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Old 07-07-2019, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,236 posts, read 4,128,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
The USA is one nation, with many different regional economies that have staggering differences in income, cost of living and even tax structure. Retail prices for food and most consumer goods have less difference from region to region than housing, medical care or wages. It is hard to make any blanket statement about the USA as a whole.

I am retired with a very comfortable retirement income. I can live practically anywhere I want, in or outside the USA, as long as I can obtain a long term visa for whatever place it is outside the USA. I made my money working in high paying telecom industry jobs in the SF bay area and in Orange County, CA, but I was paying high apartment rents during that time too.

I am in Germany for the warm weather season (May - Sept). I pay about 700 Euro ($780 USD) for a very nice, fully furnished apartment including all utilities and high speed internet, in a city (Leipzig) of 600K residents with an excellent transportation infrastructure. There are endless cultural and entertainment choices here in Leipzig and nearby cities year round. I don't need a car here. Most daily shopping needs or services are walking distance. I never even think about personal safety or getting mugged while walking around. Downtown is a 10 minute streetcar ride or bicycle ride, or 25 minute walk. The massive main train station with 24 boarding platforms has good connections to anywhere in central Europe. The airport is a 10 minute train ride from the main train station. It is safe and enjoyable to ride a bicycle almost anywhere in the city or surrounding area. If I want to take my bike with me on a train trip, I can roll the bike into a train car that has a bicycle loading area next to the seating area.

What city exactly in the USA, can provide me a bang for the buck like what I described above? Please tell me, because it will save me from a 12 hour plane trip next year.
I don't have to deal with obnoxious Germans in America. That alone makes the USA the better deal.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:08 AM
 
Location: NYC
3,956 posts, read 1,646,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vana360 View Post
United States allows you to obtain more without spending more. That is to say get a bigger house, cars, vacations, consumer goods

But all those items you listed are "US-centric" meaning that they are highly valued in American culture but not really elsewhere. Like in France, the trains are efficient so you don't need cars too much. Similarly the idea of having a big house is irrelevant if I live happily in a tiny apartment in a nice scenic district of Zurich. Like they say, a big house and fancy car is the American dream.

In many Western and Northern European countries they have cheap things that they value like higher education and healthcare, but in the end the overall amount of "happiness" or "emotional utility" that you can buy with your earnings is similar if not higher. This is what I gathered after living en Suisse for a year.

Last edited by Shalop; 07-07-2019 at 01:27 AM..
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:27 AM
 
26,085 posts, read 28,484,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vana360 View Post
Curious what others think. Having traveled extensively to Asia and Europe, in my opinion, United States allows you to obtain more without spending more. That is to say get a bigger house, cars, vacations, consumer goods without spending as much as others spend in other countries. I would say Canada is a close second.

And a lot of this has to do, in my opinion, with lower taxes and less restrictive socialist policies, such as free education, health care, etc. when compared to other countries. For example, paying almost 50% of your money to the government is insane, and there are many countries in Europe that do, such as France. Think about it... you basically work 40 hours and get paid for 20 hours.

I know the States are not perfect (by any measures), however, do provide more economical value.
In general, the U.S. is cheaper than most other developed countries and really doesn't get enough credit for that from its numerous critics who've deluded themselves into thinking the European welfare state is the answer to all our problems.

That said, health care really is a rip off here...but many of our health problems are also clearly self imposed.

I'm not a supporter of more government run health care because I think the U.S. is too corrupt and inept to pull it off. For what we spend on Medicare/Medicaid, other developed countries could use to have 100% universal health care.. yet ours only covers about 50% of the population.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:29 AM
 
26,085 posts, read 28,484,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith5a View Post
The cost of housing is much higher in the US too.
Where do you get that? The cost of housing in the U.S. is cheap--at least compared to other developed countries. Compare the high cost locales here like New York and San Francisco to other places like London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Our high cost locales are typically cheaper.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:34 AM
 
