“There is no love in sp
The bars are full of souls so empty
Greed vibrates, vanity excites
Give my life back and die
Drowned in her own sea of gall
Nobody goes to heaven here.”
(Music: There is no love in SP. Author: Criolo)
Yes, it’s been a long time since I got a job here in this big city. When I arrived here, as a girl, I imagined that I would be lucky to find a good job soon. Quick job I even found. I was afraid of starving myself or being forced to go back to where I was born without having achieved anything I imagined. I still have a dream of having my own house to build a big kitchen, put a nice stove and a big table to receive my family…
The excerpt above, although fiction, can be a real story for many people who grew old in a big city in Brazil and could not achieve the dream of their own home, of the large land where they could have animals or beds for their vegetables. The jobs he had were never the ones he expected and with the desired salaries to guarantee a good old age.
This past week, in one of the largest capitals in Latin America, also known as São Paulo, the Mutirão do Emprego took place, which is another opportunity for those who are unemployed and want to have a formal contract and a salary (it would write worthy, check it out).
Among the thousands of people, there was Ms. Roseli, a 57-year-old woman, who spent ten hours looking for a job as a cleaning lady.
I think here that a 57-year-old person should never go through such a situation: more than ten hours looking for a job! There is no justification for this! Arrive on Sunday to get a good place in line, not stay resting on your couch or on a Sunday walk with your family members, and still feel sorry for the life of those who live on the street.
This almost sixty-year-old lady once lived on “services” that paid R$50 for 12 hours of work. Yes, a little more than R$4 reais per hour. In the last two years, unemployment has made her even more vulnerable and dependent on other people, a situation she did not like.
There is also the group of discouraged people who did not attend the task force, that is, those people who have already given up looking for a job, because the negative response is always ready for them, causing more suffering, anguish, anxiety and stress.
And how to think about old age if the present is still uncertain? How can we expect the accumulation of material goods and investments to be possible, when there are still no minimum conditions for daily life with rice, beans and meat on the table or in the lunch box, or when the housing renovation is never completed?
There are so many houses already inhabited and changes carried out, many unpaid rents, the reputation of being a bad debtor and the absence of State actions to guarantee dignified protection for so many elderly men and women who are getting older the way they can.
Although the initiative of associations and entities such as the Trade Union can be observed, the situation for those who are close to 60 years of age is quite worrying. One of the main reasons for elderly women and seniors to continue to work, whether retired or not, is the fear of hunger, of losing their roof, of returning empty-handed to the city where they were born, of not being able to buy a souvenir for each of them. grandchildren or a flower vase that decorates the only table in the house.
From this group of people who are already hopeless about getting a job, there are many young and old people, pointing out how age discrimination still generates unequal opportunities in society. Economists try to seek and spread optimism among us, but there is a lot of unemployment, a lot of informality. Life for those who earn little and are still old got worse with the pandemic.
“You don’t have to die to see God
You don’t have to suffer to know what’s best for you.”
(Music: There is no love in SP. Author: Criolo)
Criolo, an important Brazilian thinker and singer, is correct in saying that it is not necessary to suffer to know our needs. When it comes to aging, the minimum conditions are necessary to dream or to sleep peacefully in bed, without having your teeth clenched, to wake up early and go out to save some money to pay bills, buy medicine if your health is bad or help in the formation of a daughter or granddaughter so that they move away from the standard of living imposed on old Brazilians.
In this same task force it was possible to do some training as a way to increase the chances of getting a job. And that’s part of the solution. In addition to these initiatives, it is urgent that public policies stop making the seriousness of the problem “unemployment for the elderly” invisible.
Even though it seems to be a hopeless situation for elderly people, I want to believe that our society still “sees” them on the streets, in lines, lying on the ground, pushing their carts, carrying their lives in three or four plastic bags or on the doors of the establishments in search of leftover food (and this last vexing and humiliating situation has already been suggested as a “dignified solution” by the current Minister of Economy for fighting poverty).
Paulo Guedes wanted to claim that we would need to be like some European countries. But there many countries got rich and then grew old. Here, we age and are far from getting rich enough to increase the average income of citizens.
Elderly people once again feel a greater perception and influence of rising inflation. Data from the National Survey on Food Insecurity in the context of the Covid Pandemic in Brazil pointed out that 18.8% of the people interviewed were elderly and responsible for their families, which generates greater concern, because without a good income, other people were also living worse.
What’s more, around 46.7% of people aged 65 and over were food insecure in Brazil, according to the survey released in 2021.
Having money is one of the essential items for aging well in Brazil, but the possibility of getting rich to reach old age is not for everyone. And it is fair to guarantee a decent income for those who have worked their whole lives receiving meager wages!
Union, States and Municipalities are aware of their realities and responsibilities, but they have not yet created actions or programs capable of allowing this pillar for good aging to be guaranteed.
Travel, lunch in restaurants, outings and shopping for toys for grandchildren and great-grandchildren should be guaranteed opportunities for all elderly people. As long as this does not exist, we will still be struggling to reduce social inequalities strongly associated with age.