My sister, let’s call her Kuzechka (emphasis on the first syllable, belongs to an international association of business leaders. She has recently traveled to the association’s conference in Amsterdam, and here are some of her observations:
1. On the positive side, all of the Dutch businesses leaders speak sensationally good English.
2. On the negative side, was everything else:
A. Compared to the global vision of the North American chapter of the association, the Western European chapter presented a very parochial approach.
B. Western European business leaders (mostly, Dutch and German) express an intense admiration of North American business but can’t hope to match it because their openness to new ideas is low. The general approach to everything is that of scepticism, which contrasts with the American enthusiasm.
C. The association constantly bemoans the low number of female business leaders among its members. Still, the Dutch chapter decided that it would be a good idea to surprise its members in the midst of the conference with a strip tease number performed by sex workers. Kuzechka says something like this is absolutely unthinkable at the North American chapter of the organization.
“Jeez, don’t tell me the strippers were Eastern European,” I said to Kuzechka.
“Worse,” she replied. “They were women of color.”
When Kuzechka expressed her dismay at this development, the Dutch organizers responded with, “We are very liberal here, in the Netherlands.” Apparently, the Dutch definition of liberalism is that of an old white boys’ club sexually serviced by non-white women.
During the break, the Dutch businessmen gleefully gossiped about the horrible prevalence of sexism in the United States and were taken aback by Kuzechka ‘s suggestion that their own sexism is quite evident, as well.
D. Everybody in Western Europe is a lot more interested in what is happening in Ukraine than people in North America are. However, the main idea everybody expresses is, “Putin sucks but let’s not anger him. Our government angered Putin with sanctions, and now he won’t buy our tomatoes.”
As a North American business leader, Kuzechka was puzzled by the idea that business leaders are expecting the government to scare up customers for their businesses.
Conclusion: it is not surprising that North American business owns the world. Even the best competition is not that impressive.