Let’s say you own a pizza restaurant. One day I come in to your restaurant hungry for some pizza but have no money. Instead, I offer you my baseball hat. Since you like the hat, you agree to trade a large pepperoni pizza for my baseball hat. Is that a fair trade?

What if I had no money or hats to trade for your pizza? What if I said I would spend an hour washing dishes in exchange for the pizza? Is that a fair trade?

What if I had some money in my wallet but instead of U.S. dollars I had Mexican pesos. You agree to give me a large pepperoni pizza in exchange for my pesos. Is that a fair trade?

In a free country, people should be able to trade whatever they want for another’s products and services whether it’s one’s time, labor, money, or something else. So long as there is no deception or coercion involved when I trade my baseball hat, labor, or pesos for a pepperoni pizza, we both come out winners. I satisfied my hunger and you received something that you considered more valuable than the pizza.

One Texas business owner understands this. Antonio Swad, president of Pizza Patron, announced over the weekend that his restaurants would now accept Mexican pesos for their pizza.

Like any good business owner, Swad knows his customers. Roughly 60 percent of those who patronize his pizza restaurants are Latino and Swad realized that some of them had pesos in their pockets and would spend them if it was convenient to do so.

Unfortunately there are many people who view Swad’s business decision as an insult to our nation’s immigration laws or being unpatriotic by accepting foreign money (a common occurrence in many towns on the border with Mexico and Canada).

Yet there’s nothing unpatriotic about Swad’s business decision. He works in a highly competitive business and competes against national chains. Because he was thinking like a capitalist, Swad noticed an opportunity to get a leg up on the competition while providing his customers with a valuable service. Thanks to his innovative thinking his customers can now spend their pesos while receiving something they want to eat. Instead of being ridiculed, Swad’s decision should be celebrated.

Swad not only understands that exchange creates wealth but that a unique business move combined with some savvy PR skills can do wonders for business. Because of his decision, his pizza chain received millions of dollars in free publicity in local and national press which will give him a chance to grow his business even more.

Time will tell if Swad’s decision to accept pesos makes some dough from his Pizza patrons. In the meantime we should all be glad that capitalists such as Swad are working to come up with innovative ways to improve our lives.

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