It might be a cliché, but everyone knows Brazil for its natural beauty, festivals, smiling people, samba in the feet and a loving way to receive people. My country is one of the top ten largest economies in the world. With a large economy and a surplus of labor, Brazil should theoretically be experiencing the highest levels of development for its society and an improved quality of life for all Brazilians. It should be… However, the reality is far from it. What are the reasons why the powerful Brazilian economy is not reflected in the quality of life for the majority of the population?
The colonial way of life consisted of a wealthy minority and a poor majority. This economic divide coupled with the old practices of corruption are part of the backbone of the country's construction. This historical foundation has deeply impacted the daily lives of both rich and poor Brazilians and hinders the possibilities of development. Despite being one of the largest exporters of grain and meat on the planet, we are lacking a fair society with measures to reduce both hunger and poverty.
Economic freedom, present in the overwhelming majority of economically developed countries, is almost absent in the largest Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) nation. The State is seen as the “great father” of the nation, responsible for guarding and directing the course of the nation and its individuals in every respect.
Most of the public services that should be offered are inefficient and/or absent. However, these services generate an annual expenditure that consumes almost half of the nation's budget and inadequately serves the poorest of the population.
The service workforce is extremely undervalued and is one of the main work alternatives for the illiterate and poorly educated. Having an educated workforce directly impacts the economic growth of a country. However, access to education is not achievable for all Brazilians. For example, the elite of society hold a monopoly on achieving higher education in the field of medicine. Consequently, reducing the possibility of social and economic ascension of the poorest.
Transportation infrastructure in the country is substandard, especially in the poorer regions. Despite efforts to promote growth, the country's level of industrialization has been steadily declining in the economy as a whole. Brazil essentially imports almost every new technology it consumes for homes, businesses, hospitals and/or industry. An undeveloped country in the field of research is doomed to this foreign dependence.
I believe that focusing on education is the only way to improve the development of a nation and its citizens. Education produces a society that is: aware of its rights and duties; democratic; productive; and open to more opportunities for development which reduces poverty. An educated society is also more egalitarian and socially inclusive. It less violent and corrupt. Also, this society is aware of the importance and influence of the environment, and the consequences of its degradation.
I believe that most problems can be solved with the same solution—education. Therefore, access to quality education is the decisive factor for the country's development and improvement of its population's quality of life.
Written by: Renan Silva (Brazil) - June Team 2019