We must thank the Americans for many good things that they have given us – of course for a price. Right from the fantastic technology platforms, Facebook, etc. etc.

On the other hand we must also know what huge damage they have done to the whole world. The damage that they have done and continue to do to India include the damage to the environment. And I am not even talking of all the porn, armaments, and the sin industry that they encourage. I am talking about their Big Food, Big Finance and Big Medicine – the damage that they are doing is really huge.

Look at what Coke, Pepsi, McDonalds, Dominos are doing to the youth. Every MONTH one kid in the office goes for a kidney stone operation. This happens simply because the simple water has been replaced by Coke, Pepsi or Thums Up.

The medicines that they have patents on are priced about 100x the cost to the wholesaler – and we get it at about 200x the costs.

Do we have a choice of whether to use their products? Sure we do. However their advertising to the brand slave generation ensures that the consumption goes up dramatically. The consumption of soft drinks has gone so down market that in big shops it is easy to see the financially weakest people buying big bottles of soft drinks and packets of chips.

Shame on the government of India for allowing all these products to be taxed so low. Let us face it chips and sugar colas are not FOOD. They are junk which cause a lot of harm to the bodies and the disposal of bottles causes a lot of damage to the environment.



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  1. Blaming American food and beverages is too harsh and shortsighted. Some positives are :

    Seeing them, our Indian hotels and restaurants are getting better. They are investing on hygiene, interiors and technology.

    Seeing them, all new Indian restaurants are providing decent toilets. In the high streets of India, with lack of any public toilets, I need not emphasise on the importance of having toilets.

    Seeing them, packaging of take away food products improved. I am not sure serving peanuts in used paper outside of Bus and Railway stations should be encouraged.

    The american products are all over europe, middle east and far east asia. No one ever complained of environmental degradation because their municipalities work efficiently. In India, management of garbage is a biggest failure and we blame it on products, people forgetting the root cause. Infact, their per capita generation of garbage elsewhere is much higher and they are able to manage it well including the recovery of useful gas. In zero to ten scale, our municipalities gets a score of 1 and there is a long way to go.

    Let’s focus on building global brands from India rather than criticising others.

  2. what about self responsibility. pepsi etc are under illusion that they offer healthy food.infact it is clear to everyone that it is JUNK food. why not blame the consumer,their friends,their advisors and families?
    the americans did not damage anyone.
    how about the millions of people employed directly and indirectly by them. will taxation improve or reduce those employee strength?

    taxation is a harsh tool.its effects are direct job losses.to digress a bit, RBI with its ban gold policy has eliminated over 4 million small jewelry jobs reports TOI .how fun is that to those 4 million + families ?

    I agree with Krish that American companies have provided competiton to the indian brands and forced them to improve as well. why not blame ramesh chauhan and his gold spot or thums up? they sell more than coca cola?

    blaming others for one’s own misfortune is a leaf out of the politics of envy.

  3. Agree with Subra. The Governments and corrupt politicians cannot match the muscle power of Citibank and Coke. For those old enough to remember the 1992 scam Citi, Amex, etc. got away scot free. To think that Citibank and SBI have a level playing field or a McDonalds and a Sharavana Bhuvan have a level playing field would be living in a fool’s paradise. Remember they own the media and the Indian kids start talking with an American accent in the 3rd year of IIT. So most of us are over awed and will ape them. And then we will use the employment, competition, …and all such bull arguments. Uncle Sam zindabad. I personally love them. 95% of my income is in US $…and I can assure you that they are grade I s…bs. I make money out of them, so I refuse to crib. Been living with them for excess of 35 years now. I am a Yankee more than an Indian, but hey if some of u want to call them saints, you guys are wrong….

  4. Bottom line:
    1. STOP cribbing
    2. STOP blaming others
    3. STOP blaming government and politicians
    4. STOP using corruption as excuse

    TIME to do somethings ourselves, Isn’t it!!!

  5. I have done my part.

    I stopped drinking carbonated sweet drinks many many years ago.
    McD burgers, subway sandwiches are also a rare thing these days.

    All it took is some determination and switch to better alternatives.
    Tender coconut water, green/black teas, self-prepared sandwiches with fresh veggies, black pepper and multi grain bread.

