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Monday, September 17, 2012

The Law of Scarcity

Español: El asado mas grande del mundo 2011 en...
Español: El asado mas grande del mundo 2011 en General Pico. (Argentina) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At first glance, it may appear that the Argentine gov't and the Argentine Serpentine may have nothing in common. One is the gov't of a nation who spends their time pissing off countries like Spain by expropriating national oil companies like YPF. While the other is a seductress who wakes up every single day of her life scheming on how she can make a career of being a puppeteer........with me as her puppet of course. But there is a tremendous secret that both the Argentine gov't and the Argentine serpentine knew of, a secret that almost guaranteed success in their ventures to overthrow just about anything. And that is knowing the Law of Scarcity. The Law of Scarcity dictates that when there is less of something, its perceived value increases.

Recently I was talking with the couple that I live with on how it really is a new generation in Argentina when it came to food and health. In the generations before them, their grandparents and great grandparents would have thought nothing of coming back from the market with a truckload of meat and having a massive BBQ for the family once or twice a week. It used to be an Argentine tradition to have a BBQ for Christmas and then a week later when the new year hits. Now most families will pick to have an asado for one event or the other. Only very few families would have the luxury of being able to do both.

Meat is doesn't change but the perceived value of it does. In another blogpost I will tell you how I stumbled upon a gov't run open air market. The market runs from 8am until 2pm every Saturday in Plaza de Almagro near where I live. One morning I happened to be up early and got there shortly after 8 am. There was already a massive line up of people in front of the meat and seafood stall.

Our gov't puts restrictions on things like salmon and suddenly something as simple as sushi with salmon becomes a real delicacy. Heavy taxes on electronics make my ipod touch a desirable item knowing that the same item bought here would be twice or three times that. Yet if I were to go back to my home country, people would not think anything special if I sat eating salmon sushi with my ipod touch nearby.

The law of scarcity must have been something that the Argentine Serpentine learned on her very first day of femme fatale school. It is something that gets taught to newly hatched baby serpents who have just broken out of their eggs using their cute little tooth.  I'm imagining that the Argentine Serpentine graduated from femme fatale school with honors and having the prestigious position of valedictorian.

She wanted to stand out above all my other friends so in order to make herself more desirable....she limited my ability to interact with her and in doing so she put the law of scarcity into motion knowing that this game of cat and mouse between us would only increase her value in my eyes.  I don't know where she learned that trick......perhaps from watching the nightly news every nights and seeing the gov't do the same :P

Although prices are up and portion sizes are down, there are still ways to pretend that inflation doesn't exists and party like the way we used to. The town of General Pico in La Pampa won an award in 2011 for breaking the guinness world book of records and throwing the largest asado in the world.  Over 20 000 people went to bed that night with the bellies full of homegrown Argentine beef.....

The Biggest Asado in the World

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Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas