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Weak US Dollar Means Nintendo Favors Europe For Now 588

Posted by timothy
from the aber-vere-ahr-all-zee-deutschmarks? dept.
timeOday writes "The LA Times is reporting that the new Nintendo Wii Fit is hard to find on US shelves, due not only to strong demand but also the United States' declining status in the world economy: '"[Nintendo] is also is shrewdly maximizing its profit by sending four times as many units to Europe, reaping the benefits of the strong euro," says Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities. "The shortage demonstrates one consequence of the weak dollar. We're seeing companies ignore their largest market simply because they can make a greater profit elsewhere."'"
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Weak US Dollar Means Nintendo Favors Europe For Now

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  • by Chapium (550445) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @02:28PM (#23701397)
    If there is such strong demand, why not raise the price?
  • Cost of localisation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Sunday June 08, 2008 @02:31PM (#23701413) Homepage Journal

    Rarely do we ever get a title released here first, even titles that were developed here tend to get released in the USA first.
    I'd imagine that the number of customers per language is higher in North America and Japan than anywhere in Europe. Do Nintendo of Europe and the European Union even allow publishers to make an English-only release (for Irish and UK customers and intra-EU importers) followed by a multilingual release?
  • by neokushan (932374) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @02:33PM (#23701427)
    I've no idea, but there's no real reason to hold a title back from the UK just because they haven't translated it into French, Italian, German and Spanish (assuming it's not one of those titles with a language select in it, which are rare these days).
    It wouldn't be so bad, but they never bother to translate American English into British English, so really, what's the point in waiting?
  • Re:Bush (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2008 @02:35PM (#23701441)
    I hate bush as much as the next person but if it wasn't bush it'd have been the other guy. The system is designed so that it's required that the spending always has to increase.

    National debt works like this:
    Treasury/Fed make federal reserve dollars and give it out as treasuries at interest.

    People get the interest over time and theoretically expect to get principle in the future. Now the Fed/Treasury control the money supply and have paid the interest for however many years, so much of that money they received has to be handed back. Where are they going to get the principle from? Creating more debt of course, which then also has to be paid back, and so on...

    All bush did was speed up the process, the whole thing has to break.

    Check out money as debt on google video.

    Maybe I won't have described the process perfectly correctly but to the best of my knowledge that's correct. Someone please correct me if it's wrong.
  • by miscz (888242) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @02:43PM (#23701489)
    Yes, at least in here in Poland it's a regular practice. What's totally fucked up is that english ones usually cost up to twice as much as the localised ones. Add that we aren't used to this kind of translations (movies in cinema are almost exclusively subtitled and TV uses voice-over via Gavrilov translation [wikipedia.org]) and it just feels wrong to hear our language used by Stroggs and other alien invaders.
  • by Doppler00 (534739) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @02:57PM (#23701601) Homepage Journal
    Good question. Nintendo is losing quite a bit of money by not raising the price of the Wii to match market demand. I think in the U.S. people are too used to seeing the price of electronics fall yearly, but with our rapid inflation rate, that's not going to happen anymore.

    Nintendo should just go ahead and silently raise the price a little. Sure, there will be some anger but I don't think it would hurt their brand very much. They could always just say "because of the weakening U.S. dollar..." and I think people would get the point. Heck, even U.S. companies are doing that now.
  • Re:Heh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday June 08, 2008 @03:03PM (#23701633) Homepage Journal

    Methinks you are being sensationalist. If anything, the "recession/depression" that we are going through will stimulate a tide of social-programs that will benefit the overall welfare of the country more than the sales of a few million Wiis could.

    I mentioned the Wiis as signifier, not as a possible spur to economic recovery, and your attempt to distract from the actual conversation by depicting it as anything else is disingenuous at best.

    With that said, a tide of social programs is one possible outcome. It was a possible outcome during the Great Depression, too, but in actuality we never really recovered from that until we began to receive and benefit from economic concessions from Germany and Japan following WWII.

