Michelle Gusmão and Maria Sangalo
From March 7th to 11th, PASB's MUN Club travelled all the way to Sauipe to be a part of BRAMUN, where about sixty of our delegates had an unforgettable opportunity to participate in heated rounds of debates while solving world issues. The conference has been organized and hosted by PASB for the last eight years and, once again, it was a success. Delegates and chairs from all over Brazil and even Argentina prepared themselves for months in order to be fully knowledgeable about the topics and give their best to make this an amazing conference. Memorable connections and friendships, which will definitely last for a lifetime, were made during and beyond committee sessions. Being the biggest MUN conference hosted in Brazil, BRAMUN counted on ten different committees that clearly represented the main theme of the conference: "United we stand in face of conflict.”
The opening ceremony was marked by the honorable presence of Ms. Claudia Costin, former senior director for the World Bank and a professor at Harvard university, who spoke about the ideal education and plans for ending inequality worldwide. Besides, the topics discussed rangedall the way from the territorial disputes in Kashmir to the Somali Civil War, and made delegates reflect upon ways to provide swift but long lasting solutions. Therefore, we would truly like to thank all of the advisors, Mr. Barbosa, Mr. Rendon, Ms. Heather, Ms. Davey and Mr. Trammel, our principal, Ms. Dillion, and the indomitable Ms. Tatiana Ramalho for working tirelessly during these last months to make this conference possible.
With so many committees to choose from, we decided to be a part of the EU-LAC Foundation Committee. The topics chosen by the chairs, Elene, Fernando and João, involved the pension reform in both Brazil and Germany, the examination of socialist measures in developing and developed nations, and the legalization of marijuana. At first, we were not sure if these topics would be able to really bring the "house" to an exciting debate; however, after the conference, we are glad to say that we participated in one of the best conferences of our lives and we only wished for more debate time, (although walking on heels all day is exhausting). When we were assigned the delegation of Nicaragua, we were not as excited since it was a neutral country and thus not as emerged into any of the topics at all. However, besides teaching students about global affairs, MUN taught us is that delegates are the ones responsible for diving into all the different matters being discussed even if their country seems unimportant. The high level of debate inside the EU-LAC Foundation surprised us. Delegates proved themselves to be extremely well informed about the topics, especially regarding the pension reform, since many studied IB economy. Alongside with the delegation made up by Caio Maciel and Paulo Abud, also from PASB, we were able to pass several resolutions and even win the BRAMUN cup, mainly due to the presence of a certain "Shakira" in our committee.
This year, PASB delegates were awarded with three honorable mentions and one best delegation. Nicaragua at the EU-LAC Foundation, Belgium and US in the Historical Security Council and Iran in the Human Rights Council were the outstanding performances of PASB during the conference. The efforts our head delegates and advisors have put into preparing students to face challenges and prove their points are worthwhile. Besides that, the delegation of Argentina of the EU-LAC committee and the junior delegates from 8th grade were also recognized at the closing ceremony. We were truly delighted to see that even though our 8th graders went as part of the secretariat, they were prompt and excited to fill in for the delegation of Congo in the ECOSOC committee, as the delegates that were supposed to be representing the nation cancelled at the last minute. In addition, we are also glad that our head delegates, Marina Siqueira and Gustavo Soares, served as chairs for the Security Council and Historical Security Council respectively, and we are even more excited that three of our delegates will be part of the leadership team for BRAMUN 2019.
In retrospect and looking forward to future MUN conferences, we would like to say once more that we are extremely passionate about MUN, as it completely changed our perception of the world and gave us one of the most precious aspects one can embody, which is having a voice. As a result, we desire to help others find the magic hidden in midst of the hundreds of procedures inside the world of international relations.
During SALMUN 2017, delegates engaged once more to debate current world issues and develop viable and long lasting solutions. With so many committees to choose from, the Asian Caucus and the Security Council especially caught my attention, due to their interesting topics. However, because I was part of a double delegation, the SC was no longer an option, making me choose the Asian Caucus. Overall, this committee intends to debate issues that involve the Asian continent more closely, but that are also very important to the rest of the world. The chairs, Yasmin, Arthur and Brenda, worked to put together a study guide and to carefully choose awesome topics: North Korea's nuclear threat, human trafficking and forced labor, and the region of Kashmir. After I researched all three topics, it was time to decide which nation I would represent. Model United Nations is all about having to deal with turbulent situations, which is why North Korea became my top priority, since it has the hardest position to defend in the committee. The Asian Caucus had a very good level of debate and as resolutions were entertained, delegations constantly made points of information, speeches and amendments.
