Brazil wastes billions on propping up a culture and systems based entirely on mutual mistrust. Every aspect of daily life is touched by the fundamental philosophy that you must trust no-one. It is, sadly, a self-fulfilling prophesy, and has resulted in a country completely hamstrung by a bureaucracy which seeks (but fails) to protect the party of the first part against the party of the second part and the party of the second part against the party of the first.
No example I can provide will be believable to anyone who is not Brazilian, while Brazilians themselves will look at such examples apathetically and mutter “yeah, but, you know, that’s the way it is.” Well I have news. That is not “the way it is.” It’s just the “way” you have created.
Brazil must seriously study the costs and benefits of turning a system that quite clearly does not work, on its head. It should seriously consider letting go of all its completely counter-productive bureaucracy. Fix the lamentable legal system, and let people get on with their business without having to have things “recognized” and “authenticated” and initialed and signed and duplicated and replicated and approved etc etc etc. Let’s be quite clear about this – the system which Brazilians accept as being normal and natural and which requires people to spend days performing a simple transaction which anywhere else would take minutes, is exactly the same system that allows billions to be stolen from the taxpayer every year. In short: it is a wholly dysfunctional, and completely meaningless system. It needs to change.
Imagine if all the millions of simple daily transactions in Brazil took minutes, rather than days. Just imagine the billions and billions and billions and billions of man-hours that would be saved. What is that worth, against the cost of legal action for those transactions which are fraudulent? And let us remember that it can be quite easily proved that it is impossible to run an honest, law-abiding business in Brazil. Why? Because of the bureaucracy and corruption (and there is the irony) that grinds any legitimate business into the ground.
It would transform the country, overnight, into a potentially sustainable economy (which it cannot be considered at present). Brazil must address this issue, or continue to be one of the worst places on earth to do business (according to the World Bank, Brazil is ranked 120th out of 189 countries – it is easier to do business in Nicaragua or Mongolia, Jamaica or Rwanda).
The problem is, as always, that it is those who police, feed, design or administer the system who have most to lose – the politicians, the lawyers, the bureaucrats, the corrupt industrialists. So who is it, exactly, that is going to tear it apart..?