    This time it's hard to imagine where the money is going to come from. I'd like to see the public works projects, but they couldn't even bother to go save people's lives in New Orleans. I'm just not seeing it, sorry. Seriously, where does the money come from?

    You doom-and-gloom predictions of "a lot of sweat to correct it" simply miss the point of what's really wrong.

    I really meant blood, but I didn't want to seem overly melodramatic. On the other hand, blood is the cost of the way we do business today - do you have any idea of what percentage of the shit we buy from China is produced in government-owned-and-operated forced labor camps filled predominantly with people whose primary crime is that they were the nails sticking up the farthest and they needed laborers? People are literally put into labor camps for being Christians... where they make the plastic shit that we hang on our christmas trees.

    Closer to home, though, I really don't see things changing for the better without a major upset. I hope to be wrong.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2008 @03:12PM (#23701683)

    There is no correlation between a weak dollar and the strength or status of the U.S. in the world economy.
    Of course there is. The less the dollar is worth to anyone else, the less economic power the US has in relation to them. This is obvious. If the dollar is extremely highly valued then those dollars could be used to buy up Japanese industries. If the Yen is highly valued then those Yen can be used to buy up US industries (if the Japanese want them). Some fluctuation is normal but it's silly to pretend that those fluctuations don't represent changing economic power.

    A weak dollar is not inherently bad either as it makes our exports more attractive and competitive.
    This is true. Also vomiting isn't inherently bad either as it removes unhealthy comments from your stomach. However, falling currency values, like vomiting, arise as a reaction to a problem. The US economy has real problems.
  • While there is some truth in what you say -- and reporters make copy by selling "bad news", however they spin it -- the real question is: how weak is too weak? If markets begin to skip selling in the US in lieu of more lucrative markets elsewhere, I really don't see this as a "good thing". The US has lost much of its manufacturing and production capacity to other countries, so there is nothing in place to make up the short fall.

    The US is a war-driven ecomony, which is unfortunate on many fronts, let alone creating weapons and systems that kill innocents en masse -- there's an associated brain drain, and the goods created in most cases have no material use that would enhance wealth -- but rather, these devices are designed to destroy wealth as well as human lives.

    China has manufacturing capability up the ying-yang (no pun intended), and as I've stated before, if they were to choose to stop propping up the USD, the US would have far more to loose than they would. Also keep in mind the Euro markets that they could -- and probably are -- transistion to if they're smart.

    No, I'm afraid this is a different situation. It might be "ok" for the dollar to have *some* weakness from time to time, but you can't tell me it would be fine if the bottom fell out on the dollar entirely.

  • Quid pro quo? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by frisket (149522) <peter AT silmaril DOT ie> on Sunday June 08, 2008 @03:37PM (#23701853) Homepage
    Why is this surprising? US companies have been doing this in reverse for a few centuries: this is why so many products are available in the USA which are unheard-of in Europe. It's not just American insularity, although that may be a component: it's just what the companies fondly believe to be market forces (usually they're wrong anyway, but that's the principle).
  • Re:What... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by frisket (149522) <peter AT silmaril DOT ie> on Sunday June 08, 2008 @03:43PM (#23701917) Homepage
    The price they charge is a different matter. Most American companies and their Asian imitators work on the entirely false assumption that Europeans have more disposable income than Americans. I have no idea where this comes from, when it's patently untrue, but Apple have believed it for decades, which is why Macs are twice the price here that they are in the USA. Don't forget most Marketing people have the brain-power of a small gnat, and blithely believe everything their colleagues tell them (and like most professionals, myself included, spend far too much time talking to people in the same business instead of getting out for a bit). So it only takes one spark of suggestion to make the whole hive believe that Europeans will buy more of product Z than Americans will, even when the facts and the pricing make it impossible.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @03:45PM (#23701941)
    "I hate hearing the whining of the article repeated elsewhere"

    TFA talks of the North American market. Tack on the Canadian numbers to those of the US and I'm sure you'll see the total top the Japanese numbers.
  • by NFN_NLN (633283) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @03:54PM (#23702007)

    If I was BMW I'd love to settle back in Detroit; little competition from GM/Ford, tons of skilled workers...


