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        what do you think of "Fome Zero"
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cabecao


Newbie
   
so,

2 positions here,

1.  give food to the poor or sellwhat you do not want tsell
'
do this make snese
?
checking>?
brazzil is wonderful!!
and  I'm hoping to be what I am. Is that alot to ask?

Maybe

r

Total Posts: 18 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 11:52 am on Feb. 7, 2003 | IP
krista



Junior Member
   
This is a bit confusing posting, but i'll try to answer the question stated in the topic...
-Fome Zero is a brilliant idea in the sense that Brasil really-really needs a program concentrated on hunger.
-In general Brasilian people seem to be really excited about the idea that someone thinks of the hungry, and I think that if well organized, the majority of Brasilian people are willing to help out in some way as well. Some good examples have already been set by several Brasilian celebrities who have donated nice amounts of $$ for the benefit of the project, and the media reports that even many ordinary citizens have shown interest in donating some according to their capabilities. If they get the general population involved, the program can become quite effective, and among other things perhaps also change the general mentality and the way of thinking among the population.
-This is a great way for Lula to advertise and popularize himself. If he fails at everything else, the success of Fome Zero will keep him on the surface. (provided that Fome Zero will succeed)

however...
-the system, as it is right now, is organized really badly; it is still too raw. The officials are not sure of anything - they haven't completely decided on what the people can buy with their coupons (this will be decided by some local commitees apparently); they are not quite sure what to do with the people who spend their allowance on something else...should they be punished? some say that they can still keep their allowance, some say not, no sure word is out.
-the system, as it is now...with the allowance just there without the people having to do anything to get this...it will just make them collect the allowance, become dependent on it and in lot of cases not much change will be achived. The government's purpose should be that after a while these hungry can pick themselves up and do without that aid, but this plan does not lead towards that. Since I don't think the government plans Fome Zero to last indefinitely, I guess at some  point these people will be dropped back to the beginning...or the program will have to change. Perhaps it would be better if people got their allowance in turn of doing something.. I like the idea of bolsa-escola. Perhaps the government could join the Fome Zero money to some sort of adult or vocational training program for those who can't find work, and with the obligation to work for those who have a job.
-does this program really assure that people will buy more food? they can easily spend the coupons on food, and then the money from their own income, which they usually spend on food, onalcohol, cigarettes, whatever... it can easily just cause a shift in which income they spend on food without increasing the amount of money spent on food. Actually, I have a question to everyone here - i have no idea what are really the criteria to qualify for the money... is it being below some kind of income level or are there otherconditions too?
-this program is a giant hub of bureaucracy and will become too costly for the government. In addition to providing the money for allowances, the government will have to keep this program and its bureaucracy going. As a solution, they should probably join it with some other program... There's no need for several separate nationwide or even statewide food-programs which work in an uncoordinated manner. It would be for the best to gather them all, and to gather all the people working for these programs under on big system...and hopefully increase efficiency that way.

so, i guess Fome Zero has a great potential..a great one..but it's not anywhere close to fulfilling it.

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Radio Do Mar: http://www.live365.com/stations/226288

Total Posts: 97 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 1:38 pm on Feb. 7, 2003 | IP
Patinho



Junior Member
   

"Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish and feed him for the rest of his life."

I don't know much about Fome Zero, but it sounds similiar to the food stamp/welfare program we have in the U.S. (from what I've read above).

It sounds like a good idea, but when put into practice I guarantee it will be abused. Yes, some people who need it, it will help them immensly... I am all for that. However, i am so sick of seeing it abused by people who are very capable of providing for themselves without government assistance.

In the U.S. we have food stamps. These are similiar to coupons that can only be exchanged for food items. Yet, it would be all too easy for even myself to purchase $50 worth of these stamps for $25 of spendable regular money. The govenment has tried to curb this practice with the use of special food credit cards in place of the coupons.... perhaps this is a good idea.

The abuse of the welfare/unemployment/disability systems I will not even get into. It's a whole post unto itself.

However, Krista, I liked your idea about receiving the aid while attending some type of job training/vocational school. Perhaps it would almost work like a scholarship to go to college... as long as you are attending and passing the vocational school, you are receiving government aid. I think that might work well. Of course anything can be abused... but maybe it's our best shot.

