Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Poverty, India and Hermes

Quite a few articles in today's IHT (NYT) that I found interesting for IB economics students!

"Trying to sell luxury goods amid stark poverty" is the first (here). Read this:

An old woman missing her top front teeth holds a tot in rumpled clothes - who is sporting a Fendi bib. At retail, the bib sells for about $100.

A family of three squeezes onto a motorbike for their daily commute, the mother riding helmetless and sidesaddle in the traditional Indian way - except that she has a Herm├Ęs Birkin bag prominently displayed on her wrist. It costs over $10,000, if you can find one.

Elsewhere, a toothless, barefoot man holds a Burberry umbrella costing about $200.

Welcome to the new India - at least as Vogue sees it.

"The swelling ranks of the very poor" is the second one (here)
There is a lot more poverty in the world than previously thought.The World Bank reported in August that in 2005, there were 1.4 billion people living below the poverty line - that is, living on less than $1.25 a day.
The poverty expressed in the World Bank's measure is so abject that it is hard for citizens of the industrial world to comprehend.
India, which has more people in extreme poverty than it did 25 years ago....

...and, this year's IHT Luxury Conference "THE WORLD'S LEADING CONFERENCE ON THE BUSINESS OF LUXURY AND STYLE" will be held in (take a wild guess and register here!)

I can 'smell' the discussions we may have in class on this one!

(BTW, the new poverty count has to do with new PPP dollar estimates - we've talked about this last year)

(distasteful, isn't it?)

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