July 23, 2007

Reason Magazine - Fire at 10 Pesos

At least the using pesos means having a coin that that has some value...

(Yes, linking here to two Reason stories in a row, sorry. )

But how can you resist this one:

Reason Magazine - Fire at 10 Pesos: "Two hundred twenty-two years and two weeks ago today, the United States made the peso its official currency. Nonetheless, many Americans (read: Fox News) went nuts last week when Value Giant announced that it would start accepting pesos in all of its stores on Saturday, July 14, fearing an increase in peso-spending illegal immigrants to the United States.

Of course, the U.S. dollars that we know and love today were issued in 1792, but the peso continued to be recognized as the official currency of North American trade until 1857 in the United States, and until 1858 in Canada. We have a long, proud history of doing business in pesos. Our currency, along with the Straits dollar, the Hong Kong dollar, the Japanese yen, and the Chinese yuan, is modeled on the peso. We have the handy peso to thank for much of our early economic development as a nation.

Value Giant was following in the footsteps of Pizza Patrón, which generated a similar brouhaha when it pioneered its "Pizza por Pesos" program in January—exacerbating the problem posed by its patriotically dubious accent over the "o." The chain recently announced the decision to make the policy permanent at all 60 restaurant locations, including those as far north as Las Vegas. One of their specialties is the tasty "La Mexicana," topped with chorizo, ground Beef, onions, bell peppers, and jalapeños.

Pizza Patrón founder and chief executive Antonio Swad is unapologetic. "We have carved this niche in the pizza industry to compete and serve an underserved market–the Latino customer. Not to make any political statement."

Pizza Patrón sounds like a made up name, doesn't it?

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