A touch of Latin American Socialism… kinda like Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, if you will, is looking good these days. Brazil has been on a tear to stamp out hunger. The Christian Science Monitor has a progress report in yesterday’s online edition.
I like Brazil for several reasons, so much so that I even invest a bit in them as a promising “emerging market.” I like the fact that they have done a lot to utilize ethanol without the kind of huge subsidies we give here in the U.S. I like their growth rate and sensible (for Latin America) business policies. Of course, there’s a lot not to like, but hey… One of the things I don’t like is their poverty level. So here’s the good news (excerpted from the CSM).
Brazil is the world's fourth-largest food exporter, but more than 40 million Brazilians - a quarter of the population - lived below the poverty line, prompting President Lula da Silva to vow (in 2003) to stamp out hunger by December 2006. This June, the government said it had surpassed its goal, reaching 11.1 million families.
In January, a delegation of government officials from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Zambia visited Brazil to learn about the Family Grant program. Kathy Lindert, a World Bank economist based in Brasilia, calls Brazil a "superstar" in exporting its program to Latin American and African countries.
Supporters, including the World Bank and USAID, say it provides a model that can transcend national boundaries, showing countries how to streamline bureaucracies and give individuals skills to pull themselves out of poverty.
Check out the whole article and see if you don’t agree that a little socialism is the right prescription in some cases. http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0911/p04s01-woam.html?s=hns