    Queue sound of music stopping to a screech...


    "Toyota has stated it will build a new factory in Canada instead of the US because of concerns US workers are less skilled."

    "Toyota President calls American's stupid"
    http://forums.motortrend.com/70/38630/the-general-forum/toyota-president-calls-americans-stupid/index.html [motortrend.com]
  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @04:03PM (#23702065) Homepage Journal
    "environment stuff has little to do with manufacturing leaving the us (europe has far stricter environmental laws and a now-stronger manufacturing base)."

    No...I didn't mean it was reason it left...but, is an impediment to it returning. We can't seem to even get to drill for our own oil off the coasts of FL or CA....even with great breakthroughs in safely drilling without spills. We can't seem to build any more refineries any longer, nor build Nuke plants...too much NIMBY.

    I think it is going to hurt us even more in the future. Like I said above (amazingly modded down to hell), I hope to strike a balance...between ecology, and the needs of modern man for materials and energy...

  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by homer_s (799572) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @04:17PM (#23702179)
    And where do those raw materials, or even parts for those jet engines come from?

    You are correct, the USA should immediately cease producing value added goods and produce iron ore and silicon.
  • What a coincidence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @04:21PM (#23702201)

    OPEC is doing this with their oil as well.

    Nobody wants dollars any more. That their value hasn't collapsed completely is due to the fact that every foreign national banking system has a vault full of dollars. Unloading them all at once would be the biggest run on the banking system you've ever seen. So oil (and many other commodity) producers 'officially' trade their product in dollars. Unless you happen to have Euros, Yuan, or some other desirable currency. Then you get a discount.

  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2008 @04:44PM (#23702333)
    Iraq war was at least as pointless as the Vietnam war. Saddam was no threat other than in the eyes of the American public bombarded by the propaganda campaign of the US government.

    If you read Israeli Kuwaiti security reports about Iraq their assessment was; Iraq is essentially a failed state extremely week from a decade of sanctions and poses no security threat.

    Being defenseless is of course a prerequisite for the US to invade as we won't pick on someone that could actually defend themselves (would not be a very productive way to run an empire)

    The worst atrocities Saddam committed was while he was SUPPORTED by the US. This is hugely important piece of information that gets downplayed with "the enemy of our enemy is our friend". But the US was supporting both sides of the Iran/Iraq conflict so there is no moral ground to stand on.

    The problems of Saddam at his worst was he was being supported by an external all powerful military force with deep vested interests in resources of the area, giving him free hand to commit atrocities in the name of "stability" now Iraq has a government in place that commits atrocities in the name of "democracy" with the same power structure. This is not lost on Iraqis. The victims flesh burning white phosphors [google.com] in Fallujah and the tortured of abu ghraib [google.com] probably don't care much about the semantics.

  • Even weirder (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Moraelin (679338) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @04:49PM (#23702387) Journal
    ... is the fact that the UK too used to get most games 1 year after the USA. And don't think that any actually got internationalized to UK English and voice actors with UK accents. Mostly it was the US game, 1 year later. No idea if that's still the case, but it wouldn't surprise me too much.

    Even weirder was buying a US import version of Sega's PSO for the Dreamcast, over half a year IIRC before it got released in Europe. The weird thing is: the US version already had all the language options. I don't mean just that it also had Spanish, but it also had German and French. So someone from the USA could jolly well play the game in German or French, but the people in Germany or France weren't supposed to.

    Exactly what they needed that delay for, I don't even know. Certainly not for translations.
  • Re:Even weirder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jsebrech (525647) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @05:00PM (#23702455)
    Exactly what they needed that delay for, I don't even know. Certainly not for translations.

    Marketing. They needed to spread out the marketing effort through time so they could do it with a fixed team.
  • Re:Heh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RobBebop (947356) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @05:05PM (#23702491) Homepage Journal

    I couldn't agree more. But like I said, out-of-control real estate prices are a major urban concern. Also, another reader mentioned that cheap housing has a significant impact on local crime. High-crime areas are definitely not good for families.

