View Full Version : Poor countries aren't neccesarily poor?

24-01-06, 00:46
Today, I was in Poundland (no, I'm not a chav :-) , chavs call me a "goffick dikhead" in fact, but anway), and brought a pack of 4 Colgate tooth brushes, obviously being from Poundland, for a pound a pack. I didn't think much of it till I got home and inspected them closer, they had Vietnamese writting all over them (indicating they were from the Vietnamese market) and with the price 10,000 D for 4. I soon did a conversion from Vietnamese Dong to British pounds and it comes out at 35p a pack, in Tesco (equvilent to Walmart for you Americans) a pack costs about 3.99.

So, in theory, things are cheaper in countries which have lower wages so don't they have the same standard of living because they can get just as much because things are cheaper?

24-01-06, 02:19
Yes, some things are much cheaper in poor countries, but that doesn't mean the standard of living is the same. There are a few things you have to consider:
-Things are cheaper, but their quality is terrible
This is especially true for food products. Since rich countries will always pay more than poor ones and will only accept good quality products, the result is quite obvious: all the good food is exported and the garbage stay at the poor country (and we have to eat it). This is also true for any kind of product-- everything that doesn't pass the quality check is simply sold here.

-Imports are WAY more expensive
Everything gets at least 3x more expensive than in their country of origin when imported. Combine that with extremely lower wages and you get people not being able to afford high technology equipments (electronics, computers, etc) or anything else they can't buy in their country (which is a lot).

Pretty much everyone can afford tooth brushes (btw, look at it closely. It probably has some kind of defect)... but that's not what defines a good life. The problem begins when your car, TV, computer, food, etc are a piece of crap and you can't do anything about it. When everything that's available for sale is either really bad or really expensive, your standard of living starts to deteriorate really fast. So no, poor countries are indeed poor.

Sorry for the rant..:relief:

24-01-06, 10:59
Some countries are rich on paper, but with a lot of poor people (i.e. people whose salary is too low to live comfortably) like the USA.

Other countries are rich on paper, have little poverty, but people's purchasing power is still relatively low because a lot of things are very expensive compared to salaries, like in Japan.

Some countries are poor on paper, but have a substantial percentage of the population living more comfortably than in so-called rich countries (e.g. India, where even middle-class people can afford domestics).

Some countries are poorer than others in terms of absolute GDP per capita (at exchange rate), but have the same purchasing power because everything is cheaper. For example, Taiwan's GDP per capita is only 13,451 US$, but after adjusting to purchasing power, it is 25,983 US$ (almost the same as EU average).

But there are also countries with little poverty, and a high GDP per capita, both nominal and at PPP, like Luxembourg, and others with a low GDP and a lot of poverty, like in quite a few African countries.

29-03-11, 18:05
totally agree with maciamo.