Response to a Stratfor Global Intelligence Article on Brazil

A friend recently wrote me about this report on Brazil by one of the leading economic intelligence publishers, Strafor. The article is worth a read, and it’s a freebe. This is part of my response: “This article is quite a sweeping take on the country, with an interesting geo-economic vision: Brazil is a logistical nightmare, with no natural transport routes, and little coastal space for contiguous development… The observations about infrastructure and the oligarchic system are correct for the most part. I talk about the...

Continue reading

#4 Import taxes (i.e. tariffs)

The price of consumer durables in Brazil is more expensive than in any other large market in the world–hands down.  This does not seem to jive with the plight of the median Brazilian, who earns somewhere around $1000R ($600US) a month (minimum wage is about $550R a month. If anything, purchases of goods that can abet social and economic advancement, such as computers, should be subsidized. Yet Brazil’s tariffs average close to 30 percent on a number of items, items which are even exempted from the regional Mercosur tariff-reducing...

Continue reading