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December 06, 2010



"In the land of the jeitinho, in a city where so many people take advantage of loopholes or even flaunt rules and laws"
uhhm.. Eu sigo todas as leis do meu pais, pago os meus impostos e tudo mais* e nunca vi alguém buscando um "jeitinho" para se livrar de alguma situação. Aliás, para mim, "jeitinho" é uma forma de fazer algo que não ia dar certo, dar certo e não de ser desonesto, como pareceu ser na sua frase.
Não é a primeira vez que eu vejo vc associar problemas socias no Brasil a desonestidade dos brasileiros.

*em um post muito antigo vc disse que o seu namorado não pagava a tv a cabo e que o "Brasil é assim".

Rio Gringa

@carol the jeitinho is just to put things into perspective. i'm referring to actually breaking laws and flaunting the ability to do so, like along the lines buying drugs or paying to pass a college course. Also, I wouldn't call breaking the law "dishonesty"; there's a big difference at least in my mind. The point I was trying to make is that illegality and the necessary punishment should extend beyond the "bandidos" to the other big players in the picture (ie also militias, corrupt police officers, etc).


great summary!

The Gritty Poet

"Eu sigo todas as leis do meu pais, pago os meus impostos e tudo mais* e nunca vi alguém buscando um "jeitinho" para se livrar de alguma situação"

C'mon Carol. Either you have a very difficult time dealing with realistic observations about your country or you live in Rue du Brésil
Geneva, Switzerland.

Don't take it so personally and remember that so called first world countries like Spain, France and Italy have an even greater disregard for rules and agreements, or better yet they have great regard for them when applied to others.


Sim, eu NUNCA vi alguém burlar leis para sair de uma situação.
Eu não tomei isso como algo pessoal, e eu me expressei mal, o que eu quis dizer é que eu não concordo que é mais necessário mudar a cultura do carioca/brasileiro do que as leis e os presidios. Não concordo com essa associação pois faz parecer que a pobreza e violencia são fruto da desonestidade das pessoas! Quando, na verdade, a violência é sempre fruto da exclusão social e é isso que o Brasil precisa mudar.
The Gritty Poet, eu sei que em meu país existem muitas pessoas que não seguem as leis, mas isso é fruto da pobreza e falta de estrutura na educação. Me desculpe, mas eu não compartilho da sua visão determinista, não acho que certas culturas são naturalmente menos seguidoras das leis.


Não sei se certas culturas são menos seguidoras das leis, mas sei bem que aqui no Brasil, não seguimos leis!? É isso mesmo! A maioria ensina seus filhos a seguir mas para ter um futuro no mundo REAL tem que mudar, e isso é o que nao dá certo no Brasil. Fazemos leis para simplesmente ter o prazer de burlar. e isso acontece com uma simples carteira de identidade, que a meninada tira xerox e adultera a data de nascimento, daí platifica e TODOS os bares aceitam!!!

The Gritty Poet


Since the Plano Real in 1994 the poverty rate in Brazil has dropped considerably. It is interesting to note that crime has not always followed the same declining curve. In other words there is not a direct correlation between poverty and crime.
I would venture to hypothesize that the thugs that cause havoc in the favela simply have a tendency for delinquency. Ordinary favela dwellers are as poor as they once were but do not engage is drug dealing nor torch buses, often with people inside them, when confronted.
On the other side of the crime spectrum you could look at thugs in suits, like those in congress who gladly receive kickbacks when a public works bidding process begins, hence selling their influence and defeating the purpose of the bidding process. They also sell their political platform to the highest bidder, such was the case of the mensalão scandal when the government simply decided to buy off congress instead of negociating policy. Many of these people come from well to do families but just ended up dirty: it seems dishonesty is intrinsic to their nature.
I think you are mistaken when correlating poverty to dishonesty. I have heard similar arguments based on false correlation regarding thugs in suits: it is proposed that they act that way because of money, money they have always had impeding them from being sactified by poverty. Often the same person presents both views and does not even realize they are contradictory since in one case poverty causes crime and in the other wealth causes crime. Unless one is stating that all people are criminals this does not add up.
Perhaps it would serve you well to stop correlation behavior with economic status because when you do so the conclusions are skewed plus you tend to be condescending towards the poor, as if they have no sense of personal responsibility nor individuality: they are simply a hord of people (the poor) who act uniformly out of line because they are poor.

If you, for arguments sake, do not agree that socioeconomic strata correlates to honesty or dishonesty and then look at Brazil´s standings regarding corruption then what could be attributed to the country´s terrible results? Perhaps excessive layers of bureaucracy increasing opportunities and hence probability of corruption, maybe it´s cultural as well.
I think both can be changed. I also think that people are individuals before nationalities and can choose to ignore the norm. If enough people do so then their behavior becomes the new cultural norm.

As I said before Carol I am just hypothesizing but I think it is a step up from the old "poor=saints, rich=devils" class warfare mindset that never got Brazil, nor any Latin American country, anywhere but in the hand of incompetent populists.


RioGringa, this was another informative post and I thank you for all the data and links you posted on it. It's great to see that even after returning to New York (I grew up in the tri-state area and have been working in Manhattan for over a decade, so I am myself a New Yorker - I hope you're a Yankees fan, as I am! ;) ) you continue to write so prolifically about Brazil.

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