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  • Guzzlecrank
    Reconstructulator
    • Aug 2009
    • 1234

    #31
    Hey Zlogdan, does Brazil have a pretty good Social Security system for retired and disabled people?

    I believe I've read some good things about it in the past, but sometimes my memory isn't the best.

    Comment

    • zlogdan
      Hex data reader and professional pawn
      • Mar 2012
      • 1931

      #32
      I would not say so. If you retire after working on public work ( where you were paid by the government ), after you retire you earn 90% of your salary. Otherwise, your salary after retirement will not be higher than Us$ 1500/month. Public health services in Brazil depend much of the specific city or hospital: there are great ones, yet, you will have to wait a lot. In average however it is not a decent situation. Even if you have health care plans ( my employee pays me one ), you are screwed if you live in Sao Paulo, because the best paid hospitals and doctors are for the few. If you happen to live in cities where there are Medical Practice Schools, you will get a good service for free if you can wait.

      I think things have become a bit more easy for persons with disabilities in the last years, but just because persons with disabilities and those that care started to organize them selves better.

      In theory what is written in the constitution is a perfect law, but in practice, it is not followed.
      "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
      "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

      Comment

      • Guzzlecrank
        Reconstructulator
        • Aug 2009
        • 1234

        #33
        Originally posted by zlogdan View Post
        In theory what is written in the constitution is a perfect law, but in practice, it is not followed.
        In some ways, it sure sounds like Brazil isn't that different from the USA.

        Here, the government-funded disability and retirement pension benefits for government employees are often better--much better--than what non-government workers receive.

        Also, it's only been about 20 years or so since people with disabilities were given some real protections and assistance under US federal law. That happened because people with disabilities--and their families--demanded help.

        Comment

        • zlogdan
          Hex data reader and professional pawn
          • Mar 2012
          • 1931

          #34
          Originally posted by Guzzlecrank View Post
          In some ways, it sure sounds like Brazil isn't that different from the USA.
          I guess so. But in USA, Europe, although we get the same percentage of vileness, evilness, hypocrisy, lack of moral and ethics, still things work better. There are politicians stealing public money here who were investigated and proved guilty, though they are still free. If you are rich, you probably will not get in jail. Ok, in USA it is the same, but maybe a little better.

          I went to USA in 2002, to Houston-TX, in average, I was more politely treated there than I ever was here.
          "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
          "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

          Comment

          • Wanderlust
            Lemon Curry?
            • Apr 2008
            • 3627

            #35
            Another Canadian downer: When PM Harper was in Switzerland earlier this year, drumming-up investors, he announced that he was raising the age of retirement benefits to 67, from 65. Yep, not even the decency voice this at home first. Nice guy, eh?

            Austerity for the regular folks, and tax cuts for the oil-barons. Seems to be this gov's motto.

            And now I hear they're thinking of drilling for oil in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the largest estuary in the world.

            The gulf, which touches the coastlines of Canada’s five easternmost provinces, is the world’s largest estuary. It’s home to more than 2,000 species of marine wildlife — an ecosystem integral to the health of our Atlantic and Great Lakes fisheries.
            http://www.thestar.com/opinion/edito...without-a-clue
            Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

            ~Henry David Thoreau

            Comment

            • Heresiologist
              Mothra Worshipper
              • Jan 2012
              • 1009

              #36
              Originally posted by Wanderlust View Post
              ...

              And now I hear they're thinking of drilling for oil in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the largest estuary in the world.
              ...
              Good thing the current government just passed a law giving the federal cabinet final decision making power when it comes to industrial projects with significant environmental impact.

              I seem to remember zlogdan mentioning elsewhere that Canada was known for science. The current Canadian Prime Minister and the interests he represents are working on "fixing" that too:
              "Hundreds of people held a mock funeral on Parliament Hill to mourn what they call the death of evidence and the muzzling of scientists by the federal government."
              http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/st...sts-rally.html

              There's a saying about the Canadian voting process, I don't know if it's used in other countries, but it goes:

              "Good governments aren't voted in, bad ones are voted out."

