One of the country’s longstanding negative sociocultural traits could be hindering its ability to recover from the pandemic

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Soure: The Brazilian Report

In early January 2021, Brazil ranks second in global deaths caused by COVID-19 (196 thousand) and third in terms of confirmed infections by the Sars-CoV-2 virus (7.7 million) among all countries. This is obviously not good news. Besides the current sanitary crisis imposed to virtually all nations of the world, Brazil has been particularly affected by an economic recession (2014–2016), persistent unemployment ever since, a track record of major corruption scandals leading to a significant ethical crisis, and a notable trend of increasing polarization and divisiveness within the society, which culminated in the election of right-wing and denialist president Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. All this could be interpreted as causes for the situation in which the country finds itself today. …


Why Brazil’s Minister of the Economy intends to extinguish one-fourth of the country’s municipalities

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Source: Mundo Geo

Brazil is currently divided into 26 states plus a Federal District, Brasília, the capital. In its turn, these states are divided into a total of 5,570 municipalities, which require adequate infrastructure, a permanent influx of public resources, and a set of local civil servants to function according to any city’s attributions. Not to mention the existence of a political elite composed of mayors, vice-mayors, and municipal councilors (the legislative branch of government), who all have their salaries paid by resident taxpayers, just like in any other country. However, most of these micro-cities are far from registering budgetary surpluses or from being self-sufficient. On the contrary, these end up permanently depending on the transfers emanated by the federal government’s Municipalities Participation Fund (MPF). …


Why is this publicly-led financial innovation so disruptive for Brazil’s economic environment?

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Source: TechTudo

The year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most challenging and unconventional periods of time in several decades for virtually every country in the world. Yet, on its turn, Brazil will be adding an extra pinch of novelty and disruption to that scenario by 16th November. After months of feasibility studies and development efforts, the country’s Central Bank will launch ‘Pix’, a non-private, centralized electronic transactions system for instant payments and bank wire transfers. …


As this nationwide public program reaches 30 years of existence, this is a brief mapping of its strengths, weaknesses, and challenges ahead

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Source: Fundo Nacional de Saúde — Ministério da Saúde

Brazil’s health expenditure composition is somewhat unique in the world. It is formed by: 1) 43% of government-run, compulsory, publicly funded arrangements, on which around 75% of the population exclusively depends; 2) 28% of voluntary health insurance schemes; 3) 27% of out-of-pocket spending by individuals; and 4) 2% of other modalities (e.g. medical services being provided by NGOs, charities, etc). …


Countries’ varying health expenditure arrangements look more like a colorful mosaic

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Source: Boston University School of Medicine

Any system is “complex” by definition. Otherwise it wouldn’t be considered a system in the first place. For historical, cultural, civilizational, political, social e economic reasons, countries’ health systems around the world can differ from one another depending on three basic dimensions: 1) financing source (public or private); 2) financing scheme (compulsory or voluntary); and 3) implemented mechanism (permanent universal program or insurance-based). …


A correlação entre exposição midiática e fama alavancada e a propulsão de carreiras de celebridades na política eleitoral brasileira

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Fonte: GShow

Eleições democráticas diretas previstas em constituições republicanas nada mais são do que competições para aferição do nível de popularidade dos candidatos envolvidos no pleito que se propõem a competir pelos votos do eleitorado. Os preferidos pela maioria são eleitos; tão simples quanto isso. Seguindo esta lógica, quem detém previamente o fator fama tende invariavelmente a largar na frente. Ter sua imagem, suas ideias, sua voz e/ou seu trabalho conhecidos e reconhecidos pelo grande público, a priori, constitui inequivocamente uma vantagem neste processo, independente do juízo de valor atribuído (boa fama vs. má fama). A exposição recorrente de indivíduos em veículos de comunicação de massa como cinema, rádio, publicações impressas, internet e sobretudo televisão constitui, neste sentido, uma mais-valia estratégica que vem sendo capitalizada nas urnas. A mídia passa então a desempenhar a função de trampolim natural para cargos eletivos, como tem sido particular- e historicamente o caso do Brasil a partir da redemocratização. …


How the country’s notable trajectory of social policies could be reaching its consolidation phase at the turn of the decade

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Source: Portal Contábeis

In late August 2020, Brazil’s Ministry of the Economy finds itself at a crossroads: after a couple of extensions of the new coronavirus emergency relief payments initiative directed to unemployed and self-employed citizens as well as to informal workers, 10 out of 10 members of the Bolsonaro administration acknowledge that this fiscally unsustainable policy should come to an end until December this year. The monthly BRL 600.00 cash transfer (which is currently equivalent to around USD 107.00) came into force back in April 2020 and was originally meant to last for just three months. Single mothers are eligible to receive twice as much. As a result of enormous political pressure from several sectors of society and other branches of government, the so-called ‘Auxílio Emergencial’ was renewed for additional two months, covering July and August. …


How robust welfare systems end up benefiting Nordic economies by preventing individual exposure to big risks in life

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Source: Jewish Policy Center

Nordic countries are known for their high standards of living, homogeneous and cohesive societies as well as for granting their citizens access to heavily subsidized and good quality public services, such as education, health, housing, and safety. Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland are home to consolidated high-income economies whose resources are very evenly spread and distributed among community members. From all 195 countries analyzed in the United Nations’ 2019 Human Development Report, these five countries all rank in the top-12 when it comes to Human Development Index (HDI). …


How the cultural capital of Brazil went from hosting the World Cup final and the Olympic Games to losing its positive reputation in just four years’ time

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Photo by Agustín Diaz on Unsplash

Hosting any Olympic Games (either Summer or Winter) is a dream come true for every metropolis in the world. It has been a common desire of several global cities for over a century, since 1896. Being the center of billions of people’s attention for a few weeks while also showcasing your culture, improving urban infrastructures, attracting investments, and boosting the tourism industry is often interpreted as the pinnacle for any aspiring host city. The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro not only was the first and only to ever be held in Latin America, but also seemed like a major symbolic achievement for Brazil individually. …


How could the most economically free country have over 80% of its population living in State-built homes

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Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

Housing is one of the most basic things there are in life — or at least it should be. Every citizen needs a place to stay. In the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, articles 12 and 25 explicitly acknowledge the fundamental need for adequate living conditions for each and every human being and this includes the principle of no arbitrary interference in anyone’s privacy, family and home. That said, it is common sense to think that public policies focusing on the provision of housing tend to produce low quality constructions for the most socially vulnerable portion of the population, which hardly can afford to buy or rent their homes. Public housing in several countries is also very often associated with high crime rates as well as loud, vandalized and problematic neighborhoods. …

About

Gregorio de Matos

Internationalist and Global Public Health professional holding a Master’s degree in Public Policy. Brazilian / Portuguese.

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