Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called ‘nonsense’ the biblical statement that the poor will be “blessed with treasure in heaven” and strongly supported the policies of his government (2003/2010) which helped millions in Brazil lift from poverty.
“Nonsense, this thing they invented that the poor will get the kingdom of heaven after death. We want the kingdom now, here on Earth. For us they invented a slogan that all is in the future. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to go to heaven. The rich is already in heaven, here,” he said.
“Once and for all we have to finish with the invented nonsense that the poor will be blessed with treasure in heaven and not the rich. For the rich heaven is here and now, and the poor also wants to be blessed with heaven now, while he is alive,” argued Lula who has begun a tour of different Brazilian states signaling his return to politics ahead of next year’s mid term election.
Repeating earlier statements before the Federation of Industries from the State of São Paulo, FIESP, Brazil’s powerful manufacturers lobby Lula said that the “developed world must learn that the solution is for the poor to consume more.”
During the meeting held in his honor by FIESP, Lula insisted that Brazilian businesses have to increase their investments in Latin America and in Africa “to help millions out of poverty, millions of potential consumers”.
Race and Skin Color
For most Brazilians race and skin color have great influence in labor relations and in the way they are treated by police and the judiciary, according to a report from the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute, IBGE.
According to the paper, 63.7% of Brazilians interviewed said that skin color and race directly influence the lives of people in the country. Another 71% said race was influential at the work place and getting a job.
Race is also influential when it comes to the police and magistrates according to 68.3% of interviews.
The IBGE paper on ethnic-racial characteristics was based on several public opinion polls taken in six of the country’s most dynamic states.
The paper also showed that Afro-Brazilians are paid on average 40% less than ethnic whites. In multiracial Brazil over half the population is brown and black.