The first topic debated was directly related to the DPRK, and I have to admit it was the hardest to debate due to the huge number of opposing delegations constantly going against anything that would benefit North Korea. With only China as an ally, my partner and I entertained a resolution in which nations were asked to reconsider their positions and, while not necessarily having to take the DPRK's side, nations were strongly encouraged to build nuclear programs and withdraw from very relevant treaties. Just as expected, while reading the resolution, delegates stared at me with "eyes full of hatred." Although a hard topic, with many speeches and points answered, we were able to convince a huge part of the committee to vote in favor of the resolution; however, after voting procedures, a tie came and, as a result, the resolution did not pass. Other resolutions defending especially the US' side were entertained later on, and we spent more than half of the first day debating this topic as a consequence of delegates incessantly submitting amendments and making points of information.
Confident of their positions, delegations moved on to debate human trafficking and forced labor in Asia. I was really excited to debate this topic but due to "time constraints," as our chairs would constantly say, we were not able to spend as much time on it as I desired. As widely known, North Korea's economy is highly benefited by human trafficking. Because of that, my delegation submitted a resolution by itself intending to legalize this practice. It was not easy to defend the position, but when a guest speaker, representing the CEO of Zara, a clothing brand, came inside the committee, nations started to consider actually legalizing human trade. Besides this resolution, others were presented going against human trafficking and proposing that nations unite to end this system.
After this topic, we debated the last one: stabilizing the region of Kashmir, which is a region disputed by Pakistan and India. The DPRK took Pakistan's side and worked hard to pass a resolution that turned Kashmir into a Pakistani state. This was the topic I liked debating the least because neither of the sides were willing to collaborate and divide the region, so the debate got a little bit boring after a while.
Last but not least, the most expected time inside the committee arrived: the crisis. With only a few clues, we had to find out which nation had made an attack on the other and develop a resolution about it. After spending time in unmoderated caucus, we found out that Pakistan had been creating a bomb to launch at North Korea, and this became the turning point of the debate, since so far, the DPRK had been taking the blame for every single "bad" thing that happened, and this time, it was the victim. It was interesting because we only discovered this during the last five minutes of unmoderated caucus and a resolution had to be written very quickly. To me, it was an awesome crisis that really made us think about all topics and tried to involve as many nations as possible. Actually, the committee as a whole was really good, and I was happy to be a part of it. The only thing that made me angry was that some delegations did not know exactly their positions and sometimes took the wrong sides, being crucial to the passing or failure of the resolutions entertained. However, a good thing was that, though some delegates were not speaking at the beginning, as the debate kept going, nations that were initially "ghosts," started to make themselves present. Overall, with heated sessions of debate, delegates were able to learn and grow a lot, as well as share their ideas on how to solve the problems at hand, thus contributing immensely to the debate.
Chairing the United Nations Security Council at the Swiss Model United Nations 2017 (SMUN) conference was beyond even my outrageous expectations. The Colégio Suiço - Brasileiro de Curitiba had adopted a type of conference that would be completely crisis based. I felt as if I was able to rediscover the world of MUN, but this time understanding that the foundational key to success during rounds of the debate is to work for the committee and alongside the crisis director and chairs. At first, I was a little nervous about what my outcome would be, after all, I never expected to be chairing the UNSC as a freshman without any experience chairing a large committee . I started researching several topics, as I knew deadlines for study guides would soon arrive. Fortunately, my chairing partner was an extremely organized girl, who was always working directly by my side, contributing to ideas and giving me feedback. The crises would mirror the attitudes and discussions of each committee and would be decided upon the Crisis Development Directorate. (CDC) With the responsibility of formulating useful study guides, leading the committee, and interacting with my delegates, chairing the UNSC was undoubtedly the best experience I ever had.
