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Bravo for Brazil

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Robert Harris, Jan 4, 2003.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006


    Saturday, 4 January, 2003, 01:50 GMT
    Brazil opts for butter before guns

    By Stephen Cviic
    BBC regional analyst

    Brazil's new left-wing government has decided to suspend the purchase of 12 military jets so it can spend more on social programmes.

    At his first cabinet meeting since being sworn in on New Year's Day, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told his ministers that they all had a role to play in his campaign against hunger.

    Brazil's new president has made it clear that his top priority is to improve social conditions for the poor, but he also intends to stick to tight budgetary restraints.

    The only way to square this circle is to cut spending elsewhere, and it is the armed forces who are the first to suffer.


    I expect there to be great unhappiness in Washington over this, though. This sort of thing is not good for our merchants of death.
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah.. Canada has done this for years and look at the state of things now.

    There has to be a careful balance between social programs and those programs that protect one's country. Ignore one too long, and you spend MORE getting things fixed than if you'd just bit the bullet and made sure things didn't break to begin with.
  3. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    I think it is amazing Brazil would need fighter jets.
    Who are they defending against, Paraguay?

    There is an aging aircraft carrier (WWI vintage) anchored in the harbor off the coast of Rio. My cousin (a Brazilian) tells me it has never moved in his lifetime. But don't you worry, should Brazil ever need an aircraft carrier, they have one.

    They can't feed the majority of people, have almost no infrastructure and cannot afford to pay their debts. However, there is no shortage of military people who will do nothing other than to collect bribes whenever they can find a reason to extract one.

    During a disaster where thousands of people died in a mudslide, the Brazilian military was ordered to help find people trapped in the rubble. They refused and forcefully told the government they would overthrow the government if they were asked again.

  4. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Of that, I have no doubt. However......

    For years the Canadian government has underfunded their military. Their Sea King helicopters are flying death traps and more money is spent maintaining them, than flying them. The troops have to make do with outdated equipment, or no equipment at all. All in the name of social spending. Where does one draw the line?

    The obligation of any country to protect it's citizens I would think is paramount. This includes appropriate military spending as well as social spending. Robbing Peter to pay Paul only expands the original problems and at some point in time, it comes crashing home.

    Although I can see why the order was cancelled, I can also see that it will probably come back to haunt them at some point in time down the road.
  5. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    I would like to point out that protecting a population where the majority of people have no health care and will probably die from treatable diseases long before they are do is pointless.

    Without doubt, most Americans will die from lack of treatment from preventable afflictions like diabetes, high blood pressure and injuries from firearms rather than attack from outside.

    On the other side of the coin, we got bitchin' helicopters which will undoubtedly comfort me on my deathbed.

    Funny, you have no huge military but I don't see you guys getting attacked by terrorists or anyone else for that matter. Why is that, do you think?
  6. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Ken, I'm not Canadian, I just live here. Reread my post... "The obligation of any country to protect it's citizens I would think is paramount. This includes appropriate military spending as well as social spending.

    You view the world through rose colored glasses and think all the world's ills would go away just be doing away with instruments of war and all military. Sadly, this is not the case, as we're human.

    There has to be a balance. The US forces are beginning to show the strain of the budget cuts as well. Ask any maintainer on the flight line and he'll tell you what it's like to canabalize one aircraft to keep another flying. Unit readiness is down as there's no money for training or equipment. Many units are short handed as Congress has limited the number of personnel that can be on active duty. Our job hasn't changed. Yet we're expected to do it with less people and less equipment.
  7. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    Everything you say is true. I cannot argue with you on anything you posted. The other side of the coin is that a strong military will not help a nation with a small percentage of healthy (rich) people and a large portion of poor which have one foot in the grave.

    Even Donald Rumsfield believes the budget is adequate, it is the waste, which is killing the military. But try closing even a single base and the public goes crazy. We cannot afford to keep the military force we have. It is chewing up too much of our GDP. We spend more on military than all the other industrialized countries combined.

    Whether or not I believe the entire problems of the world will go away is irrelevant. We as a nation don't have the money. Ask any parent who has to choose between heating and eating. Ask our members here. We don't have any more to give to the military. It isn't just the military, we just don't have any more, period.

    Give us universal healthcare, decent food and housing at an affordable price and jobs which pay a living wage - and then we'll talk. The age of a million-man army and a 600 ship Navy is over. Just like the Soviet Union, we can no longer afford to keep up. We just haven't had the sense to admit it yet and it continues to hurt us every day we continue.

    Look around, the middle class is disappearing, the poor are growing and the rich are unaffected. We are becoming a country of haves and have nots. Visit Mexico to see how well that system works out.
  8. Basilio

    Basilio Banned

    I do wish the people of Brazil well.... I hope that Venezuela and Brazil can work together and that Mercurur countries expand.... I am worried about the Pinochet right wing type protestors in Venezuela who are mirroring those who protest Allende in Chile before a CIA-backed coup got rid of the democratically elected leader. I want governments that are friendly to the poor but at the same time promote growth economics, promote infrastructure, some healthy competition and trade..... Let those countries resolve those problems withouth any interference, I say.
    As far as Canada, as I understand in Ottawa the spending on health care has been a consistent 16 percent of the budget.
    I do not think social services should be cut in favor of military spending. Military equipment takes away lives, health care is supposed to save them.... We don't really have enemies, but may have some if we simply follow the lead of Washington. I am an American citizen, too, and not happy with troops all over the place, increased polarization between countries... It doesn't look good, it is kind of scary....But maybe Canada should spend more on the military to boost it beyond the maintenance level, to where there are advancements... I agree with you on that...
  9. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Please, Venezuelas protestors are not the fricking right wing of Pinochet, what garbage. They are the Shopkeepers and Industrial Workers, they are not the farm workers or the poor. They are the people who gave Venezuela the capital it has to work with, the left there are using the poor to get in to power, throwing slops to the poor and farm workers.

    They want another Cuba Worker's Paradise, where yes you local doctor is your neighbor but don't voice any displeasure in the system or you could lose your access to see that doctor. The best thing would of been the politcal party to spend some of that capital more on the poor, but that boat has sailed. The government of Venezuela wants to be Communist but they know that it is a failed system so they are just going to ignore those who produce for them.
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Think so? I have never thought that Chavez was well-informed enough to know that. My impression has always been of him as someone anxious to get into power by any means, with no particular beliefs at all, and less knowledge.
  11. jamming

    jamming Banned

    You might be right Bob, I may be giving Chavez to much credit, he might try to go Communist.

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