Courtesy Reuters

BRAZIL: WHAT KIND OF REVOLUTION?

Brazilians are now widely conscious that their country is on the march toward transformations in its economic and social structure. They want to understand what is happening so that they can take intelligent positions on the issues involved. Those who must make decisions of major importance therefore owe it to the public to define their aims clearly and disclose the methods to be used in achieving them. What follows is an attempt to satisfy this requirement.

The first question often raised concerns the disproportionate social costs of the notable economic development that has been taking place in Brazil over the past several years. Economic analysis deals exclusively with the cold description of reality. We know that this development of which we are so proud has brought about no change at all in the living conditions of three-fourths of the country's population. Its main feature has been a growing concentration of income, both socially and geographically. The large mass of people who toil in the fields and constitute the majority of the Brazilian population have reaped no benefit. Worse than that, the masses have witnessed a relative decline in their standard of living as compared to those engaged in commerce and other services. As for the industrial workers, who represent a sort of middle class in the Brazilian social framework, they have grown both in absolute and relative terms, without having improved their standard of living to any large extent. They, too, have suffered a relative worsening of their economic position as compared to higher income groups employed in urban services.

It is not only in the concentration of income that economic development has produced social results of an extremely negative character. Because of the anachronistic structure of Brazilian agriculture, it has led in many regions to a relative increase in the rent from land, thus rewarding parasitic groups. Similarly, in the absence of a conscious policy designed to further the social purposes of state action, a variety of subsidies have been

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