U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Africa
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-02-2013, 05:25 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,423,177 times
Reputation: 36095

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrestigiousReputability View Post
OK, so prove that the Kenyan Middle class is mainly fueled by used unwanted American clothes then!?

If you want to deny the people who were interviewed in the story for whatever reason then fine, no problem...do whatever makes ya feel good. BUT you can't deny that there were many office buildings shown throughout the video with the streets FILLED to the brim with well-dressed busy Kenyans.

To make things clearer: I'm not debating how large the middle class is there. I'm just trying to show you how it's extremely ignorant to say that the middle class that are present there; are mainly there just b/c of used donated crap. That's just unfounded misinformation.

And as you already admitted, Kenya has a very low cost of labor. Developing countries in general have a very low cost of labor and that allows middle class people to have luxuries like a shouffour, housekeeper and other things that middle class people in developing rarely have. South Africa is a perfect example of this, a huge portion of the middle income population have a housekeeper.
Kenya has as large a population as Canada or Spain, so of course it has a privileged demographic occupying suites in office buildings in its banking center. I met plenty of such Africans 40 years ago, they were there then, too. But to say that branch managers of banks (like Nina in the video) are living a middle-class lifestyle is to flash the "laughter" sign to the studio audience. In the video, I only saw one street a few blocks long filled to the brim with classy Kenyans. Maybe a hundred of them. You can make a camera show whatever you want, and news sources like WorldFocus are very adept at showing whatever they want. Take it from an insider, I've done it.

All I ever said about donated clothing is that it enables the poor to enjoy a slightly higher standard of living (maybe approaching middle class) than they would have had if they had to pay full retail for new clothing, wherever made. Nobody ever implied that Nina can afford a chauffeur (and a car) because she gets her duds at Goodwill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrestigiousReputability View Post

Why are some ppl so threatened by the obvious growth of a Kenyan middle class? Gosh, its not that serious, lol. Relax everyone!
That is so true, that the real question is Why is the growth of a Kenyan middle class even worthy of a discussion thread? Every country in African has experienced daily growth of its middle class since the 1950s. What this thread does, in my view, is exaggerate the present magnitude of the middle class. Kenya is still a dreadfully poor country, and for many Kenyans, not getting any better. To show a camera shot of a street in the financial district of Nairobi showing happy Kenyan managers getting dropped off by their chauffers in front of elegant coffee shops does not do justice to the real facts on the ground in Kenya, and should not be presented to the world as some indicator of a faux well-being.

Last edited by jtur88; 10-02-2013 at 05:50 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-04-2013, 04:46 AM
 
Location: Maryland
18,626 posts, read 16,469,740 times
Reputation: 6348
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrestigiousReputability View Post
What does this have to the thread? Please stay on topic.

And it's called foreign investment. We are in a global economy: all throughout both the developing&developing world, foreign companies invest in other nations and happen to end up building structures; this is nothing new and nothing exclusive with Africa. Foreign investment is usually a good thing for a plethora of obvious reasons..

And it's not a problem since almost all of them hire natives. Some major Kenyan companies such as Uchumi Supermarkets, Transcentury Group, Resolution Insurance, OLX, Centum Investments, etc, etc, etc; were even founded and are currently ran by a native.

- Where I currently live in America [Buffalo NY], UK-based HSBC is the largest corporate employer with the tallest building in the city....so what!
- Hell, even many (if not most) countries in the entire world are flooded with American/foriegn businesses which built structures.. so what!

And nations like Kenya are in the primary stages of development so they don't yet have the quantity of skilled labor and capital for there to be a competitive advantage in a lot of fields (such as engineering, construction and high-tech fields); so its expected that overseas architects are responsible for many of the projects. Natives eventually learn vital skills from them, branch off and do their own things. A good example of this is the number of native large-scale property developers in Nairobi.

Why are some ppl so threatened by the obvious growth of a Kenyan middle class? Gosh, its not that serious, lol. Relax everyone!
Kenya sounds like an oasis of middle class values.

http://nyti.ms/15LGa1p
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2013, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Maryland
18,626 posts, read 16,469,740 times
Reputation: 6348
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Kenya has as large a population as Canada or Spain, so of course it has a privileged demographic occupying suites in office buildings in its banking center. I met plenty of such Africans 40 years ago, they were there then, too. But to say that branch managers of banks (like Nina in the video) are living a middle-class lifestyle is to flash the "laughter" sign to the studio audience. In the video, I only saw one street a few blocks long filled to the brim with classy Kenyans. Maybe a hundred of them. You can make a camera show whatever you want, and news sources like WorldFocus are very adept at showing whatever they want. Take it from an insider, I've done it.

All I ever said about donated clothing is that it enables the poor to enjoy a slightly higher standard of living (maybe approaching middle class) than they would have had if they had to pay full retail for new clothing, wherever made. Nobody ever implied that Nina can afford a chauffeur (and a car) because she gets her duds at Goodwill.



