As for locals, greasing palms is the only way to get a business going. Or anything done, really.
In the short to medium term however investing in India is extremely risky. The primary reason is lack of trust and dishonesty at a fundamental level.
Law enforcement and judiciary are a joke. I heard it’s not uncommon for court cases to take 20-30 years. The institutions that promote a trustworthy transactions are nearly absent or ineffective.
For busuinesses there are many tribunals which genrally resolve matters on fast track basis , and if some case has legal complications there are fast track courts instituted for the same
Maybe a country controlling the internetworked currency exchanges of their currency should be a 21st century equivalent to minting currency.
I remember when the Nepal's royal family was massacred. We had all our telephone connections cut for 5 days with full blown curfews. They were necessary to stop riots, rumor mongering, and knee jerk reaction of people to the horrible news.
I really don't see an argument that suggests that China style Censorship is not coming for everyone.
Here are my facts and inferences:
1) Data/content is without inherent Good/Evil value. A sentence "Jihad!" is only terror affiliated if it shows up in a specific context. It could be part of a sarcastic comment for all you know.
2) This context sensitivity creates means that you can rarely identify what is actually dangerous speech given raw data. You need contextual information (person speaking it, lists of people associated with terror networks etc.)
3) Virality - People in India for example, are busy sharing videos of child abductions which are leading to lynchings of innocents in villages. Except those videos are concoted out of Mexican gang videos, health and safety videos, and frames from other countries.
There is no way to stop this, without breaking past the "intent" barrier inherent to all information.
4) Better understanding of human neural weak spots. We are constantly learning to hack human brains - gamification, loot boxes, attention sucking websites, "Addictive UI/UX". We are simply driven by business need to evolve firms and practices that are best able to survive in the substrate that businesses operate in - which is Humanity. Sex sells was true years ago, today we can do Sex sells in a personalized and automated manner to everyone with a cell phone.
Given these basic factors, virality, impossibility to identify intent, human neural hacking, we create a perfect storm.
Nations can never defend against incoming fake news, hoaxes, psych warfare, riot inducing whats app messages, gossip and more.
The only way to stop this is to go from black lists (let people be on a "free net" and then take down blacklisted content) to a white list (let people only stay on a safe internet, and ensure nothing else gets in.)
This is what China does, and while not fool proof (people still find ways to share their dissatisfaction) its not bad from a central government perspective.
Most Chinese wouldn't know about Tianmen square for example, and are largely happy with the Government. Issues which do crop up with Government satisfaction can be resolved by finding a person responsible and then executing that person.
As long as you keep the system running (economic and job growth) most people will be happy.
Even in a worse case scenario, dissent will be hard to coalesce into outright rebellion.
I don't see how nations wont be driven to copying this model given the success of Brexit, Trump market spam, Virality of Hate speech and forums etc.
Further, techies on places like HN regularly keep moving the needle forward to make such technology easier to implement. I spoke to someone on a flight a while ago who is busy helping create language translation data bases which get used for predictive text recognition.
This reduces the "armor" or "camouflage" that non english languages had when dealing with authorities - eventually with a good dictionary, you can start making more sophisticated tools to identify language patterns and put them to a halt.
I see the above used every day when moderators put it to good use on forums like HN and Reddit. But thats a few evolutions away to being applied to larger scales (unless there is some genuine technical issue which prevents this - which will be seem as a "business opportunity" for someone to crack)
I have spent time moderating forums, I listen and read up on internet arcana and history, have met and speak with people who work on censorship in India, have friends in policy, and so on. I can only call this a hobby, but everything I have seen in multiple realms, I see nothing substantial, so far, which contradicts this thesis.
I see China as the likely END result of all nations, because of our good intentions.
The upper house in parliament does not have equal representation for all states, unlike the US Senate. Moreover the central government can dismiss the state government on the flimsiest of grounds.
The buerocracy is deeply entrenched in policy making and execution, where it should be largely in the hands of the
The courts are temperamental and inconsistent in interpreting the constitution.
The constitution itself is a shaky document, which does not guarantee protections to the citizens with sufficient absoluteness. Many provisions were defined ambiguously.
This is not true, as most of the day to day life of normal Indians is affected by their local municipal corporation, then district, state and finally Central.
