Tuesday, October 16th 2012 - 07:37 UTC

Brazil implements racial and income affirmative action at federal universities

The law which forces Brazilian federal universities to leave 50% of higher education seats to students from government schools and minorities such as blacks and indigenous became effective on Monday.

President Rousseff said it helps compensate a historic debt with minorities and the poor

“The bill will help to compensate a historic debt of Brazil with our poorest youngsters” said President Dilma Rousseff during her weekly broadcast.

The 59 federal universities will have to make the law effective immediately and begin selecting students for the school year in 2013 added the president. The bill sets out that 12.5% of university places are reserved for blacks, indigenous and students from publish schooling and the percentage will grow sustainedly until it reaches 50% by 2026.

Affirmative action or positive discrimination means public school students have access to half of the places at federal universities (funded by the government) several of which in international ratings are considered among the country’s best academic centres, ahead of private institutions.

The initiative wants to limit access to students from private schools that usually have higher grades to those from public schools when it comes to the admission exams and end keeping most of the place in federal universities.

“Our target is to expand access to our universities and higher education federal institutes for the students from public schools, blacks and indigenous. These universities are among the best in the country and most of the time students coming from public schools have difficulties in being admitted”, said Rousseff.

But the law also contemplates that among the students from public schools admitted to the universities, to be selected according to their grades, they include sub-quotas for blacks, mulattos, indigenous or low income families.

This way half of the available places with go to students with the highest grades and that can show family income is below 1.5 minimum salary (approx 466 dollars) no matter race, while the other half to those who allege racial criteria and will be delivered in direct proportion to the race distribution in each state.

In states such as Bahía with the greatest percentage of black population in Brazil, the criteria will favour the afro-descendents while the indigenous will be most benefited in the Amazon states, where most of them live.

According to the latest census of 2010 the majority of the Brazilian population considered itself afro-descendent, which is quite unusual for a country which started collecting stats back in 1872. The last census shows Brazilians number 190.8 million of which 50.7% Negro or mulatto, 47-7% white; 1.1% yellow and 0.4% indigenous.

Even before the current bill, 32 of the 59 federal universities already had a system that favoured admission for children from poor families and 25 had racial quotas.

The bill became effective when the media reports that although yet unconfirmed by government, the administration of President Rousseff is considering extending the quota system to tests for contracting federal staff.

The quotas policy was ratified and considered constitutional this year by the Supreme Tribunal following a case in which a conservative political party campaigned against the system arguing it was ‘senseless’ in a society with such racial blending as is Brazil.

50 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 eusebio (#) Oct 16th, 2012 - 11:23 am
Comment removed by the editor.
2 ljordao (#) Oct 16th, 2012 - 01:09 pm
Comment removed by the editor.
3 DeMouraBR (#) Oct 16th, 2012 - 03:34 pm
Comment removed by the editor.
4 ChrisR (#) Oct 16th, 2012 - 04:08 pm Report abuse
Brasil only has one University in the top 400 so I don't suppose rigging the intake will make any dent in that. Just the opposite.

Only the best educated pupils irrespective of colour, race, creed or family income, should go to University. Setting artificial limits in this manner will not work, it never does. End of.
5 BAMF Paraguay (#) Oct 16th, 2012 - 06:34 pm Report abuse
Populist leaders forget to analise the collateral effects that their programs have. In this case the education will have to be dumbed down to prevent too many of the affirmative action pupils from failing out. Thus the overall quality of the education will drop and everyone will suffer.

This will be interesting to watch.
6 ljordao (#) Oct 17th, 2012 - 03:36 am Report abuse
I teach in one of these institutions, and I can assure you that this change will bring the number of barely literate students to a completely unsustainable level. Brazilian federal universities are on the verge of becoming welfare sinkholes. The only reason they are not decadent is that they have never been good.
7 Hepatia (#) Oct 17th, 2012 - 04:45 am Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2012/10/16/brazil-implements-racial-and-income-affirmative-action-at-federal-universities#comment175528: On order to clarify, by “populist” do you mean, “A supporter of the rights and power of the people”?
8 Guzz (#) Oct 17th, 2012 - 07:06 am Report abuse
Maybe if you changed profession, they could rise in standard at last... Just a thought...
9 BAMF Paraguay (#) Oct 17th, 2012 - 11:14 am Report abuse

A supporter of the rights and power of the people....

