To what extent is high Cost of Living a choice?
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  To what extent is high Cost of Living a choice?
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Author Topic: To what extent is high Cost of Living a choice?  (Read 1747 times)
ProgressiveModerate
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« on: January 02, 2024, 12:30:06 AM »

This post is inspired from a tweet I saw the other day about a guy complaining about how his $300+ cut of meat he bought at the grocery store was so expensive. Many comments started popping off about how he could literally just buy something less expensive. The man responded basically saying cooking this meat was something he enjoyed and somewhat of a ritual between his wife and children.

I feel like we often have situations where materialistic culture combined with human nature convinces us we need more than we actually do. Even though to me, his $300 purchase and complaint seemed silly, in his mind it was a necessity.

This is obv sort of an extreme example, but we see it in a lot of other places. Many people see things like Netflix and Spotify subscriptions as a necessity, when many live just fine without them. Many people care a lot about what brand their clothes come from, when there are many cheap clothes that serve the basic utilitarian purpose. Many people may want to live in a specific neighborhood because it's popular and whatever, even though there are neighborhoods with similar crime stats, schools, homes, ect that are cheaper.

I definitely think people deserve to have extra money to spend on the things they enjoy and make them happy. However, it seems in many cases, people will start justifying these "extras" as "necessities", and as a consequence have increased what they see as their base cost of living.

I wonder if more people viewed cost of living as just the cost of the true necessities in their most basic form (shelter, food, internet, transportation), if they'd have a more optimistic outlook?
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Benjamin Frank 2.0
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2024, 04:11:30 AM »

The Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle
https://www.amazon.ca/Complete-Tightwad-Gazette-Promoting-Alternative/dp/0375752250

I believe one of the things the author promoted was community living. Simple things like going to the library (I try to walk approximately 2 miles both ways every day to read newspapers at the library), canning foods you've grown in a community garden... (I understand the newer jars are nowhere near as good as the jars from the 1960s though.)
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Del Tachi
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2024, 12:15:50 PM »

Almost all of it.  The cost-of-living in vast swaths of America is cheap, but there are obvious tradeoffs in terms of amenities, mobility, opportunity, etc. that comes with living in rural Nebraska, or wherever.  People have always gotten what they pay for.
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Okay, maybe Mike Johnson is a competent parliamentarian.
Nathan
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2024, 10:57:34 PM »

There's a lot to this, but cultural pressures to maintain a particular lifestyle can exert a form of economic pressure in and of themselves; this is why things like alternative attendance in Tokugawa Japan and taxing the asset-rich-cash-poor landed classes out of existence in postwar Britain worked as methods of social control. These pressures would thus have to be removed at the community level in the form of abolishing or changing expectations that people in this country will have or pursue a certain type of affluence, including the expectation of complete and total individual career and financial stability before one marries or has children.
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Damocles
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2024, 04:47:12 PM »

Turns out, people will tend to go where the jobs are.
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Associate Justice PiT
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2024, 06:03:08 PM »

     Marrying a foreigner has helped me realize how avoidable many of my expenses are simply by looking at a culture where such extravagant expenditures are not normalized the way that they are here. The key is that it is hard to realize this when trapped within your native cultural context. Moreover it may be an issue if too many people were to realize this, as there are entire sectors of the economy built on indulging frivolity that would suffer if not outright collapse if too many people stopped investing in them.
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