The committee sessions in the Security Council could only be described as heated and exceptionally energetic. All of the delegations proved themselves to be well researched, further driving the chairs crazy with a number of points and motions proposed. At times of new crisis, we were stunned with the several unexpected revelation statements submitted and the innumerous outcries of ‘motion to talk with compatriot!” to which we would acknowledge ‘delegate, please wait for a unmoderated caucus, as the other committees are currently in the middle of a debate.” Without any doubt, the delegates of the Security Council were the most enthusiastic and creative ones. The delegate of China decided to side with the DPRK and proposed several threats to turn the US into ashes; the US responded by stating that it has the technology to destroy China. Suddenly all of the power five left the NPT, Putin got killed, there was a bombing in Brussels and Berlin, the Security Council was put into lock down, World War III was declared as a result of the situation and the conference ended with a drastic collapse of the United Nations. Also, six out of seven of the PASB delegates received award: four of them were best delegation, while two were honorable mentions.
The first chairing position is remarkable to many and today I am positive that chairing the UNSC was an experience which I will keep with me for a lifetime. Chairing is feeling as if you were the heartbeat of a committee. It is also being mature enough to seek fair attention and treatment between all of the delegates and further understand their concerns and ideas. My main goal as a chair was clearly to cherish youth empowerment by guiding my delegates to become eloquent negotiators and diplomats of the future. The magic hidden in the midst the world of international relations fascinates me everyday and now I persevere to encourage others to find this magic in order to work for a better world. I hold great excitement to see our PASB delegates representing our school during BRAMUN and several other MUN conferences.
A few words on corruption, independence and how we all play into this
Many Brazilians refuse to wear the nation’s symbolic colors on September 7th. Indeed, all of the staggering news surrounding our Brazilian identity makes us feel the most repulsed by the politics of the nation we were born in. Withal, I stood determined to wear such colors, as a way to contend the contrary. Many argue that they are ashamed to be Brazilian, ashamed of their country’s ingrained corruption and widespread greed, ashamed of the selfish political system that only favors a few. The new devastating corruption scandals came precisely one day before Brazil's most historically cherished date: its independence. Amidst the 180 degree judicial turn where the General Prosecutor of Brazil decides to open an investigation, contemplating to gather evidence on possible crimes committed by President Temer due to newfound information in Joesley’s audios and the federal police discovers 51 million BRL in an ex-politician’s apartment - the greatest quantity ever recorded since the beginning of Operation Car Wash - Indeed, all of the staggering news surrounding our Brazilian identity makes us feel the most repulsed by the politics of the nation we were born in.
Corruption is not new to Brazil, neither is it a surprise that many of our politician’s intentions do not support the interests of the people. In fact, corruption in Brazil dates back to our colonization period during the 16th century. Public workers serving the Portuguese crown in Brazil were often entangled in corruption when overseeing collection of taxes, and many received bribes when they were instructed to halt smuggling of products. Moving forward to Brazilian independence in 1822, the ethical practices were not enhanced with the country’s newfound freedom. Rather, the power of self-governance further motivated the predominant forms of corruption to this day: bribes in the concession of public investments and over-invoicing. Brazilian public money continued to be divided between public interests and politicians’ pockets. Even honorable public figures such as Getúlio Vargas have been inevitably woven into the cycle of self-benefit from public expenditures. All of the scandals we face today are simply the exposition of the history our country has endured for centuries. Today’s scandals were yesterday’s status quo.
This by no means suggests we should accept the misappropriation of public funds; it rather aims to elucidate another side of the story. Considering corruption has been so deeply ingrained in our history, it is our duty to cherish the efforts of those who are consistently combating it. As Brazilian citizens, we hold total responsibility to take up the fight and exercise our citizenship to cure our nation from the disease that plagues our public funds. We must wear green, blue and yellow to symbolize our faith in a corruption-free Brazil. Rather than complaining, we must act, as our attitudes are the foundational key to the creation of a new nation in which honesty is the main pillar. We must feel a sense of duty to improve our country’s situation, and this can begin by abiding by simple ethical guidelines in our daily lives, and can further expand to participation in public rallies and promoting ethics in our society.
A Brazilian proverb wisely states that many hummingbirds, each carrying a small drop of water, can put out a fire. Parallel to that, it is the union of our small actions that can free our country from corruption. Only when we have broken the shackles of bribery and misappropriation of public funds may we say our nation is truly independent.
On Sunday, August the 13th, the ex-Barcelona player Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, commonly known as Neymar Jr., played his debut match for the French team Paris Saint-Germain. For those who haven't been following Neymar as carefully and desire to obtain more knowledge about the most expensive transfer in soccer history, this article is for you!