The central government takes up far too much of the mind space of most educated Indians for some reasons, but the poor and middle class who depend far more on local connections consolidate actual power in the local MLA.
> The upper house in parliament
Is effectively a formality check for certain legislation. IF the same bill is sent back to the Upper house of the Centre they have to pass it.
> The courts are temperamental and inconsistent in interpreting the constitution.
This is only the supreme court, and that is their role - the larger malaise is the underfunding and unavailability of people to actually be good judges in the lower courts.
This is what is one of the corner stones of the problems the country faces: Actual timely justice.
This follows up with lack of independence and funding of police - however this will never become a core poll issue because the nation can constantly be distracted by a laundry list of issues which politicians can bring up.
IN general, people worry more about Center when they should be focusing on local elections.
The Government may pass strong Right to Information laws, but implementation is up to the States - and there you can see exactly the power States have.
The over focus on Central elections by citizenry gives state governments the ability to do what they please with impunity.
Much to the disappointment of neo-liberals, we have discovered that there is no correlation between democracy, and economic development.
Compare China and India, Cuba and Haiti, South Korea before, and after Democratic reforms... The form of government is tangential.
I do think its an important question and one that should be answered in good faith. If we do believe that democracy does not hinder but perhaps help economic development, we should know that. If it does hinder, we should ask: is the price paid worth it?
Though I do think there may be an inhibition of development for economics that accept austerity and classical international investments advice.
Heh, well that's because India doesn't exactly have a lot of respect for US pharma IP. Which is fine, but don't go giving India the credit for stolen IP.
"Credit guarantee is one of the most
significant positive links between economic growth and democracy. The marginal effects
of credit guarantee and foreign direct investment inflows are stronger in democratic
countries than they are in non-democratic ones."
China only experienced massive economic success after liberalizing its markets. For that matter, so did India (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_liberalisation_in_Ind...) South Korea is essentially an American vassal state. Cuba is clearly not an economic success story, but of course if you compare it to the poorest country in the hemisphere (Haiti,) it comes out slightly ahead.
Ultimately what matters is whether your government is open to free trade and liberalized markets, and has enough legitimacy to enforce the rule of law (and attract foreign investment)- and has a healthy relationship with the United States. All of these are strongly correlated with democratic governments.
But they do or at least they will. At some point the next quality of life improvement you want is to be able to openly express ideas and not have somebody decide your life for you without input from you.
And that's the horrible conclusion I get from that fact: technology has always been celebrated as tool of liberation, but the CPC has effectively yielded it as a tool of oppression. And if the CPC can do it, why not other countries?
A bow and arrow can be an effective way to feed your family, or a tool or warfare that changed the outcome of many battles. Advances in textiles can be useful for keeping people warm in winter, or advanced armors with metal sewn inside.
It's not even as simple as a tool shifting from one thing to another either. Bows shifted from a hunting tool, to a tool of warfare, until eventually being relegated to sports equipment for the most part in the modern age. Medieval and Japanese swords used to be the heights of military technology, now they're collector curios.
I'm not sure of any technology that can be used purely for "good" or "bad", or even for one thing at all. The world doesn't often follow absolutes, so we shouldn't fall into the trap of believing absolutes when presented to us. At least not without a lot of justification and the requisite caveats.
You cannot expect to invest 1 dollar to call dibs to control a growing nation.
ATMs out of cash, gas stations out of gas, cottage industries providing disjointed subpar services to what already exists internationally
This is an ineffecient use of a nation’s potential productivity
Dont know about other developing countries but in India its because lot of us have a different attitude, in Hindi its called "Chalta Hai" ( Let it go ).
Build something, cut some corners and call it a day.
It's a toxic attitude to have and a direct detriment to the economy of the country.
Unfortunately this is a problem for Chinese real estate, vaccines, food, etc.
On a college trip to Rameswaram (southern Tamil Nadu) to watch the 2009 total solar eclipse, I got a whole bunch of friends (~20 people) to try out Bovonto, and boy, were they hooked! It's a pity that we couldn't find any once we left the region.
Cheese soda? U+1F928
And if they could create successful cola brands, what stops them from creating other things?
