Claims about Latin America

by on April 30, 2012 at 7:07 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

More than two-thirds of Brazilians are likely to count themselves as middle class by 2030. In the same year, central and Latin America will have as many middle class consumers as North America.

Here is more.  Of course that is a projection rather than a fact.

1 Hoover April 30, 2012 at 9:59 am

So we’re winning, right?

I mean, that’s what we wanted – a world of middle class sensible people who educate their children, eat their greens, and preferably own property, rather than going nuts having coups, revolutions and wars all the time, no?

Or are we approaching a new paradigm, in which wealthy democracies that don’t go to war against other democracies turn out to go to war after all, as they scramble for resources and find ways to destroy neighbouring economies over the internet?

2 FYI April 30, 2012 at 10:35 am

I don’t know who ‘we’ is here but the world is clearly going on the right direction. Resources will always be a problem no matter what, the point is that a lot less people are dying because of whatever resource constraints we have now than they were before when we were fighting for ideologies.

3 FYI April 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

It is always good to put things in perspective a bit. What a brazilian calls ‘middle class’ is quite different than what an american calls middle class. In Brazil they actually love to classify classes in A,B,C and D. The big move that is happening now is that a lot of class D people are moving to C. That means, getting a car, a house that can receive mail, etc. The so called poor in America would easily fit into that class.

4 anonymous... April 30, 2012 at 11:35 am

You forgot E.

5 Nylund April 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm

There’s a lot of heterogeneity in the American middle class as well. What is the household income for the “middle-class” these days? I don’t have the most recent data in front of me, but I’d imagine that the median household income in America is probably about $50k. For a two income household, that’s $25k each. But, I bet a couple where each earn $100k, for a total of $200k probably self-identify as middle class as well.

The problem with both the Brazilian or American definition is that it’s mostly self-identified. It’s true that it may differ across countries but the within country variation is also quite high.

6 TallDave April 30, 2012 at 10:56 am

Re projections, I can’t help but be reminded of the line from the Simpsons: “Wow, we’ve become the first non-Brazilian people to travel back in time!”

7 Floccina May 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm

in this context what does middle class mean?

8 Paulo May 2, 2012 at 12:46 am

I’m afraid there’s a bit too much excitement about Brazil in Western countries. As the Global Competitiveness report shows, nothing special happened in the country when compared to Latin America and the Caribbean in terms of GDP per capita. Granted, the policies implemented in the 90’s (the so-called Washington Consensus) allowed the country to ride the commodity boom—mostly fueled by a commodity-hungry China— in the 2000’s. Even terribly managed countries such as Argentina and Venezuela enjoyed the ride (the latter exhibiting clear signs of exhaustion due to socialist Chavez while the former starting to feel the pain of the heavy hand of the state personified by Kirchner).

Brazilian economy is practically controlled by the federal government. They do pick winners and losers by changing import tariffs to “stimulate” the national industry, reducing drastically interest rates of official banks (which control 50% of the industry) in order to “stimulate” consumption and keep the party going.

In fact, the “resilience” shown by the Brazilian economy since 2008 has been to a large extent fueled by increased credit (particularly to housing). I’m not sure if such a scheme is sustainable. When one looks at infra-structure, education and technology investments, the figures are disastrous. If projections are based on extrapolation of short-term trends, they can be really wrong….

9 axa May 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm

they are even blocking car imports from Mexico to keep running local makers =(

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