    So in addition to parks, I think urban schools that are hands-down better than suburban options would be a boon for the "family-friendly" cities that you speak of.

  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by couchslug (175151) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @05:08PM (#23702509)
    There is a surprising amount of industry in the US, but it doesn't get publicity. If you are willing to do skilled manual labor there are plenty of jobs for pipe weldors and other metal fabricators that cannot be outsourced. Caterpillar sells plenty of generators overseas too.

    The American worker needs to become competitive and that means aggressively seeking education and job-specific skills. It is our duty to OURSELVES to be adaptive, multi-skilled, inquisitive, self-teaching, and to hustle for work. People who refuse to do that deserve what they get. Our competitors aren't doing anything we cannot CHOOSE to do.

    As for any "green" obstacles, vote and organize others to vote. Don't forget to vote against the "oilgarchy" who are a MUCH bigger obstacle than the "greenies" they blame-shift onto!
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @05:16PM (#23702549) Homepage
    Europe gets the shaft in gaming compared to Japan and the US. Hopefully things will balance out and we won't be treated like lepers by gaming companies.
  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2008 @05:17PM (#23702553)
    Of course you have other places to use that money. The US subsidizes your military. I.e. we fund our military so that you don't have to.

    Unfortunately, the unintended consequence of baby sitting Western Europe was that it invited Western Europe to lecture the US on the unnecessary of war and military.

    Personally, I am fully in favor of pulling all military assets out of the EU now, NATO too. Let's see how much money you have left for your social programs then. Maybe you'll all go back to killing on another.
  • WTF? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by theolein (316044) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @05:31PM (#23702633) Journal

    I really meant blood, but I didn't want to seem overly melodramatic. On the other hand, blood is the cost of the way we do business today - do you have any idea of what percentage of the shit we buy from China is produced in government-owned-and-operated forced labor camps filled predominantly with people whose primary crime is that they were the nails sticking up the farthest and they needed laborers? People are literally put into labor camps for being Christians... where they make the plastic shit that we hang on our christmas trees.

    What the fuck is that? Please show me where you got that information on China putting people into labour camps to produce commodity goods?

    Excuse me for saying this, but that paragraph makes you look like an ignorant dumbass. China is booming because, surprise, surprise, they embraced capitalism, and Chinese companies work very hard and pay very low wages, and their products sell well because of the resulting low prices. China is not a free country and open your mouth and criticise the government too much and you will get arrested, but they actually have a Chinese branch of the Catholic church (the Vatican and China have resolved a lot of their differences).

    The last time China put people into labour camps for being Christian was during the Cultural Revolution, about 40 years ago.

    You know, if people like you would actually read the news on occasion, and pay a little attention to what's happening beyond your borders, your economy might profit as a result of that enlightening knowledge.
  • O RLY? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nicolaiplum (169077) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @05:33PM (#23702643)
    I've been trying to buy one of those Wii Fits that are supposedly all over Europe and I can't find any for sale in the UK.
    Amazon.de has some, that's all I can find. No English versions anywhere.
    I'm sure some 'leet slashdotter knows where there's a secret stash in the UK, and they may even tell me, but that doesn't change the fact that they're effectively unobtainable in the UK too.

  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2008 @05:38PM (#23702677)
    I was in Fallujah from 2003-2004. Willy Pete's (white phosphorus) was never used as a "bomb". White Phosphorus is used in illumination rounds, which burn up long before they hit the ground. I never heard of any incident regarding white phosphorus bombs being used. Those pictures you see on google could have been caused by many other methods. If you are willing to say that the majority of the news you see on T.V. is propaganda (which it probably is) than you should also accept that much of what you see on the internet is bullshit as well.
  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @05:59PM (#23702799) Homepage Journal
    "ou are correct, the USA should immediately cease producing value added goods and produce iron ore and silicon."

    No..not at all, you miss the point. We should strive as much as possible to be as completely self sufficient as possible, or risk our independence to the rest of the world if for some reason where we get stuff from, decides to withhold resources....

