In Defense of a National Salvation Program – III

Image: Engin Akyurt

Improving public health and increasing funding for it are key to rescuing the country

the health issue

As in the issue of hunger, we have aspects of immense urgency in the area of ​​health, demanding immediate solutions and others that ask for no less urgent answers, but with medium and long term solutions.

The immediate issue, of course, is the Covid-19 pandemic. Optimists are pointing to a shift in the disease, with the most dramatic aspects and most sinister impacts of the pandemic easing. Indeed, although the Omicron variant, which is quickly dominating all the others, is less lethal than its Delta predecessor, it is contaminating so many people that the numbers of hospitalized and dead people have been rising at a frightening rate. It is good to remember a basic rule of elementary school mathematics: low percentages of very high numbers of contaminated people result in very high numbers of hospitalizations and deaths.

The pandemic is not under control and we are in a highly dangerous moment for the near future. The coexistence of a still high percentage of unvaccinated and not fully vaccinated people, with a good number of vaccinated people and a high number of people infected with different types of variants (it is estimated that close to 60 million Brazilians have contracted Covid in its different forms) generates a situation that favors the process of mutations of the virus. Covid mutations have been much broader and faster than other viruses that are well known to us. The possibility of these mutations knocking down the antiviral defenses of both ex-infected and vaccinated people is great, according to several scientists. This could mean both the emergence of a deadlier variety, and a succession of highly contaminated varieties capable of overcoming acquired or inoculated defenses and maintaining a high level of expression of the pandemic, putting pressure on both the hospital network and disrupting economic activity in a way permanent.

So far, the Brazilian people are winning the war against Covid and its defenders in the federal government and some state governments and city halls, but Bolsonaro continues to fight the pandemic as best he can, making access to vaccines difficult, generating doubts in the population, pressing against any preventive measures, from the use of masks to social isolation. It is good to remember that, if the madman approach had prevailed and adopted the chimerical herd immunity, we would have reached millions of deaths and a much more resounding collapse of the health system. It is also good to remember that the continuous confrontation between Bolsonaro and his henchmen and the broad set of forces that mobilized to face both the pandemic and the president cost the Brazilian people 650 deaths and millions of sequelae (data from Feb. 2022), in addition to of a socioeconomic crisis that is far from over. At this moment, the energetic is managing to slow down the pace of vaccination, in particular that of children between 5 and 11 years old. He loses out in the opinion of the vast majority and his denialism is strongly rejected, but the cost of this constant struggle has been high and the population is clearly exhausted. Prevention rules are being abandoned and a strange sense of relief is taking over everyone, despite the numbers of deaths and contaminations having resumed an accelerated rise, the former returning to the thousands per day and the latter breaking records afterwards. It seems that this crisis is more fleeting than the previous ones, but another variant of Omicron, more contagious and more lethal, has already been detected.

This tiredness is the only explanation for the widespread acceptance of the resumption of classes for children up to 10 years old, before vaccinating all of them to reduce the risks. This feeling that “the worst is over” guides the behavior of all politicians with executive positions. The prevention rules are being loosened as the ballot box test approaches and the candidates avoid facing the exhaustion of the population. It is at this dangerous moment that Bolsonaro is surfing his denialism, undermining the entire vaccination plan and extending the future risks to which we are all subject.

The fight against Covid has to be resumed in depth, as the short, medium and long term effects will be catastrophic and the sequels will suffer and weigh on health services for a long time. We should be fighting to form a national front to combat the pandemic, with representatives from the federal executive, state and municipal governments, the national congress, scientific entities and civil society. This extraordinary commission should have full powers to define the policies to be implemented by each of the instances participating in it. A law governing this emergency situation should be approved by congress, stripping the ministry of health of its power to disrupt the process. This commission should mobilize the national business community to face the necessary production of inputs for vaccines and the vaccines themselves, in addition to other equipment that we needed in our battle with the coronavirus (masks, oxygen, etc.). The commission should take over the coordination of the campaign against the pandemic, both from the point of view of health and from the point of view of measures to support the population so that it can follow the preventive guidelines issued by it. However, we are always dealing with the pandemic with half-assed measures provoked by the contrast between the federal executive and its adherents and the rest of the country. If this is not possible before the elections, the priority for the new government will be even greater, as we do not know how things can evolve over this year and over the next few years. There will, unfortunately, not be an idyllic pre-pandemic “back to normal”. Risks are here to stay and preventing them will be a priority.