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"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 2:19 pm on Feb. 7, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
"Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish and feed him for the rest of his life."

Sorry, Patinho, but this is the most overworked metaphor on earth. But seeing as how it trips so easily off everyone's tongue at moments like these, let's follow it through to the end, shall we?

What does one do if the people who are starving don't live by the ocean or a river? What if a multinational corporation has poisoned their water? What if everything near them has been fished out to make sushi in Japan?

Lula's plan forsees emergency aid to people who need it to survive. You can't teach anyone anything if they are starving. Yes, I'm sure it will be abused.

But this is the PT's signature plan. Ensuring that every citizen gets at least one meal a day is not beyond Brazil's means and it would be a very, vaery good start.

I'm actually quite impressed with Lula's savvy on this issue. Historically, food programs are pretty easy to run and finance. If the PT can put up a good show here, it will detract a lot of attention from their other, inevitable failings.

I'm cautiously optomistic.

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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 4:42 am on Feb. 8, 2003 | IP
erjbcdt


Junior Member
   
Well I have to say Fome Zero is going ot be a tough program to manage.

First the program is going to give out credit cards which can buy you three meals a day.  Ok well 50 reals a month is that really enough?  Next, most of the regions like Paiui where the pilot program has begun, dont have the machines to process a credit card.  Because in these regions the markets dont have these type of machines that accept cards.  
Next, the govt says if you dont show your receipts you will lose funding and they mean it.  The black market for these receipts will explode and there will be mass abuse.  

Plus how many people should get this card.  According to national statistics it should be around 15 million people who suffer daily from hunger.  But is the program going to feed everyone who is poor, the govt does not have the funds necessary to finance this type of program for 45- 50 million people.  

So besides all those problems I mentioned I must say that I am more in favor of the program of Eduardo Suplicy, who is in favor for a minimum wage for all those in poverty.  With that money I think the people should have the liberty to do whatever they please.  If the people for some reason waste the money and something stupid then thats there problem to deal with.

The PT has been critical of this program and I think that Lula needs to reform the manner which the program does its social obligation!

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Viva Brazil

Total Posts: 54 | Joined Feb. 2003 | Posted on: 12:28 pm on Feb. 8, 2003 | IP
Adrianerik


Newbie
   
Can you explain more in depth how this minumum wage works.

Is it per person?  Per family?  Will a family with one wage-earner and let's say....1 child....receive the same as a family with 1 wage-earner and 4 children.

Are Brazilian food prices set by the marketplace or are they government influenced?

Peace

Total Posts: 50 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 12:50 pm on Feb. 8, 2003 | IP
erjbcdt


Junior Member
   
Adrianerik,
Well I did some research on the project of this minimum wage and from what I found out a project was approved by the senate in 1991 but it has not passed the house of deputies.  It is still stuck there in the house of deputies.
Well it works for everyone over the age of 25 and who works and earns an income of 500 reals a month.  Basically it works that program gives from 30% to 50% of negative income tax.  So an example is lets say one worker is earning 300 reals a month, then with this minimum wage he would earn 150 reals, on top of his already earned income.  So in total he would have 300 reals plus the 150 reals, which the government would pay.  
Brazil has  a market based system of prices.  The government also have large influences on tarrifs which could actually increase the prices, so their is some government intervention in the actual prices.  Other commitities like oil, is controlled by Petrobras, which is a oil company owned by the government, but it is no longer a monopoly.  Brazil has begun the free market reforms but in my opinion they were done too fast for the economy to handle and now we have a system of mass unemployment because Brazilian companies were unable to compete with multinational corporations.
Well I hpoe this answers your questions,

Erjbcdt

Can you explain more in depth how this minumum wage works.

Is it per person?  Per family?  Will a family with one wage-earner and let's say....1 child....receive the same as a family with 1 wage-earner and 4 children.

Are Brazilian food prices set by the marketplace or are they government influenced?