    Think about the risk we currently run with oil dependence from foreign sources. Now..extrapolate that to other raw goods.

  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FST777 (913657) <frans-jan@nospAm.van-steenbeek.net> on Sunday June 08, 2008 @07:15PM (#23703345) Homepage
    Here in the Netherlands, US cars are advertised on the radio by mentioning the continuing fall of the dollar in a news styled manner while cheering is heard on the background. I'm not joking.
  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vandan (151516) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @07:21PM (#23703405) Homepage

    Germany used slave labor including child labor through 1945 and France and the rest of the chest-thumping Europeans allowed it as long as Germany wouldn't attack. Europeans abolishing slavery before the US is false. Or did you conveniently forget that?

    1) The period of fascist control should be excused
    2) Germany doesn't represent all of Europe

    The Soviets used slavery until at least the mid 1960's.

    They weren't soviets. A 'Soviet' was a workers' council ( literally translated as peoples' advise ). What happened after Stalin came to power was nothing to do with the Soviets.

    Many in the Muslim world today have slaves. They are called women.

    That's just racist trash. There's not a single Muslim family I know where I'd say that the female was treated like a slave. But if I look at society more generally, I'd say that Western ideology includes treating women like slaves. For example, my wife is pregnant, and due to give birth in 1 month. She gets 1 year maternity leave, but it's all UNPAID. She, and all other women, are expected to take care of the baby and home generally, for FREE. Now sure, my income supports her ( just ). But not all women are that lucky. What's more, when she goes back to work, the wages she earns will be about 70% of a males' wage, not because she's less skilled or capable, but just because Western society treats women like that. I'm sure it's the same in your country. In fact, I'm sure you support this. So lets not bring out the racist BS while conveniently forgetting our own shit, OK?
  • Mexico (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Roadmaster (96317) <(roadmr) (at) (tomechangosubanana.com)> on Sunday June 08, 2008 @07:39PM (#23703569) Homepage Journal
    Yes, well, here in Mexico we enjoy a nearly 100% markup over US prices (the Wii is US $470 and Wii Fit will run you US $150). And indeed you can see mountains of boxes in stores, even walmart stocks tons of wiifits and wiis. So while a lot of them will languish for a while on the shelf, Nintendo knows that those who sell will give them a really huge profit. By ignoring the economic reality of the country, where a cheaper console would indeed move a larger number of unis, they maximize their profit by catering to those who would indeed pay those sums for the console. Sadly that excludes about 98% of the population.
  • by PPH (736903) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @07:45PM (#23703613)

    Stupid to announce it. Not so stupid to do it.

    Exporters like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela may already be accepting foreign currencies for settlements. They just aren't going to advertise it. Not until they can divest themselves of most of their dollar reserves and are willing to write off the rest.

    In fact, the secret discount rate for those who offer to pay in other than USD may already be significant. Its like my Club Card at Safeway. The non-member price is set higher than the club price (advertised). Also, I get an additional discount, based upon my spending history, zip code, and whether the lady running the register thinks I'm cute and pushes the 'extra discount' button. The Saudis might be pushing that 'cute' button whenever someone flashes a role of Euros.

  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2008 @07:48PM (#23703637)
    We are not producing goods. We are producing SERVICES; and they are EASILY replaceable. We need vertical markets. The really bad part of this is that we have allowed a country that is STILL in a cold war with us to do our goods. If they were not in a cold war with us, they would allow their yuan to float against all others. In addition, they would be building DEFENSES weapons, not offensive.

    We are in big trouble.
  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wildclaw (15718) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @10:43PM (#23704469)

    I'd say that Western ideology includes treating women like slaves. For example, my wife is pregnant, and due to give birth in 1 month. She gets 1 year maternity leave, but it's all UNPAID. She, and all other women, are expected to take care of the baby and home generally, for FREE.
    Not all western countries are the same of course.

    Here in Sweden there is 480 days of paid parenthood. I am not sure how big percentage of the salary that is is.