It is astonishing that the attitudes of Bolsonaro and his little health minister, Queiroga, did not generate revolt, nor did they place the issue of impeachment at the center of politics. This can only be explained because the group of political forces does not believe in the president's impeachment and perhaps does not even want it, placing all the chips in the game in the October elections. It is true that Bolsonaro seems to have managed to neutralize a good part of the pressures and threats he was subjected to due to the many crimes he committed. Currently, the Federal Police (with the exception of one or another more hardened delegate), the PGR, the TCU, the COAF, the Federal Revenue and the STJ, in addition to the guaranteed majority in congress with the agreement with the Centrão, make it possible to running an impeachment process dependent on enormous pressure from the masses. But as we saw last year, this pressure will not come from the mobilization of organized forces in society, in particular political parties. Some and others are satisfied with Bolsonaro on the ropes and worn out and concentrated on the electoral debate. A spontaneous reaction by society does not seem to be a possibility on a large scale, as it did not occur even in the most dramatic moments of the pandemic and with the expansion of poverty and hunger.

It should not be forgotten that Brazil has been plagued for years by serious infestations of dengue, zika and shikungunha (and even malaria and tuberculosis are back), which has proved to be quite resilient in the face of poorly articulated and insufficient control efforts on the part of from medical authorities. In the near future, these infestations will return to pre-Covid pandemic levels, as the refreshment experienced today is due to the pandemic control measures, which also curbed the other cases. Epidemic control campaigns will have to become perennial and incisive if we want to avoid uncontrolled outbreaks of these and other contagious diseases.

In the long run, the health situation of Brazilians is dramatic. In addition to being exposed to a pandemic that could turn into an endemic one with far more severe effects than the flu we've been living with for so long, there is a risk of other pandemics occurring. In fact, this is not exactly a risk, but a certainty. Specialists in epidemics have been pointing out for several decades to the probability of the outbreak of major diseases of a worldwide nature and, the surprising thing is, this has not happened before. Incidentally, it is considered that Covid was a blessing when compared to other pandemics that are in gestation, in particular swine and avian fever or more aggressive mutations of influenza. On the other hand, experts tell us that many other possibilities for pandemics are taking shape with the processes of destruction of ecosystems around the world. Viruses, bacteria, microbes, etc. that today live in balance with the environment in which they are inserted, such as in the Amazon or in the Cerrado, are being thrown into contact with animals (cattle, pigs, poultry) and humans and in a mutation process in order to be able to multiply, as they these ecosystems are being destroyed. The risk of new infectious agents appearing and exploding here or in other countries with the same deforestation problems is well defined by the WHO and Brazil is seen as a potential world threat.


Environmental policy as a health policy strategy

In other words, environmental policy is part of the health policy strategy and not only with regard to the risks of epidemics. Chemical pollution by pesticides; pollution of food, but also of producers and residents in rural areas and in cities and towns within range of poison-spraying planes is an urgent public health issue, affecting millions of people across the country. Zero deforestation and reduced use of pesticides must be incorporated into a multisectoral national emergency strategy.

The importance of the SUS in the fight against Covid has been commented on and this is indisputable evidence. But we cannot fail to remember that the SUS had been suffering a process of constant emptying over decades and had a functioning beyond suffering for more than half of the population that depended and depends on it. The others were being induced to join private health plans that cost a lot and deliver little, especially for sectors with less resources. It will have to be part of a systematic policy of any government that takes our recent history (and that of many other countries that went through the same process) seriously, the reconstitution of the SUS and its expansion and qualification.

But it is in terms of prevention that efforts must be prioritized. Improving nutrition is an essential element of public health and this ties in with theme one of this program. Improving production and access to food at compatible prices is a vital element of the strategy, but there are other complementary elements, such as food education, starting with schools. And access to cooking gas, refrigerators and the energy to run them. It seems out of place, but in a country with the poverty rates that we present, it is necessary to guarantee access to food in the necessary quantity and quality and to ways of preserving and preparing meals.

Finally, it is not possible to think about public health without solving the huge health problem of the majority of the population. Sewage and garbage must be decisively eliminated from the environment, selectively collected and treated for various recycling purposes. In particular, organic waste and sewage sludge must be composted and transformed into fertilizer to be returned to rural productive areas.

