Brazil and the Global Battle to Eliminate Extreme Poverty / by Mark Langevin

By Rogerio Studart and published in The Globalist.

Studart and The Globalist remind their readers that while Europe and the United States seem eager to induce recession and subject millions of citizens to enduring poverty, Brazil has broken through to achieve historic results in eliminating extreme poverty in a country known for deep inequality and dire poverty.

Studart instructs us,

“At a time when the World Bank's resources — as well as the budgetary resources of governments around the world — are more limited than he might wish, Brazil offers important lessons on how to eliminate extreme poverty and reduce inequality.”

Too often economists and political risk pundits castigate Brazil for the “Brazil Cost,” but fail to recognize the since 2003 the country has all but eliminated the most expensive of all legacies, wicked, sustainable poverty.  As an Executive Director at the World Bank Group and economist, Rogerio Studart would be the first to note Brazil’s current obstacles to growth and equitable economic development. Yet, Studart is notable in his own efforts to insure that the world knows that Brazil offers comparable solutions to the legacy of underdevelopment and poverty that afflict so many nations as well as the deepening poverty within the vulnerable populations of  of Europe and the United States. Indeed, Studart makes a critical historical point in reporting the origins of the effort to reduce poverty in Brazil under the government of former President Lula,

“It is well-known that Lula's program initially did not receive a warm welcome from the financial markets. They were concerned that his commitment to what they perceived as a utopia would lead him to implement irresponsible, populist and unsustainable policies. They were wrong.”

Thus, Studart raises the question; given the case of Brazil what can other countries do to stave off the ravages of poverty despite opposition from the financial markets and bond traders?

Certainly North American and European leaders of the financial services industry have little experience with poverty reduction programs and even less credibility to criticize efforts as those launched by ex-President Lula of Brazil.  Yet over the long term, the financial services industry has the most to gain by pressing on, as Brazil has, to eliminate extreme poverty everywhere and resume the modern world’s historic “war against poverty.”