Vices of the market

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Yesterday, I explored Huembe, a large market in the center of Managua for middle and working class Nicaraguans to buy essential goods such as food, clothes, electronics, and more. I took photos of some things I saw.

Here Nicaraguans get cheap fruits and vegetables for important vitamins:

Here they get rice and beans for carbohydrates and protein:

Here they get used books to educate their children about the world:

And here…

… poor people get poorer. I think this is sad and shouldn’t be allowed. It was jarring to see in the market next to a tortilla stand.

See our post on Banco Azteca for more perverse market energy (mis)directed at the base of the pyramid.

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3 Responses to “Vices of the market”

  1. JCo1 Says:

    When I think Latin America + gambling, I think cockfighting. Maybe the reason the slots in your picture are so jarring is b/c slots are so impersonal/rigged/non-“local”. Rich Businessman invests in a slot machine, sits it down in a crowded place, and watches it pay for itself instantaneously. He sits on the beach drinking margaritas, hires someone else to collect the coins, and doesn’t have to see the faces of the people who gamble away their wages. By contrast, a cockfight is a social event, where there’s at least some personal interaction between the gamblers. I may take your shirt, but because I have to be there to do it, I may feel bad about it.

    Another perspective: to an American like you, a slot machine is a symbol of imperialism, while a cockfight is laden with cultural value. But in effect, are they different?

  2. Sam Says:

    Good points, JC. Question: are slots more addictive than cockfighting? I read about slots and addiction in the media, but cockfights are almost never covered. I have no first-hand experience with either form of gambling. Any perspective from experienced gamblers?

    As a side note, I wonder how many cockfighting aficionados read The Invisible Hand. Speak up.

  3. The olive branch « The Invisible Hand, in your pants Says:

    […] olive branch The Free Market has taken a bit of a beating at the hands of Sam. A jab here. A knee to the groin here. Eye gouging here. Kicking while down […]

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