The Guardian June 23, 1999


Capitalist values

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican 
village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small 
boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the 
Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch 
them.

The Mexican replied that it took only a little while.

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time?

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my 
children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each 
evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and 
busy life, senor."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should 
spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the 
proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you 
would have a fleet of fishing boats.

Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the 
processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the 
product, processing and distribution.

"You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to 
Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York City where you will 
run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years."

"But what then, senor?"

The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is 
right you would float your company, sell the stock to the public and become 
very rich. You would make millions."

"Millions, senor? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing 
village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your 
grandkids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the 
evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

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The above anonymous piece is circulating Stop-MAI and other similar groups on the Internet

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