              Comment

              • Robin
                Citizen of Tanelorn
                • Apr 2011
                • 235

                #37
                Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
                There's a saying about the Canadian voting process, I don't know if it's used in other countries, but it goes:

                "Good governments aren't voted in, bad ones are voted out."
                Aye, I've heard the same kind of thing said here too. But, looking at some of the horrendous governments that didn't get voted out, I think that, although there's some truth in it, it's a little misleading. To be fair, there's rarely a choice between "good" and "bad"...

                Comment

                • Heresiologist
                  Mothra Worshipper
                  • Jan 2012
                  • 1009

                  #38
                  Originally posted by Robin View Post
                  Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
                  There's a saying about the Canadian voting process, I don't know if it's used in other countries, but it goes:

                  "Good governments aren't voted in, bad ones are voted out."
                  Aye, I've heard the same kind of thing said here too. But, looking at some of the horrendous governments that didn't get voted out, I think that, although there's some truth in it, it's a little misleading. To be fair, there's rarely a choice between "good" and "bad"...
                  True enough. How about:

                  "Good governments aren't voted in, instead excruciatingly bad ones are eventually voted out when their crap has become so overwhelming that a majority of people can no longer hold their noses and vote for them."

                  Unfortunately, the corollary is that the government that replaces the "bad" government was previously the "bad" government.

                  Here's another saying about what seems to beset any party that is nominally left of centre:
                  Campaign from the left, govern from the right.
                  Last edited by Heresiologist; 08-11-2012, 04:00 PM. Reason: Brevity and improved use of the smell metaphor.

                  Comment

                  • The English Assassin
                    Champion of the Balance
                    • Feb 2007
                    • 1673

                    #39
                    Shall we just say that all governments are bad by default, but some are worse than others?
                    forum

                    1. a meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest
                    2. a medium for open discussion, such as a magazine
                    3. a public meeting place for open discussion

                    Comment

                    • Robin
                      Citizen of Tanelorn
                      • Apr 2011
                      • 235

                      #40
                      These days I have a feeling that they're all equally bad. In that it really makes no difference who is elected, none of them are working for us anyway.

                      We just seem to get a "left wing" one when things are to be done that would piss us off too much if a right-wing one did them (whether that's well known war criminal Tony Blair being business friendly and bombing his way to a senior advisory role with JP Morgan, or Obama gleefully redefining the meaning of inalienable).

                      When I was active in politics I told people you can't really complain if you don't vote. Took me a bloody long time to see I had it completely arse-for elbow...

                      Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
                      How about:

                      "Good governments aren't voted in, instead excruciatingly bad ones are eventually voted out when a majority of people can no longer hold their noses and vote for a government that over the years has proven itself stinkingly incompetent, out of touch, or corrupt, or all the preceding."

                      Unfortunately, the corollary is that the government that replaces the "bad" government was previously the "bad" government.
                      Yeah, that hits the nail squarely on the head.

                      Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
                      Here's another saying about what seems to beset any party that is nominally left of centre:
                      Campaign from the left, govern from the right.
                      Or, to put it another way, "Lie".

                      It's another saying that seems to hold up pretty well though. The real problem with nominally left of centre parties is that they're all too aware that the poor will only vote for them as long as they stay poor.

                      OK, I think I really mean ONE real problem...

                      Comment

                      • Wanderlust
                        Lemon Curry?
                        • Apr 2008
                        • 3627

                        #41
                        Make no mistake, Canada's current conservative gov' stifles any debate in it's 'mandate' to sell this country off to the highest bidder. Even past conservative ministers are aghast at what these clowns are up to.
                        Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

                        ~Henry David Thoreau

                        Comment

                        • The English Assassin
                          Champion of the Balance
                          • Feb 2007
                          • 1673

