can cause complacency, which is not a good thing when there are problems with education and crime. I do, however, think Brazilians are becoming a little more critical and they know that they can “do what they need to do” if they band together.

    Are you pregnant?!?!

    Abracos,
    Alex

    Reply
    • Alex, yes I am, I have a blog drafted up about being pregnant in Brazil that I just keep meaning to post.
      Agreed on both fronts, Brazilians can be a bit complacent with things, but that is changing, and hopefully with Brazil’s growth we will see more changes.

      Reply
  2. As Brazil is emerging, I would say the expectations are a little realistic. People are happier that things are improving than before. America on the other hand, people have a lot of expectations because the best times are behind America (for the time being) so people are more frustrated. Changing people to spend less or pay more taxes will never raise a President’s ratings.

    Reply
    • Agreed, Brazilians’ expectations are more realistic. I also think the US suffers from a need to be the “Best Country in the World.” So when we think we’re not there on something, we tend to get really upset. I noticed Presidential approval ratings seemed to do really well when the US “won a war” or something similar, that made our egos swell… but things like adjusting taxes or how people spend their money never seemed to be a priority to the general population… maybe this crisis is good as it’s woken a lot of people up.

      Reply

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