Shopping seems like second nature for Americans, made easy -- and dangerous -- by plastic cards imprinted with words like American Express (NYSE:AXP), MasterCard (NYSE:MA), or Visa (NYSE:V).

But what about other cultures? Will China's middle class heed President Obama's call to spend more? Do we know enough about closed societies such as Iran's to gauge desire for something like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) or Costco (NASDAQ:COST) stores?

The Washington Post took a look at Iran's first huge "hypermarket." Here are snippets:

Mansoureh Jafari, who had just bought a Winnie the Pooh bear for her daughter, was pleased. "Being here, shopping, makes me happy. … There are so many choices here."

However, political analyst Amir Mohebbian was displeased: "Ten years ago, someone who was honest and unselfish would be regarded as a successful person. Now it depends on the type of car you drive, or the house you live in."

What do you think? Will the rest of the world ramp it up so that the United States sells more than it buys? Scroll down and let us know in the comments box.

Kris Eddy owns no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article. American Express, Costco, and Wal-Mart are recommendations of the Motley Fool Inside Value newsletter. Costco is also a pick of Motley Fool Stock Advisor, and the Fool owns shares of it. Try any of our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Fool has a disclosure policy.