Originally Posted by solipsism Wal-Mart: Bringing 3rd-World Servitude To Your Hometown
Seriously though, as someone who has traveled extensively I find it impossible for me to separate the plight of people in, say, China working in factories making high-end goods for pennies an hour from those in other part of the world who have more choices, make more money, have a better quality of life because of where they were born, and are only complaining when comparing themselves to others within a culture. I don’t think it’s unusual for people to complain about Wal-Mart or want more, but the US is still much better off than most the world and most the world’s population by a very large margin. Because of this and the fact there are so many options for those with drive, passion and aptitude to succeed in the US with less effort than in most places I can’t feel bad for these people with jobs when I look at the big picture.
What I notice strongly nowadays is that when I watch Hollywood movies about romance, and you know, how so and so is lonely, or trying to find the "one" and so on.... I go, damn, they have some nice apartments, a stable job, good income, and live in a nice, hip neighbourhood... I'm like WTF are they complaining about? If finding the most perfect man is the very worst of your troubles you need to seriously re-evaluate things. I know it's Hollywood but I've lived in the US and I know even if you are not that well off standard of living is high - it's a developed nation. US, Europe, Australia, now even Korea, are leagues ahead of Asia, Middle East, South America, and goes without saying, Africa.
Come to South East Asia where public transportation, town planning and governments are half-baked, a Honda Civic is over $100k and basic apartments at least $250k and an iPhone $2k and iPad $3k while your wage is just $20k a year even doing up to 55 hours a week with no overtime pay (local currencies indicated here... Imagine - your annual salary of USD $12,000 is considered "middle class"). And if you're the wrong ethnicity forget about cheaper loans, cars, housing, business contracts, more affordable universities, government jobs and so on.
I laugh sometimes when posters from the US say that Apple stuff is for the rich. It's "for the rich" when your gawdammed iPhone4 costs one month's salary and a bumper is over $100 in local currency.
That said though in the developed (and of course developing) world mental health can be an issue which can cause people to not be able to hold stable employment or have that "drive to be normal and succeed as people expect them to". Which of course should be separated from general lack of ambition. I have personal experience in this in that my life in Australia was alright but I lived with undiagnosed bipolar type2 that eventually became crippling and had to return to South East Asia where my parents live to begin treatment and rehabilitation. My medication costs alone are about 1/4 of my monthly pre-tax wage... To be honest if not for my parents' support I would either be in prison, on the streets, or dead.
Also had to help my parents with sorting out their finances for their retirement. Not as straightforward here when your currency can be manipulated by governments or global billionaires and financial institutions (see: Asian Currency Crisis 10 years ago). To this day many Asian currencies are not freely floated on the currency market but controlled by the respective governments themselves to reduce speculation (and some would argue give unfair trade advantages).
I have $20,000 of savings in local currency after a gruelling five years, but were I to try and go back to Australia now that's only about 3 months worth of expenses including air ticket, rent, looking for a job, medication, etc etc. And given the level of sophistication and education in the developed world, Malaysian work experience doesn't look too fancy. And my level of English is well, well above the norm...
</ sob story LOL >