                          #42
                          Originally posted by Robin View Post

                          When I was active in politics I told people you can't really complain if you don't vote. Took me a bloody long time to see I had it completely arse-for elbow...
                          I'm not going to re-ignite the whole 'why I don't vote' debate again from a couple of years ago, but I totally concur... the act of voting is given such unsubstantiated significant by those who bother with the pointless ritual. I'm very glad to hear you've changed your mind on this over the years. Not voting (I've never voted) has proved to be a rather provocative issue with Voters (even amongst the most reluctant of them, which is weird) over the years and usually exposes them as the unimaginative and conventional bores that they really are, despite the hipster-threads and that battered (unread) copy of On the Road they are holding. I have to say I sometime wake up in a cold sweat with realisation that I am cursed to exist in such a frightfully dull era. anyway, if there's one thing likely to unify both the left and the right is the presence of someone who wouldn't vote for either wing. I wouldn't discourage anyone from voting who wants to, but I will draw my trusty (rusty) sword against those who think the simple act of voting gives them some default higher status over those who don't.

                          Originally posted by Robin View Post

                          Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
                          Here's another saying about what seems to beset any party that is nominally left of centre:
                          Campaign from the left, govern from the right.
                          Or, to put it another way, "Lie".

                          It's another saying that seems to hold up pretty well though. The real problem with nominally left of centre parties is that they're all too aware that the poor will only vote for them as long as they stay poor.

                          OK, I think I really mean ONE real problem...
                          As much as I agree with this I think the problem is equally concerned with the voting public as well as the parties themselves.

                          At the moment there's a choice between stimulus or austerity, but even without the CC and potential Eurogeddon the choice is much the same: fiscal discipline, but poor public services or public spending, but debt crisis. The public want public spending, but they don't want to pay for it (they don't want their own standard of living to decline), so they whore themselves between these two camps trying to get all they can for themselves without asking too many questions about the facts (why spoil the dream?).

                          We can see in the UK that the Labour party are behaving as a typical leftish opposition party at the mo (promising high public spending, but refusing to mention how they can pay for it (just some mythical time later)) and the polls indicate that there is a small but significant popular swing towards this stance. However the Labour party will never be able to execute this plan (and in fairness to them I'm sure they'd love to if they could) because it would mean accelerating down the road named debt crisis and economic disaster (the Credit Crunch will be nothing compared to this). Of course the argument suggested by the right has its problems too (zero growth and economic hardship), but whatever the flaws to their position they can always say that their books balance (well, kinda...).

                          But the problem is that the public and the left haven't held the Labour party responsible for their actions in the past nor are they asking any questions about how the hell can they afford to pay for all this in the future? But if Labour turn around and say, "you know, there's no money so all we can do is cut, just like the Tories, but we'll try to be a bit nicer about it" (an achievable position, i would think) then how will the electorate reward them for that honesty? I doubt that they'll vote them back in, that's for sure!

                          The public vote for what they want to hear and the parties have no choice (if they want to survive) but to tell them any old populist shite in order to get elected. I think the public are quite complicit in all this arrangement. If they were better informed about economics then they'd realise that the choice that they've been presented with (cuts or spending) doesn't exist within mainstream economics any more and the debate might move on. Tbh the problem is that neither the left nor the right actually have a solution for getting us out of this mess quickly (well, none that I have heard), because a solution just doesn't exist. I guess that a zero growth Japan-like model is the way it is going to go, but standing for election under the banner of 'sustainable decline' while other parties make utopian promises is going to be political suicide.

                          The parties tell their populist lies, the public demand those same lies (or don't understand the landscape those lies are contained in) and then complain about it.... (repeat)
                          forum

                          1. a meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest
                          2. a medium for open discussion, such as a magazine
                          3. a public meeting place for open discussion

                          Comment

                          • Robin
                            Citizen of Tanelorn
                            • Apr 2011
                            • 235

                            #43
                            Originally posted by The English Assassin View Post
                            We can see in the UK that the Labour party are behaving as a typical leftish opposition party at the mo (promising high public spending, but refusing to mention how they can pay for it (just some mythical time later)) and the polls indicate that there is a small but significant popular swing towards this stance. However the Labour party will never be able to execute this plan (and in fairness to them I'm sure they'd love to if they could) because it would mean accelerating down the road named debt crisis and economic disaster (the Credit Crunch will be nothing compared to this).
                            Except...

