Posted: October 17th, 2013
The Federative Republic of Brazil is currently the world’s sixth largest economy. It is the fifth largest country in the world in terms of geographical area and population. It is endowed with a great abundance of natural resources. Brazil is a former colony of Portugal and the only Lusophone country in the Americas. The division of the country’s administrative regions seeks to ensure that the central government represents all citizens. The country’s constitution is based on Roman-Germanic traditions and civil law, which is codified in a Federal Constitution. Its head of state is the president. Despite these achievements, Brazilians face a myriad of problems that threaten its sustainability.
The large population of Brazil at 192 million is a challenge for a country handle (Delgado, 16-9). With such a large population, scarce resources become even more strained. There is a huge burden on the government to ensure that resources are distributed and consumed evenly throughout the country. The strain placed on budgeting for resources and creating a sustainable economic environment to foster growth is high. This population also places a great burden on the country’s resources, in that there are fewer resources than the people’s needs. The completion for these limited resources is high and stunts the growth of the economy.
The natural resources endowed to any country are under threat of depletion over time because of continuous use. Brazil was a leading exporter of iron ore and steel. These two industries were sources of income and revenue for the country as well as employment for the populous. The decline in the rate of production has affected the country’s exports and revenue collected. The number of jobs that these industries used to produce was constantly declining over the years. The strain placed on the resources of the country by the great population is a leading factor in the depletion being experienced.
Brazil’s economy shows a great disparity between the rich and poor. A few feudal lords exist who are in possession of the country’s biggest industries or at least have large stakes in them. This disparity can be witnessed in some of the larger cities like Rio de Janeiro where the rich and affluent have contributed to the growth of the city with the installation of industries and businesses, while the poor have an extensive slum area in the heart of the city (Delgado, 31-9). This disparity hampers the sustainability of the country because of the number of resources required to help those in the lower end meet their daily needs.
Women play a vital role in any economy. They constitute half the population of any country. Despite this glaring fact, women in Brazil are not empowered in an economic sense. In most households, men are still the sole breadwinners and women do not have any purchasing power (Torras, 21-5). The presence of a female president notwithstanding, the number of women empowered to make sober decisions financially, in their lives is less than desirable. For a country boasting of its overall economic achievements, it has left a section of its population behind in terms of economic development and independence. To attain sustainability, the country should look into ways to develop this section of its population.
The effect of such a large economy lacking sustainability is felt by the world community. Brazil turns to this community when it is in need of assistance. Such a situation was reached when Brazil turned to the International Monetary Fund to ask for a financial bailout. Although the loan was repaid, it placed a burden on the country’s economy. Brazil’s position as a leader in Latin America was compromised during this period from mid 2002 to 2005 (Torras, 34-8). Its financial and developmental obligations to the region and the world could not be met effectively. A large economy such as Brazil places a huge burden on the globe if it cannot meet its own responsibilities.
The problems that Brazil is facing are similar to those of other emerging world powers like China, India and Russia. All these countries are facing challenges being sustainable and self-sufficient. They are all emerging powers and economic leaders in the global scene. They are large countries geographically and in terms of population. Despite the fact that these nations have made great strides in establishing themselves in the economic scene, they have the challenges of feeding their populations, improving the lives of the poor and bridging the economic gap between the two social classes (Costa, 56).
Brazil is well on its way to becoming a global leader to reckon with. The fact that it has a female president shows that the women are acquiring economic and political liberation. It has faced several upheavals in its past but has managed to get back on track. Concentration on maintaining sustainability will spur it into great achievements. Focus needs to remain on the country’s population to enable it to enrich its people. Education and health care are fundamental areas that require more attention and innovation. Sustainability is still within reach for a country such as Brazil.
Children in the New Millennium: Environmental Impact on Health. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme, 2002. Print.
Costa, Thomaz G. Brazil in the New Decade: Searching for a Future. Washington, D.C: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2000. Print.
Delgado, Guilherme. Social Security and Food Security: Successful Policy Experiences in Brazil. Geneva: ILO, 2012. Print.
Torras, Mariano. Welfare, Inequality and Resource Depletion: A Reassessment of Brazilian Economic Growth. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate, 2003. Print
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