Without changing the balance of forces, it will not be possible to change the picture that maintains the country as one of the world leaders in inequality. This is the main conclusion of the panel debaters “How to overcome inequality in Brazil?”, held this Tuesday night (21).
This was the ninth of a total of ten classes in the cycle of formative debates “Development, new inequalities and Fiscal Justice in Brazil”, making up the 3rd Block on ‘Immediate and Strategic Challenges’. The panel was mediated by Alexandre Conceição, from the national board of the MST.
The cycle is organized by the Lula Institute, in partnership with the Fiscal Justice Institute and the coordinating entities of the “Tax on the Super-Rich” campaign, aimed at analyzing the Brazilian tax reality.
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“The core of our problems is not inequality, it is not income concentration. It is class society. No possible measure is going to alleviate the tragic situation in which the vast majority lives while maintaining the current political framework”, said Roberto Amaral, former president of the PSB and minister of Science and Technology in the Lula government.
For him, the tax reform is the center of the measures that could change the social and economic face of the country in face of the growing challenges and the social tension that must increase.
And it reinforces: changing the government does not mean changing the model that perpetuates the abyss between a growing miserable majority and those who concentrate wealth.
“In five years, Brazil has gone back decades”, emphasized the economist Regina Camargos, listing what she called “deformations” approved by the National Congress that increased the precariousness of the majority of the population. She analyzes that fighting inequality requires a set of consistent, permanent and long-term public policies.
Despite some advances promoted by governments in the first decade of this century, the measures applied improved indicators, but did not change the structure that keeps the richest 10% concentrating most of the country’s wealth.
For the political scientist, the Lula and Dilma administrations reached a limit of actions and even a fiscal limit within the class conciliation carried out in their administrations. “And without messing with tax reform and public debt mechanisms, there is no money to make structural changes.”
Regina Camargos highlights three formative aspects that have not been overcome in the country: extreme and permanent inequality, violence and authoritarianism. “The emptied, mitigated and spasmodic democracy is insufficient to change these bases”, he ponders.
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Exploitation or coup
Roberto Amaral pointed out that in 132 years of the Republic, there were only 17 years with governments that thought about the population, adding up to 13 years of Lula and Dilma’s governments, three of Getúlio Vargas’ government in its democratic phase and two of João Goulart’s administration, interrupted by the military coup. “Since the Colony, Empire, Old Republic, Republic of 30, Estado Novo, Democratic Varguismo, the JK experience, Lula, the command has not changed. It can make a revolution, a coup d’etat, change the regime. But the land, the property, the center of power is the same”, he emphasizes.
And he sums it up: “At Casa Grande, the ruling class allows for a few things but two: the emergence of the masses or tampering with their condominium, with their power. If there is any threat to that, the armed party enters and interrupts the process as in the Getúlio Vargas government, culminating in suicide, and in the Lula and Dilma administrations, interrupted by the 2016 coup”, he detailed.
Amaral highlights several items that make up the complexity of this moment, such as the general employment crisis, a Congress that approves all withdrawals of labor rights, the parties in crisis, the transition from hegemony to Eurasia, the new era of information technology, of robotics changing the productive relationships among other factors.
The former minister sees no way out on the near horizon. “We unfortunately have to think about the medium and long term”. For Roberto Amaral, there are sectors that are excited to remove what he called “the encumbrance and trouble of the Planalto”. However, even understanding that the country will not stand another year and three months with the current president and that any alternative can be better than Jair Bolsonaro, the logic that brought the country to its current condition is that it must be removed.
“We cannot settle for a tactical retreat to get rid of the creature, a despot, sociopath. What is the cost of this reconciliation again? We need another political coalition. It’s not about winning and not taking, of keeping crumbs. The country is at an unbearable level of sacrifice, in an unprecedented crisis, at the limit of its stress”, completed Regina Camargos.
Panelists presented several consensuses in their analyses. Among them, capitalism has not solved any of the problems and that there is no way out without fiscal justice and progressively affecting the concentration of wealth, large fortunes and high incomes, a factor that concentrates power and distributes misery in unbearable proportions.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Edition: Katia Marko