On August 4th, 2017, after quite a few rumors, PSG was able to sign Neymar Jr. after negotiating a $263 million deal with Barcelona. Besides the contract rescission payment, Neymar will also be earning a rough $50 million annual salary and will be wearing the number 10 shirt. At this price, Neymar became the most expensive transfer in soccer history, more than double the previous highest transfer, which was the $123 million Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba.
Many questioned Neymar's decision, but this Sunday at the Roudourou Stadium, PSG's investment seemed to begin its payoff. PSG's second match for the French league was against Guingamp, and Neymar proved himself essential in the 3x0 victory. The Brazilian superstar scored a goal and an assist, and made it clear that he wants to be PSG's key player. With an outstanding performance, Neymar was elected man of the match. Furthermore, Neymar touched the ball 128 times, his second highest tally in league games. After a wonderful match, it is safe to say that Neymar has made an exceptional choice by leaving Barcelona and joining this renowned Parisian team. He will be able to emerge from Messi's shadow, and at PSG play with Daniel Alves, a former Barcelona and current national team companion, as well as Lucas Moura, whom he has known since he was six, and two other Brazilians, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos.
As for PSG and Barcelona, both of them have been on top of their game. Although the French team spent a fortune on their new star player, they are confident that ticsales will quickly earn them their money back. On Neymar's first day in France, the fans bought all 10 thousand shirts being sold in the team's two official stores in Paris. Furthermore, Oryx Qatar Sports Investments, which is PSG's owner, has made Neymar the official cover boy for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which will surely render a lot of money. Barcelona on the other hand, is already aiming to use the money gained from Neymar's transfer to fix other major players. They were attempting to persuade the Brazilian player Philippe Coutinho, but the negotiations were not fulfilled. Nonetheless, Barcelona has already fixed an agreement with the Chinese team Guangzhou Evergrande over Brazilian player Paulinho.
This is a new stage for the world's newest most valuable player, and surely all Brazilians wish him the best of luck!
The election of 2016 was one of the most controversial in modern America. With allegations of Russian interference and FBI investigations, it was hoped by many that its legacy could be left behind. That hope, however, was completely in vain. On Tuesday of last week, Donald J Trump, the 45th president of the United States, called bipartisan leaders in Congress to inform them he had decided to fire the FBI director, James Comey, sending shockwaves through Washington D.C.
The decision is one of the most shocking taken by President Trump since his inauguration. The last time an FBI director had been fired was in 1993, with Bill Clinton firing William Sessions. The circumstances, however, were vastly different; Sessions had major ethical problems and Bill Clinton had a respected replacement waiting in the wings. This time, however, everything is different; Trump’s reason for firing Comey is that he mishandled the Hillary Clinton email investigation. This line of reasoning is utter nonsense. Why, if it was so important to fire Comey on the basis of what he had done in the email investigation, did he wait for more than 3 months to fire Comey?
The most important question is, why did Trump fire Comey? Luckily, Donald Trump has generously provided an answer to this pressing question. In an interview with Lester Holt, President Trump stated as a reason for his firing of the FBI director: ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.’ This, contradicting the insistence of his Vice President and his communications team. Furthermore, if it is true, Trump could be guilty of obstructing justice by firing Comey.
Suspicions have increased even further since Tuesday, when the New York Times reported that James Comey wrote a memo, alleging that President Trump had asked Comey to end the investigation against one of his aides, Mike Flynn. This immediately added to the tension and drama that already gripped Washington D.C. Talk of impeachment flew threw the air as chaos gripped the White House. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a special prosecutor was appointed to begin investigations into the Russian connection in Trump’s campaign. The prosecutor is former FBI director, Robert Muller, a man respected for his integrity and independence.
In short, President Trump has managed to create even more polarization in an America that is already deeply divided. Shame on him for doing it in order to attempt to save his own skin.
It seems that pundits need to formulate a new article of faith about Brazil: when things appear to be recovering, things are bound to go wrong. And things did just that on Tuesday , with new investigations of corruption being launched yesterday.
29 senators, 42 federal deputies, 12 governors, a third of the cabinet, and for good measure, 5 of the 6 former presidents: Those were the names of the politicians on the list whose release exploded with the force of a 50 megaton nuclear bomb, incinerating presidential candidates and political parties, while giving radiation poisoning to all the rest. But it’s not only sitting politicians that are being investigated: 211 other cases are being sent to lower courts to be dealt with by them.