By populist I mean doing things that are favorable in the minds of the general population. This however doesn't mean that they are the correct decisions to be made. This is the whole reason for having a representative and not a democracy. A leader must be able to make though decisions that can at many times be unpopular. Populists don't make those tough decisions and the country will suffer because of it in the future (Spain, Greece are good examples). This is what the “power of the people” do to a country.

Okay, so a student that doesn't get good grades has more “right” than another student only because of their economic status or race? That doesn't seem right to me. Give the person that tried hardest the opportunity. What incentive are you giving to getting good grades? This is another idea with good intentions, but they don't consider the consequences of such an action....thus a populist decision.
10 ChrisR (#) Oct 17th, 2012 - 12:21 pm Report abuse

More like a communist doctrine where all people are the same, except for those in charge of course.

One big problem faced by the students chosen under this nonsense to attend university may be the fact that they have never worked hard at anything and they will find university a bit of a shock.

If the university is any good, that is.

There will be the odd one or two who will make a success of this, but how many students who WOULD have made something of it have not been allowed to do so?

Communistic clap-trap.
11 ljordao (#) Oct 17th, 2012 - 12:28 pm Report abuse

When people like me finally move to other universities, the standards will go down, not up. This in turn will give leftists like you the false impression that the average student's performance has improved. Official data about him will become as laughably inaccurate as official Argentinian inflation figures. The whole thing is a scam, but I am not surprised you have fallen for it. After all, someone who believes in the fairness of Argentinian territorial claims can believe absolutely anything. You are indeed a powerful human being.
12 Guzz (#) Oct 17th, 2012 - 05:35 pm Report abuse
And you teach about how to live of the shoulders of the working class. La tierra es del que la trabaja, go and speculate in Wall Street. You defend a system that blatently scavenges the middle class pockets in periods that shares the frequency with the ups and downs of the market. The rich gets richer, the poor stay poor, and the controlled middle class stays... controllable.
Keep on teaching human beings to be sheep, but don't be surprised if you feel a bit out of touch with [our] reality.
13 ljordao (#) Oct 17th, 2012 - 11:39 pm Report abuse

You do not even know what I teach. Shut up, and stop making a fool of yourself. And it is fascists like you who like the idea of controlling other people's lives.
14 DeMouraBR (#) Oct 18th, 2012 - 01:43 am Report abuse
The most funny in leftist people is that they actually believe everybody is zombie-like in free societies, only them are away from every influence.
Visit those sites, maybe then you will stop saying bullshit:
15 Hepatia (#) Oct 18th, 2012 - 04:37 am Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2012/10/16/brazil-implements-racial-and-income-affirmative-action-at-federal-universities#comment175825: I have often seen the term “populist” used as a term of denigration in English and I wondered whether it had some meaning other than the translated meaning. The definition you have given follows as a consequence of the meaning of the word so I understand that you adhere to the meaning as defined.

You talk about the “correct” decisions and contrast those with the “populist” decisions. But who is to decide what is correct? You? Or you and a group of your friends? Some other small sub group of the population? In a democracy, representative or otherwise, a correct (policy) decision is one that is favorable in the minds of the general population.

The arguments you advance here were put by the English politician Edmund Burke (in the 1790s IIRC) mainly in response to events that were occurring in the newly minted USA which, while not yet being democratic, was much more so than the UK at that time. The problem was that the English voters (such as they were) did not agree and he was in the UK parliament for one term. However, various English politicians spent the next century railing against democracy and populism as it was practised in the US. And, in that tradition, you are now railing against democracy as it is now being practised in Brazil.

The US Declaration of Independence declares that ”all men (and women) are created equal”. If that means that all people are born with equal opportunity it follows that the Expectation is that the racial composition of the college population will equal the distribution of the general population. This law ensures that the equality is implemented and that the declaration is upheld.
16 Guzz (#) Oct 18th, 2012 - 07:56 am Report abuse
Zombie-like?? Only thing that os zombie-like here is the work rate of your brains, with your feeble attempt to generalise the whole left wing under one banner and then tell them what they think.
Nunca mas, you hear me? Nunca mas
17 BAMF Paraguay (#) Oct 18th, 2012 - 11:13 am Report abuse
#15 Hepatia -

I fully agree that all people are born with equal opportunity or rights (or at least should be), but that doesn't mean you have the right to free education or free food or free anything. It means you have the right to life, liberty and property. You have the right to work, the right to buy things, the right to move about the country, etc. But it doesn't mean that you will EVER have the right to someone else's life, liberty or property. When WE tax people WE are taking away someone's property. When WE imprison people for things that don't cause harm to others' life, liberty and property, WE are taking away their liberty. When WE declare war or use our own military to pacify our own citizens, WE are taking away someone's life.

I say WE because WE are represented by a government. So WE are the ones that are taking away people's life, liberty and property. Yet you and I would never agree that taking away your neighbors life,liberty and property is correct. Yet we do so by electing or permitting that a “democratic” government does so.

Democracy is a good system, but it isn't perfect. It requires a solid constitution that limits the powers of the government to, in my opinion, protecting people's life, liberty and property. The USA constitution is good, but it even fails in many aspects (blacks were not considered people as an example).
18 ljordao (#) Oct 18th, 2012 - 04:04 pm Report abuse

You cannot make words mean whatever the hell you want them to mean. Equal opportunity is not identical to equal outcomes. In fact, they are very often incompatible. The US Constitution was violated, not followed, when affirmative action appeared in that country. So please stop the obfuscation. And please come to terms with the fact that your side of the argument is close to the ideals of the apartheid State.
19 Hepatia (#) Oct 18th, 2012 - 10:51 pm Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2012/10/16/brazil-implements-racial-and-income-affirmative-action-at-federal-universities#comment176323: Your response is very revealing.

So, what do you imagine should happen? Do you think that a child when it reaches the age of 5 or 6 puts itself through school if it has the means but, otherwise, has only the right to work at that age?

I can see why you are not a supporter of democracy because you will get very few votes for the policies you are advocating. Neither will they support the “hard decisions” that you are advocating. One of the changes that have occurred since 1985 in Brazil is that one sees far fewer young kids on the streets exercising their “rights” to work because they could not afford to go to school. I imaging that many of those kids from those times are now dead.

What you are proposing is, at least as far education is concerned, is that individuals are not born equal - their opportunity is determined by an accident of their birth.

Democratic governments are able under the constitution to implement taxation for the common good. You may like to call it theft but it is not.

The rest of your comments are just the result of your Libertarian paranoia. For instance, Brazil will not be declaring war or using the military to pacify citizens as a result of this law.
20 BAMF Paraguay (#) Oct 19th, 2012 - 03:17 am Report abuse
#19 - Just because I don't believe in social welfare doesn't mean that I don't care for the children. I would much rather the child be raised by a family that has the means to raise that child; providing good food, health care, housing, etc. The government however is not the solution. Instead give the parents an opportunity to have a decent job. With the money they make they can pay for the things that they need, including good education.

When government gets involved it only makes it so the parents can't get a job. Labor laws such as allowing women maternity leave for several months only makes a business think twice before they hire a women or they will pay her less. I know the idea had the best intentions, but it only caused women to be less valued and less desirable to be hired.

Or, as it is in Brazil, you have to pay extra during Sundays and holidays. This only makes businesses close their doors during these days, and of course the employee (the parents) can't work the extra hours they need to pay for good education, food, etc.

Or how in Brazil for you to hire a teenager is so bureaucratic that most businesses don't find it is worth their time. Thus the teenagers can't go work after school like I did in the USA.

I'm the President of a private school and I have teenagers that will work in the afternoon and night, and during the day go to school. Guess what, they pay for their own education because they understand the value of it even if their parents don't.

