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The Lula and Dilma governments helped overturn the paradigms created to justify the historic choice of government leaders to favor the wealthy. The increase in the value of the minimum wage and real wage gains experienced by workers through inclusive development led to a decline of social, regional and racial inequalities. Between 2002 and 2012 the Northeast’s C class population, for example, increased its share of the total regional population from 28% to 45%. For the first time in history, the northeastern C class exceeds D and E classes: 23.9 compared to 23.7 million people.
Neither smaller municipalities nor the Social Security system were bankrupted. Rather, economic growth and income distribution generated a beneficial cycle for the country as a whole. According to Dieese (Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies), the new minimum wage of R$ 724.00 will inject a significant amount — R$ 28.4 billion — into the economy in 2014.
Of the 48 million Brazilians whose wages are linked to the minimum wage, 21 million are Social Security beneficiaries. These are hardworking people, whose many years of labor contributed to the country and today deserve to receive a little more for their services. These are funds that go directly into the pockets of Brazilians in all municipalities around Brazil, from the largest to the smallest, helping drive local economies.
The rise of 42 million people into the C class between 2003 and 2013 has also impacted the promotion of racial equality. Today, out of every four people served by the Bolsa Família, three are mixed race or black. In rural areas, the C class doubled in size, going from 21% to 42% of the population.