So, where did this list come from? The list is from a series of plea bargains by Odebrecht executives, a company that has admitted to paying $1 billion dollars in bribes to politicians. Just watch how nonchalantly they talk about bribing every politician under the sun on this video. It makes one’s hair stand on end, as they send a message of total smug confidence and indifference, as if they don’t believe they will be punished. Back on topic now, the list was originally handled by Judge Teori Zavascki of the Supreme Court. However, he died in a plane crash last month, leaving millions of Brazilians in shock. Thus, the list was moved to Judge Edson Fanchin, and it has now been released today, allowing prosecutors to begin investigating all politicians on it.
What does the list ultimately mean for Brazil? Obviously, to attempt to discern exactly what it means is a fool’s errand; the effects are sure to be complex in almost every regard. However, a few things can probably be guessed at.
One of the major hopes for the current crisis is its possible ability to transform Brazilian society, specifically the elites. It is abundantly clear that Brazilian elites are only interested in enriching themselves; witness the list of people who are now under investigation for corruption. However, as the investigations gain steam, it is a distinct possibility that the impunity with which and politicians and big businesses have enriched themselves is coming to an abrupt end. Thus, they could finally begin on focusing to develop the country. This leads us to our second point about the investigation: the strengthening of Brazil’s democratic institutions. There are few countries outside the West where prosecutors and judges could crusade as fearlessly against the rich and the powerful as they do in Brazil. Hopefully, it signals that Brazil’s institutions are growing more robust.
In the short term, however, there will likely be even more pain. The list is probably going to cause major problems for the Brazilian economy. It is highly doubtful that Michel Temer will now be able to reform the Brazilian economy; and Brazil is in desperate need of reform. As already mentioned in my debate with the esteemable Student Scoop Chief Editor Renata Prata, pension reform is absolutely essential to cut the deficit in Brazil. However, pension reform is only the start to overhauling the Brazilian economy. Boosting productivity is essential, so labor law and tax reform should also be pursued. However, these reforms are unlikely in the present political situation.
The 2018 elections are also important for the country. Voters need to solidify the anti-corruption gains that have been made in the country since 2014 by raining hellfire and damnation down upon the politicians of the country. That means punishing every single party in congress, and running them out of town.
There, however, is also the obvious question of who should be president of Brazil. After the devastation of the Brazilian elite that will be caused by the investigations, it will be important to elect an outsider who isn’t crazy and who will be able to push through needed economic reforms. The only candidate who possibly fits the bill is Marina Silva(pictured above), the former environmental minister who cut deforestation. As a result, Brazilians should back her in the next election. If her candidacy does not work out, then Brazilians should turn to the mayor of Sao Paulo, João Doria, who is attempting to privatise soccer stadiums, improve schools, and build bike paths in São Paulo. Best of all: He’s not a crook.
In short, Brazil has made significant strides in anti-corruption measures. If the momentum continues, we can hopefully imagine a different Brazil: a Brazil of less inequality, more development, and more accountability. Now, it is up to the people to make it happen.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia of Marina Silva
Renata Prata and Ryan Strong
Recently, The Scoop decided to conduct a mock debate between the editor in chief of the esteemed newspaper, Renata Prata, and the editor of Student Life, Ryan Strong. It was determined that the topic would be on Social Security reform in Brazil, the Draft Constitutional Amendment (PEC) 287, as a complement to the recently passed limit (“teto”) of public expenditures Constitutional Amendment 95. Ryan and Renata decided to role play defending the reform, while Renata’s persona came out representing its opposition. The Scoop invites all readers to consider the arguments of the two sides and decide for themselves what they think.
In Favor of PEC 287
By: Ryan Strong and Renata Prata
No one doubts that Brazil’s finances are in dire straits. Last year, the primary budget deficit for the country was $22.7 billion dollars, and its real budget deficit, including interest payments was 562.8 billion reais. That is equal to 8.93 % of GDP, a terrifying number for any country on the globe. It is thus clear that there needs to be major fiscal reform in order to save the future of the Brazilian economy. A clear target for this would be pensions. That is exactly what President Michel Temer intends to do.
President Temer’s proposed reform would do several things. It would make a minimum retirement age of 65, and it would require men and women to work longer than they do now to obtain their pension. Retirement age increases would now not require an amendment to the constitution, and most pensions would no longer be linked to the minimum wage.