                            There is a way to pay for it, it's just that neither party would (be allowed to) consider it. While they're busy cutting spending, there's a huge amount of uncollected tax. We always hear why you can't tax the rich but it's not even necessary to increase taxes - just collect the bloody money that's supposed to be paid already. And that's not counting the money that's basically stolen out of the economy thanks to the ongoing process of "deregulation" - ie. if they're doing something dishonest, fraudulent and illegal, make it dishonest, fraudulent and legal.

                            And the usual "if you do that they'll just go away" argument is utter tripe. Bankers, investors, traders - they are supposed to be wealth creators, job creators, etc. But they're simply not doing it - all they are doing now is stuffing their pockets. No loss if they did leave although, of course, they wouldn't.

                            Banks won't lend to small businesses and the stock market is now no better than a casino - high-frequency trading enables behaviour that's already supposed to be illegal, even in the City Of London where the regulation is weaker than anywhere else in the world. (Even the major frauds perpetrated by Americans like Bernie Madoff tend to rely on funneling things through London). And there is no free market, without which even the most die-hard capitalist has to admit the whole thing's a scam. Or a series of scams. But nobody is taken to court, even when they're caught red-handed. Just look at the massive Libor fraud alone - all the banks took part in it, plus governments, and what happened when it was exposed? The director of one bank moved on and the media presented it as "ohhh, naughty Barclays - still, you wouldn't understand it anyway. Did we mention the Olympics are coming up soon?". It's laughable. No, all the political parties are equally guilty of looking the other way while stuffing money into their pockets. And the media are complicit with the cuts - "there is no choice". That's just a lie. One that's being believed because if they all keep saying it, it must be true, right?

                            And, even if there really was a problem - even if we accepted the lie - austerity can only make it worse, not better. The only way out is to invest - on infrastructure. cutting energy costs for industry, etc. We only have to look at Greece to see how austerity has taken a shaky economy and devastated it completely. (Iceland, on the other hand, refused to pay off the banks and bring in austerity measures - as a result this year they have around 4.5% GDP growth. No choice?)

                            It's been said that a definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over, while expecting a different result. That would make austerity an insane policy - if you believe they really do expect a different result. I don't.

                            What we really have is governments and corporations gradually making us ready to "compete in the global economy" - ie. "if the Chinese can force people to work for a penny a day and treat 'em like shit, we'll do the same".

                            And as long as we leave them to run things to their benefit rather than ours, that's the way it will go. Gradually.

                            My view on voting is that voting simply endorses the whole thing. They hate people not voting. It's the one thing they all - publicly - agree on. Because it's the one thing that threatens them...

                            Comment

                            • opaloka
                              digital serf 41221z/74
                              • Jun 2006
                              • 3746

                              #44
                              I was with you until the part about not voting. The extemists love it when you don't vote. They love it when the only people that show up are the ones that support them without question.

                              In the US, the reason nothing has happened in Congress in two years is because nobody voted in the 2010 Congressional elections. Turnout was about thirty percent, so many of the Obama voters stayed home. So the right wing extremists narrowly won so many seats with about 15 percent of eligible voters. And for some reason everyone blames Obama...

                              Comment

                              • zlogdan
                                Hex data reader and professional pawn
                                • Mar 2012
                                • 1931

                                #45
                                Originally posted by opaloka View Post
                                I was with you until the part about not voting. The extemists love it when you don't vote. They love it when the only people that show up are the ones that support them without question.

                                In the US, the reason nothing has happened in Congress in two years is because nobody voted in the 2010 Congressional elections. Turnout was about thirty percent, so many of the Obama voters stayed home. So the right wing extremists narrowly won so many seats with about 15 percent of eligible voters. And for some reason everyone blames Obama...
                                In Brazil, voting is mandatory. Yet, to vote you need to be in your hometown. If you are not in town, you must go to the voting section and sign a paper telling the almighty government of Brazil you did not vote because you were off home . As I don't live in my hometown, I have not voted in many years, except for a year I happened to be visiting my parents. I know no politician that is worth my vote. Left, center, right or whatever.
                                "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
                                "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

                                Comment

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