26,085 posts, read 28,484,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InchingWest View Post
Plus most Europeans seem to live in nice homes built out of qualtity, very long lasting materials, that were put together using the highest levels of craftsmanship. People gave consideration to quality and thought about what they would pass on to their children.
This is true. Our construction quality in the U.S. is craptastic.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,370 posts, read 7,760,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
I don't have to deal with obnoxious Germans in America. That alone makes the USA the better deal.
This is probably a new revelation, but obnoxious people are not confined to the boundaries of any one place or country. Obnoxious, or any other type of attitude or behavior can be found anywhere. Whenever someone tries to paint an entire country or group of people as "certain thing offensive or bad", it just shows a low level of real world experience by the person making such a claim. That is the sort of person who feels safe and comfortable inside their perfect little world close to home, and everyone and everywhere else is somehow less perfect than inside their bubble, because they are foreign.

Most of the time (of course not always), the way you act towards others will reflect back on how they act towards you. I try to act & speak with respect and courtesy to people that I deal with on an everyday basis, and most of the time (not always), I find people to be friendly and courteous to me. This applies to anywhere I might be in the world, not just to one particular place. Isn't that something we learned in first grade?

Now, back to the thread topic about best bang for your buck.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:38 AM
 
70 posts, read 93,398 times
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I think it all depends on your income level. If you are a white collar worker or business owner that is making above average income then yes it is. Low taxes, America’s capitalist model allows for greater economy of scale, cheap credit, disposable income to invest in the stock market allows and etc allowsthis class of individuals to live extremely well.

If you are a lower income worker then I think some of the more socialist countries would be better. Free healthcare, low education cost, better welfare system, if you are living in an European country most likely the public transportation is better than 90% of the places in the US which can be one less expense, better worker rights and so forth will lead to more disposable income for these types.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:39 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,608 posts, read 10,669,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logic87 View Post

Free healthcare, low education cost, better welfare system, if you are living in an European country
What on earth does free mean? Low cost education?

Please use some logic.


Having said that, I agree that an unambitious wage earner is better off in many specific European countries (not just any European country), because they do allocate a lot of resources to the "welfare" system.

However, it is far from free, in fact it comes at a high, high cost, arguably unjustifiably high. For some, that cost is asphyxiating, anti-life.

It is for the better that we have two different systems, in general terms, in these relatively highly developed sections of the planet, and that there are significant differences among states in the US.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:00 AM
 
2,372 posts, read 2,390,052 times
Reputation: 2373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Although I am sure that is your perception, I was going to post the exact opposite - wages are higher in the US (at least for professional jobs) and housing is much cheaper in the US except for certain urban areas (New York, California).
can consumerism.

.
You beat me to it. I work in a global organization for a British headquartered company and we pay our UK employees less than our US ones for the identical role. (White collar IT jobs) I will throw out the concept that in a global economy/employee pool, hiring an employee in a "socialist-like" country is much less expensive than in the US, because many of the insurance/retirement/education type costs are funded by the government.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:35 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,608 posts, read 10,669,475 times
Reputation: 5762
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheapdad00 View Post
"socialist-like" country is much less expensive than in the US, because many of the insurance/retirement/education type costs are funded by the government.
Maybe it's less expensive on the balance sheet of a particular company, but on the balance sheet of the economy as a whole, of which government is one component, the cost is just as high, all other efficiencies/inefficiencies being equal, or higher or lower adjusting for other efficiencies/inefficiencies.

Again, what is free?

Some of you logical people, please provide a precise mathematical definition of "free" in the context of economics. Feel "free" to use algorithms, simultaneous equations, and lots of Greek letters. I would love to see it.

Thanks.

Better question, which economy makes more efficient use of labor? To be sure, the overall "welfare" of laborers is an integral part of that equation.

But even welfare can be a personal, variable thing, so better to have as many competing, multivariate systems as feasible.

Or do you prefer a single ideology-driven, one-size-fits-all, like-it-or-not, totalitarian system?

Last edited by bale002; 07-07-2019 at 08:45 AM..
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