Category Archives: Brazil

WhatsApp’s Brazil showdown proves that the sharing economy can’t be stopped

Is the sharing economy invincible to government regulation? One legal kerfuffle in Brazil suggests that it is. Belen Marty reports in the PanAm Post:

Brazil restored the world’s most popular messaging app on Thursday morning, December 17, putting an end to a 12-hour ban resulting from a court order.

Millions of Brazilians woke up on Thursday unable to use their favorite smartphone messaging app WhatsApp. On Wednesday, a judge had ordered the service blocked in all Brazil for 48 hours, effective at midnight.+

But an appellate judge, who deemed the measure “unreasonable,” lifted the ban around noon, allowing WhatsApp to work again in Brazil, local newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported.

What caused the Brazilian judicial system to suddenly change course overnight? Popular demand.

Read the rest on Rare here.

Here’s how a Brazilian libertarian group is proving capitalism isn’t just a rich man’s game

It’s rather odd that capitalism in the United States is often thought as an economic system that primarily benefits the wealthy. In many other parts of the world, the promise of free enterprise is seen as a godsend by the middle class and poor.

Case in point: the Free Brazil Movement (Moviemento Brasil Livre), a ragtag team college-age kids that has galvanized its South American nation in favor of freer markets and government transparency after a major corruption scandal plagued the current administration.

On March 15, Free Brazil organized the largest demonstration São Paulo has seen since the country’s last dictatorship in 1984, with over 200,000 Brazilians taking to the streets to demand the removal of President Dilma Rousseff from power.

Now the movement, led by 19-year-old Kim Kataguiri, is embarking on a 33-day, 621-mile march from São Paulo to the capital Brasília, following a route the Portuguese bandeirantes took when settling the country in the 17th century.

Lest there be any doubt about mixed motivations behind the movement, Kataguiri is remarkably clear on its goals: “We defend free markets, lower taxes, and the privatization of all public companies.” Citing Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Margaret Thatcher, and Rand Paul as influences, Kataguiri and his crew are bona fide libertarians. In fact, Kataguiri is even a local coordinator with the international libertarian nonprofit Students For Liberty (SFL), my employer.

Yet, besides receiving free training and a few books from SFL, Free Brazil is a low-budget operation of its own. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any big sponsors,” Kataguiri told The Guardian. “The government and some sectors of the press say that we are financed by rich people. We would have no problem in being financed by rich people.”

Kim himself is a college dropout and the son of a metal worker — not exactly born with a silver spoon in mouth.

Read the rest at Rare…