Today's NYTimes article, about the decision between a $150 computer repair and buying a new computer for $700, isn't anything special. Except for two things: In the USA, a hard drive repair costs $150, and that in the USA, people decide to spend the $700.
In most countries in the world, the repair would cost $15. The annual income most countries means that a new computer would be 25% of their annual salary. And, as the article says, most people value web browsing and email, which (especially on dial up) are just as functional on a 5 year old computer as on a new one.
What you don't see in many other countries, besides the USA, is a breaking news story about whether to spend the money on repair vs. new.