Yesterday, there was a general strike in Brazil which meant that the metro wasn’t running and I couldn’t get into school to teach the children how to be dramatic.
The primary reason for the strike was the reform of the pension laws which is currently being discussed in the Brazilian congress, however, many Brazilians are also unhappy about budget cuts, the economy and the agenda of Jair Bolsonaro’s government.
The pension reform would raise the retirement age of men to 65 and women to 62. Students and teachers are also unhappy about the government’s plans to take $1.85 million from the public education budget at a time when spending more on education would seem the long term solution to many of Brazil’s problems including crime and poverty. The government has promised more money for education but it is dependent on the passing of the pension reform.
Many are unhappy about the Brazilian economy, the Washington Post writes that: “Gross domestic product shrank in the first quarter of 2019, while inflation hit nearly 5% in April, the highest in more than two years. Unemployment also remains high at nearly 13%, but even greater —over 30%— among Brazilians aged 18 to 24. Economy Minister Paulo Guedes recently told Brazilian magazine Veja that he would quit his position if Congress tried to pass a watered-down version of his pension proposal. Without the reform, Guedes said the country could go broke as early as next year.”