Sunday, November 19, 2006

Consumerism

I was reading the Times and came across an interesting quote from President Bush.

"In a trip that has focused relentlessly on the future, Mr. Bush urged China’s leader, Hu Jintao, to create “a nation of consumers and not savers, which will inure to the benefit of our manufacturers, both large and small, and our farmers, as well.” It was an echo of what Mr. Bush’s father used to urge in his visits to Japan, in hopes of closing the trade gap."

I don't necessarily think that pushing a poor country to follow the US down the path of unbridled consumption is the right policy to pursue. Maybe the US should try to promote increased savings and investment at home. Perhaps the US dollar would stop its gradual decline against other major currencies. Consumer businesses have marketed their way to saturation in the US so they need international growth to increase their stock prices. When companies such as P&G, Coke, McDonald's, and ConAgra have flat earnings growth excluding international growth and price inflation, I guess they need help from the President to push for increased consumer spending internationally. What happens after these companies saturate the rest of the world's markets? Oh wait... that must be why we're going to Mars.

No comments: