Meaning of Social Injustice 2
Inequality in the Labor Market
Data on inequality in the Brazilian labor market confirm the persistence of an old social wound. According to a survey by the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (Dieese) released on Tuesday, blacks and browns have fewer opportunities than whites.
Data on inequality in the Brazilian labor market confirm the persistence of an old social wound. According to a survey by the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (Dieese) released on Tuesday, blacks and browns have fewer opportunities than whites. The activities they perform require less qualification. As a result, wages are lower. The figures show a full-length portrait of the enormous injustice that exists in the country. Blacks and browns make up almost half of the population. No less than 46%. But the average income of those who find the Southeast. In the most developed region of Brazil, whites received a monthly average of 4.5 minimum wages in 2001; blacks, 2.3; the brown ones, 2.2.
The research presents data capable of explaining the disparity in remuneration. The less privileged ethnic group finds occupation in agriculture, civil construction and provision of services, mainly domestic. These are activities that require limited education and little qualification.
A vicious circle is formed. Non-whites earn less because they work in activities that pay poorly. They work in activities that pay poorly because they lack the conditions to compete for jobs that pay higher wages. Without sufficient income, they are unable to seek better qualification and, with that, to ascend socially. The unevenness stems much more from poverty than from color. Here, undoubtedly, is the knot that needs to be untied to reduce the injustice that prevailed in Brazilian society for 500 years. Compensatory policies are welcome in the short term. They keep children in classrooms and prevent young people from entering the labor market early. But they are not the definitive answer to the problem.
The challenge necessarily involves the excellence of the public school. Only with access to high-level education, cutting-edge technology, and diversified reading, is it possible to make the dispute for good jobs democratic. In short: by strengthening the weak link in the chain, the possibility of narrowing the gap between the poor and the rich opens up.
The Issue of Agrarian Reform: An old Brazilian challenge
The poor distribution of land in Brazil has historical reasons, and the struggle for land reform involves economic, political and social aspects. The land issue affects the interests of a quarter of the Brazilian population who make their living from the countryside, between large and small farmers, ranchers, rural workers and the landless. Setting up a new land structure that is socially just and economically viable is one of the biggest challenges in Brazil. In the opinion of some scholars, the agrarian question is for the Republic just as slavery was for the Monarchy. In a way, the country was freed when it freed slaves. When you no longer need to discuss land ownership, you will have achieved new liberation.
With its territorial privilege, Brazil should never have a conflicted field. There are more than 371 million hectares ready for agriculture in the country, a huge area, which is equivalent to the territories of Argentina, France, Germany and Uruguay combined. But only a relatively small portion of that land has any type of plantation. About half are used for livestock. What is left is what the experts call idle land. It does not produce 1 liter of milk, a sack of soybeans, 1 kilo of potatoes or a bunch of grapes. Behind so much idle land is another Brazilian agrarian problem. Until the past decade, almost half of the arable land was still in the hands of 1% of farmers, while a tiny portion, less than 3%, belonged to 3.1 million rural producers.
“The agrarian problem in the country is in the concentration of land, one of the highest in the world, and in the latifundium that produces nothing”, says professor José Vicente Tavares dos Santos, dean of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. with its Latin American neighbors, Brazil is a champion in land concentration. It does not come out of the lead nor compared to countries where the issue is explosive, such as India or Pakistan. Gathering so much land in the hands of a few and vast unproductive extensions, Brazil set up its own scenario to set the field on fire. This is where conflicts arise, which in the last twenty years have claimed hundreds of deaths.
The Brazilian agrarian problem began in 1850, when the slave trade ended and the Empire, under pressure from farmers, decided to change the property regime. Until then, the land was occupied and the emperor was asked for a title. From then on, with the threat of slaves becoming rural landowners, no longer constituting a backyard of almost free labor, the regime became that of purchase, and no longer of possession. ”While labor was slave , the land was free. When work was free, the land became a slave, ”says professor José de Souza Martins, from the University of São Paulo. At the time, the United States also discussed land ownership. Only they did the exact opposite. Instead of preventing access to land, they opened the west of the country to anyone who wanted to occupy it – only the slave owners of the south were excluded. Thus, an agricultural power, a consumer market and a more democratic culture were created, since it was founded in a society of millions of owners.
Even if smallholders were unable to produce for the market, but only enough for their livelihood, it would already be a way out, at least, of urban misery. “Even being a Jeca Tatu is better than living in the favela,” says Professor Martins. In addition, settlements can be a solution to the tremendous migration that exists in the country. Any migratory flow has an agrarian problem behind it. There are the most evident ones, like the gauchos who went to Rondônia in the 70s or the northeasterners who are looking for a job in São Paulo. There are the most invisible, as in the interior of São Paulo, in the Ribeirão Preto region, the so-called Brazilian California, where 50,000 cold-buoys work in cutting cane from the alcohol and sugar mills for nine months. In the other three months, they return to their region of origin – most come from the very poor Vale do Jequitinhonha , in the north of Minas Gerais.
The settlement policy is not a cheap alternative. The government spends up to R $ 30,000 on each family that wins a piece of land. The creation of a job in commerce costs 40,000 reais. In the industry, 80,000. But these expenses are from the private sector, while, in the countryside, they would have to come from the government. It is pure state investment, even if the return, in this case, is high. Of every 30,000 reais invested, it is estimated that 23,000 will return to their coffers after a few years, in the form of taxes and even loan payments. In order to promote agrarian reform on a large scale, money is needed that never ends. It would be wrong, however, in the name of the impossibility of doing the most, to refuse to do even the least. The price of this refusal is there, in plain sight: wild urbanization, rising crime,
We all know that justice is done by men and that is why it is still full of partial interests and views of what is understood today as right or wrong. I say today because if we compare our laws with those of the Middle Ages, we will conclude that the latter are barbaric and monstrous, but at that time they were considered fair and natural. As much as we tried to leave them free from our passions, our Laws would still be imperfect because man cannot understand all Justice and we would still have the excluded, the ones that he would not be able to end, the “wronged”.
Contrary to human law, there is the one left by Jesus, which fits into any condition of human understanding, at any time or place, because it is based on the conscience of each person, on what each one of the best, “wishes to others what we would wish for ourselves ”. In this sense of Justice, add the collective character and the individual character prevails, since we are each responsible for applying it in our daily lives. We have not yet achieved it because we are extremely selfish beings, thinking only of ourselves, wishing the best for ourselves and others who take care of themselves, remembering the popular jargon of “each one for himself”.
If we verify that the responsibility is individual and that the small group is what makes the big, we will recognize that there is no “Social Injustice”, but our “Immense Egoism”.