But when the product is soda (bad for you), it's probably better to have less efficient/productive suppliers - you want worse and more expensive companies to be providing it.
Some odd wording. The theories would say that the TOTAL pie would be smaller. It makes no distributive claim.
What protectionism does, from a theoretical standpoint, is provide some control over the distribution of the surplass.
Having said all of that, it should be remembered that we do not live in a spherical void. In practice, it is entirely possible for "free" trade to leave a country worse off then they would have been with no trade.
I reasoned thusly:
1. Country A can produce good X at price p_a < price p_b the price at which domestic X is available in B.
2. No deadweight trade loss, so X is available at p_a in B
3. Thus for the same quantity n of X, B has a surplus of n(p_b - p_a).
4. But domestic producers of X have lost income, and if there isn’t something else for them to do, the total shrinkage in B’s economy may exceed the surplus (I haven’t worked out this term but it should be pretty easy), thus leaving B worse off.
Factor in deadweight losses and free trade definitely could leave B worse off, by forcing some of its economy to be unproductive.
This got me thinking how odd it is that economic theory only gets invoked in so far as it advocates free trade: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage#Criticis...
People participating on the international trade are better off. There are plenty of cases of market failures (monopolies, etc), inertial problems (deflation, etc), or human capital destruction (due to worsened wealth distribution) predicted by theory already. Any of those can overwhelm the usual net positive contributions of trade.
Protectionism provides a mechanism to increase comparative advantage.
American economists drank a little too much of their own ricardian kool aid in the 90s and early 00s when they paternalistically tutted at China for enacting protectionist policies against her own good.
Now that China has stolen comparative advantage in electronics manufacturing, the CFO of Huawei is under house arrest and the tutting has all but dried up.
This theory is really lacking when it comes to modeling the effects of real world protectionism.
Imagine a country A, with all the natural resources, a country B, with a well developed pharma industry, and a country C, hosting an industrial sector.
Without protectionism, the pie might be large, but most of it is allocated to country B and C. Country A ends up with depleted natural resources, no factories, and a trade deficit which denies them access to drugs and industrial goods.
With protectionism, country A can manage their trade deficit, which allows them to bootstrap the industry it direly needs as soon as all their natural resources have been mined and exported.
This is not, it turns out, a particularly effective algorithm, which is why things like genetic algorithms, simulated annealing, etc., have mechanisms to protect and allow "non-best" candidates to survive.
Similarly protectionism can generate better outcomes over the long term.
It's not that the locals really want the shirts with the logos of our Super Bowl losers and the outfits even Goodwill couldn't unload domestically, but it's what they've been forced to settle for.
It gets dumped on their market so cheaply no local manufacturer can compete, even if they can offer choices better for local styles or needs. Clothing manufacture is fairly low tech and not really location sensitive, so it's something that most countries can do to start moving up the economic ladder beyond raw extraction.
Give them a protected window of a few years without cheap imports, and you can ramp up supply and distribution networks (so you can compete more effectively on price) and also potentially improve local standards of living enough that the workers can afford to buy the goods they're producing.
And when those theories are discussed by serious minded people they are frequently forced to qualify the discussion with "except for those left behind," mostly because of the unavoidably obvious destruction all around them.
"Those left behind" being a euphemism for the working class of otherwise extremely wealthy countries.
When you've heard enough of this for enough decades it eventually dawns on you that it's just about cheap, exploitable labor. The rest is the professional class b.s. spin used to rationalize it.
Very few policies and political theories are correct for all times and all cases.
What history shows us is that protectionism is a necessity for less developed countries to develop and catch up to more developed countries.
The US, Germany, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, etc all used protectionism to help local industries and companies develop.
The US became the largest economy in the world due to protectionism. Germany, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, etc all copied our template to become successful economic powers.
What the established economists are paid to peddle in countries that have already taken advantage of centuries of protectionism to build their economies and industries and now want everybody else (regardless of the stage they are in) to open to their wares.
Then again normal economic theory is peddled by people whose careers are tied to the establishment. They can't afford to speak in favor of protectionism if they still want their careers and grants and policy advisor positions.
If A protects, and B and C are open, A can get way further ahead by strategic investments, dumping, etc..
