Insult to Brazilians

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When I was in Sao Paulo, Brazil, two weeks ago, the front-page story in the paper one morning asked two questions. When the World Cup was played in the United States in 1994, how many new stadiums were built and how much did the World Cup cost the U.S. taxpayers? The answers were none and nothing.

The 1994 World Cup made a profit. Your condescending editorial suggesting that the Brazilians should play nice and ignore the billions of dollars being spent on new stadiums and not schools or hospitals is insulting (“World at Their Feet: Brazilians’ Mixed Feelings Need to Be Put Aside Now,” June 11). The new emerging middle class of Brazil is finally fed up with politicians who either have their hand in the till or are spending money on “bread and circuses” to keep the masses happy.

In the last 25 years, Brazil has seen remarkable economic changes that have pulled millions out of poverty. The primary cause was the privatization of most of the major industries, mining, steel and railroads. While state-owned, none of them broke even. As private companies they are all profitable and have created millions of new jobs. The people now understand that the government takes more than it gives.

The poll numbers for President Dilma Rousseff have dropped dramatically in the last couple of months. While it was once thought to be an almost automatic re-election, she is now scrambling against a couple of very bright and highly regarded people whose numbers in the polls have skyrocketed in the last two months. The idea of canceling the 2016 Olympics slated for Brazil is now being taken very seriously.

Your editorial stereotypes Brazilians as people who only know how to play soccer or samba. In case you haven’t noticed, a number of high-ranking executives of Pittsburgh companies are Brazilian. This includes U.S. Steel, Alcoa and Heinz.

Mt. Lebanon

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