Brazil’s middle class starts to lose ground

Samantha Pearson – Financial Times, 5/12/2015

Ten years ago, Brazilian musician Max Gonzaga shot to fame with “Middle Class”, a hit song about the millions of Brazilians who were emerging from poverty to join the middle class, often referred to in Brazil as “C Class”.

“I hate buses. I have a car that I bought in installments . . . I’m always at the limit of my overdraft,” say the lyrics, capturing some of the cynicism many wealthier Brazilians felt about the consumerism that had gripped the country.

Since Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party (PT) took power in 2003, more than 40m Brazilians have joined the middle class, thanks to government benefit schemes such as Bolsa Família and an economic boom that boosted wages and brought more stable employment.

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