'Free Trade' only work if A, B and C work.
If A doesn't open their markets, then B and C should close theirs to A as well.
This 'strategy game' type dilemma is why 'Free Trade' negotiations actually exist in the first place.
If 'open markets' benefitted both parties irrespective of what the other party was doing, then most nations would simply 'open the kimono' as wide as possible to everyone, essentially reaping the benefit, waiting for the 'full benefit' to be yielded when the other parties eventually open up. Negotiations wouldn't really be needed.
But it doesn't work that way.
During the establishment of free trade, there's considerable negotiation around tit-for-tats on protected industries like telecoms, agriculture etc.. Also, there's a lot of rules in such agreements about how governments are allowed to subsidize specific industries.
If the Canadian gov. is giving massive loans to the lumber industry below market rates, enabling Canadian lumber makers to sell very cheaply and therefore wipe out their American counterparts, and then of course acquire them for pennies on the dollar ... well, this would be considered a 'subsidy' and you can see the problem aka 'strategic dumping'. (FYI this is almost a kind of problem right now - Canada leases 'Crown Land' (i.e. government land) on the cheap to forestry corps. and US believes that's a subsidy)
Hence 'Free Trade' only works if the parties play by an agreed upon set of rules.
Without such agreements, and assurances that counterparties are playing by a set of rules, then a degree of protectionism is warranted.
If one side cheats, they can win in a much bigger way.
All of that even when parties are ballpark in the same sized economies, at similar levels of development, i.e. France-Germany.
But with US-Venezuela for example, it's another ballgame as unprotected access to undeveloped markets can possibly lead to a total takeover of the economy, rendering one state a commercial vassal of the other.
In reality there are no perfect, textbook scenarios for fully bilateral and open trade agreements which is why there are always special cases and things to be negotiated.
Canada's banks and telecoms for example, are not up for sale in NAFTA/USMCA.
How interesting. Meanwhile, when China asks the same of foreign companies today, the foreign companies seem to offer half of the local subsidy and the entire IP on a silver platter.
Just one recent example, but there are others involving Microsoft with Skype, Windows 10, and so on:
India is still a harder place to do business than China. In particular, their law on patent ownership is really harsh such that foreign companies will avoid filing for patents at all from India (if something needs to be patented, the filing employee has to transfer out of India first).
That does not match my experience at all. I only had to sign some paperwork to authorize a patent agent to file on the company's behalf outside India. I work with people with several patents granted both inside and outside India and have never heard of anything of this sort.
Multitude of my coworkers in India who have filed and have been granted hundreds of patents would vehemently disagree with you!
Today the US economy is about 7.6 times larger than India and 0.5 times larger than China.
India's economy was equivalent to ~$500 billion in 1973, inflation adjusted to today's dollar (per the US Govt figures). That would be good enough for 25th or so globally, behind Belgium. Not tiny per se, definitely small for what India's market is capable of. They're of course 7th now in national GDP, set to overtake France and the UK this year and move into the 5th spot behind Germany.
"Thums Up was the most distinct, being fizzier, spicier, and less sweet than the others"
So my consumption peaked at the odd can of Irn Bru, or Red Bull a month, summers only, when nothing else is available. I can't finish a Coke or Pepsi can. The kids think I'm weird. :)
All sodas in India (even Pepsi, Coke sold in India) use sugar instead of corn syrup so it doesn't leave sticky sweetness in your mouth.
Try "Pepsi Cola" in US that still contains sugar.
Cuban relations and bad foreign policy in the 1970s forced the switchover to corn syrup. Despite the wishes of Coke.
>makes you less vulnerable to foreign economic pressure
Should someone in the city block next to mine be allowed to sell in mine? How about the next town, state, country, continent? Where ever you draw the line is who you've --implicitly-- declared economic war with.
But why argue theory when we have empirical evidence. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage#Criticis... : "none of the world's most successful trading regions, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and now mainland China, reached their current status by adopting neoliberal trading rules."
Please tell me how you are able to interfere in trade without violence. Interference necessitates violence. If country A has a ban on products from country B, country B sends a ship with products to country A. To enforce the ban, men with guns from country A are going to detain the ship.
