Who brings fish to the table? Markets or firms?

Jeffrey Tucker points how technology and markets have enabled people in the interiors to eat fish.

Well, dramatic things have happened to the market for fish over the past 10 years. It is wholly changed. Now you can get incredibly great fish at nearly every supermarket. At Wal-Mart, I recently found a vast selection — tilapia, flounder, swordfish, salmon, whiting, halibut, lobster, and so much more. The prices were ridiculously low. I’ve been sampling them all for months.

What’s the secret? Head to the freezer section. I know it sounds inferior. Wouldn’t you rather have fresh? Not any more.

Hardly any time passes between swimming around and landing in a separately sealed individual packet, ready for eating.Massive improvements in technology (thank you, capitalism) have improved the way fish is caught and brought to market. Now it is caught, cleaned, deboned, and flash frozen right on the boat. Hardly any time passes between swimming around and landing in a separately sealed individual packet, right there ready for the eating.

And you don’t have to worry about timing. In the old days, when you bought fish, you had to eat it that night or risk having it become slimy and gross. Now it can stay in your freezer and be ready for you when you want it.

For the first time, the equivalent of fresh fish, stunningly yummy, is available to nearly everyone at low prices, ready for preparation right in your own kitchen. And despite the reputation that fish once had of being difficult to prepare, now it is easier than pork or beef, and even faster.

In other words, cut open the bag, and it is ready to go. I find this just amazing. That’s a shorter period than it took the burger place yesterday to make me lunch. And it is a fraction of the price.

This takes us back to the Coaesan dilemma. Who gets fish (and all other things) to our doors? Markets or firms? We give very little credit to firms in economic discussions. Either it is markets or government.

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