The US dollar's continuing crash is forcing commodities like food and energy that are priced in dollars higher and making restaurants like Starbucks and McDonald's unaffordable for many Americans. Starbucks has had to shut down 600 stores and begin a massive retrenchment due to the margin squeeze accompanying higher commodity costs and a collapse in purchasing power of their customers who are saddled with shrinking dollars, shrinking home equity and a concomitant ballooning in debt loads.
McDonald's had a similar problem a few years back, forcing the company to close stores and 'reinvent' themselves. France, believe it or not, is one of the biggest success stories in the McDonald's restaurant empire - as the value of the Euro has gone up against the dollar - giving the French relative insulation against the US dollar crash.
Putting aside the obesity gap for a moment (French obesity rates are below America's but climbing fast as more French engorge themselves like ducks on a foie gras farm with fries and Cokes), affordability for McDonald's food is still in the cheap range in Europe whereas in America prices are starting to become out of reach for millions of Americans.
Starbucks and McDonald's are becoming like Louis Vuitton and Gucci in America, luxury brands that only those who are not poisoned with toxic dollars in their pocket can afford.
The companies executives are happy to take the euros when they are repatriated back to America and book the currency gain as quarterly earnings bumps.
But for how long? My guess is that McDonald's, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and other American companies that are not outright bought out by foreigners, like Anheuser-Busch, will move their corporate headquarters to other countries where their local sales in Euros and other currencies give their executives a high standard of living without the bother of dealing with a growing American underclass of US dollar holders armed with guns and gluttonous appetites.
Halliburton is a leader on this. Dick Cheney, Halliburton's former CEO, the guy who helped crash the dollar by starting an unwinnable boondoggle in Iraq has already moved Halliburton's HQ to Dubai (unofficially by him, but we know what's what).
For a good look at the future, take a look at the past. American coal miners stuck in perpetual debt-servitude to the company store with very little in the way of rights is the model the kleptocracy is benchmarking.
Today, America is spawning a house-rich mortgage debt penury class, shopping at America's company store: Wal-Mart
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