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(Eudaimonia)   Americans are getting ripped off and they don't even know it   (eand.co) divider line
    More: Murica, good reason, Viggo Mortensen, States, shudder, year, life  
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9552 clicks; posted to Main » and Politics » on 28 Sep 2021 at 8:30 AM (8 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-09-28 9:02:57 AM  
Simply not having the correct price on a label in a shop annoys me the most. Paying sales tax at point of sale is infuriating because what I just picked up is suddenly x% more expensive.

Purely designed to make sure people think they're getting something cheaper than it actually is.
 
2021-09-28 9:03:00 AM  

WhackingDay: I also think that a lot of this stems from our origins as fundamentalists that believe struggle and suffering builds character or makes you closer to god or some garbage. You still see this in a lot of people who repeat a mantra of "work hard" all the time. Europeans have long understood that life is more than work, but Americans cannot come to grips with that, at least as a society.


"Arbeit Macht Frei" is quite obviously far from being an American-only sentiment.  The most memorable and pitiful character in Englishman George Orwell's Animal Farm is Boxer the horse whose mantra and life philosophy was "I will work harder."  And then there's The Protestant Work Ethic espoused by Europeans like Martin Luther and Calvinists.  As with many things, America didn't invent this (although we think we did), we just scaled it up due to our nation's unusually large size and media domination.
 
2021-09-28 9:03:15 AM  
As others have pointed out, even while the conclusion of that article may have some validity, the facts and reasoning are crap.

So Wall St makes huge amounts out of extending credit that people can't repay?   How does that work exactly?
 
2021-09-28 9:03:57 AM  
He writes all this as if we don't know we're getting screwed. Of course we know. We just can't do diddly-fark about it.
 
2021-09-28 9:04:16 AM  
How much does it cost to just...have a place to live? Theaverage American rental is about $1200.That's for an apartment. Again, that's a particularly high figure. It doesn't cost that much to rent in Europe. In France, the the average house rental costs less than that - it's about 800 euros, or maybe $1000 dollars.
It's true that rents are high in cities like Paris and London, sure - but we're talking about averages across society.


Well, 5 seconds of googling shows me that the median rental price in the UK is on par with the US.  So is Germany.  France is only 16% cheaper by your own math.  Keep in mind, much of France outside of Paris, Toulouse, Lyon, and Marseille, is not growing.  Those cities themselves are only growing at 1% in population a year.  Several large American cities (Houston, Atlanta, DC) grow at 2-3% a year.  France grew 0.1% in population in 2019.  The US grew at 0.5%.  Italy shrunk by 0.2%.  That is where you get your difference in real estate prices.  The US costs more because living in the US is in more demand.  It just is.  The number are telling you that.  I won't deny that there are hundreds of problems that need to be fixed and thousands of things that could be improved, but this thread Umar is pulling is not it.
 
2021-09-28 9:04:21 AM  

Avigdore: NotCodger: "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things caneasily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Where the fark is he living?

What is the 'heating' expense if not electricity or gas?


Mine is fuel oil, and as the cost of oil has more than tripled since I bought my house (in 2000), yes, it can be $800 for a delivery, and it's about a delivery a month over the winter.

(Yes, I need better insulation as it's a 90 year old house, but that's going to require tearing out plaster walls, as no one who does blown in insulation is willing to work from the outside, and just take the top layer of siding off)
 
2021-09-28 9:05:38 AM  
We DO know.  Or at least many of us do.  Usually the ones not shouting USA!  USA!
 
2021-09-28 9:10:15 AM  
I just remembered a Planet Money podcast sometime ago about these interesting imbalances in the German power market that make electricity in Germany very expensive.  So there's this:  https://www.statista.com/stati​stics/26​3492/electricity-prices-in-selected-co​untries/

Electricity in Germany is 147% more expensive than in the US.
 
2021-09-28 9:11:15 AM  

ssaoi: I've recently moved to the States - shudder - for a year or two.

I agree with the point. But when you start your entire argument off with this sentence, I dismiss you as a pompous douche.


Between that and the "European tv is much better" the author started off intending to make everyone dislike him more than the real issues he wanted to comment on.
 
2021-09-28 9:12:50 AM  
Alright... the premise is good, but he lost me around the part about utilities. WTF was that?
 
2021-09-28 9:14:16 AM  
Neat. Call me in 20 years when you're settled in, and let me know how awful it is.