Peace

Pelo projeto aprovado em 1991 pelo Senado, todo brasileiro adulto (com 25 anos ou mais) com renda inferior a R$ 500 teria direito a receber um imposto de renda negativo, equivalente a 30% ou até a 50% da diferente entre os R$ 500 e sua renda. O projeto tramita na Câmara e deu origem a vários outros programas sociais, como o Bolsa-Escola.

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Viva Brazil

Total Posts: 54 | Joined Feb. 2003 | Posted on: 11:07 pm on Feb. 8, 2003 | IP
krista



Junior Member
   
how would that deal with people not able to work because they don't have sufficient education? (the disabled already get some support from the government, right?). What about some of the favela-dwellers who just have weak health? Or what about the people who can't find a job for some other reason? (perhaps some super-remote areas where there is nothing at all to do...). What about families with an insane number of children (is there a special support system for them)? What about subsistence-farmers who don't earn income in money? Or other people forced to be a part of informal economy somehow? The minimum wage program wouldn't quite help everyone, just those who have a job in this word's most ordinary sense. I could see this program work only together with something else to take care for everyone counted above.

also, having the government pay additional money to people with lower income has a dangerous tendency to allow employers lower some wages...lower to the level of qualifying for such negative income taxes. If an employee makes R$450, the employer can lower the wage to R$300. With 50% negative tax, the employee continues scoring R$450 and the employer pockets the rest R$150... i can so see this happen...

I'm still waiting for someone to come up with a program that won't just alleviate hunger, but after a while also reduce the number of those in need; help them out, get them going somehow.
---

and since i'm already here, a bit of an out-of -topic question... is this john fitzpatrick mentally ok? or is he just a really rude and extremely opinionated with no sense of ethics???

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Radio Do Mar: http://www.live365.com/stations/226288

Total Posts: 97 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 12:28 am on Feb. 9, 2003 | IP
erjbcdt


Junior Member
   
John Fitzpatrick mentally raises some good questions about Fome-Zero, and you know what I dont think anyone can answer the questions about the defects of Fome Zero.  oH yea about substaince farmers there incomes rose 3% a year during cardoso's adminstration, so they are soo many programs to deal with poverty and social exclusion in brazil its just that it is difficult to make such a difference in such a short time.

Do you think that in the poor regions of Brazil there is in the supermarkets a place for cards to swiped? pLUS REECEIPTS ARE HARD TO FIND AND THE BLACK MARKET WILL THRIVE!

Look forget talking about poverty for one second and lets first understand why poverty exists so deep in Brazil.  Well it is all about the economy.  The economy since the 80's has not grown fast enough to create jobs and to provide the government with necessary funds to combat social problems.  The government can afford to pay for these program with people who have these problems you mentioned earlier because the government has a large debt level which is now only in control.  
Now in Ireland, and in Poland, and in many other countries like China, and India poverty is much worse than in Brazil.  China cut there poverty in half because there economy double in 10 years.  10 years they had an economy the size of Brazil for a population of 1.3 billion dollars and now there economy is twice the sizes of Brazil, since they last 10 years the economy has not had substainial growth.  

Now Brazil has several inefficient systems in place.  Previdence Social and the tax system is completely distorted.  Previdence Social has a deficit of 60 billion reals.  Now that eats up 3% of the GDP, and the government spends 50 billion dollars on public pensions which is a total of 2 million people while at the same time the government spends 40 billion dollars in education, health, and projects which covers 10 million Brazilians.  Do you see the problem now?

Now Brazils constitutions is another hurtle to overcome.  In Brazil the constitution says that the govt must spend 30% of the budget on pensions system, which covers private and publci and special retirements.  THen 30% of the budget goes to paying the interest on the debt.  Then 30% goes to the states in terms of state transfers.  Now 10% is left for the investment projects, now how are you to have money to take care of such social problems with only 10% of the budget.

The tax system is regressive.  Meaning the poor pays the most and the rich pay very little.  The tax system is horrible, and the worst part is that the total amount of taxes in Brazil eats up 36,49% of the entire economy which is one of the highest rates of taxes in the world.  

