Brazil’s 2018 Trucking Strike PARALYZED the Country: Here’s How America Could Face Similar LONG-TERM Disruptions
Brazil’s 2018 Trucking Strike PARALYZED the Country: Here’s How America Could Face Similar LONG-TERM Disruptions by Fabian Ommar for The Organic Prepper
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When I opened my browser and read Daisy’s article about a truckers’ strike threat in U.S., I felt a tightening in the chest. As the article mentions, we went precisely through that in Brazil less than three years ago. All I could think was, this is serious. And yes: it can be big. And ugly too. I’m here to tell this story. To give a heads-up about the risks, and maybe help you get prepared.
Brazil is the largest country in South America and the 5th in the world. Population 210 million, with ten cities over 1.5 million people. São Paulo alone (the biggest and richest) is 13 million souls. That is where I live, with its endless buildings, avenues, malls, parks, restaurants, traffic jams, pollution, and stress. Despite some obvious differences, I suspect someone from L.A. or N.Y. would feel quite at home here, or in Rio de Janeiro (7 million).
I mention all that to trace an important parallel
Even though the U.S. is bigger than Brazil in area (15%), population (60%), and economy (statistics vary between 8-10 times), both countries have a somewhat similar infrastructure and ground transportation model. Both are continental, urbanized nations (88% in Brazil, pretty close to U.S. 85%).
Historically, both have a logistics system largely based on roads and trucks, big and small, to transit and deliver products and goods.
Thus, when we talk about truckers, we refer to a crucial cog of the system. Not only that: it is a vast, capillary category of workers with colossal power, long and wide reaches, and high organization and mobilization capacity.
I see most of the world headed toward system instability right now.
System instability, strikes and what that leads to
The thing is, life in a “developing country” (a.k.a. 3rd world before the arrival of political correctness) is what I call a continuous, slow-burning SHTF. Inflation, poverty, violent transit, and crime. Joblessness, homelessness, significant inequalities. Suffocating bureaucracy, decaying infrastructure, and paralyzing levels of (big-size) government corruption and inefficiency. There’s a system in place, but it’s inconsistent and fickle.
This combination leads to a fractured society and a constantly dissatisfied population, which often manifests in protests. During periods of deeper economic turmoil, strikes become a frequent form of protest. That is what happened during the ’80s, and we have a very similar social, political, and economic arrangement shaping up nowadays.
Sure, things have significantly improved for the past 30 years or so, as it has for most of the world. Even with the big protests of 2013, which culminated in President Dilma Roussef’s impeachment in 2016 (the second in recent history – talk about political instability), things have been relatively good and stable for Brazilians in general.
But after the 2008 crisis, something started brewing on the roads, away from the eyes of society.
When transportation fails, everything STOPS
Deep discontents and long-running disputes about the soaring diesel prices/taxes and ever-decreasing freight tariffs reached a boiling point in late 2017. A formal protest against rampant corruption within the government was thrown in for good measure. The rulers of the nation turned a blind eye to the truckers’ demands. Then they decided to show everyone who really runs Bartertown.