Cait, I love that you’re trying to better yourself, please don’t think otherwise.
Paris Marx

The issues you cite are actually a 2-way street. Fundamentally, the price of an item, say a home, a meal or tea, is arbitrary.

Westerners or even Chinese, for example, don’t want to pay more when we go to Bali or Thailand.

We are MADE to pay more. Why?

Because the locals wish to take advantage of our foreign, often naive status, in order to take a larger profit from selling to us.

What you need to be fighting is:

  1. Locals taking advantage of foreigners, and thus raising the prices across the board.
  2. Ignorant foreigners who don’t know how much they should *actually* be paying.

As they say, it takes TWO hands to clap. Both sides are not innocent.

In the end, who benefits? The local producers, they can charge foreigners more, and naive nomads are willing to pay more. (of course whether or not they decide to pay higher local salaries, as a result, to their workers, is another matter of business ethics that we can’t control)

And I believe some nomads are willing to pay more because they pity the locals, and wish to give them a (what they perceive to be) fairer compensation for their efforts.

On the other hand, some nomads may wish to show-off their status, and thus spend more than the locals to impress.

Local producers and entrepreneurs are more than happy to exploit the emotional biases of our often fickle nomads, for higher profit. It’s just good business.

Again, both sides are at fault.

Moral of the story? Be a producer, not a slave, produce something unique. Doesn’t matter whether you’re in Bali or the USA, that principle holds true.

I get your idea that not everyone can be a entrepreneur or producer, someone still has to do the boring menial factory job somewhere. That’s the truth, until automation becomes fully mature.

In addition, people who work boring soul killing factory jobs, as you have mentioned, have had a poor start in life, disadvantaged compared to their western counterparts. That is true.

However the spirit of MERITOCRACY, is that if these people are willing to invest in themselves, they can eventually become the entrepreneurs and producers themselves! They are not bound by their social class. (And a good business owner in Bali, should attempt to treat his workers fairly too, but again we can’t control that)

It just takes time for things to get better, friend. I’m from Singapore, we didn’t all start privileged either. We worked our way up. Just see our history.

And I believe the locals in Bali, etc, are also learning from the foreigners too, and it is this learning that will help lift them out of poverty.

More local-foreign interaction should be encouraged, not less, and we all have to be conscious of the consequences of our actions.

As you have said, it’s a MINDSET, are we doing things to care for the community or just to care for ourselves?

Stopping nomads from moving around, or stopping Bali locals from charging more, won’t change that MINDSET.

The root cause is the MINDSET. You have to educate them (locals AND nomads) to see the bigger picture, to understand that no person stands alone, community is what makes it all work.

Both sides (locals AND nomads) stand to gain mutually, if the correct giving MINDSET is present in them.

Those of us who happen to earn more, must also learn to give back to society through paying fairer wages, building schools, funding education, building affordable housing and cleaning out the trash from “unspoiled” beaches.

“To whom much is given, much is expected”

See: “Prostitutes Settled The Wild West”,

Thanks for your article, it makes people think. At the same time, remember to indulge alternative viewpoints.