NO SOCIAL PROGRESS CAN OCCUR WHEN SO MANY PROBLEMS ARE NOT REFORMED.  

iT IS A JOKE THAT BRAZIL STILL HAS A LABOR LAW BUILD IN THE ERA OF VARGAS, THIS IS THE REASON WHY PEOPLE CANT WORK AND GET OUT OF POVERTY.  IT INHIBITS ECONOMIC GROWTH WHICH BENEFITS ALL. THE POOR NEEDS ECONOMIC GROWTH BECAUSE THERE INCOMES RAISE BECAUSE THERE IS MORE WEALTH IN BRAZIL.

NOW THE GOVT CANT AFFORD TO HELP THESRE PEOPLE IF THE ECONOMY IS NOT GENERATING JOBS AND HIGH LEVELS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH.  COMPANIES LIE ABOUT THERE NUMBERS BECAUSE IF THERE WERE TO FOLLOW THE LAW IN BRAZIL THEY WOULD GO BANKRUPT.  BRAZIL NEEDS COMPANIES AND SMALL BUSINESSES TO EXPAND BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES WHO GENERATE JOBS AND WEALTH THAT PEOPLE DESIRE.  OK THANK YOU I WRITE MORE LATER I AM TIRED!

DANIEL TORRES. ERJBCDT



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Viva Brazil

Total Posts: 54 | Joined Feb. 2003 | Posted on: 12:22 pm on Feb. 9, 2003 | IP
Patinho



Junior Member
   
Macunaima-

No fish? Teach him to hunt. No animals. Teach him to grow crops. No soil. Teach him computer programming. Whatever.

My point is... why can't you teach a starving person anything? I am not saying that someone should throw them a book and say "ok buddy.... pass this test and we'll give you some rice." Of course the program should help people "get on their feet" first. But it is a fact that if a person has thier hand out today... they will have thier hand out next week and next year with no visible end in sight. A person who is starving should be more than eager to learn a trade and be willing to help themselves.

Am I wrong in this mentality? I mean really? I know there is no program that will be perfect and solve every problem. But what do you think should be done? Let the government keep giving handouts to a 27 year old person until they die?

Like I said, I am all for helping people in need.... but if using thier "need" as a means to motivate them to get an education or job... isn't that better than doing nothing at all? What do you think?

Keep in mind that I am an American. I have studied and visited Brazil often. But I still do not have the advantage of your eyes and experience. What I mean is... specifically on this subject, I consider myself a visitor and I am willing to learn. I have seen the poverty in Brazil first hand and it truly breaks my heart. But I am sure I have not seen it to the extent that you have. So, if any of my comments seem like arguments, that was not the intended meaning, I am here to learn. I look forward to your response.

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"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 12:34 pm on Feb. 9, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
"My point is... why can't you teach a starving person anything?"

Malinowski's heirarchy of needs, for one. People who aren't eating make piss-poor students.

"But it is a fact that if a person has thier hand out today... they will have thier hand out next week and next year with no visible end in sight. A person who is starving should be more than eager to learn a trade and be willing to help themselves."

In theory, I agree. But in practice it's a hell of a lot more complicated.

The point of my original post is, what to do wioth someone when there's no place in the economy for him? Frex, we can teach computer science in the favelas. I have friends who do it and I suppose it's better than nothing. But the fact of the matter is, we've got people with computer science DEGREES out looking for jobs and not finding them. What good does teaching a kid who can barely read and write how to navigate through Windows do in that kind of a job market? If there are no jobs to be had, self-improvement only goes so far. It may be a solution for this or that individual and, like I said, it's better than nothing. It is not, however, a panacea for Brazil's problems, unfortunately.

So I say until the ocean comes back, hell yes give people food! If we want  them studying, it's the first thing we need to do anyhow.

In my experience, individual apathy is not what's keeping most Brazilians poor. That is a myth.


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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 2:10 am on Feb. 10, 2003 | IP
Pedro


Newbie
   
The idea of "Fome Zero" is nothing new in Brazil. Since 100 years ago landlords have given food and clothes for free (during election time), with no further result, except earning votes for themselves. Do you remember SUDENE? Some say that Lula intends to reopen it!

"Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man      how to fish and feed him for the rest of his life" - My grandma would say, this is older than walking forwards. The matter is not to give a fish (no good) nor teach the man how to fish (he already knows) but PROVIDE LAKES WHERE FISHES CAN BE FOUND - that is, enhance the economy, so that he can find a job and fish himself. Launching expensive social projects is not the best way to reach this goal.

