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Poor Brazilians bear the brunt of spiraling inflation

Published: Friday, July 26 2013 12:57 p.m. MDT

Kids play in a portable pool as a woman hangs clothes to dry outside a home in the Varginha area of the Manguinhos slum complex where Pope Francis will visit next week during his trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, July 20, 2013. In one of the key events of his trip, the church’s first Jesuit leader will venture into this rough slum that sits along a violence-soaked road known by locals as the Gaza Strip.

Felipe Dana, Associated Press

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With the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics fast approaching, Brazil is essentially preparing to host the rest of the world twice in a three-year period. But long-term inflation of Brazilian currency has steadily skewed prices upward, and two recent articles illustrate why Brazil’s lower class struggles to escape the consequences of the resultant inflated pricing.

“For Brazilians seething with resentment over wasteful spending by the country’s political elite, the high prices they must pay for just about everything — a large cheese pizza can cost almost $30 — only fuel their ire,” Simon Romero wrote in a front-page article in Tuesday’s New York Times. “… Making matters worse for many poor and middle-class Brazilians, loopholes enable the rich to avoid taxation on much of their income; wealthy investors, for instance, can avoid taxes on dividend income, and partners in private companies are taxed at a much lower rate than many regular employees.”

One avenue for Brazilians to circumvent inflationary pricing is to take shopping trips to other countries. But “Brazilians who can't afford to travel abroad to purchase cheaper goods are finding it hard to deal with the country's sky-high prices,” United Press International reported Tuesday.

EMAIL: jaskar@desnews.com

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