I’ve spent years traveling the world, living in one country or another for long periods. I’ve been wondering, just how big an impact the current economic crisis has on real people everywhere. Since I’m in daily contact with people around the world running Apogee Communications, I thought I’d ask them.
Here are some of their answers:
- GERMANY: “While everyone is talking about the economic crisis, its direct impact hasn’t arrived here yet. For me, nothing has changed at all.”
- SWEDEN: “Living in Gothenburg, the economic crisis has struck the city really hard. Since VOLVO is a big employer here, almost everyone you meet knows someone who has been affected by their cutting back. I see people around me who decided to sell their houses etc. since they can´t afford living there on a reduced salary.”
- SPAIN: “In Spain the crisis is being especially intense because a great deal of our economic growth was based on construction. Since getting a mortgage or credit line now is much harder, construction is totally down and unemployment is rising to 20% and above. Fortunately, people around me do not depend directly on construction and no serious effects are seen between friends and family, although everybody is concerned and worried with the unstoppable unemployment rate and the trend is to spend as little money as possible just in case they lose their jobs.”
- NORWAY: “Not much has happened here. Those who have stocks have lost half of their money. That’s all. Nobody I know have lost their jobs in Norway. It costs more to rent an apartment than ever. I’m working more than normally in order to prepare for bad days.”
- JAPAN: “About the economic crisis, nobody has been laid off within my family or among my friends fortunately, but the owner of an Indian
restaurant I go often told me that the economic crisis certainly affected to their business since there are fewer customers after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. On the other hand, there are flash benefits to be paid (12,000 yen) by the government within a month, so my mother for example, is looking forward to buy a Blueray player with it.”
- INDONESIA: “People in my local region (Indonesia) are not much affected by the economic crisis that has occurred in USA. The situation is still tolerable and the effects not too significant. We were currently focusing on the political campaigns for the upcoming general election ”
- POLAND: “My personal view – one with which most people disagree – it that it is mostly panic.”
- BRAZIL: “I have a regular job (as a programmer) in an advertising agency. People usually say that when things get rough, the advertising budget is one of the first things to get cut. Not from what I’m experiencing. My agency is acquiring more clients than ever since I’ve been there, and hiring new people all the time. None of my friends are suffering any side effects from the so-called crisis either. My father runs his own thriving business as well, a marina. You’d think that during a crisis people would give up their high-priced luxuries such as boats, but again, that’s not what we observed. He’s been so busy lately with the summer and all that I barely even saw him during these last few months, except for Christmas and New Year’s.”
- LATVIA: “Everything’s just peachy. The government resigned last week. The new prime minister just made an announcement on his new government a few hours ago. Inflation rate hit 15.4 % in 2008 and the VAT has been raised to 21% since January 1st. Prices rise so fast you can actually see the difference from one month to another. I guess the economic and financial crisis is everywhere. I miss living in the US.”
- RUSSIA: “I am not affected by the local brainwashing mass media. As far as I know, TV broadcast programs or any other mass media sources, including newspapers or radio shows, are trying to blame the US for the crisis (as if the cold war is back again) to distract people from the predicament in Russia – though it’s not a secret to anyone that the inflation rate (not the official number) is over 200% for the past year. … I see prices rising by a ruble for every small article of food every month. … The xenophobic nature, as well as envy of most people make them rebuke others, mostly the US, for the crisis. Which I can understand – people usually are conformists by nature and they repeat whatever they hear from the masses or the mass media. I, personally, blame no one for the crisis, every country had a large role in contributing to it. And I have no doubts that the larger portion might have come from Russia itself.”
This is a small part of the response I’ve received. Living in the Inland Empire of Southern California (good weather, good schools, wild property price swings), there has been quite a bit of effect. See it here.