31 May 2008


The Washington Post reports that a new sushi bar has opened in Liberia.

So now there are two of them. If only the sushi were made from local fish (fresh and delicious), I wouldn't mind. But importing tuna and salmon to serve to aid workers, when the rest of the population can barely get enough rice (let alone fish), seems a little absurd.


Romain said...

Mmmmh... seems to me that, if a market exists, it should be served, shouldn't it? Absurdity never harmed the general equilibrium.

Mohamed said...

Actually, it does -- it might serve the partial equilibrium but appear ridiculous once you zoom out.

but why is the fish imported?? Doesn't Liberia have a (decent) fishing industry, which was among the first things to be rehabilitated after the war?

This parallel economy that aid and international workers develop wherever they (...we?) land en masse doesn't always feed into the local economy, but sometimes serves to import inflation while servicing a foreign economy or, at best, a very small class of local entrepreneurs (to be polite) rather than an economy craving this injection of funds.
In post-tsunami Aceh, "the" Italian restaurant, which belonged to foreigners, served lousy pasta for 15 USD, when a (larger) meal of crab noodles was about 80cents outside. Its only claim to fame was to have a fridge - for the cold beers, heh.