Monday, January 23, 2012

A country of three middle classes


The "Brazilian Dream" now within reach of millions!
 When we lived in Brazil in the late 90's these classifications for lower middle class and upper middle class were practically unheard in the media or anywhere else for that matter.
But now after the social initiatives implemented by President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and cleverly continued by President Lula THUG da Silva lifted millions out of poverty and into the middle class, we started to see all these new classifications of Class A, B, C, D and E.
It's encouraging to see the new President Dilma Roussef fighting to rid her government of corruption and continuing the policies that have lifted poor Brazilians into the middle class.
President Dilma has the highest job approval of all time for a Brazilian president.

The largest Brazilian Housing program of all times


All these new class divisions are totally news to me, and I always had a hard time understanding it.
Ok, so the news is that Brazil is a country where the middle class now is the majority, yes, 60% of the population in Brazil today belongs to the middle class and they are fiercely purchasing cars, appliances and new homes, boosting the economy into a level never seen before.



The majority of the Brazilian population belong to the middle class now!


Brazil relies heavily on it's internal economy and this is one of the principal reasons for the country's recent success situation despite the world's current downturn.
I found a good article at Folha.com in English that helped us understand the classifications of Brazil's 3 new middle class divisions.
I hope it helps you too.


Ray


ÉRICA FRAGA
FROM SÃO PAULO
Brazil is a country of the middle class. Six out of every ten Brazilians 16 or older already belong to this group, according to Datafolha.
With 90 million people, a number larger than the population of Germany, the Brazilian middle class, however, is far from being homogeneous.
The variety of indicators for income, education and ownership of consumer goods allows the division of this portion of the population into three distinct groups that separate the rich from the excluded.
The growing access to comfort goods, like electronics, computers and automobiles, is what brings the three spheres of the Brazilian middle class closest together.
Starting with the measurement of the possession of these items, the population is divided into classes designated by letters.
Middle class Brazil is that which is able to escape the levels D and E, leaving behind the excluded, but that still has almost no presence in class A.
Gains in income, a consequence of stronger economic growth and policies of income distribution, and greater access to credit have contributed to this trend.
"Increases in income that seem small to the elite have represented a revolution for the poorer classes," says the economist Marcelo Neri, of FGV (Getúlio Vargas Foundation).
If the possession of consumer goods brings the three Brazilian middle classes closer, income and education indicators still separate them.
Income and higher education are, for example, characteristics that distance Brazilians in the upper middle class from those in the other two levels. The lines that separate the members of the intermediate and lower middles classes are already more tenuous.
The income of the lower middle class is still, for example, higher than that of the intermediate middle class.
However, the younger members of the intermediate middle class have better economic perspectives due to the more significant educational advances in recent years.
This group is the one that grew the most in the country in the last decade. With 37 million people (16 years of age or older), they are second only to the excluded, who still form the largest class in Brazil, although their numbers have shrunk.
Despite the significant expansion of the middle class, there are those who still don't feel part of the group. This is the case with Rosiley Marcelino Silva, 46. Married and the mother of two adult sons, she lives on the sale of finger foods and the salary of her husband, a trucker.
"I don't think I have a middle class life. But today it is possible to survive," says Rosiley, who was classified by Datafolha as intermediate middle class.
The vulnerability of the new middle class is an issue that worries the authorities.
"We are trying to think of policies that help these people to avoid returning to poverty, because this is a risk," says Diana Grosner, economist for the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs for the Presidency of the Republic.
According to her, the government is now working on an official definition of middle class, and afterwards can divide it into up to three distinct groups in order to develop specific policies according to the needs of each of them.
TRANSLATED BY DAVE WOLIN

3 comments:

Jana said...

So interesting, I am glad to see something other than the ABCDE... crap it is so old school and ridiculous. Nice to see a growing middle class even though I still wonder how they get the money to do all these things. I suppose everyone is just financing everything which is a bit scary... but on the other hand, our faxineira went to Fernando de Noronha for her honeymoon... so something is definately changing and for the better!!

Ray and Gil said...

Jana,

It is definitely changing for the better and it's not relying on credit.
My mother's maid for example, came to Sao Paulo about 30 years ago, they were dirt poor, come on the back of a truck.
Today she and her husband own their home out right, with 2 cars in their two car garage, have put all of their 4 kids thru college and 1 has done a MBA and works for UPS. All their kids speak English fluent and have good middle class jobs.
Many Brazilians also can afford to buy stuff because they live with their parents well into their 30's, that makes a huge difference when buying a new car, an I-pad, traveling on vacations etc...
I am glad things are looking up for Brazil. :)

Ray

Alex said...

just wonderful!