BRIC+ News records economic data and locally published POVs, often with US comparison. Typically this is NEW data from newspapers, not information easily found on the web. If only Billy T supplies this thread will sink to it grave, but he hopes other not in US or EU will add to thread. The US and EU are no longer the only countries that matter economically. The world is rapidly changing. BRAZIL has many economic indices and groupings. For example four levels (Elite, Average, Poor and Miserable) based on the family's monthly total income. E > R$4,591; > A > R$1,064; > P > R$768; M < R$768. Currently US$ = ~1.6R$ so these income levels are far below those of US. 16% are E 52% are A 14% are P 18% are M But many of the Ms are not really miserable. They just live outside the cash economy or are not with disclosed salaries. Typically the Ms are rural folk who only need cash for flour, cooking oil, second hand clothes, electricity, beer, etc. They grow their own food, coffee, tobacco, etc. cook on a wood fire, and help each other build their house, etc. Tools are often passed from father to son but they too are bought (knifes, nails, saws, fish hooks & line etc.). When they kill a pig, they distribute some to others and later will receive something. I.e. they live in close knit communities and mainly lack adequate modern medical* care, but have herbs and teas etc. For example, to stem blood flow from deep cut, they will use clean spider web, which is probably a good idea as that protein will be removed as the wound heals and does not seem to provoke the immune system. Many Ms work hard but seem happier than some of the E group. They do not have a phone, but gossip and news spreads to everyone in their area in less than a day. To represent the material quality of life alternative system exists, which ignores income and focuses on possessions and education levels giving points for various items. This system has five levels “A” the highest thru “E” the lowest. By both measures, conditions for classes D & E Brazil have significantly improved during President Lula’s two terms, but purchase of some items has dropped some recently for classes A& B. For example, compared to June 2007, June08 sales of items for hygiene and cleaning to classes A&B were down 6.9%, to class C down 3.5% but to D& E were up 1.1%. Perhaps the Ms now no longer use a well chewed stick to clean their teeth, but now have tooth brush and paste. Etc. Brazil has 3% of world's population is rich in fresh water, farm land, sunshine & minerals including oil (but the newly discovered light oil is deep) but only produces 2% of global GDP as it has corruption and exports mainly low value added items (food and minerals) but there are exceptions: More than 3 million efficient "flex fuel" car will be made in 2008 and significant fraction exported. Embaraer is world's main producer of mid-size (70 to 120 seats) airplanes and #4 overall, with a very popular line of corporate jets. (Order backlog wait is several years so used ones sell for much more than a new one. - This popularity is due to fact one collided with a big Boeing, breaking it into two pieces and killing more than 300 people, yet the much smaller Embaraer jet flew safely on to land half an hour later with no one even injurred!) ---------------------- *It is available in some nearby town for free but few go there to get it when sick and the clinic line forms at 8AM so it is not either easy or the highest quality. Brazil does preventive care well with free vaccination, blood pressure monitoring, etc. using mobile busses etc. to reach the rural poor. They park at the local school for a few days and many do come. ------------------------- ------------------------- After this “background OP” I will be more narrow with specific details, but if no other non US/EU post appear, I will just stop. I would like to see some post from other non US/EU countries to understand what is happening in the economic world better.