A lot of US econobloggers are talking about the Tim Hortons-Burger King merger. But all they seem to talk about is corporate tax rates.
I think they are missing the big picture. The big picture is here:
[I can't figure out how to embed that picture in Typepad. That's okay, I did - SG]
To my eyes, it looks a lot like that satellite picture of North and South Korea at night, only the dots of light are in red, and North and South are switched.
Now I really like travelling in the US. And the US is a great country. And in many ways the US is a very advanced country. (You hear a "but" coming, don't you.)
But the US is sadly lacking in Tim Hortons.
(In July I drove for two days across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, without seeing a single Tim Hortons. We were desperate by the time we re-crossed the border at Sault Ste. Marie.)
I mean, if you were talking about the economics of Nixon going to China, and China opening up for foreign investment, would you spend your whole time talking about relative corporate tax rates in the US and China? Of course you wouldn't!
This is primarily a question of development economics.
Can't we at least get a decent class analysis of this question? There are two sorts of people: Starbucks people; and Tim Hortons people. And this class distinction is far more important than anything based on superficial differences like income and occupation. As a Tim Hortons person, who feels deeply ill-at-ease in a Starbucks, and who does not understand the menu, I cannot stop myself asking the "barista"(?) the subversive question: "Can I have a small double-double please?"
Is all the economic analysis of this merger being done by SWPL Starbucks people, who can only see their own class perspective?
(I am only half-joking.)