You'll have noticed that there was a bit more time than typical since my last post. That's because Eric Chiang and I have been hoofing it around the city.
First off, it couldn't be more different than Bogota. At a population of 20 million in its metro area, it's the largest city in South America. Bigger than New York, bigger than even Mexico City as of last year. It feels big too, part of our adventure was navigating Sao Paulo's extensive subway system. Here are some shots:
Clean and efficient subways (better than New York's), bike lanes everywhere; they even have bicycle crossing guards! The people here are extremely diverse in background in every sense of the word. The city really does epitomize a trade center.
Turning back to economics for a minute, you'll recall I used the military police in Bogota as a jumping off point to talk about the importance of stable institutions. Contrast that image with the MP's here in Brazil:
First off we saw half as many as we did in Bogota and Sao Paulo is 3x its size. Second, they don't carry firearms (let alone automatic weapons), and they're generally much more low key. Brazil has historical had a much more stable government than Colombia so they simply don't need as much of a police presence as their citizens have much more confidence in its institutions.