    (Now, all that’s left is to learn how to home-bake bread, and may be prepare some good sauces.)

  6. Damaged caused by Americans? Guess we should also blame them for the transistors and ICs, internet, credit cards, cell phones and digital cameras, artificial heart, airplane, our computer OS,….

    I don’t think there is any such things as a harmless invention. Everything can be both used and mis-used…much like a surgeons knife. If at all anything, these are occasions for the parents, teachers, employers, education system, and adults to step up and be what they are supposed to be, in my opinion.

  7. Hari,
    what about the financial damage done by generations of indian politicians? we are 130 out of 140 countries in ease of doing business.

  8. Yes, lets blame the Americans for us not taking care of our own health! As if we are forced to eat burgers and drink Coke everyday!

    And I’m sure that some Indian foods that are full of oil or sugar or masalas are very healthy too. Not to mention paan, chewing tobacco and betel leaves, beedis, country arrack, etc. Did America force this onto us too?

  9. Subra Sir,
    Although your views on Pepsi/Cola and the other junk foods have merit, I tend to disagree with your view on Pharmaceautical Industries. The patented drugs are over-priced because lots of research work goes in finding a newer molecule and getting into the market. So much experiments, animal studies and then population studies must be done before a drug is allowed to be brought into the market. who is going to fund these? As a matter of fact all that the Indian companies do is copy the formula of the patented drugs and market them. Most of the Indian Companies do not even have a R&D wing. It is not surprising that in the last decade there has hardly been a newer molecule launched into the market which was researched by Indian companies. So they tend to over-price these products which covers the costs involved for prior research and the continuing research.

  10. What about the entirely new industry (IT and ITES) literally DONATED by US to India? An entire generation of Indians is today employed by this industry which is simply bled out of the US workforce. Without this, India would have been in total turmoil with ‘educated unemployed’ population creating social havoc.

  11. Wow LuckyOye so India is where it is because the English gave us education and the Americans gave us jobs. How charitable!

    My portfolio has FMCG and pharma companies. I make money out of them. NO regrets at all.

    Enjoy life guys.

  12. economics and trade is AMORAL. it doesnt tell you if it is good or bad or a favor or a disfavor. bringing in such terms is to confuse the matter.
    people who consume junk food should ofcourse know that it should be eaten rarely and not daily.if they dont do so,it is not the responsibility of pepsi or ad agencies.

    ditto for Indian IT -it exists only because there are financial reasons for it to exist.
    btw,about pharma,i completely disagree with Sevan. it is the GOVT with its patents regime which is arbitrarily distorting medicine prices.IPr is not a market phenomenon at all. here is an article (from a capitalist website) arguing how patents do not foster innovation in pharma.

  13. I know subra you hate me…maybe because of my language or because of the many unpalatable things I’ve commented on your blog, but I still believe you shouldn’t ignore me.
    Everybody knows US is the top destination for IT/ITES services/products. Consider what will happen to the toplines/bottomlines of your favourite FMCG/Pharma/Auto/Capital goods companies if the entire EXPORT based IT/ITES industry along with its millions of jobs vanished overnight. Needless to say, your money making opportunities from these companies would be severely affected.
    So as the words came from your mouth (rather from your keyboard), India today is where it is because the English gave us the language and Americans gave us jobs. It probably wasn’t charity, but then by the same token, neither was Coke/Pepsi/Mcdonalds/Dominos given with any malicious intent!

  14. LuckyOye lets get somethings straight. I do not know u except as a commentator on my blog. It is too much effort to love u or hate u.

    What everybody knows everybody knows. What happens to my portfolio has NOTHING to do with this blog. You have conveniently ignored Paramjeet, Sevan and Pravin’s comments…

    Economics has no morals, and you need to check on your knowledge of Indian Economics, Indian Education history (where it was, who destroyed it, and the stupid speech of MMS in UK). That of course is optional.

    I just do not edit, so i do think all ur comments would have appeared in full. Iam at best, indifferent to most of the commentators….

  15. @Pravin:
    The article that u quoted also agrees to the fact that money is required for research but concludes that patents need not be the only solution and trade secrets is the way to go. In today’s age of corruption do you really think that it is feasible? Think again over it. One more question to you. Do you think that any film’s original DVD are over priced considering that the pirated versions are dirt cheap?

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