Originally Posted by Quarkboy
I was thinking about this, and the question came into my head "Why doesn't this happen in america too?" Is there something inherently Japanese about such inane spending behavior? Of course, the answer is NO. However, in america we don't simply spend ALL the money we have, we spend MORE THAN THAT. We rack up credit card debt, we remorgatge our houses, we take payday loans... If someone in america spent like those otaku do, they'd almost immediately fall into serious debt, n'vr to return.
Indeed, it's Japan's inherent mistrust of banking and loan systems (and credit cards) which I think enables such radical behavior, as it provides a firewall between "spending all one's money on figurines" and "destroying one's life permanently".
The worst trouble these people ever seem to get into is borrowing money from friends or family.
Also, remember that in Japan - everyone does not own or use cars like people in the U.S. Most of our commutes are done by WALKING
(GASP! It's true, people CAN WALK! No wonder people here are thinner than obese Americans! It's because we practically get daily exercise just by commuting!) and taking the train (which the company usually provides the commuting cost from your home to work). I said this in another thread - if you can get along without a car, just imagine how much extra cash you would have in your hands if you didn't have to pay for car loans, insurance, gasoline, maintenance costs, registration, etc? An extra USD$200~USD$500 per month can make a huge difference in your spending habits, don't you think?