Meanwhile, my 22 year old niece moved to Berlin a few months ago (from Indiana) and took a crappy job to make ends meet. Guess what? She, too, is having a hard time. Everything is crazy expensive. And she says that if she listens to music or talks on the phone above a whisper after 8PM, the local police come and order her to be silent. I have no idea how much of that is true, but I do know that young idealists, who lack life experience, tend to be pissed off about everything, wherever they may be. Such is life.

So, anyway, Mr. Pissed-off foreigner talking about "America the shiathole:" there's a whole world you can go be pissed-off about. Wander around a bit. Take that righteous indignation to a few other places. Europe is not a model of perfection. If it was, why would you leave?

You want cheap? Go to Mexico. Real cheap. Except for the bribes, protection money, your car getting stolen, etc. Like everything orderly and functional? Japan is awesome! You're not allowed to move there, and if you thought America was expensive, good lord, you have no clue. So many other affordable places in the planet. Of course there won't be great internet. Or economic opportunities (at all), or medicine, or protection from roving gangs/warlords/utterly corrupt officials.

The world is big and chock full of problems. Your Utopian destination doesn't exist. If you find it, go there. But until then, you're going to have to slog your way through, like everybody else on the planet who finds a sense of stability. It may be easier going in some places, but you usually trade something, in return.
 
2021-09-28 9:15:45 AM  
I'm glad that I am above average. $35k/year? Does that average include teenagers working fast food joints in high school? Those kids probably aren't paying utilities.
 
2021-09-28 9:17:30 AM  

King Keepo: Simply not having the correct price on a label in a shop annoys me the most. Paying sales tax at point of sale is infuriating because what I just picked up is suddenly x% more expensive.

Purely designed to make sure people think they're getting something cheaper than it actually is.


To be fair, I know that at least in some high-VAT countries, it's illegal for posted prices to reveal how much of that is tax. It makes consumers less agitated about those significant costs.

In both cases, it's not that complicated to figure yourself, or at least estimate. But each does have a persistent nudge on perception.
 
2021-09-28 9:17:38 AM  
img.nbc.comView Full Size
 
2021-09-28 9:22:20 AM  
I was in until "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things can easily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."  Who pays that much/month on utilities?  That seems astronomical, and intentionally misleading...
 
2021-09-28 9:26:43 AM  

Elandriel: This writersure does love his italics!


he seems..a bit STRIDENT...
but wait for it:
just like an infomercialthis went ON TOO LONG, with too much DRAMA!
BUT YOU DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT
how could you know?
it's HARD to hear SOMEONE WHO IS SHOUTING, even whenwhat they say
is CORRECT

the style undermines the message- just sayin
 
2021-09-28 9:28:20 AM  

WhackingDay: I also think that a lot of this stems from our origins as fundamentalists that believe struggle and suffering builds character or makes you closer to god or some garbage. You still see this in a lot of people who repeat a mantra of "work hard" all the time. Europeans have long understood that life is more than work, but Americans cannot come to grips with that, at least as a society.


this so much
 
2021-09-28 9:30:01 AM  
It's called serfdom. Very old concept. Still works! Just have to hide it behind a few layers.
 
2021-09-28 9:32:27 AM  

Rapmaster2000: How much do I pay for internet and TV in Europe? About thirty dollars, give or take. How much do I pay in America? $150.

OK, well, just use the antenna then.  You don't need to pay for TV at all.


Mmm. He's not wrong, though.  I pay $80/mo for internet only. I have no choice in the matter, there's no competition. I can't even get DSL. And it's way worse than any service I've gotten in the Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain or Turkey.

I can get TWC/Spectrum down to $40/mo if I quit being a customer for a month and come back at the promotional rate. Note that they still make a pretty decent amount of money at $40/mo, but they charge their regular customers double because f*ck you, that's why. Unfortunately I can't do that any more since the wife works from home. So hooray, every month I get reminded that I'm getting screwed royally.

As for antenna? Your results may vary widely, so good luck:
https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering​/​dtvmaps
 
2021-09-28 9:32:53 AM  

harleyquinnical: Tr0mBoNe: Most Americans:
[Fark user image image 850x637]

Easy to get by the taste when it's the only taste most of us have ever known


This is my argument about American cheese.

To me it tastes like plastic, I grew up eating all sorts of processed cheese in plastic sheet form, in a brick, and from a jar.

At 15 I decided to stop eating processed cheese but it's all over the place. I managed to go about 6 months before

I was in a situation where it was offered to me on a sandwich, so I politely ate the food but the American cheese tasted strongly of plastic and was no longer enjoyable.

