Argentina is facing financial collapse.
Argentina’s currency, the peso, has now fallen to 38 pesos per dollar. The country has lost around 50% of its value against the US dollar this year.
That means prices have gone way up for Argentines — and way down for Americans in Argentina.
Normally, Argentina is an unusually expensive country. But the financial crisis and the peso's plunge makes Argentina much more affordable, at least for now.
In a perfect world, a million gastronomads would rush into Argentina to take advantage of the currency plunge. And this could help Argentina through the crisis.
Unlike tourists, who tend to gravitate to already overpriced hot spots for their vacations, the overcrowding of which drives prices for locals way up to the point where they have to leave their homes and neighborhoods, gastronomads are good for local economies.
During an economic crisis like the one Argentina is suffering from, unemployment goes up, and consumer spending goes down. Stores, restaurants and other businesses suffer because people stop buying things, so they lay people off. It's a hard situation to recover from.
The great thing about gastronomads is that they make their money in one country and spend it in another. That means an American gastronomad living in Argentina is spending money in Argentina and stimulating Argentine businesses, and without taking a job from an Argentinian.
Gastronomads rent homes and rooms and cars from locals who need the money, usually in non-tourism zones. They shop in stores and food markets, dine in restaurants, take taxis and Ubers and advertise for local businesses by blogging and posting photos on social media.
All that food exploration helps farmers, truck drivers, food producers, store owners and employees, restaurant owners and employees and others.
That’s why Tulsa, Oklahoma is offering to give nomads a free shared-office space, a subsidized furnished apartment in the city’s Arts District, and $10,000 cash if they move to Tulsa for one year.
The only problem is that there aren't enough gastronomads yet, and not enough engaging in this brand of economic opportunism.
If a million gastronomads did this, moving from troubled economy to troubled economy based on wherever the value of currency plummets, it would have a softening effect on whatever economic crises pop up, infusing those countries with foreign cash until they can get their economies going again.
This is a classic example of a net positive impact of capitalism that Adam Smith never imagined: Gastronomads, taking advantage of the flexibility of nomadic living and acting in their own self-interest, could materially improve the lives of people all over the world suffering from an economic crisis.
In other words, gastronomads make the world a better place.