The elimination of dumps and the release of raw sewage into streams, rivers, lakes and the sea will have an enormous effect in correcting water and soil pollution and in the production of greenhouse gases. Once again, public health and the environment intersect as a problem, but also, potentially, as a solution.


The issue of the environment

The issue of the environment crosses (or should cross) the set of any government program, and the criteria and objectives defined for dealing with environmental issues should be the reference for all other topics. When Lula was elected in 2002, he called Marina Silva Minister of the Environment and our great environmentalist clearly defined her conditions: the environmental issue should be a transversal issue, affecting the decisions of all ministries. Lula accepted this premise, but it did not take more than a few months of government for it to become clear that this principle was not valid.

Marina stayed in the government where she lost space since the day of her inauguration and swallowing increasingly poisonous frogs (transgenics, transposition of São Francisco, Belo Monte, and much more), until the glass of sorrows filled and she said goodbye. It was a pity because the principle was totally correct, but Marina was right before this reason was accepted socially and politically. Twenty years later, did Lula and the PT understand the problem? I have many doubts, but certainly something must have evolved, even if only because of international pressure on environmental issues.

The dimensions of the “environmental issue” are immense and their expressions varied. In public opinion, the issue of deforestation and fires stands out and it is capital with regard to the issue of greenhouse gas emissions. After all, Brazil is one of the world's biggest contributors to the increase in emissions across the planet and our main way of helping to bury humanity's future is through the destruction of our forests through deforestation and fires.

In the Bolsonaro government, this catastrophe accelerated, but it had been happening for a long time. The PT says that in the Lula and Dilma governments there was a reduction in deforestation/burning and this actually happened, but the most important factor to cause the reduction in this period 2003/20015 was the economic crisis of 2008 which put a huge brake on the whole of Brazilian exports, in particular those that put more pressure on the forests, such as cattle raising. Let's remember that the year with the highest deforestation up to the record of 2021 was 2006, the last of Lula's first government. In other words, concessions to agribusiness have always kept us far from the fundamental objective to be achieved, which is zero deforestation.

20 years after Lula's first election, the importance of this objective has become even more dramatic with the latest IPCC report. The report points to deadlines much shorter than those provided for in the Paris agreement to reach the tragic moment when the world average temperature will have exceeded 1,5 degrees Celsius more than the temperatures of the beginning of the industrial era. According to the new forecasts, if nothing is done quickly and very radically we will reach this critical moment by the end of this decade.

In order to achieve zero deforestation in the next government, it will be necessary to recompose the instruments for controlling deforestation/burnings, in particular IBAMA and ICMBio, and to create a task force for the detection and police repression of deforesters and arsonists. Putting into action the legal instruments for the strict collection of violations of interdicts in this field will force agribusiness to fall into line or be swept away, by the action of the law, from the areas it destroyed. With real-time satellite monitoring of any major burn, it is possible to act and catch the arsonists in the act.

A program of this type would certainly have the material support of the richest countries concerned about global warming, such as Germany and Norway, among others. With four years of unpunished deforestation on both public and private lands, the agents of destruction became bold and armed themselves with heavy weapons, taking advantage of all the incentives of the energetic president. Today, these groups arrive at acts of war against what little remains of IBAMA. Invading an airport to burn the agency's helicopters was just one of the most aggressive acts by armed bands that are taking over the interior of the Amazon. Controlling them and controlling deforestation/burnings will be a war, literally.

In addition to zero deforestation, it will be necessary to start an intense reforestation campaign with native species, aiming at restoring the legal reserve areas of all properties in all biomes. Each rural owner will have to carry out an inventory of the state of the forest reserves under his responsibility and propose a reforestation plan to be submitted to IBAMA. On the other hand, state and federal governments will have to undertake the reforestation of public areas and so-called “degraded” vacant lands that no longer have an owner.

This is another strategic program to be submitted to rich countries as it could quickly remove millions of tons of CO2, the most common greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere. The size of this degraded area is estimated at 40 million hectares and the plan to reforest it will require a great effort in creating nurseries for native species spread across many states of the country, in order to provide the means for this reforestation. And who can take on the effort of planting and caring for the new trees until they reach the strength to survive on their own? I have seen reforestation programs in Africa plant millions of seedlings only to have them disappear after a few years of donor-paid care.

With the end of financial support, the efforts of the villages to maintain the new and still young forests disappeared and in the first drought the trees died or were cut down for firewood. What we need in such a program is what a French agronomist and environmentalist called “nature gardeners”, or gardeners of nature. Handing over land to semterra families so that they recover areas of native forest against payment as a public service is a possibility to be considered. These properties may or may not, depending on the case, also be used for crops by the “gardeners” family, so that they can maintain themselves with an economic activity after the reforestation process is completed. We are talking about two million gardeners of nature and the cost of this endeavor will not be small. It will be necessary to create a qualified residential and collective infrastructure to attract this workforce, in addition to investments in the reforestation process itself. Another program that can attract international resources.

Brazil has become the largest consumer of pesticides in the world over the past four years. It wasn't just becoming the champion of poisoners. With the release of close to 2000 new pesticides under the Bolsonaro government, we became a paradise for poison producers from all over the world, as much of what is prohibited on the planet is now allowed here. And even what is still prohibited has all the facilities to be smuggled and sold freely in the country. And the pressure for increasingly bold releases remains strong, the latest proposal being the return of the authorization of the paraquat, banned in most of the world and considered extremely dangerous. The program to reduce the use of pesticides drawn up at the end of Dilma's government by the National Articulation of Agroecology should return to an agenda of immediate application, as well as a radical review of all the releases carried out in the last 10 years.

In the case of pesticides, ANVISA played a very different role than it did in the case of vaccines against Covid. The agency redefined the classification criteria for pesticides, loosening them in such a way that they transformed the vast majority of these poisons into harmless products. There is no scientific explanation for this procedure, but an obvious complicity with the pesticide industry and agribusiness. Incidentally, ANVISA had already adopted totally anti-scientific positions in the case of redefining the tolerable amount of glyphosate (broad-spectrum herbicide, the most widely used in the world) in soybeans, after the release of transgenic soybeans. In a magic pass, the agency approved the multiplication by ten of the amount of waste from glyphosate acceptable in grain intended for human or animal consumption. What are the correct numbers? Those that prevailed in the rules prior to the release of transgenic soy or the new ones? The only thing that changed between one moment and the next was the increase in waste glyphosate by the type of poison application that transgenic soy now allows.

It will be necessary to review the composition and functioning of ANVISA and ensure that scientific interest prevails and not economic interests. In the case of vaccines, I would feel more confident in the agency's decisions if they did not coincide with the interests of the large pharmaceutical companies. Let's remember that ANVISA took a while to release the Chinese Coronavac vaccine, practically only after the vaccine from the American laboratory Pfizer and that of the English AstraZeneca were released. In the case of vaccines, Bolsonaro’s denialism and his minions pushed us all to praise ANVISA’s “scientific rigor”, but the agency’s track record is not the best.

The new government should promote a program to reduce the use of pesticides, something that has nothing revolutionary. FAO's integrated pest management program has been in existence for at least 30 years and has had spectacular results around the world, being funded heavily by the World Bank. Reductions of around 80% in the volumes of pesticides used in rice plantations in the Philippines are an emblematic and well-established example to be followed in Brazil. Programs of this type are a relief for the environment and for living beings, but only the replacement of agribusiness production systems by agroecological production will allow the total elimination of the use of pesticides.

Although the Brazilian energy matrix is, in comparison with most rich and developing countries, quite clean, successive governments are taking pains to make it dirty. We have never had so much fossil energy in use in Brazil, especially through the use of thermoelectric plants based on fuel oil, gas or coal. On the other hand, we are facing more and more difficulties with the generation of hydroelectric energy every day due to the increasing irregularity of rainfall in Brazil, both in its geographic distribution and in the intensity of precipitation.

We need to take two important initiatives, but the effects of which will not be noticeable in the short term. One is the aforementioned reforestation, particularly in the Amazon, which can restore (although greater planetary environmental imbalances may prevent a return to previous conditions) the balance of water reserves in our dams. As water security is threatened, we will have to take another step to clean up our energy matrix. Not being able to fully depend on hydroelectric plants for a while until the reforestation effect is felt, we will have to abandon plans for new hydroelectric plants (which also have enormous environmental impacts) and reinforce the adoption of wind energy and solar energy, especially this last.

The gradual but accelerated replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy is an extremely urgent planetary need. While we are discussing whether Petrobras should be privatized and who should explore the pre-salt layer, the planet is burning as a result of the emission of greenhouse gases, with those emitted by fossil fuels being among the main culprits of our situation. It is necessary to stop the discussion about how much longer petroleum derivatives will be used as energy generators to start the discussion about what other nobler uses can be given to these products, without the catastrophic effects that we are witnessing.

It's not something for the remote future; it is for today, if we want to have a tomorrow. Massive investments must be directed towards two ends: greatly reducing individual private transport and replacing it with quality public transport powered by renewable energy; deploy solar power generation systems in all locations, cities and countryside. The planning of this transition must have the participation of all energy consuming sectors, including individual ones through consultation with the trustees and mobilization of condominiums and residents' associations.

Significant investments will have to be made in research to permanently improve equipment for capturing solar energy and its conservation. For a country that has the myth of the individual car as something very strong even in the classes with less resources; for a country where the transport of essential cargo depends on trucks and where a good part of urban transport is carried out by individual cars or buses; for a country where all privileges are granted to the automotive industries, seen as the engine of the economy: the proposed change is certainly a shock.

But think carefully if it doesn't make sense to change the matrix of cargo transport from diesel trucks to electric trains and people from their cars or buses to subways and VLTs. It is clear that the transport system will have to be heavily modernized and expanded to become something pleasant, comfortable, fast and safe. With fewer vehicles in cities and on the roads, circulation will become more fluid and less polluting. You kill several environmental and social rabbits in one fell swoop.

All of this leads us to say that the current debate on price controls for petroleum derivatives is completely out of date. The international price has historically tended to rise as reserves approach exhaustion, especially those with easier access and lower cost of extraction. Holding back gasoline and diesel prices with state subsidies is absurd and only makes the process of transition to a sustainable energy matrix more difficult. In addition, the cost of making gasoline cheaper for car owners would be extremely high and other, more urgent problems would need to be resolved. Yes, we can subsidize cooking gas for the poorest and diesel for truck drivers. But in the latter case, the program will have to be coupled with a strategy to reorient cargo transport, investing in rail, waterway and cabotage transport infrastructure.

There are several other environmental problems of great importance in Brazil. Industrial pollution is gigantic, whether in solid particles in the air, toxic and greenhouse gases, in garbage of all kinds, in the release of pollutants in watercourses, among others. It will take a legislative effort, but even more, an effort to apply the laws and bring polluters into line. Tires, plastics, batteries, leftover electronic equipment, cans, paper and cardboard and much more accumulate in the soil and waters of the country, without any responsibility for the perpetrators. Sugar and alcohol factories pour vinasse into nature without much care. Chemical industries poison soil, water and air without limits.

The questions are many and have specifications that require particular answers that do not fit here. What is important is to affirm the principle, which is already old to the point of having become a truism: the polluter has to pay. The object is not to punish or destroy, but to educate and prevent. But the punitive instrument is the only one left to a society drowned in unhealthy remnants of capitalist development. We are not proposing the nationalization of the means of production, nor their socialization, but those who gain from capitalist entrepreneurship have to do their part and not harm society or the environment where society has to live, while capitalists live in universes segregated and protected from pollution and violence by the underprivileged.

There's only bad news for the rich: the world isn't going to keep placeholders so they can live well while the rest of us get screwed. The impact of climate disorder knows no borders or protected spaces. Money will not be able to save the rich; at most it will postpone the bitter end.


The issue of resuming the State's capacity for action

The executive branch has suffered a strong reduction in its ability to act as a promoter of the country's economic development process. Since the Constituent Assembly, many of the quasi-imperial powers of the times of militarized presidentialism have been overthrown by a strong concern to rebalance the correlation of forces with the legislature and the judiciary. The aim was to increase the margin of democratic participation in the country, understood as an increase in the power of political parties. Despite this, we were still living in a presidential-type Republic, in which the executive still had a disproportionate weight, when we compare our case with that of other democratic presidential countries.

With time, and the fragmentation of political parties, building parliamentary majorities became an enormous difficulty. This coincided with a significant loss of content and identity of the parties, with many of them being built without any program or project proposal for the country. The exceptions to this rule were, for a long time, the PT and the PSDB. Both had projects for Brazil, one nationalist/populist with spasms of socialism and the other neoliberal with social-democratic spasms. Both were situated on the political spectrum in radical opposition to each other, even though they were one on the center-left and the other on the center-right. Of course, there was a group of other parties that were more politically and ideologically defined (PCdoB, Verde, PSOL, PSTU, PCO, PCB, UP), but with much less relevance.

