I heard about this one from the lovely-sounding Noëlle McCarthy on National Radio ﬁrst (more Irish lasses on our airwaves, please), crediting its origins to Slate columnist Daniel Gross. Most of you will probably have read the original by now: that there is an ever-so present correlation between how many Starbucks a country has and how deep it has found itself in the ﬁnancial crisis.
There are outliers, of course: Iceland has no Starbucks, and it has become one of the biggest indicators of ﬁnancial failure. Gross himself points out that Russia has only six. But the premise that he advances, slightly tongue-in-cheek, is tied more into the idea of the technocracy failing:
Having a signiﬁcant Starbucks presence is a pretty signiﬁcant indicator of the degree of connectedness to the form of highly caffeinated, free-spending capitalism that got us into this mess. It’s also a sign of a culture’s willingness to abandon traditional norms and ways of doing business (virtually all the countries in which Starbucks has established beachheads have their own venerable coffee-house traditions) in favor of fast-moving American ones. The fact that the company or its local licensee felt there was room for dozens of outlets where consumers would pony up lots of euros, liras, and rials for expensive drinks is also a pretty good indicator that excessive ﬁnancial optimism had entered the bloodstream.
Or, countries who put the quest for false growth ahead of their people and their culture, dismissing transparency in favour of short-term foreign capital, will ﬁnd themselves in more trouble when a ﬁnancial crisis hits. Posted by Jack Yan, 22:54
Quite agreed, Jim.Post a Comment
Starbucks’ great contribution to my life is humour: when they ask what my name is, so they can shout it out when the coffee is ready, I give them all sorts of offensive names (e.g. Osama bin Laden).
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