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?