    However, one interesting thing to note is that these 480 days may be distributed in any way between father and mother. This is relativly new, and one of the things implemented to decrease gender discrimination here in Sweden. It is a very good law. Not only does it help women who want to keep working. There are also many new fathers that would like to spend more time with their children.

    The biggest remaining gender discrimination here in Sweden is probably the wage gap which is hard to explain. There is work being done to reduce it, but it is hard without understanding the real reason for it. As you say, women aren't less skilled or capable, so how come they on average have lower salaries.

    Is it concious discrimination by those setting salaries, or maybe unconcious discrimination. Or are women less likely to ask for salary increases? Until we fully know the answer to those questions it will be hard to fix it.
  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ravenshrike (808508) on Monday June 09, 2008 @12:11AM (#23705101)
    Ah, but if you include social protection in your base tax, then you have to include SocSec and MediCare/MedicAid in the US tax rate, in which case military spending is third. That's right, the US spends over double what it does on the military on basic social welfare.
  • by Tom (822) on Monday June 09, 2008 @12:31AM (#23705231) Homepage Journal

    There is no correlation between a weak dollar and the strength or status of the U.S. in the world economy.
    Wrong, for two reasons.

    One, lots and lots of countries have, over the past decades, hoarded US$ as reserve currency. They see investments of billions, in some cases trillions, of dollars rapidly deflate.
    Two, the world markets have changed. Point #1 is true because for a long time you could buy anything, anywhere in the world, with US$. That's changing. Thus your devalued currency is falling not only in purchasing power, but also in reach.

    And this feeds back directly to the strength and status of the US because the US is a huge importing nation. Since there's little it exports, there's little you - as a foreign country with three times your GDP bound up in US$ - can do to get rid of your rapidly declining reserve. You can buy some high-tech, and that's essentially it. The US exports too little to spend your money, and other countries aren't really interested in taking it, because they're also trying to get rid of the crap.

    The net effect of that is that the US becomes less and less important as a trading partner, because what they offer - US$ - is becoming worthless slips of fancy paper that you're desperately trying to get rid of, instead of getting even more of them.

    That's a lot of loss of strength and status compared to a time where most of the world was trying hard to do business with you.
  • Re:Heh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Monday June 09, 2008 @12:48AM (#23705315) Homepage Journal

    we never really recovered from that until we began to receive and benefit from economic concessions from Germany and Japan following WWII.

    This time it's hard to imagine where the money is going to come from.
    You've already said it: WW3. You justs elected the guy with the family experience a few years too early, and he was a dumbass who probably ruined his brother's chances.

    I seriously do expect that the US will start a major war to beef up its economy. It definitely can't afford to go without a war at this time, I'm pretty certain it can't support a peace-economy anymore.
  • Re:Oh the humanity (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2008 @05:00AM (#23706671)
    You can blame a lot of problems in the middle east on the British, but the whole Saddam WMD administration rationale certainly isn't one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2008 @11:41AM (#23727187)
    Yes, you hate Americans, we get it. But at least don't come off like a total moron. Gas is cheaper here, largely because we don't tax the heck out of it like you guys do. For us, gas prices have more than doubled over the past few years. The % change for you guys is much less since you had such high taxes.

    Because we have had such cheap gas, we were able to buy large, gas consuming vehicles (not me personally, but a lot of Americans did). Seeing gas prices rise so sharply and owning cars that get poor gas mileage means that a lot of people have a lot less expendable income. Expensive gas also means that the prices of everything else rise.

    Your solution of getting a smaller car shows how little you know about finances. The cost of trading in your SUV for a compact would take years to make up. Only if you are in the market for a new car does it make financial sense. And guess what, a lot of people are doing that right now.

    I guess I understand to a certain extent the anger directed towards us. Our government has done a poor job for us and the world. Americans are people just like you. You have traveled, you should have more of an open mind. Instead, you come off as close minded and a jerk. People are suffering...and in your mind, you think they deserve it. That's pretty sad. Despite all the anti-US sentiment in this posting from Europeans, I don't wish any ill towards your country or your people. You (not your country, but you) come off like you have some sort of inferiority complex.

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