Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bill Maher: U.S. Now A Banana Republic

Bill Maher

"The greatest thing about America was that you could come here with nothing and, purely by hard work, become fabulously wealthy.

But this isn’t happening anymore. More and more money is concentrated in the super-rich while wages for the middle-class are stagnant and the poor are, well, if they’re lucky they might get some cheese and a flu shot.

The worst part is, while America is turning into a banana republic, actual banana republics are starting to turn into what America used to be.

I don’t know much about Brazil, other than that they do amazing things with wax. And have you seen the carioca? It’s not a foxtrot or a polka. There I go quoting 1930's show tunes again.

But it turns out that Brazil, which used to be the most unequal nation on earth, may soon become more equal than the US."


The U.S. as a banana republic?

I agree with Bill Maher that Brasilians do astonishing things with wax. I would add that the U.S. will never be able to  match Brasil's futbol teams as a banana republic.

For more on Brasil's economy : Bill Maher's Real Time Blog.

What isn't well known in America is that Brasil's economy was built with a strong sense of social democracy in the public sector and a regulated private economy. As a result, Brasil was not disabled in the recent global economic crisis. In fact, the middle class began to prosper for the first time in the country's history.

Brasil had once before lent its economic insights to America when Brasil's president, Fernando Henrique Cardosa, met with Bill Clinton to discuss economic and monetary policy during a period of unprecedented economic growth in America. The two men became good friends and their discussions are documented in President Cardosa's excellent autobiography,  "The Accidental President of Brazil". Bill Clinton wrote the foreword to the book.

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