Critics, however, do not like such reforms. They claim that Mr. Temer will hurt the poor, and should instead focus on taxing the rich. There are several problems with such a claim. First off, the poorest would still have their benefits linked to the minimum wage, thus reducing the harm done to them. Second off, those that advocate only taxing the rich and simply underestimating the problem of pensions. Brazil spends more as a percent of GDP on pensions then does Japan. People on average retire in Brazil at 58, and pensions take up more than half of non-interest spending.
The current Social Security system runs by the 85/ 90 rule. These two are the minimum values for women and men respectively of the sum of years as a taxpayer, and ages. Despite there being a minimum amount of years contributing (for men 35, and for women 30), there is not in age. This makes sense since the only relevance in age when calculating Social Security is the expense of maintaining a citizen. If one has already paid in advance, then there should be no problem. Thus one can start paying the INSS at 25 and retire at 60. The math supposedly works. The Brazilian life expectancy is of 70 years old. With our current system one is contributing for even more years than needed since 60 plus 25 is 85.
That logic would work, did we not have the “Principle of Solidarity”. Our contributions do not remain locked until we seized them later on. Instead Brazil adopted the “principle”. Current taxpayers pay the retirement of their contemporary older ones. Only among men, in 2000, 3.9% of our population was over 60. In 2010 it rose to 5%.
Mind that in the calculations below the predictions of From 2019 on, one point will be added around every 2 years.
2030: 78 life expectancy (similar to the current survival rate for over 61)
2030 - 2019 = 11 years
11 years/2 points = 6 extra points
6 extra points + 90 original points = 96 points
61 years old
35 years contributing
Starts contributing at: 26
Or could start contributing earlier and retire earlier than 61 years old.
78 - 61 = 17 years seizing retirement
2060: 80 life expectancy (similar to the current survival rate for over 70)
2060 - 2019 = 41
41 years/2 points = 21 extra points
21 extra points + 90 original points = 111 points
70 years old
41 years contributing
Starts contributing at: 21
80 - 70 = 10 years seizing retirement
Case study: One earns a salary of 1.659,38 R$ and thus deposits 8% of it to the INSS.
That investment would be os 132.7504 per month for 41 years, which equals 65313.1968 R$.
One will live off those funds for 17 years while being promised to continue with the same salary. If that fund is divided into 17 years and 12 months, it mounts up to just over 320 reais: about 20% of one’s original salary.
In short, pension reform is exactly what Brazil needs. Push it, Mr. Temer.
Against PEC 287
By: Renata Prata
This week the Brazilian delegation cast a controversial vote in the United Nations Human Rights Council. Since its membership, it had never voted against a resolution, at the most it abstained. However, the content in the resolution presented, expressing concern on the jeopardy of human rights with the curtailing of pension systems cringed the new perspective of our ambassadors. Our country’s foreign policy is tragically morphing from our domestic turbulences and change in governance. Nevertheless, the resolution passed. It is uncertain, however, whether our domestic opposition against the Social Security reform in the draft Constitutional Amendment, PEC 287, will be as successful.
It is often said that a reform in the Brazilian Social Security system is unavoidable. The seeming deficit we have in our public banks is due to the change in the demographics, the increase in life expectancy, matched with the “principle of solidarity”, in which the current retired generation fruits from the contemporary workers and taxpayers.
When one goes fact checking, beneath all governmental and media distortions, one concludes that we have a superavit. That superavit however is leaked to other expenditures, remarkably for the government paying interest rates (also known as Selic) to the private bankers. Suffice it to say that Brazil is the country with the greatest interest rates in the world. A true concentration of income in the hands of private bankers. This expenditure of the superavit is done through the Desvinculação de Receitas da União (DRU), which reads literally Disassociation of the Union’s Income. In order to fix our Social Security System we need to first tear down this unconstitutional rule.
Furthermore, there is the social issue. The current Social Security system runs by the 85/ 90 rule. These two are the minimum values for women and men respectively of the sum of years as a taxpayer, and ages. Despite there being a minimum amount of years contributing (for men 35, and for women 30), there is not in age. This makes sense since the only relevance in age when calculating Social Security is the expense of maintaining a citizen. If one has already paid in advance, then there should be no problem. Thus a woman can start paying the INSS at 25 and retire at 60.
