As an American traveling through China for two weeks visiting five different cities plus Hong Kong the one overriding question I am asked is – ‘How are things in the U.S? It looks really bad.’ Think about being asked that question when you are 8,000 miles away from home and how you might answer.
While pondering an answer to the question of the decline in the U.S., in stark contrast is the increasing wealth in China. Inflation has begun to have a real impact in daily life China despite the Chinese Central Government efforts to hold inflation in check. The opportunities however remain substantial and a well-heeled upper class is emerging in China. I find that fascinating under the umbrella of living in a Socialist country.
As a marketing and business development agency the luxury market in China is exploding. The nouveau-riche in China demand goods that are authentic and are willing to pay for them – and at ‘bust-out’ retail prices. If you segment out 1% of China’s population as the top earners and holders of wealth, that represents more than 13,000,000 people. It’s safe to say that there are incredible opportunities to market to people within this segment. That’s a big reason western luxury goods companies are clamoring to gain a foothold in China.
Is China’s bubble possibly going to burst? The central government will continue to try to do everything it can to stop that from happening – or to at least minimize the impact. But for now the aura of positivity in China (and Hong Kong for that matter) continues to energize, intrigue, and impress me.
The Chinese people (and Hong Kong people too) often remark about the consistent stream of negative news from the United States. I have been in China nearly a week and have not been reading the U.S. newspapers as usual. Consequently I am missing my daily dose of what has been bad news on top of bad news. It’s making me think about cutting back on reading the depressing dailies. I have learned that I am not missing as much as I thought and I have a much more overall positive attitude being in China.
So back to the question – is it really that bad in the U.S.? Well things are not going well but if you were to view the U.S.’s situation from overseas by reading the news you would probably begin to feel sorry for the Americans. And since when did the United States become a county to pity?
I am not suggesting Americans act as if everything is fine and dandy. But I am coming to believe that we Americans are becoming prisoners of our own media’s desire to highlight what is going wrong with the country. Do all the ‘experts’ that forecast the likelihood of a ‘double-dip’ recession hope that it actually happens so they can boast that they called it right?
We all have the power to change the dialog and attitude. Why don’t we start by focusing on making things better instead of complaining about how bad things are?