It started with Tom Friedman’s McDonald’s Theory of War: >No country with a McDonald’s outlet, the theory contends, has ever gone to war with another. which was based on the premise that countries with an educated middle class that would sustain a McDonald’s are less likely to go to war…this theory held since 1996 until Georgia and Russia fought this past summer. Perhaps, they needed more happy meals?

Dan Gross brings us the Starbucks theory of international economics:

The higher the concentration of expensive, nautically themed, faux-Italian-branded Frappuccino joints in a country’s financial capital, the more likely the country is to have suffered catastrophic financial losses.

Gross contends that Starbucks fueled the housing boom as “The Seattle-based coffee chain followed new housing developments into the suburbs and exurbs, where its outlets became pit stops for real-estate brokers and their clients. It also carpet-bombed the business districts of large cities, especially the financial centers, with nearly 200 in Manhattan alone.” Incidentally, the company is named for Captain Ahab’s first mate – Starbuck in Moby-Dick.

<

div style=”float: right; margin-left: 5px;”>