Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cost of Living...

Something caught my eye this morning while browsing CNN Money today.  It a banner article about the most expensive cities in the world.  CNN believes Paris, France is the 8th most expensive city to live in.

Portions of Being

I looked at their prices and wondered where they shopped.  For instance, CNN says bread here costs $8.95.  Even assuming a healthy conversion from the Euro into USD, there's no way I would ever pay nearly $9 for a loaf of bread.  I doubt I could find such a thing, unless, that is, we shopped at le Bon Marche, on a particularly costly day.  Come to think of it, I don't know of one place in Paris where you can spend that much money.  I wonder where CNN came up with such a thing?  Perhaps they ordered bread at a bar in a very pricey hotel?

The next item on CNN's list is something I don't know anything about.  Milk.  It's listed at $2.55 a litre.  To my way of thinking, would you rather have a litre of milk or wine?  Full organic biodymanically grown vin can be found for less than 6Euro for 75cl.  We're grown ups, ferkripesake!  So let's just get down to talking about the real stuff.  The good stuff.

Portions of Being

Which is where CNN trots out an expensive three course meal for four priced at over $2100.  Gee, isn't that a lot more than the typical one months rent here?  If you're that much of a sucker for pricey food, I'm sure you can find a chef in any city in the world who would be happy to take your money.

Before we moved here, we checked to see that on many lists Paris was ranked number 19 in the world for expenses and was expected to drop further.  That was back in 2011.  In the summer of 2012 (just last year), Mercer published a survey of the most expensive cities around the world.  I was not particularly surprised to read that Paris has indeed dropped it's placing to being number 37 on the list.  This is well behind Tel Aviv at number 31 and just ahead of Milan which is taking up the number 38 position.

Make no mistake, it's expensive living here.  The officially reported (and by official, I mean French state published studies) price per square meter for living space remains over 8,000Euros.  The next five largest cities in France cost just above 2,000Euros per square meter.

Portions of Being

So what gives?

Well, I suppose CNN needed a splashy headline.  Or it could be that different criteria were used to judge the relative expenses between cities. Or the CNN "news" could be the product of wishful thinking.  Whichever excuse CNN might give, I find it interesting to read how US media reports on the world outside it's borders.  I wonder if the American mindset is, yet again, being controlled through propaganda and lies.

What if the real "message" is that you have it good there and that the rest of the world is too too expensive to live in, so don't you dare think about moving away, because we, the Corporate States of America, know we deserve the money you are so privileged to give us.

Yes, this is a rather dim, narrow, anti-capitalist view, but what other way is there to understand such statements like CNN publishes?


  1. Shhh... Don't spill the beans! Let "them" think that it costs too much there. Wouldn't want too many others moving there, right? ;-)

    1. Oh. Ya. Sorry 'bout that. Mums the word. :-)