Give your tastebuds and the rest of your body a break from processed cheese and you will taste the difference.

Thank me next year!! Good luck it is worth escaping the fast food cycle of self loathing and unsatisfying meals.
 
2021-09-28 9:33:20 AM  

Tarl3k: I was in until "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things can easily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."  Who pays that much/month on utilities?  That seems astronomical, and intentionally misleading...


I have a 5 bedroom house and 5 daughters who live with me.  Because of our rural location, I pay a great deal for water.  We keep our house 68 degrees in the summer.  My utility bills, all in, might hit $450 including trash service.  As I was in the military, I've lived in many places in the country - I cannot fathom anybody in a normal home who pays $1000 for those items.  There's a great deal of cherry-picked data here.
 
2021-09-28 9:33:47 AM  
I used to live in a big, drafty, old house in Minnesota, there was a time when natural gas went through the roof and the gas bill alone was almost $1000 for a month. Including the other utilities it was about $1300 for a couple of months during a particularly cold winter, this was close to 15 years ago.
 
2021-09-28 9:34:16 AM  

Tarl3k: I was in until "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things can easily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."  Who pays that much/month on utilities?  That seems astronomical, and intentionally misleading...


As some above have said, depending on where you are, and size of house, some I'm sure are paying that.

I have an almost 2,000 sq. ft above ground house (with 1,000+ sq ft basement), and utilities total avg about $320-350/mo (gas/electric/water/sewer/trash pickup)... but I'm in still one of the lower COL metros in the country, so, I'd guess others in similar situations almost anywhere else are likely close to $500/mo, or going up towards that $1,000.
 
2021-09-28 9:36:00 AM  

TheDreadChefRoberts: harleyquinnical: Tr0mBoNe: Most Americans:
[Fark user image image 850x637]

Easy to get by the taste when it's the only taste most of us have ever known

This is my argument about American cheese.

To me it tastes like plastic, I grew up eating all sorts of processed cheese in plastic sheet form, in a brick, and from a jar.

At 15 I decided to stop eating processed cheese but it's all over the place. I managed to go about 6 months before

I was in a situation where it was offered to me on a sandwich, so I politely ate the food but the American cheese tasted strongly of plastic and was no longer enjoyable.

Give your tastebuds and the rest of your body a break from processed cheese and you will taste the difference.

Thank me next year!! Good luck it is worth escaping the fast food cycle of self loathing and unsatisfying meals.


You should make a grilled plastic sandwich and see how much a Kraft single actually tastes like plastic.

I bet you'll find plastic tastes nothing like processed cheese product at all.
 
2021-09-28 9:36:48 AM  
I'm seeing a lot of "If you don't like it, leave" responses here, and a lot of comments about what a douche the author is, and not much refuting his actual point.

I'm currently paying $240 a month for standard cable & 1200 MBPS internet, and trying to get it down to something more affordable while still maintaining useful service levels is a nightmare. The whole Comcast system is a mess of "special deals" and "limited offers" and "you can't get THIS if you have THAT, but we can cancel THOSE and save you $7 per month" until your head is spinning with all the bullsh*t. I would absolutely welcome some cheap, government-run version of cable service.

American healthcare is the same, an intentionally byzantine labyrinth of baffling options designed to be so confusing that the consumer just throws up their hands and pays whatever. You pay your insurance, you pay your co-pay, you pay the bills that inexplicably show up 18 months later from a company you've never heard of... but at least it's not "socialism."

What most Americans don't seem to realize is that the rest of the world doesn't spend SO MUCH F*CKING TIME NEGOTIATING for every goddamn little thing in their lives. We're a nation of poor-to-middle-class people who've been conditioned to believe that we're "capitalists" who have the "freedom" of so many utterly similar options that it's exhausting just to get through the day without feeling like someone is ripping you off.

TL;DR: Every step of the way in America there's a middleman standing there with his hand out. We pay much more in exchange for much less than other developed countries, and stupid Americans who've never travelled farther than 50 miles from where they were born are absolutely convinced that this is the best system in the world.
 
2021-09-28 9:38:00 AM  

No Catchy Nickname: Without rejecting his argument, I'd still like to see more specific data comparing US and European costs. I mean, I doubt utility costs and tax rates across Europe are the same for one thing, and I'd like to see more breakdown of the costs of other goods, bearing in mind sales tax/VAT in the EU zone is 20% or more.


