60 Minutes’ Take on Brazil


I already spoke about how it’s Brazil’s time to shine. Well, I’m definitely not the only one who thinks so. Check out what CBS News’ 60 Minutes had to say about Brazil (with Portuguese subtitles for all those interested). Even though the video is from 2010, it remains quite relevant.

Some of the highlights

Brazil’s economy is growing at 7%, 3 times larger than America’s.

Brazil needs more skilled labor (like engineers).

The video interviews the ex-President of Brazil, Lula (Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva), and paints him in an entirely positive light. Throughout the video, Lula is described as nothing short of a hero. But is he really? He may have been one of the most popular politicians of Brazil, but he was also involved in many corruption scandals, something that the video fails to mention (despite the fact that some of the corruption occurred before the video was taken).

The video talks about the “lack of ambition” in Brazil, which poses a problem if Brazilians want their country to progress as a world power. Such lack of motivation is “called the Brazilian way. Why do something today that you can pay someone to do tomorrow?”

According to one of the Brazilian commentators in the video, Brazil is “not a serious country” because Brazilians “say that they will do something and then don’t do something. Here in Rio de Janeiro, you can invite someone to your home, they say that they will come and then don’t show up. And they [just think] ‘who cares?’ But how can you do business in a loose way? How can you run a country in a loose way?” Read more about this inherent flakiness here.

Favelas have been ignored ever since they originated, but finally, with the implementation of pacifying police units, they are getting the attention they have long deserved.

There are many infrastructure problems that must be solved; the video states that a staggering 90% of roads in Brazil are unpaved.

Brazil is running behind on preparations for the upcoming World Cup and Olympics. Can’t say that I’m that surprised given that cariocas, at least, are always late. As the pessimistic Brazilian commentator in the video said, the country won’t be ready “especially because Brazilians don’t mind to be late. Ya know, they think ‘oh, i’ll be a little late, what’s the problem?’ They are going to be planting the [grass] while the ball is already rolling.”

Brazil’s resources are enormous: they have “what are believed to be the largest discoveries of oil found anywhere in the world in the past 35 years.”

The video ends with a statement about how Brazil hasn’t fought a war since 1870 (because they would “rather make love than war”). As Eike Batista (Brazil’s richest man) stated in the video, “why fight? With all the pleasures…beach and sun…war? Forget it! Soccer? Let’s watch a soccer game. Let’s go to the beach. Let’s drink a beer.” I think that’s a pretty good approach to life.


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