Go to the state of Acre or the Nordeste in Brazil and you will see what good the government educational system is doing. I am saying that there are better ways to allow the poor to work and thus pay for their own things. And if there are cases where things are bad, let the church and the community handle it, not the government.
21 Guzz (#) Oct 19th, 2012 - 08:39 am Report abuse
In Sweden you get double salary on red days, extra pay after 18.00 and even more if you do more than 8 hours. Women has maternaty leaves and even the fathers are given 2 weeks to be with their little one. An expensive system that is fueled by 40% taxes and also gives you education, food in school, healthcare, sports facilities, toll-free roads... All paid with the taxes ;)
22 DeMouraBR (#) Oct 20th, 2012 - 03:14 pm Report abuse
Sweden is in one of the most economic-free societies in the world, and that is the only reason they can sustain such welfare-state.
The question is: can you use the product of my work in your interests? Nobody has the right to explore anyone, or so, use the time and work of another without paying. When you tax someone to give this money to other you are stealing, that's it.
“but the government acts for the people...”. So you are so dumb that others must control what to do with your own money? You cannot rob the money of someone to apply in the education of whoever you want to. If you want to fund public schools, fine, you do it with your money, however you don't have the right to attack my freedom of choice of where I want to put my money.
Go read Mises, maybe you will understand.
23 Guzz (#) Oct 20th, 2012 - 08:07 pm Report abuse
Wrong, Sweden is pretty much protectionist, protecting their own farmers from foreign competition. What they've had is 70 years of consecutive socialism...
24 BAMF Paraguay (#) Oct 20th, 2012 - 08:32 pm Report abuse
@23 - Actually Guzz, Sweden is ranked 21st in economic freedom.


It is a welfare state, not a socialistic state. There are privately owned companies in Sweden. Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of socialism:

: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
25 Guzz (#) Oct 20th, 2012 - 09:46 pm Report abuse
Sweden has undergone a more and more capitalistic turn, and look where it left it :)
When I was a kid, the state had a part in everything, telephoning, railroads, even the liquor vending was totally controlled by the state. Private schools were uncommon, public schools great, bins on every corner and police stations in every village, as well as medic centre.
Go to Sweden today, see for yourself what 20 years of capitalism has done to that famous welfare...
26 DeMouraBR (#) Oct 21st, 2012 - 01:27 am Report abuse
Swedish tax pressure, see the bullshit you are saying:

And first of all: Try to talk with a Swedish and study economics
27 Hepatia (#) Oct 21st, 2012 - 04:35 am Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2012/10/16/brazil-implements-racial-and-income-affirmative-action-at-federal-universities#comment176690: Imagine a child is born. At that time the child is vested with rights equal to all other children. If the phase “all men are created equal” does not mean this then it means nothing at all.The parents, for whatever reason, cannot afford to educate the child. In that case the child's equality is nullified. This is the moral case for free, universal, education.

There is also an economic case for free, universal, education. At the commencement of the 20th century the US had become one of the great industrial powers. Key to this development was a relatively highly educated workforce - educated by a free and universal education system (run by government). A similar development was occurring in Germany at the time, again enabled by a free, universal, government run education system.

You claim that government is not the solution but in America it often has been. After all America was discovered by Europeans by Columbus as the result of a government contract. Subsequently, government run education began early in the history of the US with the positive results noted above. Add to that the transcontinental railroads, the land grant universities, the state agricultural banks and more, all the results of government initiative. In the US, and America, government is the answer and the American way.

I might have known that you have a financial interest in the destruction of public education. I cannot imagine what sort of snake oil you are trying to sell in Acre. I hope that the state or federal education depts. get wind of it! In any case you are too late - the military governments are long gone in Brazil.

In the coming century Brazil will need a well educated populace. The Brazilian education system has a long way to go in order to catch up. It is satisfying to see that the government is making a start.
28 Guzz (#) Oct 21st, 2012 - 08:21 am Report abuse
Your link says taxes in Sweden are in average 44%
I said 40%... By the way, jag är svensk lilla vännen ;)
29 DeMouraBR (#) Oct 21st, 2012 - 05:44 pm Report abuse
You said :
“What they've had is 70 years of consecutive socialism...”
'Go to Sweden today, see for yourself what 20 years of capitalism has done to that famous welfare...”