Costs for electricity, natural gas, and water are about the same. Localization within countries are far more important. A Kwh of electricity costs a whole bunch more in California than is does in Montana.

Home ownership rates are similar, but houses/flats in Europe are MUCH smaller than in the US.

TV is all over the map. There is free OTA TV in the US, but parts of Europe require a license to receive broadcast services. Generally pay-TV is cheaper in Europe, but there are a lot fewer channels.

Wireless communications and internet in general is quite a bit cheaper in Europe. They have the density to make wireless a lot cheaper and heaps of regulation for internet pricing.

Public college/university is cheaper, but private is not. My niece graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland - OMG that was expensive.

We all buy the same garbage from Asia. The Europeans actually pay a bit more for the same garbage even before VAT.

Europeans don't accumulate 'stuff' like Americans do. You know all those self-storage businesses in the US? Yeah, that isn't really a thing. Americans waste a lot more money buying new things and then pay money to store the old things that they don't use but don't want to get rid of.
 
2021-09-28 9:39:08 AM  

Persnickety: WhackingDay: I also think that a lot of this stems from our origins as fundamentalists that believe struggle and suffering builds character or makes you closer to god or some garbage. You still see this in a lot of people who repeat a mantra of "work hard" all the time. Europeans have long understood that life is more than work, but Americans cannot come to grips with that, at least as a society.

"Arbeit Macht Frei" is quite obviously far from being an American-only sentiment.  The most memorable and pitiful character in Englishman George Orwell's Animal Farm is Boxer the horse whose mantra and life philosophy was "I will work harder."  And then there's The Protestant Work Ethic espoused by Europeans like Martin Luther and Calvinists.  As with many things, America didn't invent this (although we think we did), we just scaled it up due to our nation's unusually large size and media domination.


Of course, but over the last few decades European societies have largely moved away from this while America has doubled and tripled down. The EU mandates 4 weeks of paid vacation. They also get 14 weeks of maternity leave and 10 days of paternity leave. That's for all countries in the EU. Can you imagine trying to do this here?
 
2021-09-28 9:40:29 AM  
Oh no, they understand and know they are getting ripped off, but they won't just dig their heels in, they will cement their feet to this hill and die on it rather than admit fault and correct their course.
 
2021-09-28 9:42:17 AM  
Keep in mind I made my last statement without so much as even reading the real article's headline let alone the article itself...
 
2021-09-28 9:43:41 AM  
Does ACA cover Stockholm Syndrome?
 
2021-09-28 9:44:14 AM  

NotCodger: "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things caneasily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Where the fark is he living?


I live in upstate NY and $500  is easily true.
 
2021-09-28 9:44:48 AM  
Yeah I don't believe it anymore, haven't since about 2006 so I just do my best to not participate in things that they are trying to sell me. One of the things I saw a few years ago that disgusted me was how this company wanted you to take out a $10k loan for a vacation and probably spend the next 8 paying it back.
 
2021-09-28 9:46:09 AM  

NotCodger: "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things caneasily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Where the fark is he living?


California
 
2021-09-28 9:46:20 AM  

WhackingDay: They also get 14 weeks of maternity leave and 10 days of paternity leave.


Is that a typo? Seems surprisingly low.

I got six weeks of paid paternity in New York State (and even that felt like I was abandoning my family when I had to go back to work).
 
2021-09-28 9:46:25 AM  

Barricaded Gunman: I'm seeing a lot of "If you don't like it, leave" responses here, and a lot of comments about what a douche the author is, and not much refuting his actual point.


You're either misrepresent the thread on purpose or seeing what you want to see.

Plenty of people have refuted the article.

You've chosen not to quote and debate any of them.
 
2021-09-28 9:46:50 AM  
i do hate when people write about "europe", like it was some monolithic block with no differences in systems across the country.

the UK is not Norway is not Germany is not Switzerland is not Poland.

Author should be more specific.

