The Exportation of the American Lifestyle
"The only thing that ever consoles man for the stupid things he does is the praise he always gives himself for doing them." - Oscar Wilde 1856-1900, British Author, Wit
In India a conservative society the economic boom of the last several years has transformed this nation. This year the number of individuals earning over 250,000 dollars more then doubled to over 50,000. While this number may seem small 10 years ago less then 10K individuals would have fallen in this category. As a result a new middle class has emerged and they are now trying to duplicate the so called American life style. Coffee bars have mushroomed everywhere, high end night clubs and fast food restaurants (Dominos Pizza, subway, Mc Donald's etc) are springing up all over the place, everyone is going for the top of the line cell phones, cars, washing machines etc. All of a sudden you can get a 25k loan instantaneously from Citibank and credit cards are being pumped everywhere. Credit cards which were unheard of are now being widely used and Indians are slowly becoming spenders and starting to buy a lot of things on credit; this was a big no no in the past.
Now cocaine usage has become the big thing in India; it costs upwards of 100 dollars a gram. Remember the average salary in most parts of India is still about a 1 dollar a day. Cocaine has become one of the new status symbols as it costs means that only certain individuals can afford it. The theme is to usually go to these very high end expensive night clubs and then use these drugs. The link to the story below illustrates this rather clearly Full Story
We can clearly see that the trend of fast foods, lots of coffee, drug usage, spending more money then you have, living in yesterday land with no thought of the present or future etc is slowly being pushed overseas. This clearly gives further weight to our theory that America is nothing but a psychological test bed and when something is shown to work well here it is then exported. This is not only occurring in India but is also taking place with the same speed in China and other rapidly developing nations in Asia. This issuance of easy credit is another reason why real estate prices have taken off so rapidly here; in Mumbai the real estate market has appreciated over 100% in less than 24 months. Individuals can buy huge amount of shares in India because they have come out with a system that is equivalent to margin trading in the U.S.A; the one difference is that you only have to put 20% of the money down and the rest is lent to you. Upon close examination this sort of trading carries a much higher risk one that is normally associated with futures trading.
In a few years one wonders if one will be able to tell the difference between the Asian mindset and the American mindset. Are the Asians about to give up what has helped them for centuries and embrace the dangerous system of credit and debt? Time will tell it's the only teacher that kills all its students.
This simply tells us that the competing with the Joneses concept is being quite successfully exported worldwide. The theme of the big boys is to entrap the majority all over the world through debt. Little to these chaps understands that nothing comes for free or what might appear to look good could actually be nothing but invisible chains that keep you trapped forever.
There is one somewhat bright spot here. Entrepreneurial individuals can start to prepare themselves for a new big business opportunity in credit counseling and debt management is going to emerge. In the end though many Jobs are being exported to these nations from the west; the smart individual with vision can leap frog ahead and be ready to offer services that no one has dreamed of yet. It goes without saying that these chaps are going to miss manage this credit they are being given; hence like the West credit counselors, debt reduction services, debt consolidation services, psychological counseling etc are going to be in huge demand. One other bonus is that individuals here always think that services offered from the West are better. So if a Westerner were to combine with an easterner to open one of these services the profit potential could be huge. However bear in mind this is not something that is going to happen tomorrow but happen it will and so those who are prepared to take on some risk can start to study the markets now. As with any business one must be willing to go down to these countries, make connections and the key thing is always start small.
"The world values the seer above all men, and has always done so. Nay, it values all men in proportion as they partake of the character of seers. The Elgin Marbles and a decision of John Marshall are valued for the same reason. What we feel in them is a painstaking submission to facts beyond the author's control, and to ideas imposed upon him by his vision. So with Beethoven's Symphonies, with Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations' -- with any conceivable output of the human mind of which you approve. You love them because you say, 'These things were not made, they were seen.'" - John Jay Chapman 1862-1933, American Author