That is so true, that the real question is Why is the growth of a Kenyan middle class even worthy of a discussion thread? Every country in African has experienced daily growth of its middle class since the 1950s. What this thread does, in my view, is exaggerate the present magnitude of the middle class. Kenya is still a dreadfully poor country, and for many Kenyans, not getting any better. To show a camera shot of a street in the financial district of Nairobi showing happy Kenyan managers getting dropped off by their chauffers in front of elegant coffee shops does not do justice to the real facts on the ground in Kenya, and should not be presented to the world as some indicator of a faux well-being.
I agree. I just came across the pics and decided to share. Kenya is a basket case with vicious ethnic strife, a thieving elite and military and desperately poor people.

It's ironic that Al Shabab may not even be the most wicked force in Kenya.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2013, 05:09 AM
 
530 posts, read 1,082,325 times
Reputation: 610
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdwardA View Post
Kenya sounds like an oasis of middle class values.

http://nyti.ms/15LGa1p
You seem unable to grasp basic concepts...you should find that very troublesome.

I never said Kenya was an "oasis of middle class" or a predominately middle class nation. My MAIN IDEA from the START was to discredit the stupid notion of the middle class Kenyans achieving their success by donated clothes. I NEVER even said most Kenyans, or even the average Kenyan, was middle class.

As for that article: Not to discredit it but with search engines, you can find ANY negative thing that you want to about any country, any organization, any race, any notable person, any city and any item. You clearly know a lot about muckracking so i'm sure you know the deal! Unless you find a reputable statistic of the percentage of soldiers engaged in the mall looting then your attempts to disparage Kenyan soldiers, Kenyans, Africans, blacks or whatever your agenda is will be futile.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-05-2013, 02:57 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
1,999 posts, read 1,997,107 times
Reputation: 568
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
Kenya also has a booming tech industry and some of the most advanced mobile banking systems in the (unqualified) world. I suspect that their government wants to emphasize and build on their success in those sectors where they're currently very strong instead of being just one of many low wage factory locations. 17 million M-Pesa accounts in Kenya so far in a population of 43 million, as Kenyans tie banking services to their cell phone accounts.

M-Pesa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The middle class in Africa is growing quickly. But it's not the equivalent of North American/EU middle class. Middle class in much of Africa is living on $4,000 a year. This gets you your cell phone, which is necessary in a place where land lines were always reserved for the rich. You've reached the stage where you can pay school fees for primary and secondary years for your 3.1 kids but university is probably still financially out of reach unless scholarships are involved (African birth rates crater when you get urbanization, probably because home is a 2-3 room concrete block apartment building with a bathroom down the hall). But you've got your satellite dish pointed off the apartment balcony in the right direction so your family can watch premiere league football and subtitled Brazilian & Mexican telenovelas so life is good. Maybe if the power grid blackouts seem to be going away in a year or two, it will finally be worth it to buy a small refrigerator for the kitchen.


The average American would view their lives as squalor or not too different from the two years in college they spent living in a frat house, but it's a big improvement over the subsistence farming days when pastorialism really sucked.
@ bold: Which indicates a lot of the country still lives in abject poverty, but indicates as well that $4,000 a year will stretch further in Kenya than in the United States.

$4,000 will stretch you further in Milwaukee than in New York City as well.

I realize these per capita incomes below are averages but this also means there are people in each respective city making significantly less than their cities per capita income.

Benton Harbor, Michigan (almost all black) has a lower per capita income than the country of Brazil.

Benton Harbor
http://www.city-data.com/city/Benton...-Michigan.html
Quote:
Estimated per capita income in 2011: $8,528
Milwaukee

http://www.city-data.com/city/Milwaukee-Wisconsin.html
Quote:
Estimated per capita income in 2011: $18,201
New York City

http://www.city-data.com/city/New-York-New-York.html
Quote:
Estimated per capita income in 2011: $30,200
The world bank has Kenya's per capita Gross National Income (GNI) at $850. The GNI is basically the same thing as the GDP.

Anyways, if the middle-class in in Kenya earn around $4,000 a year or so that's pretty nice against a per capita GNI of $850. But I suspect the per capita income in the City of Nairobi is significantly higher than the per capita income of the country as a whole.

The per capita GNI for the United State is calculated by this site to be at: United States - GNI per capita

Quote:
The latest value for GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$) in United States was 48,620 as of 2011. Over the past 49 years, the value for this indicator has fluctuated between 48,620 in 2011 and 3,120 in 1962.
Or $48,620 in the year 2011.

And $3,120 in the year 1962.

Why the rise from $3,120 in 1962 to $48,620 in 2011? Partly the answer has to be inflation and wages rising with inflation (although the U.S. dollar has less buying power in the U.S. today than it did in the 1970s, or '60s for that matter I suppose). The enormous wealth of the super-rich with multi-billions each must be an explanation as well.

So, I can see how one can live off of $4,000 annually in a country where the per capita income is $850.

The question is how do the Black-Americans in Benton Harbor, Michigan live off of $8,528 annually in a country where the per capita income is $48,620?

Public assistance that's how.

Landlines are becoming obsolete. Many new middle-class Americans only own cell phones. They send their kids to free public schools from grades 1 through 12, and they don't pay for their children's college education. They own satellite TV, which f's up all the time from solar storms. So, they look in many respects like the African middle-class you depicted, except for the U.S. middle-class lives in houses, big houses by global standards, and can afford 2 cars because the cost of cars are so cheap in the United States. That and the U.S. middle class can burn up a lot of electricity and consume a lot of cheap products.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Africa
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top