All of East Asia (Outside South Korea, Taiwan, Japan).
East Asia outside of the aforementioned countries above is surprisingly poor.
China can be especially rather poor once you leave bigger modern cities.
I know Asia is not a country, it’s a giant region of the world, but I mention Asia as a whole because as a region is VERY INFLATED in the US. A lot of Americans assume Asia is a place of tremendous prosperity, technology (Assuming it’s all Japan), where highly educated people are the norm, with tons of opportunity and innovation.
I think it stems from the fact that a lot of Asian-Americans are very successful and Americans assume it extrapolates back to Asia (not realizing a lot of Asian-Americans come from wealthy backgrounds inside of Asia to begin with). Asia was the world’s poorest region in the 60’s, but it has thrived massively…. however it has a long road ahead.
(Yes, it is the US)
The US is poorer than what many people think. No, the average American does not live like the characters in Melrose place. Americans work hard , in fact very hard to make it in life, a nation full of opportunity BUT YOU HAVE TO GO OUT AND HUNT IT and doing so requires very hard work, money, logistics, resources. Many lack those things thus they will fail in the attempt.
Because of the way American cities are built, you need to spend money constantly, that is because you need a car to be able to move around, a car requires insurance, gas, maintenance…. and if you want to live close to public transportation it can be VERY EXPENSIVE a small flat up in the thousands a month (most Americans can’t really afford it).
So let’s say you’re poor and you do get a job and you have a car to move around…. but you also need a home…. rent in the urban centers of the US is terribly pricey!
Want cheaper rent? You got that option, but that means living in the “country”, That is American for “Middle of nowhere”, where you face a commute of at least two hours. You could find a local job so you don’t have to go to the city — but you wont have that much to choose from in regards to jobs, I mean what could you possibly do for a living in Sugar Ditch one hour outside Memphis?
You can also pick a trailer park within the city limits (enjoy the neighbors with rebel flags, the Trump signs, guns, and hordes of teenage thugs running around), or the hood… (fall asleep to police sirens, loud music, and guns shooting in the distance.)
In most Us cities where the jobs are rents can cost up to 3, 4 thousand dollars a month. So expensive cost of living, plus little safety net (despite good salaries) can lead to a life of tremendous stress and anxiety (which is rampant amongst a lot of Americans), IF I LOSE MY JOB, WHAT WILL I DO?
Want to get a better job so you can afford all those things? STUDY! Yes, a good strategy…. but education is VERY EXPENSIVE…. many simply cannot afford to study and work and pay all those bills that come with living the American way so they are stuck.
Poor? Can’t afford a car? GOOD LUCK GETTING A JOB AT THAT MCDONALDS, how are you gonna get to your job if you need a car, and you cannot afford a car in the first place?
Because of awful public transportation, poor infrastructure in regards to people being able to move around, and cities built in a way that cater to the rich who want to stay away from the poor…. There are food deserts in the US, meaning entire areas of cities where people who are poor and cannot afford cars cannot go to supermarkets to buy food, and since supermarkets don’t want to open in the trailer park nor the hood, then the closest food source for a lot of people is 6, 7, 8, miles away!! Too far to walk…. As a result they go and buy food at the gas station in the corner…. and eat things like coca cola and chips for dinner…. One of the reasons why obesity is EPIDEMIC amongst poor Americans. With obesity come disease OH BUT HEALTHCARE IS PRIVATE!! Enjoy not being able to see a doctor!
I can already see it coming, hordes of brits complaining….. (ABSOLUTE RUBBISH — LONDON THE CENTER OF UNIVERSE!)
Many parts of London, many cities and towns around the country are a charm, with gentle rolling hills, lovely abbeys, idyllic villages… however let’s not forget that a lot of the UK is also an endless ocean of post-industrial gray cities reminiscent of Newark NJ, dotted with rather substandard homes, and surprisingly substandard living conditions… I read a report that up to 85% of all homes built before 1982 in the UK suffer from poor insulation and mold. Add to that a lot of what I wrote below in regards to France but with worse weather, bad food, terrible infrastructure, and possibly more crime. I remember sleeping close to the airport in Luton because of an early morning flight and listening to the local Luton news say that 12 stabbings occurred during the weekend locally, two of them resulting in deaths.
(YEAH YEAH YEAH, LA COTE D’AZUR, AND PAREEEEE!! AND HERMES, CARTIER, CHANEL!!) blah blah blah
It’s not that France is poor, it’s a very egalitarian society (at least it tries to – or used to), HOWEVER, I often find something extremely depressing about being a working class person in France.
Working class French often more than not live like sardines in awful cement blockhouses located in crappy “banlieues”, far from tourists who think France resumes to touristy areas of Paris. (Don’t let the creamy colors of the buildings fool you – they are awful places)….. add to that, the fact these buildings are crowded, often smelly, and it is just a very crappy atmosphere. The crappy weather which is common in the northern half of France does not help either, but it’s not like hot blistering sun of southern France helps either when you live in a crappy banlieue outside Marseilles.
Honorable mention of course, the giant awful carrefours that dot the French landscape “French Walmart”, always there for you, where “if you live in the aforementioned banlieues” you walk to if you want to buy cigarettes, cheap wine, terrible French coffee, disgusting pre-packaged croissants, pain au chocolat in a very French way. (trust me, I’ve been to every single region of metropolitan France except Corse)
I do not know why, but there is something just awfully DEPRESSING about French living outside the fancy city centers and the idyllic countryside.
Just the whole “Worry not, the state is here to take care of you while you rot in a shitty blockhouse and you see your life and dreams pass you by…. however rest assured the government will be there to provide you with shitty subsidies so your supply of bad cheap wine and terrible carrefour croissants is guaranteed”
Then the French wonder why every couple of years kids from those banlieues go out into French cities and do this.
Just because Russia has nukes and a powerful army and Russian oligarchs show their fortunes off for the world to see, it does not mean Russia and its masses live nicely!
In fact, Russia outside the nice Europeanized downtowns of Moscow and St. Petersburg can be a pretty crappy place, and the farther you get from those two cities, the more BRUTALSKY” it gets. (Sorry Russians no offense), add to that the SHITTY CLIMATE, the brutal cold, brutal architecture, brutal history, brutal society, brutal government full of plutocrats and thugs….
Rhea Goikoetxea is a
Colombian woman from the beautiful coffee region of Colombia. She currently does research in the field of genetics.