And last but not least, hunger is far from being Brazil´s biggest problem. We do have milions of poors, but not all of them are starving. In fact, some would rather buy a new TV or DVD than food. But of course, labeling every poor a "starving one" makes things more dramatic...

Total Posts: 17 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 10:11 am on Feb. 10, 2003 | IP
erjbcdt


Junior Member
   
Hey Pedro go to the thread Brazil, IMF, World Bank, FHC, and economy,

I am there debating people and I need someone who more or less who has a similar view that I do about the economy and Fome Zero.  
We both seem that the economy is critical in tackling the social problems of Brazil and I hope you can share your ideas on another debate,
thanks

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Viva Brazil

Total Posts: 54 | Joined Feb. 2003 | Posted on: 1:17 pm on Feb. 10, 2003 | IP
krista



Junior Member
   
So, mmm...if we're looking for fish and men and lakes...and also some economic growth here, please consider the following point:
-Behind every economic growth, there is productivity. In addition to knowledge, machinery, capital, whatever the human labor force is also important, right? But how can you raise productivity, if your humans are starving to death? One of the tasks for a governmet is to take care of the people so that they could go and work, or study... What use is the lake full of fish for a man who is too weak to even stand up?
Thus, yes - the government needs to put up a lot of other development projects and stuff. But before it can send the people to school or to work, it needs to feed them. So, I guess Fome Zero is definitely necessary, but would be much more effective if combined with a pile of other projects.

haha...saving the world here, huh?

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Radio Do Mar: http://www.live365.com/stations/226288

Total Posts: 97 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 2:36 pm on Feb. 10, 2003 | IP
erjbcdt


Junior Member
   
well let me explain something.  You can raise productivity in Brazil but if people are starving and they are working then there is a structural problem with the system.  How does that make any sense at all, if some one is working the company will boost productivity but considering that the worker is working they are probably not starving.  But then again there are poor people who decide they rather buy a tv than a refrigirator, I mean 90% if the houses in Brazil have Tv's

Krista, I was curious to know how if you have ever been to Boston College and what you think of the college.  Because I am a freshman at Boston College and recently I had lunch with some new friends from Brazil.........

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Viva Brazil

Total Posts: 54 | Joined Feb. 2003 | Posted on: 4:06 pm on Feb. 12, 2003 | IP
krista



Junior Member
   
oh, the previous thing was just my reaction to the whole fish-talk...it stirred up a lot of weird thoughts in my head.
But seriously talking - so what is it that is wrong with the whole system? I think before discussing how to fix things, we should agree on what exactly do we find wrong with it. Is it that there are not enough jobs outside the cities and for the poorly educated? Is there a problem with the education of the adults, or the structure of labor market? Or is the salary-policy a problem? Or the tax system? I am getting a bit confused and sometimes it seems to me that we're all talking about different things...
So, I have a proposal - let's all try to make a list of things we find wrong. As specific as possible please; "there is a problem" doesn't count as a good entry.
and then, I think it will be a lot easier for us to continue our discussion (and i am really interested in continuing it)
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erjbcdt-
I don't really know BC very well. One of my music professors used to teach there, so he has told me a bit about it (good things ); but I don't really have any friends in there. Haha, I'm also a college firstyear, a bit outside of Boston, in Wellesley College...
Have you made good contact with the local Brasilian community already? There are thousands of Brasilians here...sooo many!!


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Radio Do Mar: http://www.live365.com/stations/226288

Total Posts: 97 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 7:35 pm on Feb. 12, 2003 | IP
erjbcdt


Junior Member
   
Krista,

Oh yeah I joined the Brazilian club here at BC.  We played at Babson College. soccer games aganist other Brazilian clubs from the other colleges.

Wellesley College is very popular with the girls at my high school back home in Amherst, MA. I dont know if you ever heard of it?  Cool well I heard great things from my friends about Wellesley College...



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Viva Brazil

Total Posts: 54 | Joined Feb. 2003 | Posted on: 9:29 pm on Feb. 12, 2003 | IP
 

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