That being said, i live in germany, and i can agree with much of what he's saying:

i earned 170k in the US per Year in the bay area. 3k in housing, 2k in childcare (part time, no frills), 600$ in student debt, plus health care, which was not cheap. Then car, car insurance, gas, (330, 100, 120 per month-ish)

so i needed to take home 5k just to pay the bills. not saving for myself, my kids education, or investments.

contrast that with here:
rent is 1500
childcare 330 per month (bilingual, with ballet and piano, meals included)
health care out of my check only, no bills
my employer pays my car, car insurance, and gives me free gas card, i just contribute a token % of purchase price out of my salary (my mercedes here costs less than my used jetta cost in CA)
phones are cheaper, but utilities feel about the same.
oh and groceries are super cheap here, at least for subsistence stuff. you wanna go to whole foods equiv you can spend the same but if youre just needing milk eggs cheese pasta and beer (1$ a bottle) you're gtg here.

so not only do i have a higher percentage of my salary left over for me, i dont have to worry about my kids college or medical bills.

oh and 30 days vacation per year plus all sorts of public holidays.

so, unless you're like a few friends of mine who work at google or salesforce and are closer to 300k a year or up, i think you do get a better, less stressful life over here. Even tho people can be pricks. But at least noone shoots you and the cops dont kill you if you're black.

i guess i'm advocating that americans should learn a foreign language and leave for somewhere in western europe. There are plenty of jobs here, come get one.
 
2021-09-28 9:47:01 AM  

cocozilla: NotCodger: "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things caneasily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Where the fark is he living?

I live in upstate NY and $500  is easily true.


This year will be bonkers. Nat gas prices are exploding right now. If you thought last year was expensive, this year will be a wake up call. Food and energy going to the moon.
 
2021-09-28 9:47:49 AM  

swahnhennessy: Americans are suckers for patriotic propaganda, and therefore just assume that the USA is the greatest country in the world, despite being blatantly ripped off and lied to at nearly every turn.


I'd venture that is a fair statement for most of us but some of us did motor across the planet to check out how other places get along just the same. The only detail I consistently observed being better overseas versus the US was the nature of property rights.  Everything else looked to be about the same, including firearms though that perception is likely skewed due to the company I keep.  I can't speak for everyone in the USA, but for me, I am quite happy to call it home even with all the shenanigans going on at present. I also fully encourage anyone who finds themselves unhappy here in the states to take a chance on travelling the world. At best, you might find a new home that is perfect for you in every way. Likely, you will bring back some good ideas to leverage as a benefit to your current home. At worst, you will at least know why you're complaining so much.
 
2021-09-28 9:49:11 AM  

King Keepo: Simply not having the correct price on a label in a shop annoys me the most. Paying sales tax at point of sale is infuriating because what I just picked up is suddenly x% more expensive.

Purely designed to make sure people think they're getting something cheaper than it actually is.


It's designed to remind people that the state/ locality is taking money from them.  Hiding the expense in the price leads to people not realizing what they're paying towards taxes.
 
2021-09-28 9:49:38 AM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: WhackingDay: They also get 14 weeks of maternity leave and 10 days of paternity leave.

Is that a typo? Seems surprisingly low.

I got six weeks of paid paternity in New York State (and even that felt like I was abandoning my family when I had to go back to work).


I think that's the EU mandated amount. Employers can have their own rules. The company I worked for gives 4 weeks I think. But when I worked for our state government, we got squat.
 
2021-09-28 9:50:24 AM  

stray_capts: We keep our house 68 degrees in the summer.


Yikes.  We do 68 in winter and 78 in summer.  68 in the summer is too cold.  I can't see walking around my house in a sweatshirt in the summer.

It's September now so I probably won't use any AC for the rest of the year and I won't use heat until maybe late October.
 
2021-09-28 9:51:28 AM  
Nearly everything in that list is directly due to the government protectionism of the various industries.  And it isn't just a "republican-thing," as has been suggested.  Nothing get fixed by the Democrats, when they're in charge, either.
 
2021-09-28 9:52:22 AM  

Subtonic: It's too early to hear from some smug euro smelling their own farts.

"And what I get in America is way, way worse. At least half of the junk on TV is ads, I don't get the wonderful and illuminating and sparkling stuff that European TV makes on a regular basis, from good coverage of global affairs to politics to economics to ground-breaking shows and movies."

Wow, surprised they didn't claim that they don't even own a TV.


The times I have been in Europe (Germany, Poland, France, does Belarus count?) I thought the TV was horrible.  The shows were vapid and cheesy and most just tried to copy what America was doing.  They showed all the weird sports, strange music videos (a tough looking German guy singing a song called "Gangsta Rap" is one example) and lots of other just boring stuff. Maybe he's right about the news though but I didn't watch much of that.
 
2021-09-28 9:55:01 AM  

TheDreadChefRoberts: harleyquinnical: Tr0mBoNe: Most Americans:
[Fark user image image 850x637]

Easy to get by the taste when it's the only taste most of us have ever known

This is my argument about American cheese.

