Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sex, Death, & Money

What can you get in Morocco for 40 dirhams................

1. Pack of Marlboro Reds.
2. Three course meal.
3. Bus ticket to Fez.
4. Seat in a grand taxi.
5. A turban.
6. Any kind of hat you can find.
7. T-shirts.
8. 2 beers.
9. Pair of sunglasses.
10. The Quran in Arabic.
11.  2 leather bracelets.
12. A hashpipe. 

These are things I have purchased for 40 dirhams in Morocco. All of these things serve a different purpose and should all be worth different amounts of money. Thats what you think. In Morocco all these are easily purchased for 40 dirhams. The equivalent to about five U. S. and A. dollars. There is no concept of a market. No economic infrastructure. No specialization. No concept of the value of money.  Everything is a variety store. If the first one you walk into doesn't have it, they point you to the next one over. If the second one doesn't have it, they point you to the next one over, and so on. Nothing has a fixed price. Example, the guitar I bought in Marrakech. I walked into the store in the medina on Thursday afternoon and was told the guitar was 1400 dirhams. I started laughing. I walked in the same store on Friday afternoon and was told the same guitar was 800 dirhams. Again, I started laughing. I ended up paying 400 dirhams for the guitar and a gig bag to carry it. (Tip Of The Day...Don't ever buy a guitar without a case or a gig bag to carry it in. The salesman at the music store will try and sell them separately, don't buy it. Make the salesman give you case with the guitar. Ford doesn't sell a car without the engine to to drive the damn thing.) Do you see a pattern here? This persists all over the country, from Tangier to Marrakech. Morocco is never going to get out of the third world until some kind of economic standard is developed. You can't have an economy based on variety stores operating on the barter system. You need specialization. Your currency has to have value. Love it or hate it, capitalism works. Don't believe that, talk to a Russian, or a Croat, or a Serb, or a Hungarian, or a Slav who lived between 1922 and 1991.

No comments:

Post a Comment