This paper, via Jorge, argues that a credit crunch, and an increase in contract non-enforceability, are major reasons why NAFTA did not benefit Mexico more. Each Beck album takes a longer time to appreciate than the last one; I’m finally coming around on The Information. Here is a further smackdown on the TV-autism study. Panama has voted to expand the Canal; after the Grand Canyon and Iguassu, it is the most impressive sight I have seen. Go. A New York Times article notes that Portuguese has 230 million speakers, far more than German or Japanese; yet it is still considered a minor language. Will Wilkinson, who has been busy lately, has a good post on positive-sum status games. The Wall Street Journal had a front page article today on the trend to pull the elderly out of nursing homes and pay their relatives, or in some cases their ex-wives, to care for them. The Business of Health and The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care are two new market-oriented books on American health care; the latter has a blurb from Milton Friedman. Chutes and Ladders examines the upward mobility of (some of) the working poor; buy it here. Starbucks succeeds by helping customers feel good about themselves.