In power, both parties had to compose with the tangle of acronyms without defined programmatic content and increasingly functioning as leeches of the State, seeking to meet individual interests or thematic benches. Both had to make concessions and distribute benefits to lobby groups represented in parliament or to individual senators and deputies with the specific aim of merely reproducing their mandates with resources for their electoral bases.

This process intensified with the coup against Dilma Rousseff. The coup showed the ruthless and unprincipled Congress that, like the characters in Star Wars, they had the muscle. And they were appropriating means to direct the State's resources to their parochial purposes. The fragility of the current government of the energetic, from the moment it had to swallow its bravado and was threatened on all sides, led it to a total capitulation in the relationship with the worst in parliament, the so-called Centrão (actually a ultra Direitão), which has the cards that command the two houses. At the moment, Centrão is in paradise, directing a good part of the executive's meager free investment resources to its parish projects and to cover the increasingly astronomical costs of electoral campaigns.

On the other hand, the old occupation of positions by cronies was exacerbated to the point that the Centrão held control of the investment of 150 billion reais in several ministries through political appointments. Historically, these indications have always been synonymous with one or all of the following hypotheses: directing investments to specific bases, regardless of their significance in national planning; use of state agencies as job hangers for electoral officers; use of localized investments to divert resources; Favoring private companies in their relations with the State in exchange, of course, for the old bribe.

The fact is that the federal public budget is hampered by tax expenditures, the spending ceiling and the use of the few resources available for the minor interests of politicians. Whoever wins the elections, and I believe and hope it will be Lula, will find a deteriorated State, a limited budget that is highly insufficient for the minimum needs of a national salvation program. It will be necessary to free the executive from these chains. It's not going to be an easy fight because taking away powers from Centrão will be like taking a bone out of a pitbull's mouth, unless the crowd that follows this block is largely defeated in the elections for the Chamber and Senate, along with the defeat of its ally, the energetic, in the presidential elections.

Spending ceiling is idiotic, a jabuticaba that you only see around here. It was an artifice of the neoliberals in their strategy of paralyzing the State to let the market assume power without intermediaries. It makes no sense, as seen in the first emergency it had to face, the 2020 pandemic. The issue is not to prohibit State indebtedness, but to guarantee that loans made by the State can be paid in the future. Choosing investments well is more important than having positive balances at the end of the year and the country sinking into economic and social decline.

In Brazil, there is always talk of reducing the tax burden, it is a neoliberal mantra, but the weight of tax exemptions in the Union budget is gigantic and rebuilding the State's investment capacity involves suspending the vast majority of tax waivers granted by successive governments , from FHC, passing through Lula, Dilma, Temer and Bolsonaro. On the other hand, completely rebuilding our tax structure will be a fundamental battle for the country's present and future.

As everyone has known for a long time, the poor pay more than the rich as a percentage of their income. This is due to the predominance of indirect taxes, levied on goods and services in relation to direct taxes, on the income of each Brazilian. In the case of the IR, the ways in which the richest manage to reduce what they have to pay (not to mention the forms of evasion) ensure that the bulk of the taxes collected come from the middle class, which is increasingly impoverished.

There is discussion of imposing a tax on large fortunes and it will have to be adopted. But it is a double movement: to charge an emergency tax of 20% on the accumulated fortune of billionaires, 10% on that of millionaires with values ​​above 100 million, 5% on that of millionaires with values ​​above 10 million and 2% for millionaires with values ​​greater than one million. These will be the resources to finance the emergency measures of a national salvation plan, during the first year of government. The second movement will be to change the Income Tax rates, increasing from 27,5 to 45% the tax to be paid by the richest layer, with income (salaries and other income) greater than 100 thousand reais per month, 35 % for those who receive more than 50 thousand reais and 27,5% for those who receive more than 30 thousand reais. The floor for charging the IR must be three minimum wages and the amounts charged from this floor must be 5% for incomes between the floor and 10 reais; 10% between 10 and 20 thousand reais and 20% between 20 and 30 thousand reais.

If this seems to rip the hides off our pitiful rich people, I want to remember that in the heart of capitalism, the US and the European Union, these percentages are even higher and the big capitalists of the world are making manifestos to ask for more taxes to be levied… on them. same. I remind you that these taxes are levied on all earned income, eliminating the current privilege that exempts the payment of dividends and capital gains.

*Jean Marc von der Weid is a former president of the UNE (1969-71). Founder of the non-governmental organization Family Agriculture and Agroecology (ASTA).

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