- Brazil’s Austerity Experiment: Scott Sumner walks us through some of the problems with ascribing any of the future economic success/failure of Brazil to the coming austerity. Very useful to learn how to think about economics. Also, Vox still sucks.
Might austerity hurt the supply-side of Brazil’s economy? I suppose anything is possible, but it’s hard to see how. Unlike China, Brazil’s high government spending goes to things like public pensions, not infrastructure.
- How Bad Will It Get for American Express?: Fun bloomberg article on Amex losing Costco as a customer. Porter nailed it with that bargaining power thing.
Jelinek interrupted, according to people who were briefed by Chenault about the call, and told him that as far as he was concerned, Amex was another vendor, just like the one that sold Costco ketchup. “If I can get cheaper ketchup somewhere else, I will,” he said.
- Health Care Reform: With a h/t to David Henderson for the link to this Bryan Caplan piece from 2012. More relevant than ever.
Gruber mentions people who “think they don’t need insurance because they are healthy” – then condescendingly adds, “They don’t realize that if they do get sick, they won’t be able to afford the care they need.” Yes, or maybe they’ve weighed the risks and reasonably decided to take their chances.