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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

United States Lower than Brazil

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Brazil surpasses United States as country allowing greatest upward mobility

Not so long ago there was a widespread belief that the United States was the world’s best destination for achieving upward mobility–an aspiration that became known as “the American dream.”

For most of the 19th and 20th centuries this really seems to be true.

But no longer.

Today, the world’s most valuable passport on the black market is not the US, but the Brazilian.

Not only has Brazil been growing at an average rate of 5% while the US economy flat lines, but Brazil seems to have much more scope for growth in the future. Brazil is the world’s largest tropical country, with an incredible bounty of untapped resources. For one thing, in a parched world, Brazil is the new superpower of water. The Economist magazine put it this way, “according to the UN’s 2009 World Water Assessment, Brazil has more than 8000 billion cubic kilometers of renewable water each year, easily more than any other country.” For reference, there are 264 billion gallons in a cubic kilometer. So 8000 billion (or 8 trillion) cubic kilometers is a lot of water.

Thirty five years ago, Brazil was importing food. Today, it is the world’s largest exporter of 5 major crops, as well as of beef and chicken. Brazilian scientists have engineered new, short-cycle tropical versions of temperate crops like soybeans and corn. These mature 8 to 12 weeks faster than the original temperate versions, making it possible for Brazilian farmers to produce two crops a year rather than one as in the United States.

By 2002, the overall average yield for soybeans in Brazil (2.6 tons/hectare) surpassed the average yield in the United States (2.4 tons/hectare). More significantly, the cost of producing soybeans in Brazil fell to about $6 23 per 60 kg bag, just 50% of the US level of $11 72.

While no one apart from a few professional investors was watching, Brazil has quietly surpassed the United States as the world’s leading venue for upward mobility. With a population just two-thirds the size of the US, Brazil has created over 15 million jobs over the past 8 years while the US lost millions of jobs. Combining energy independence and vast natural resources, including 60% of the world’s unused arable land and 25% of its freshwater, Brazil is the world’s first tropical superpower, offering a whole new frontier of growth.

"While no one apart from a few professional investors was watching, Brazil has quietly surpassed the United States as the world’s leading venue for upward mobility.” more

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