To me it tastes like plastic, I grew up eating all sorts of processed cheese in plastic sheet form, in a brick, and from a jar.

At 15 I decided to stop eating processed cheese but it's all over the place. I managed to go about 6 months before

I was in a situation where it was offered to me on a sandwich, so I politely ate the food but the American cheese tasted strongly of plastic and was no longer enjoyable.

Give your tastebuds and the rest of your body a break from processed cheese and you will taste the difference.

Thank me next year!! Good luck it is worth escaping the fast food cycle of self loathing and unsatisfying meals.


But American Cheese (Kraft Premium makes some). Avoid 'American Cheese Food' that's the processed stuff you're not wanting.
 
2021-09-28 9:55:41 AM  
FARK : 'It's not News, it's communist/socialist talking points'
 
2021-09-28 9:56:42 AM  

Lochaber_Axe: The times I have been in Europe (Germany, Poland, France, does Belarus count?) I thought the TV was horrible.  The shows were vapid and cheesy and most just tried to copy what America was doing.  They showed all the weird sports, strange music videos (a tough looking German guy singing a song called "Gangsta Rap" is one example) and lots of other just boring stuff. Maybe he's right about the news though but I didn't watch much of that.


would tend to agree about much of the TV content.

the main difference is, at least here in Germany and in France as well, the "PBS and NPR equivalents" are much bigger, better funded, and more visible. They also make fantastic documentaries and nature content about reefs and sharks and birds ...environmental stuff.

German TV has a lot of American style dreck but you can at least turn to reliable, solid govt funded programming that is designed to fosture cultural appreciation and factual information, and not just induce outrage at whatever partisan BS du jour is being thrown across Fox news.

they also subsidize a lot of artsy stuff... the extent of which can be surprising.
 
2021-09-28 9:57:52 AM  

GORDON: Nearly everything in that list is directly due to the government protectionism of the various industries.  And it isn't just a "republican-thing," as has been suggested.  Nothing get fixed by the Democrats, when they're in charge, either.


That's ludicrously untrue. Last time the Democrats were in charge they tried to fix healthcare.  The howling obstructionism from Republicans was deafening.

Get the hell out of here with your BSAB.
 
2021-09-28 10:00:30 AM  

Father_Jack: Lochaber_Axe: The times I have been in Europe (Germany, Poland, France, does Belarus count?) I thought the TV was horrible.  The shows were vapid and cheesy and most just tried to copy what America was doing.  They showed all the weird sports, strange music videos (a tough looking German guy singing a song called "Gangsta Rap" is one example) and lots of other just boring stuff. Maybe he's right about the news though but I didn't watch much of that.

would tend to agree about much of the TV content.

the main difference is, at least here in Germany and in France as well, the "PBS and NPR equivalents" are much bigger, better funded, and more visible. They also make fantastic documentaries and nature content about reefs and sharks and birds ...environmental stuff.

German TV has a lot of American style dreck but you can at least turn to reliable, solid govt funded programming that is designed to fosture cultural appreciation and factual information, and not just induce outrage at whatever partisan BS du jour is being thrown across Fox news.

they also subsidize a lot of artsy stuff... the extent of which can be surprising.


When I want to see the arts, I tune to the Arts and Entertainment channel.
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size
 
2021-09-28 10:01:31 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Merltech: NotCodger: "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things caneasily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Where the fark is he living?

Texas.

I live in Texas (and specifically Austin, which has a pretty high cost of living compared to the rest of the state) and my total cost for those combined is around $200 per month.


Dallas here. Probably about 300, but thats electricity, water, trash, and sewage. My house is crazy energy efficient though. My old place, just the electric could hit 300 easily in the height of summer.
 
2021-09-28 10:02:13 AM  

Rapmaster2000: The average American income is about $35K per year. That's about $2400 a month, if you're lucky, after taxes. What bills are we up to? $1200 for a crappy apartment. A few hundreds, let's call it two or three, for connectivity. And another $500 or so for basic utilities. That leaves you with about $400 for the month, or just $100 dollars a week.
That's American life. That's why Americans feel so poor. Because they are. American life is a gigantic rip-offf.
The average American - after subtracting basic bills of shelter and utilities - has just $100 to spend on food, clothing, kids, medicine, all the other necessities.

OK, but Americans don't pay household expenses with an "average income".  They pay it with the median household income, which is $63,688.


Being forced to live with other people in order to make ends meet is not ok. How many people are stuck in an abusive relationship because they can't afford $1400 for a one-bedroom apartment?
 
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