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Laissez-faire solution unfair for Brazil

The article "More 'Mature' Brazil Rapidly Moves to End an Era of State Ownership," June 9, is one-sided.

I would like to hear more from the almost 50 percent of the Brazilian population opposed to the "flexibilization" and eventual privatization of the Brazilian economy.

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Many people believe that it is patently undemocratic, and a violation of sovereignty, to have the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and foreign governments and investors dictate behind-the-scenes changes to Brazil's Constitution. Many are also concerned that profitable state industries (such as petroleum and mining), built on their tax dollars, could be sold to large investors at bargain-basement prices.

There is a reason for having an active state, even more so in one of the most unequal societies in the world. The Brazilian private sector has proved totally incapable of resolving land, housing, child poverty, unemployment, and health questions. Unfortunately, up until now so has Brazil's state. We should, however, be careful not to rush from one ideological panacea (too much state involvement) to another (too little).

Most societies that have decently fed, housed, and clothed people did not get to where they are by laissez-faire solutions alone.

Erich D. Mathias New York

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