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August 11, 2011



While growth in Brazil is to be welcomed, some indicators like these deserve more scrutiny by the media. What does middle class really mean? The Economist always talks about swathes of the population buying their first car or fridge. However, little is said about the neighborhoods people live in - for instance, is one really middle class if one has a big fridge and a host of consumer electronics, but lives in an area where all house are covered in 'security' fences, local layabouts set off deafening firecrackers all day, one kids have to deal with the sub-standard Brazilian education and travel around on slow city buses and pay over the odds for everything from food to medicine?
There are lots of other factors which should feature in a determination of whether people are middle class or not.
Educational attainment should definitely feature, and this is one of Brazil's biggest challenges.

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