• Categories
  • Archives

A National Program for the Poor in Brazil Is Helping São Paulo Curb Its Favelas

Favela in São Paulo, BrazilOne of the good effects of Bolsa Família (BOAsa fumMEElia) – a monthly allowance given the very poor by the Brazilian government –  besides helping the poor, was to get the impoverished in big cities like São Paulo to go back to their places of origin, and keep people in the disadvantaged regions from coming to São Paulo.  

Immigration is good, it can bring plenty of diversity and options to a country, but if it is uncontrolled, it can generate lots of problems, unemployment and crime among them.

How can a state deal with an inordinate rise in its population every single year?

Before Lula, migration from the poverty-stricken regions of Brazil into São Paulo was staggering. Now things have changed. Lots of people in here are going back to their places of origin, thanks to Bolsa Família.

I belong to a family of internal migrants since my parents came from the Northeast, my mom from Pernambuco and my daddy from Paraíba. “Paraíba masculina, mulher macho, sim senhor” (paraEEba maskooLEEna, moolyEH mAHshoo, SING sing-Yoh) (Paraíba is for macho man, even women are macho”. So goes a song.

I like it here in São Paulo. Even though my parents came from the Northeast, I’ve never set foot there. I intend to go there someday; people say the beaches are great, I digress.

Anyway, migration to the South has been so common that we call Mineiros (miNAYrooz) (people born in Minas Gerais (MEEnaz zheddEYEZ), “Baianos cansados”, tired Baianos. Baiano (buyUNG-noo) is a person born in Bahia. Since Minas Gerais is midway between São Paulo and Bahia, the expression was coined.

I guess Cariocas (Rio de Janeiro-born)  are baianos cansados, too, but they love the beach, so they took a different route. Joking aside, the fact is this internal migration is good as long as it is not totally uncontrolled.

At any rate, I don’t believe everybody should embrace the capitalist ideal. Capitalism is good, consumerism is good, they force humans to evolve, but I know people can live without it, just look at the Indians in the Amazon and the aborigines in many places. They don’t starve, they have fulfilling lives, they enjoy themselves as much as a person with plenty of material things. And they can’t miss what they never had.

Capitalism makes you think if you don’t have a lot of stuff, you are poor and suffering. But that’s not true; I know plenty of slum dwellers who are very happy and lots of rich people who are always unhappy.  I know people from every walk of life, so I’ve seen that, it’s not just a hypothesis.

Many people are not ambitious, so let them lead their simple lives. We don’t need to keep increasing the number of consumers exponentially, and Bolsa Família is helping control this influx. Hooray for that! Let the ambitious keep coming, not people who are coming because of starvation.

But I guess the ambitious could stay there and move it up as well, or down, depending on whether you think defining yourself as a big consumer is a good thing. I love consuming, but I was brainwashed by society as well, I’m just another victim (smirking), even though I do believe capitalism can bring advances like no other system, but the price you pay for that is constant worry.

So worry and consume, or don’t worry and be happy, whatever makes your world go round.

José da Silva, this article’s author, lives in São Paulo. He is Brazilian and works as a teacher and translator, as well as a freelance subtitler and editor for several TV channels. Check out his blog on http://brazilinenglish.wordpress.com.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

US$ 860 Million Loan by Brazil’s Petrobras Is No Ominous Sign, Says Minister

Brazil's minister of Mines and Energy, Edison Lobão, confirmed a 2 billion Brazilian reais ...

An Exchange

Debate Goes OnBy If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle ...

Argentina and Wall Street Drag Stocks Down in Brazil

Brazilian and Latin American stocks ended in negative territory, amid profit-taking, expectation about new ...

US Firm to Sell Cashew, Açaí­ and Other Brazilian Juices in US and Asia

Tropical Beverage, a producer and distributor of value-added water-based products, announced today, July 19, ...

Ah, the Food!

I’ll make a scandal. If I tell something I know!… Don’t provoke me, Alaíde. ...

Indians Out!

President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and the Indian leadership were supposed to meet, but this ...

Brazil to Demand in Copenhagen that US & Co Pay for Damages Inflicted on Planet

Brazil should announce, later this month, a proposal to reduce greenhouse gas. The suggestions ...

Brazil Calls Doha Round Talks Collapse a Major Setback

Negotiations for a new global free trade agreement fell through Monday, July 24, after ...

Brazil’s Foreign Exchange Deficit Over US$ 4 Billion This Month

The balance of dollar inflow and outflow in the country until the 24th this ...

Brazil’s International Organic Fair Exceeds Expectations

The BioFach América Latina 2004, the continent’s biggest organic product fair, ended on Friday ...