“ Brazil's bad reputation led to the idea that the country's social conditions are worsening, for reasons that vary, for different commentators, from the adoption of neoliberal and market-oriented policies by the Brazilian government to the lack of a true commitment to the values of rationalization, privatization, and international competitiveness.” 4
“ The economy opened up, and waves of globalization destroyed the country’s industry, while the shrinking of the public sector led to a fall in the provision of public services, increasing poverty, social inequality, and misery.” 2
“ The crisis of the social democratic agenda in Brazil is that it reached its peak when most of the population was still far from benefiting from it and when productivity was still much lower than that of the countries that were its model. The expectation that the benefits acquired by some will eventually be extended to all is becoming very difficult to sustain.” 1
Reality Check I discovered that “While some conditions have worsened in recent years, especially those related to the quality of life in large metropolitan areas, most of the basic social indicators, such as education, life expectancy, housing conditions, and sanitation, have shown steady increase and improvement.” 4 I wondered if the current social predicaments are a consequence of the 1990’s economic policies of international competitiveness…
Substantial gains in several indicators of social well-being took place in the 1990’s.
“ Stabilization of the currency in 1994, by itself, meant a very significant increase in the standards of living of the poorest segments, and a reduction in income inequality.” 3 Social conditions in Brazil have been improving in spite of slow economic growth and are better now than in the past.