Student Op-Ed: Electronics in Brazil

119 20/05/2022

Some years ago in my home country of Brazil, I was looking to buy new gamer products for my PC to try to improve its performance. But what I was not expecting and what really surprised me was how high all the prices of these products were.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people had to find alternative forms of entertainment at home during the long periods of lockdown. One of the main outlets used by Brazilians was electronic games. In 2020 compared to 2019, financial gaming transactions in Brazil grew more than 130%. But it could be even more if the price of the electronic games and accessories were cheaper.

The Zoom Company’s Business Intelligence team made a comparison of prices from the first half of 2021, the average price of video games was $1,546.12 Brazilian real (about US$300), while in May, this value increased to BR$2,040.04 (about US$400), an increase of 32%. This is a huge difference for Brazilian people since the average person in Brazil makes roughly BR$1,600 (about US$302) per month. This price rise is due to the fact of taxes and the rise of the U.S. dollar, as the products are imported to Brazil.

In Brazil, corruption has become too commonplace. The government can take advantage and create more taxes and increase the existing ones, to get more revenue. Some people call this a ripple effect, and this can be a big problem. As long as the country continues with an economy in which social inequality is reinforced by taxation in general, video games will remain luxury goods.

Video games are products that are often only affordable for wealthier people. For many people in Brazil they are considered “rare” items because of their high cost that means that many Brazilians can’t afford them. But, I worry that likely cutting taxes alone will not be enough to bring prices down significantly, because the costs of other essential goods are also high and consume a large amount of many Brazilian’s weekly and monthly paychecks.

So after thinking about this, a strong solution I have would be to encourage the building of these products and accessories in Brazil. In fact, in many cases products that are made in their respective countries are cheaper when bought in that country. I think that the Brazilian companies have the potential to create everything from scratch in Brazil, so we wouldn’t need to import as many items from other countries. This would help the entire gamer community to get these products easily and cheaper.

Another solution is to decrease the number of taxes on gaming products. Because these products are built in other countries, Brazil needs to import them, causing them to have high taxes. With these products being built in Brazil, the prices and the taxes would both be reduced.

Brazil and all the electronic companies should think about their gamer community. It would not only help the existing community, but also bring new people into the community, which might bring more money. It would be a win-win.

Lucas Moreno was born in Curitiba, Brazil. He is a Junior at Lowell High School. He likes to play guitar, video games and practice esports. Lucas wants to go to college and then become a civil engineer.

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