You are arguing for a paradigm where the crew on the ship should be imprison or arrested (or worse) when they have aggressed against no person nor their property.
And I have no clue where you got the idea the crew would be worse than arrested. This has happened before, you know - they're simply not allowed to unload the ship or enter the country. By the dreaded men with guns.
Authority is different from aggression. If Alice and Bob, ex ante, agree to have Mandy the mediator settle a contract they have willingly given her authority. Mandy's authority does not depend on a violation of two-party consent.
>they're simply not allowed to unload the ship or enter the country
The implicit action is that they'll be shot or imprisoned if the refuse to follow the orders.
If I own the dock and then the political establishment changes who I can associate with "Anyone except those foreign devils from Country B!" they have effectively stolen from me (called a Taking). I used to have a product that could do X and Y and now only X. Saying that I'm free to immigrate to a different country is theft apology.
It's impossible to conduct trade on a meaningful scale without debt, and debt is always backstopped by violence.
Innovation and open competition can interfere with trade without violence.
"Asian carp cause serious damage to the native fish populations in the lakes and rivers that they infest because they out-compete other fish for food and space. " https://www.nps.gov/miss/learn/nature/ascarpover.htm
If you're "good enough" today, you might be able to develop significant marketshare and be able to prevent a better, but later competitor from developing momentum.
I wouldn't be surprised if many of the successes of American internet companies abroad are that way. They have the scale to drop a basically complete product on a new market overnight. It may not be perfectly designed for local tastes and needs, but it's good enough and nobody local who comes later is going to have the economic muscle to compete with Google/Amazon/whatever. Over time, they might gradually get the right product, but there's no priority if you're already an unchallenged #1.
With protectionism, local competitors can make a case for investment and long-term thinking. If you know that the foreign competitors are going to be hamstrung, you have the breathing room to spend the extra effort to build the right product.
I suspect both Yandex and Baidu benefitted from this type of protectionism and evolved into successful businesses of their own, who can now compete on their better product-market fit. In a cutthroat market, would they have lasted 12 rounds with a localized Google?
On the other hand, online search services in China are still relatively garbage, which is why China had to block Bing recently.
Easy to "thrive" when the hard work is all done by 3rd parties who receive no benefit.
You should never go full socialist/protectionist in this way. India is a good example, even if you don't want to learn from Communist China pre-1980s or Russia in the Soviet era.
Lower salaries were only an excuse. In reality it's hard to resist money, when you get several multiples of your yearly pay in a week. These days that multiple is more than 1000, and increases by 1000x in various bribe jobs.
Heck your ordinary junior engineers and other mid level cops in bribe facing government jobs are double digit crorepatis these days. And I'm only talking of the low end corruption. The high end goes really high.
The reason corruption exists is because people want to be corrupt and there are people who pay.
But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade. - Karl Marx, On the Question of Free Trade (1848)
Soviet Union tried to be self-sufficient, only importing what it needed. 
China, Venezuela, North Korea are quite protectionist.
The most notable socialist/communist countries are protectionist.
It's the same as saying none of those countries are socialism/communism because they caused millions of dead.
We noticed the pattern, when some socialist gets into power, they will use that huge power, being protectionist and often end up killing millions.
You can still get Vita-Cola and Club-Cola in Berlin, it wasn't ditched entirely. People drink it for nostalgia. Coca-Cola tastes far better though, as do probably a dozen other brands on the market.
It actually debuted on Indian stock market in 1977 at the price of Rs. 17
Today HUL is the largest FMCG company in India.
Somehow the local manufacturer+distributor of Pepsi products didn't renew it's agreement with Pepsi, and as a result began distribution of it's own line of products "est".
Here's an article about it: http://bangkokhasyou.com/what-is-est-cola/
Also, let me tell you about what state of Indian in 1994 when immigrated here as a kid:
- We had three models of the cars - Fiat and Ambassador. These two had not changed its model for 30+ years. The new Maruti Suzuki was the third model introduced thru join-venture. Maruti was the first model with power steering. None of the available cars were automatic...most cars in India today are still not automatic as lot of those innovation never made it to India during the socialist Raj. In USA back then, there were at least 100s of models with far advanced technologies.
