In Booming Brazil, Census Shows Income Gap Persists

Brazil’s richest 10% earn in one month what the poorest 10% make in more than three years. To find out how much the richest 1% earn, multiply that figure by three, according to the South American giant’s latest census numbers.

Brazil's poorest 10% earns on average $76 per month
Brazil's poorest 10% earns on average $76 per month

SAO PAOLO – Brazil is a nation on the rise, with a fast-growing economy and preparations under way to host both the World Cup and Olympic Games. But its just published 2010 census also shows a country that still struggles with serious income disparity, with the country's wealthiest 10% earn 39 times more than the poorest 10%.

According to the Brazilian daily Estadao, a worker on the bottom end of Brazil's pay scale earns roughly $77.40 per month, meaning it would take him or her three years and three months to earn what an average person at the top end of the spectrum makes in just one month: $3,019.

Brazil's Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) – the research organization responsible for the census – estimates that together, the poorest 10% of the population bring in just 1.1% of the country's total earnings. The richest 10%, in contrast, take home 44.5% of the overall income pie. Last year's census also revealed that Brazil's richest 1% earn an average of $9,359.39 per month – or roughly $112,000 per year.

The statistics take into account 101.8 million Brazilians over the age of 10. The country's overall average monthly salary is $678.90. Brazil's official minimum wage in 2010 was $288 per month – less than $10 per day. Incomes tend to be higher in the south and southeast areas of the country. The coastal city of Florianápolis boasted the country's highest average income: $888.5 per month.

For the first time, the 2010 census complied information about Brazilians living abroad. Researchers asked residents whether they have family members living in foreign countries and if so, where. The IBGE found that United States to be the most popular destination for Brazilian emigrants (23.8%), followed by Portugal (13.4%), Spain (9.4%) and Japan (7.4%).

Read the original article in Spanish

Photo - deltafrut

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What It Means When The Jews Of Germany No Longer Feel Safe

A neo-Nazi has been buried in the former grave of a Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender – not an oversight, but a deliberate provocation. This is just one more example of antisemitism on the rise in Germany, and society's inability to respond.

At a protest against antisemitism in Berlin

Eva Marie Kogel


BERLIN — If you want to check the state of your society, there's a simple test: as the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, John Jay McCloy, said in 1949, the touchstone for a democracy is the well-being of Jews. This litmus test is still relevant today. And it seems Germany would not pass.

Incidents are piling up. Most recently, groups of neo-Nazis from across the country traveled to a church near Berlin for the funeral of a well-known far-right figure. He was buried in the former grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender, a gravesite chosen deliberately by the right-wing extremists.

The incident at the cemetery

They intentionally chose a Jewish grave as an act of provocation, trying to gain maximum publicity for this act of desecration. And the cemetery authorities at the graveyard in Stahnsdorf fell for it. The church issued an immediate apology, calling it a "terrible mistake" and saying they "must immediately see whether and what we can undo."

There are so many incidents that get little to no media attention.

It's unfathomable that this burial was allowed to take place at all, but now the cemetery authorities need to make a decision quickly about how to put things right. Otherwise, the grave may well become a pilgrimage site for Holocaust deniers and antisemites.

The incident has garnered attention in the international press and it will live long in the memory. Like the case of singer-songwriter Gil Ofarim, who recently claimed he was subjected to antisemitic abuse at a hotel in Leipzig. Details of the crime are still being investigated. But there are so many other incidents that get little to no media attention.

Photo of the grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender

The grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender

Jens Kalaene/dpa/ZUMA

Crimes against Jews are rising

Across all parts of society, antisemitism is on the rise. Until a few years ago, Jewish life was seen as an accepted part of German society. Since the attack on the synagogue in Halle in 2019, the picture has changed: it was a bitter reminder that right-wing terror against Jewish people has a long, unbroken history in Germany.

Stories have abounded about the coronavirus crisis being a Jewish conspiracy; meanwhile, Muslim antisemitism is becoming louder and more forceful. The anti-Israel boycott movement BDS rears its head in every debate on antisemitism, just as left-wing or post-colonial thinking are part of every discussion.

Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.

Since 2015, the number of antisemitic crimes recorded has risen by about a third, to 2,350. But victims only report around 20% of cases. Some choose not to because they've had bad experiences with the police, others because they're afraid of the perpetrators, and still others because they just want to put it behind them. Victims clearly hold out little hope of useful reaction from the state – so crimes go unreported.

And the reality of Jewish life in Germany is a dark one. Sociologists say that Jewish children are living out their "identity under siege." What impact does it have on them when they can only go to nursery under police protection? Or when they hear Holocaust jokes at school?

Germany needs to take its antisemitism seriously

This shows that the country of commemorative services and "stumbling blocks" placed in sidewalks as a memorial to victims of the Nazis has lost its moral compass. To make it point true north again, antisemitism needs to be documented from the perspective of those affected, making it visible to the non-Jewish population. And Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.

That is the first thing. The second is that we need to talk about specifically German forms of antisemitism. For example, the fact that in no other EU country are Jewish people so often confronted about the Israeli government's policies (according to a survey, 41% of German Jews have experienced this, while the EU average is 28%). Projecting the old antisemitism onto the state of Israel offers people a more comfortable target for their arguments.

Our society needs to have more conversations about antisemitism. The test of German democracy, as McCloy called it, starts with taking these concerns seriously and talking about them. We need to have these conversations because it affects all of us. It's about saving our democracy. Before it's too late.

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