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Date:      Mon, 22 Aug 2011 19:56:40 -0400
From:      Daniel Staal <>
To:        Gary Gatten <>,
Subject:   RE: First World
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <alpine.BSF.2.00.1108211133500.1308@abbf.6qbyyneqvnyhc.pbz> <> <alpine.BSF.2.00.1108220516520.17068@abbf.6qbyyneqvnyhc.pbz> <> <> <>

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--As of August 22, 2011 2:15:24 PM -0500, Gary Gatten is alleged to have 

> Interesting analogy.  Osama - er, I mean Obama could really use people
> like you to explain things better to him, 'cause obviously he has NO idea
> what his various and numerous Czars and advisors are saying.  Or maybe
> they're all barely functional and don't know any better....

--As for the rest, it is mine.

What analogy?  I was answering a question posed as an aside, in a typically 
geeky 'ha ha, only serious' way.

The distinction between what is considered a 'First World Country' and a 
'Third World County' is hard to define, but easy to feel if you've traveled 
through a bunch of both.  It's some combination of average wealth, 
stability of the economy, the wealth distribution, and possibly a few other 
factors.  Sodas are actually a decent proxy for them: They are a cheap, 
low-end, consumable, _luxury_ item.  An economy that can support a large 
number of different manufacturers with a large variety is going to have a 
certain average wealth, fairly evenly distributed, and have been stable in 
that situation for a while.  So it's an indicator.  A bit of an odd one, 
but it's easy to check, and does a surprisingly good job.  ;)

It's no major insight, and wouldn't really help make any policy decisions, 
but it's something I'll check given the chance in a new country: What the 
selection is, and what the price is.  It will tell you a surprising amount 
about the country.

Daniel T. Staal

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