That clearly goes against the tax pressure in Sweden and any analizys of a trustworthy economist . Today they are this level, but the only reason it can sustain such are because the capital acumulated before, the economic freedom that there is today, and of course, the homogenic population. Please, you are just embarassing yourself.
30 Guzz (#) Oct 21st, 2012 - 10:13 pm Report abuse
What goes against the tax pressure?
Sweden is not at its height, not at all. The neo-liberalist wave with its consumtion hit the Swedish model hard. What 70 years of socialism had built up, a population that worked for the welfare and a social system where everything shared was financed by taxation was replaced with a consumer society where welfare means next iphone. Call it what you want, and use your stats at will, but you know what? I was there ;)
31 ljordao (#) Oct 22nd, 2012 - 02:00 am Report abuse

You do not know what you are talking about. The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where I work, offers the perfect illustration of why higher education should be neither free for the student nor administered by the federal government. What I witness on a daily basis is a behemothic waste and misallocation of scarce financial and human resources. (With the racial quotas, this problem will worsen.) Multiply this tragedy by 59 (the number of Brazilian federal universities), and you start getting a clearer idea of your folly.
32 Hepatia (#) Oct 22nd, 2012 - 04:02 am Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2012/10/16/brazil-implements-racial-and-income-affirmative-action-at-federal-universities#comment178022: Having read your posts I find it alarming that you are a teacher. You do not present yourself as a particularly competent person. It does not surprise me that you feel that you cannot cope.
33 ljordao (#) Oct 22nd, 2012 - 01:21 pm Report abuse
@ 32:

Yes, it's all my fault. If your dreams clash with reality, so much the worse for reality and for its messengers. I wish I had the ability to mold my beliefs so craftily, but self-deception is not my forte.
34 BAMF Paraguay (#) Oct 22nd, 2012 - 01:23 pm Report abuse
Hepatia - Be open minded to other options that could have the result you are looking for. Take the voucher system for example (something Sweden uses). Every child will be granted a voucher that they can use to go to the school of their choice, private or government. Thus the schools that waste their money or contract teachers based off of political favors, will see less and less students. The schools that perform well, both government and private, will see an increase in students and will be able to create more invest, thus better quality education.

All children still get the option to go to school, but there will be competition within the school system creating better quality.

It is a compromise for me, libertarians, and you, socialists. Consider it because the current government schools are not working, not in Brazil, the USA, Paraguay, etc. Something better needs to be done.
35 Guzz (#) Oct 22nd, 2012 - 04:51 pm Report abuse
I'm not saying your idea is good or bad, but that it exists in Sweden is an outright lie, private schools in Sweden are today a refuge for Swedish children moving away from the more and more segregated public schools. In some places, up to 90% of the classes are made up by children with, as they call it, other etnicity than Swedish (annat etniskt ursprung än svensk) or immigrant of x'th generation. Malmö is a city that I could give you a beer for every Swede you meet and still I would have to buy you water to keep you hydrated...
36 BAMF Paraguay (#) Oct 22nd, 2012 - 06:30 pm Report abuse
#35 - Beer is a bad source of hydration. As for the voucher system, here is a link to a decent new media showing what I mean...


Yes they do use the voucher system. It encourages good schools, regardless of being private or government.
37 Guzz (#) Oct 22nd, 2012 - 08:00 pm Report abuse
That, my Paraguayan friend, are the yanquis trying to justify the existance of private schools and an unequal education system.
In Sweden the fixed a working machine and left it bleeding.
Get this translated and see for yourself what the Swedes think about Skolreformen from 92...

38 ljordao (#) Oct 22nd, 2012 - 09:00 pm Report abuse
@ 37:

It is easy to justify the existence of private schools. A wants knowledge and is willing to pay X bucks for it; B has knowledge and is willing to sell it for X bucks. They have a deal. Both win. No theft has taken place.

It is difficult to justify the existence of public schools. A wants knowledge and is willing to pay X bucks for it; B has knowledge and is willing to sell it for Y bucks. Unfortunately, Y is significantly bigger than X. A and B can keep on looking for other trade partners, but C thinks he has a much better idea. Knowing that D has more than (5 * (Y - X)) bucks, he proposes that, in exchange for their political support, he will strongarm D into giving (Y - X) bucks to B, so that the deal between A and B can take place. A and B gladly accept the proposal. C then strongarms D into giving (Y - X) bucks to B and (4 * (Y - X)) bucks to C himself. Theft has taken place, and there probably is more economic inequality now, as C has got a lot richer.

How do you solve this moral problem?
39 Hepatia (#) Oct 23rd, 2012 - 04:17 am Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2012/10/16/brazil-implements-racial-and-income-affirmative-action-at-federal-universities#comment178194: Its good to see that you have now abandoned the rediculous laissez faire model you gave earlier. Presumably you have now abandoned you opposition to affirmative action, the subject of the article.

I'm not sure why you are using the Swedish education system as a standard. As far as I know it has always been about average. I see your reference to the Washington Post Op Ed. I wonder, did you actually read it? If you had you would have noted that nowhere does it say that the Swedish education system has qualitatively improved - only that parents where happy in 1994. What it does say is that there has been a “dramatic” increase in the number of private schools. This is a good outcome if your aim is to subsidize private corporations using taxpayers' money, but I would not think that this is a valid Libertarian aim. However, given that the author from the Heritage Foundation, I suppose that we can be thankful that he is not proposing to invade Sweden.

It is my impression that the country that currently leads the world in education quality Finland. In Finland not only do they not use education vouchers but, as I understand it, they do not even have non public schools.
40 Guzz (#) Oct 23rd, 2012 - 06:56 am Report abuse
The problems with private schools is that their main interest lies in making profit, not to spread knowlegde, hence only the ones with enough money can profit of the knowlegde that is indeed offered in the private schools. With time and immigration, these schools become elitist schools were Swedes send their children, making the public schools a mess of non integrated children...
I'm noone to try to convince you, try it for yourself...
41 DeMouraBR (#) Oct 23rd, 2012 - 02:58 pm Report abuse
Guzz, if you can't read a graphic it won't be of much help explaining economics to you.
Being there and being aware of macroeconomic issues are very different things. You are seeing it in a very superficial way. But you don't want to understand, keep dreaming about a “golden age”, because it' probably won't return, Sweden today lack the competitiveness to sustain 55% of the GDP taxes and in a welfare system .
Yes, public schools are not interested in better than others, result is not important. I wonder what the japanese think about that. Btw, you did not answered the question in #38.
42 BAMF Paraguay (#) Oct 23rd, 2012 - 06:19 pm Report abuse
#39 Hepatia -

If you must have the evil of government involving itself in education, then do so in the least damaging way possible; vouchers. If public schools disappear, then that means that parents don't see them as being better than the private schools and so don't want their kids to go there.

Look government school are utilized to indoctrinate children, our children, to think like the government thinks. China does it, USA does, and of course Brazil does it. Take FDR in the USA for example. I was taught how great of a leader he was, blah blah blah. But this is a very biased opinion. You can't teach that a President was good or bad, that is a biased opinion and shouldn't be included in a classroom.

When I was little kid in Brazil, they would teach me that the communist were evil. This is a biased opinion. But the government had an agenda which was to insure that the future generations were not influenced by communists. It isn't the government that should decide what is correct or wrong, this is the job of the parents. You don't need to teach that Nazi's were bad, just show the facts and let the student and parents decide.

The problem is that the government can't control itself and will always be biased with history, economics, literature, etc. Simply put, it is too much power to be given to a government. Allow the parents to make the decision with their voucher. They can put their kids in whatever school they so choose. Ones that are biased, ones that are not, but it won't be the government that is in control and has the power, it will be the parents.
43 Hepatia (#) Oct 24th, 2012 - 03:29 am Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2012/10/16/brazil-implements-racial-and-income-affirmative-action-at-federal-universities#comment178461: If you are going to use abstract symbols in your argument you must define them. For instance, who or what is 'C'.

In any case what is the nature of the stringarming that you refer to? Why does any transfer of money between 'D' and 'B' or 'C' represent theft?

Your submission is worthy of no more than an F. Please resubmit.
44 ljordao (#) Oct 24th, 2012 - 05:32 pm Report abuse
@ 43:

In every scientific discipline the use of variables is a well-established and fruitful tradition. It helps researchers focus on what makes a problem a problem. If you think you need more information (e.g., D's social class, race, “gender”, or nationality, for which “Klaus-Jürgen von Richtofen” and “Shaniqwa Jones” are good proxies), then you consider as relevant something which, from a moral point of view, is in fact irrelevant. Your answer shows how difficult it is for leftists to understand and apply the concept of equality under the law.
45 Hepatia (#) Oct 24th, 2012 - 10:52 pm Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2012/10/16/brazil-implements-racial-and-income-affirmative-action-at-federal-universities#comment179358: I am scientifically trained (Physics) and I can tell you that Economics and Politics are not sciences.