We had 2 Tv Channels - DoorDarshan (government owned TV) and ZeeTV - which was introduced post 1991 when Government finally opened up allowed private TV channels.
We had one government-owned airlines: Air India - that's it. It is still owned by Indian Government - they were recently trying to sell it but no one purchased it as its so badly run. It also doesn't innovate because it doesn't need profit to survive - government will keep funding it. Indian airports were dumps compared to today where they are finally international standards. Indian train system still doesn't allow private railroads, and yes, there's a reason why bullet trains never made it there.
In order to get a traditional "wired" phone line, we had to wait for years. You filled out a form to get a phone line and years later they would call you and say... hey, you finally have it. Cell phone leap-frogged wired phone lines in India due to capitalism - basic communication wouldn't be there if it was still socialist Raj.
You almost could not start a business in India as an entrepreneur to the scale that companies like PayTM, OYO, Ola Cab, Flipkart thrived. There were just too many laws that essentially disallowed any kind of competition to existing industries.
Protectionism == no innovation.
As Winston Churchill said:
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."
Neither systems are perfect. It's really akin to picking your own poison.
For me, personally, after growing up in socialist India, I love America, the freedom, opportunities, an opportunities it provides.
And, here's the zinger... Thumbs-up would have thrived on its own had they just competed. It has the same taste advantage that Coca-Cola has in US market. Indians had been drinking Thumbs-up for years. It tastes different, and we liked it. We were used to it - after the novelty factor of Coca Cola, people just went back to Thumbs-up. It still thrives...
I am pretty sure Star channels also started around the same time as Zee
As we are sharing wisdom in quotes, I have one as well: "All things are poison, and nothing is without poison, the dosage alone makes it so a thing is not a poison."
So if you agree with Paracelsus here (and a lot of European countries do), picking the right bits and pieces from both capitalism and socialism might be the winning strategy.
Unfortunately Coca-Cola spends more on their own form of education (advertising) than many countries spend on actual education.
Coca-Cola (and advertisements for it) is more widely available than basic education. I personally think this is unethical on part of the advertiser, doubly so when you're selling something that's both unhealthy and somewhat addicting. There are populations in the world who can't read, but can recognize the Coca-Cola logo.
Where I rent comes into play is what you intend for the indoctrinated to do with that education: buy coke, participate in the local ICBM program, or maintain society’s plumbing, the same plumbing the water and sugar in all that coke is pissed down. Either way it creates jobs.
I find your post to be aggressive and prescriptive, while the post you replied to is just attempting to state fact.
>he point is that in my culture, ice cream and Coke are not “good” for you, but they make many people happy.
If the point is that vices can do more good than harm, you can say that. You don't have to use phrasing which suggests life would be valueless without those specific vices. The inflexibility is that not even your own life would be valueless if you lost them: you could easily find other vices to amuse yourself by.
> Eschew flamebait. Don't introduce flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents.
Fyi if you are traveling in the developing world, Coke is your friend. They have a stringent water purification regime in order that their flavor remains consistent.
I've been told by a doctor that (flat) Coke isn't a terrible stopgap replacement for rehydration sachets if you can't get hold of them when travelling and ill.
Makes sense to a certain degree. Rehydration drinks are water, sugar and sodium.
The caffeine is a diuretic but that only slightly reduces the hydration effects compared to water - it doesn't cause a net deficit.
EDIT - Aaaaaaand no: https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20080527/flat-soda-doesn...
"They found carbonated soft drinks contained too much sugar and not enough sodium and potassium to be an effective treatment for mild dehydration in children."
Some people lose their sense of thirst when pushing it.
Coke was and remains the expert on turning local water into a consistent ingredient. And the simplest starting point remains pure water. I might not like the corporation, but have absolutely no issues trusting them to purify water for me to drink.
but surely better than the alternative?
There must be pure sources healthier than coca-cola that are more widely accessible.
Do they clean the machete? Was the outside the coconut clean? How about the hands of that street vendor? It is probably best that you learn to wash and open your own coconuts.
The brand and flavour has what is survived not the original company which is really the article's point .
Globalisation is not inherently bad but local culture/Identity/flavours is lost if your KFC, McDonald's and Coke are exactly the same everywhere