Monday, November 23, 2009

Europeans are living the American Dream

I spend most of my time in France and Spain and here we often discuss the merits of spending more than two euros for a bottle of wine. I often buy wine between one and two Euros a bottle and it is very good.

Why is wine so expensive in the U.S.? Really it never ceases to amaze me. When I am back in America (East Coast) I am in shock on how expensive the basics of life are. An ordinary Chardonnay for 11 dollars when a similar bottle of a dry white from the province of Cadiz, Spain sells for 80 cents. A full bodied red for 20 dollars when a similar ordinary Bordeaux sells at the local French supermarket for three.

Property taxes here are about 1/1000 of the value of the property per year. You do pay a tax when you sell, up to 18% on any profit. If you are not speculating and just owning then this is a great system.

Insurance costs: about 1/5 for medical, about 1/6 for house and about 1/2 for car.

I pay more in property tax (2.2%) and homeowner insurance for my house in the U.S. then I spend for an entire year here in Spain for all my insurance (car, house, medical), all the utilities (electric, trash, water, gas) gas for the car, and ALL THE FOOD AND WINE FOR TWO. For An Entire Year.

Why is the basics of life here in France and even more so in Spain so much more afordable then in the U.S.? What happened to the standard of living in America?

Europeans are living the American Dream. Where did all the wealth in America go?

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