Now purported to be the 5th or 6th economy of the world… or somewhere in-between.
I may be biased here, I warn you. I am a Brazilian by birth who never felt comfortable with the “nanny” state that it represented. Since my youth, even without any formal training on economics, I somehow sensed that one day that the bubble of “assistentialism” would either burst or turn into full blown “hybrid socialism” where cake and circus would be given to the people to maintain them voting for the people who were offering them those two meager essentials in life.
I may also be biased due to the fact that I served Brazil in the Armed Forces right at the height of its Military Regime in the 70’s and I just loved that Regime and was loyal to it and still fell lonesome for it. I have been living in America, as an American Citizen for a long time now and have known the two realities, of a group of Generals who were counted as middle to upper class, who died poor, and a bunch of bandits who didn’t have so much as a place to fall dead now become millionaires with a corrupt extreme left leaning country, building airports in Cuba, bringing Cuban doctors (actually agents) to Brazil and offering the Mozambican Communist Army a place to offer security during the World Cup, I mean, armed security.
It is also a country where politicians vow to remove any mention of the nuclear family, words such as “mother, father, sister, brother, from any official document, especially into its failed school system, from one where in the elementary school I could mention every part of the human body by its scientific name, which even today causes American doctors look upon me with admiration, as for example when I say “renal functions” rather than “kidneys” or when I tell my optometrist words such as “hyperopia” to explain my right eye condition, to a school system where students rank close to the last in the world and purely indoctrinating public schools are in shambles and ran by gangs (I think that is happening somewhere else in the world…).
Once a Roman Catholic country, and still identified as so, Brazil’s Roman Catholicism, due the Vatican’s obsession to keep numbers and make false claims of membership numbers, is amalgamated with African cults and sects, names of Christian saints and even deities are identified by an African deity counterpart that have nothing to do with the work Christians believe the Christian deities have performed through the centuries; Brazil is also a “mystical Pentecostal” country where ministers have rallies in football (soccer) stadiums to “cast out demons” and use huge amount of donated money to perform these rites on television against the African cult believers, which has turned this staged fight into a marketing tool to increase the numbers of adherents on both parts. The contradiction lies on the fact that the Roman Catholic Church, both against the mystical Pentecostal (if there is any other kind…) and the African cults, and a third force, the atheist speech of communists, remains very influential and powerful among the powerful.
Oh, but Brazil can produce alternative fuels and dig for oil! That they can do like no one else. For many years the majority of the vehicles (and their drivers) are moved by alcohol, sugar cane alcohol, and Petrobras is increasingly producing and exporting oil to the whole world.
Another thing we can do: play football, (soccer I mean, not the localized provincial sport practiced with the hand played in America). The major clubs of the world have at least two or three Brazilian players in their rosters. The UEFA Champion League Finals will be played by two teams that have, about half of the Brazilian National team players. After Pelé, we had Ronaldo, still have Ronaldinho Gaucho (to distinguish him from Ronaldo), Davi Luis, William, Neymar, Kaká (a preacher and future pastor as per his own words) and many others that are too numerous to mention, including a few that the countries where they played naturalized them so they can play for them in the World Cup, such as Diego Costa and Tiago Mota.
Man and the country is corrupt! After the Generals whom I protected as a special elite guard in the 70’s, the country chose to go for direct elections (from indirect elections during the generals’ days), where voting is mandatory whether you know what you’re doing or not, even for foreigners like me with dual citizenship living abroad. Corruption is a good leading word for the subject of the World Cup!
Due to the insatiable hunger for public money Brazil is now the host of the World Cup (World for Brazilians means WORLD not New Jersey playing against a team in Boston). Teams from the whole world dispute during three years for the right to be on the top teams who will play the World Cup which this year, in about 30 days starts in Brazil. Corruption has marred the World Cup. The people addicted to government supported hospitals, and benefits such as health and schooling (education means something else), lost the best of what they have because Brazil needed to build stadiums to fit the FIFA (international organization that rules football), and using moneys that will no longer go to the benefits, the entitlement addicted people. Communists now remove from the people what they promised because that is convenient for them since, after all, Cuba needed an airport. In this dire scenario this link shows what is happening, has happened recently and will still happened during the World Cup, that is, if the Mozambican Army (weaker than the Brazilian army) that, as I mentioned above will be part of the security forces during the World Cup, doesn’t kill every protester: (I will post the entire link rather than just a hyper-linked word.
Yes, I am biased! But “against facts there is no argument” a known Brazilian (Portuguese, Brazil’s language) saying. Corruption and communism are facts. I am glad I am out of there and as I said to a Brazilian Consulate official in Chicago, a rough man who was mistreating me when I visited there once: “I thank God that being Brazilian was not an incurable disease for me. I’ve been cured, and yes, I miss the Generals!”