With the proposed reform in PEC 287 however, there would be the minimum age of 65 years old for one to retire. In several Brazilian regions one does not even expect to reach that age. That includes not only regions in the North and the Northeast, but also unprivileged neighborhoods in capitals, including Grajaú in São Paulo, for example. Regardless, that minimum age is not even realistic. For one to retire at 65, one must have worked uninterruptedly since 16, and unreal estimation in a country with high indexes of unemployment and work rotation, according to UnB professor Maria Lúcia Lopes. That is so because the Draft Constitutional Amendment is increasing the minimum years of contribution from 35 to 49 years. Thus reasonably, we would start contributing at 23, do so until one turns 72 immaculately, while the national life expectancy is currently 75 years old. We are being told: Arbeit macht frei.
The new reform does not set different minimum points for men and women. Despite that being socially ideal, sadly we still live in a profoundly sexist society. Women have achieved their right to work in environments traditionally regarded as masculine. However, we still keep our house duties. School buses and full time schooling is not a public service. Thus we have a double journey summed up to 57 hours, four hours greater than for men. It is thus unfair that we do not remain with some kind of distinction. If the PEC 287 passes, the affirmative action we have today of five less minimum retirement years would be extinct.
The pressure for popular mobilization is real. Most recently, Temer has declared that he has enough promised votes for it to pass. Hence we must react while keeping in mind that the problem is not that we are working too little. It is the interests system that demands reform. Increasing the minimum contributing time in years and life years will not solve the real issue we have at hand.
This suggestion may not be a super obvious one, but it was one of the highlights of my trip to Paris. Under a bridge by the Louvre Museum, there is a small “port” from where small river boats launch from. The cruise I went on lasted one hour with it going all the way to the Eiffel Tower. The reason why this cruise is recommended is because you get to see Paris lit up at night which is very cool. It is also very relaxing and is a great way to wind down after a long day in Paris.
4. Arc du Triumphe
One of Paris’ most iconic landmarks, the Arc du Triumphe does not disappoint, having great views from the top and being awe-inspiring up close. If you can, try to walk through the area surrounding the Arc to get there. It is a snazzy part of the city. When you get to the Arc, make sure to go to the tomb of the unknown soldier, and watch the historical video about the Arc.
3. Palace of Versaille
2. Eiffel Tower
The most famous landmark of Paris does not disappoint. This elegant structure towers above Paris. It is important when you go to the tower to go up to at least the second floor of the tower. This will give you a stunning 360 degree view of the city. If you can, buy tickets on the second floor to go up to the third floor, which is at the very top of the tower. It will give you an even better view.
Number one on the list of must do things in Paris is the Louvre Museum. Originally a palace, it is now filled to the brim with beautiful artwork. Seeing everything in the museum is probably impossible, so try to hit a few major works of art: Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Liberty Leading the People, and the Coronation of Napoleon. After seeing this, choice what you want to see from Near Eastern art, Egyptian art, and Islamic art among other things. Note: the Louvre is so big that you will want to get a tour guide.
To say that the Democratic Party is weak would be like saying Stalin was a bad man. The Republicans control the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Presidency. Not only that, they control 32 state legislatures and 34 governors. The Democrats are completely shut out of power, and it is hard to see how they can mount an very strong opposition to the Republican agenda.
So, what can the Democrats do to oppose the Republicans (specifically Donald Trump) and regain power?
The opposition to the Republicans and Donald J. Trump is rather straightforward for the Democrats and Progressives. Progressives have already organized massive demonstrations to coincide with the Inauguration of President Donald Trump. This march, known as the “Women’s March” has drawn together hundreds of thousands of people into Washington D.C. and to all seven continents. It demonstrates the impressive ability of progressives to organize and fight for their causes on the streets. This will be incredibly useful to them in the years ahead, as they lack direct political power.
The path to political power, however, is a little less clear. The senate map looks brutal for the Democrats in 2018, with races in very, very Republican states. Perhaps they will gain some governorships, but even if they do, the Republicans will still dominate state level politics. This leads to a further problem of gerrymandering, where Republicans will draw state lines in 2020 in a way that benefits their party, further harming the Democratic party in races from 2020 and beyond. In short, the path for the Democrats is steep and rocky.
The future, of course, is never set in stone. Perhaps Donald Trump will explode by the time that 2020 comes around due to his lies and abhorrent moral behavior. Perhaps one journalist will find the story that will finally slay the dragon of Donald Trump. Whatever happens, we will have to wait until 2018 and 2020 to see.