That aside, if you read any Physics text you will see that the variables, represented by symbols, are always defined and derivations given. If not its a fail.

You have claimed that somebody is stealing from somebody else. Who is stealing? Why is it theft?

I am still finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that you are qualified to teach anything at any institution.
46 DeMouraBR (#) Oct 24th, 2012 - 11:38 pm Report abuse
What? Economics are not science? Are you kidding me? You showed your TOTAL ignorance about economic issues, and scientifically method. You should take a visit in my university in Rio, by the way, it is the best one in latin america and responsible for the majority of socials indicators of my country. When you opress someone to work for another without winning anything with it, that is theft. “Transfer of money” is just a technical name for mass robbers. Capital is the product of work vs time, when you transfer money of somebody to another, you are making them slaves for a certain time.
Physics? Maybe phisical education? Please, go study.
47 BAMF Paraguay (#) Oct 25th, 2012 - 10:59 am Report abuse
#45 - Hepatia

By definition the government can't steal from anyone, just as they cannot commit homicide; they are above the law because they can make the law fit their will. So you are correct that there is no theft, because that would require the act of taking someone's property without their consent to be considered illegal, which in the case of taxation is not illegal. It is essentially what we are trying to argue, that the government shouldn't have the right to take people's property without the owner's consent.

You clearly believe that people should be forced to give their money the greater “good” of society. Countries like the USSR, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and other socialist/communist societies have already done this and the result is there for you to study. In my post #42 I wanted to show you how the use of the government can have dire consequences for society. The use of education by the government can be very dangerous, as it was during the dictatorships of Latin America against the communists. Look I am not for communism, but I respect their opinions and rights to say as they please, teach their kids as they see fit, etc. But governments don't agree and will brain wash your kids to think as the government sees fit. Today your kids may be getting the education that you like, but what about your grandchildren, will the change of government start to brainwash them to think like a libertarian?
48 Hepatia (#) Oct 25th, 2012 - 02:36 pm Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2012/10/16/brazil-implements-racial-and-income-affirmative-action-at-federal-universities#comment179702: This is not about communism. This is about you rejecting the concept of a democratic republic - a republic that may make laws for the common good.
49 ljordao (#) Oct 25th, 2012 - 04:29 pm Report abuse
@ 45:

You have mistaken my use of “variable” for the physicist's use of this word. Mine is the logician's use: “A variable is a symbol which is to have one of a certain set of values, WITHOUT ITS BEING DECIDED WHICH ONE.” (Please google this sentence.) Therefore, defining “A”, “B”, “C” and “D” would turn these symbols into proper names, thus making my post undesirably specific. All the reader needs to know about my use of them is that the values they are to have are people, which the context makes absolutely obvious. Your parochial ignorance is embarrassing.
50 BAMF Paraguay (#) Oct 25th, 2012 - 08:06 pm Report abuse
#48 - Hepatia - What if I do not wish to pay for the taxes that are needed to pay for this affirmative action? I will have two choices, either pay up, or go to jail. I didn't choose to be born in Brazil, so why should I be forced to pay these taxes? Why does the big group get to decide what to do with the little group? A Republic, there are no true democracies in the world, is also supposed to protect the rights of its citizens. Do I not have the right to my own work?

The laws may be good for the common good, but they aren't good for me. You can't justify killing an innocent person to save the lives of others; it continues being murder. Now if that person decides to sacrifice themselves for others, then that was a choice.

I left the Republic of Brazil because of these laws for the common good. I now help to produce wealth in Paraguay. I help to create jobs and I even volunteer at the local private school as the President/CEO. All these things I wished I could have done in Brazil, my ex-home. I'm one of 400.000 other Brazilians living here in Paraguay. We left Brazil looking for oportunities, and we found it here because the laws and taxes of Brazil took away all of the oportunities for the poor. We have now become rich here in Paraguay, and the Paraguayans are now the ones that benefit from our work, but they don't need to force us to pay taxes, instead we help by giving jobs.

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!