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Opinion | Opinião

A Dignity Money Check

There is money enough for this. It is possible to give a check to each citizen with the necessary amount to survive with dignity. The Gross Domestic Product of my country is 200 000 Million EUR per year. We are about 12 Million citizens, diaspora included. In my crazy math, there’s more than enough money to give 1 Million EUR for each citizen!

Don’t get me wrong. I am not asking for this. All I’m saying is that even a poor country as mine has money enough to share. If governments, politicians and economists were smart, they wouldn’t be afraid of investing money on citizens. When survival and a minimal comfort are granted, citizens are creative and highly productive. They become motivated and inspired. Dignity boosts self-esteem, confidence and the development of skills.

The plague of unemployment and its consequent suffering and mental illnesses are easy to defeat. Give to each citizen a weekly dignity check. Money to end poverty. Move away the specter of fear.

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Opinion | Opinião

2021

Vaccines. Covid out? Trump out! Masks, still. No gatherings, yet. Poverty and unemployment to be continued. Keeping on screwing the environment. Wars. Terrorism. Putin & Pals. Thugs as usual. Full speed China. Warp speed FOMO. Pandemic mental depression. Forced smile totalitarianism. Bullshit layering ad infinitum.

Nevertheless, it might be better than 2020.

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Opinion | Opinião

Civilization

This word is of extreme importance. Leaders must give it due value in this time of pandemic, of global disease and death. It is the solidity of civilization and the strength of its institutions that will determine how many of us will survive. The amazing capability of humankind to get organized and raising individuals to use their talent for the common good should be the at the heart of both business and politics, instead of the plain accumulation of money. Ambition goes far beyond profit and vanity. It includes vocational fulfillment, a sense of purpose and utility, the idea of having a role in society. Even without knowing or admit it, we all share the goal of becoming civilized or taking the benefits of civilization.

Even the most selfish of individuals, even psychopaths realize that one must be inside the game of being civilized, at least for a while, to avoid being ostracized. Civilization, through ages, developed several shapes, the known pinnacle of which being democracy. What frightens me, and is the reason for the writing of this post, is how fragile civilization is and how common is the mistake of taking it for granted. More, this pandemic is putting civilization to the test and, in spite of the death tolls, thousands of powerful individuals are not taking it seriously. I am afraid of colapse.

This is one of those times when a strong democratic and powerful regulator is needed, if such thing would ever be possible. The only way to imagine such a possibility is with the strict use of fundamental proven laws to the equality of human rights. Instead of giving money and making business with dictators, our democracies should endorse movements to the spreading of democratic secular states. Parliaments should have a scientific council for matters of physical and mental health, education, poverty and the proliferation of job offers. Wealth should be supervised with a non-exploiting and non-impoverishing criteria. In short, laws must be decent and their inspection efficient and effective.

These are my castles in the air. No matter how distinct are civilizations around the world, no matter their languages – all different as a punishment from God, if one is to believe in Babylon -, no matter the selfishness of several of us, I believe a day will come of solid institutions to preserve our rights, justice, and the guarantee of survival, no matter how deadly a pandemic.

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Opinion | Opinião

Open Letter To Biden And Harris

Dears Joe and Kamala,

I am not an American and I don’t live in America, but my heart filled with joy when you won the election, as it happened to millions of human beings around the globe. I’m from a tiny little country on the western edge of Europe as populated as the city of New York. American culture is imbedded in my life, mostly from Hollywood movies, TV shows, novels and the news. The influence of America in the world has no equal, spreading far beyond any empire in History. Whatever you do with your great power it will have an effect on me and millions of others.

You both claimed the intention to unify America. My plead is for you to take that intention seriously. To my perception, half the population of America is conservative, judgmental, prejudiced, against science and denier of fact. A significant number of these Americans are extremely powerful, even capable of becoming presidents of the United States themselves, damaging the world and sacrificing millions of foreign lives to the purpose of defending what they call American interests, which in reality is their own pockets. The vast majority of conservative Americans comes from extremely poor industrial and rural areas. In a country without National Health Service and almost no investment in public schools, this population is easily manipulated to the point of fanatically follow charismatic leaders who tell them what they want to hear, no matter how untrue it can be. These poor conservative Americans are people of faith, whose choices have no rational nor factual basis.

This dynamic among conservative leaders and loyal followers causes extreme damage to the entire world. A brainwashed mob of poor people gives its vote to selfish leaders interested only in power and money. Democracy is manipulated to give these leaders legitimacy to rule.

Therefore, Joe and Kamala, I plead you to plan far beyond the four or eight years to come and to invest in changing the poor rural and industrial America. Provide this people with jobs and dignified wages, give them access to proper education, expand their horizon with science, philosophy, arts and literature, never denying them their beer, sports, burgers and apple pie. Show them knowledge without forgetting to be charismatic and persuasive.

In short, make America wise, for all of us.