Third World

Now it costs exactly twice as much to buy a tank of gas for my car than it did six years ago when I bought it – or more precisely, when I was given it. While filling it up I was approached by a respectable looking man who proceeded to sell me two bottles of Cuervo Black Medallion for $10 each, which is half price, and threw in a twelve pack of paper towels for good measure. He was doing this for gas money, as he had no cash or cards. Initially I wondered whether it were a scam – was this counterfeit tequila, or had it perhaps been poisoned? Then I thought of the countries where everyone is constantly selling something and decided no, it was just the informal economy at work as formal markets decline. As I have been saying since 1981 when I had my most important research insight ever (and should therefore have changed my major to ECON), I think the US is going to be a marginal economy and BRIC will be stronger.


3 thoughts on “Third World

  1. Ah, yes, Mike bought me some Cuervo.

    As for the US, it may be economically strong for years to come, but these days I have an allergic reaction to reading or hearing too much about cultural happenings in the US. What I’m seeing is that people are being played for fools, because the trope of public identities and what they mean to those of the US (how they publically resonate and reverberate) is really your thang. So Hillary’s haircut or Obama’s public greyness all get you turned on or turned off, according to your self-defined sense of personal demographics. But meanwhile the stakes of real politics slips, slips away.

    This is all really obvious to me, looking on from afar.

  2. I agree, P.Z. There seems to be a rapid acceleration, too, though I know it just looks that way from the inside.

  3. Very interesting. I’m sure you’re right. The informal economy in the U.S. will soon be just as robust as it always is in a society going belly up. And folks in my neck of the woods are selling their big trucks to buy gas for their little ones.

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