This research examines the impacts of serious problems in the country's economic sector, on other areas of Brazilian society. Brazil has experienced and continues to experience serious economic and social problems. Some people in the first world tend to view Brazil as a country out of control. Such judgements, however, are made by people residing comfortably in developed economies, with little understanding or appreciation of what is required to move the world's sixth largest country (population) and tenth largest economy (regarding gross national product) from the status of a developing country to that of an economic power.
BRAZIL'S ECONOMIC PROBLEMS
Most of the world's developing countries have a net external debt in 1989. Some of these countries, however, have a much larger external debt than do others. Brazil and Mexico are the two largest debtors in the Third World. Each country has an external debt which exceeds US$100 billion, with that of Brazil the largest at approximately US$108 billion (The World Bank, 1988, p. 233).
External debt has a major impact on the ability of a developing country to deal with social problems, including those associated with urbanization. In order to assess the implications for social and urban development of the external debt of LDCs, it is necessary to relate the external debt of a country to other macroeconomic measures. Brazil's external debt equals 46.7 percent of its gross national product (GNP), and 49.1 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) (The World Bank, 1988, pp. 237, 239). If Brazil was a family rather than a country, it would have already been forced to declare bankruptcy. In Brazil, economic stabilization plans have been developed by governments, with one eye on the foreign lenders, and one eye on the domestic political situation. Brazil began a brinkmanship game with international lenders, by refusing in 1987 to con...