Oct 092012

Affordability doesn’t always mean cheap vs expensive prices. If a gallon of milk is cheaper in the US than in Canada that doesn’t automatically mean milk is more affordable for Americans, although in this case that does seem to be true (>_<) What I mean though is that affordability can also refer to our purchasing power in a local economy. For example, an affordable beer index. Below is the a chart from The Economist showing how many minutes a person who makes the median income in a country has to work to afford half a liter of beer, which is roughly 1 pint I believe.

Known for its high income earners and low cost to do business, the most affordable place to make a living and drink beer is in the US. On the other hand beer is more pricey in Britain and Japan, and not surprisingly they are also less affordable for people to buy. But of course affordability isn’t just about the price. For example, according to the IMF, CIA, and the World Bank, people in Romania and China make just a fraction of what Canadians make, (about $5000 to $9,000 a year if converted all to US dollars), yet they don’t have to work as long as us to earn themselves a drink because their beer is so cheap. That means if you lived in those countries and worked an average job, you would be able to do more with your salary than doing a similar average job in Canada. Well at least you can do more drinking (^_-)

So if you live in a country near the bottom of the chart then you should be thankful that you can enjoy one of life’s simpler luxuries without breaking the bank. But if you live in a country above that average line, then you might want to think twice about going out for a drink next time because depending on your priorities, you may find a better use for your hard earned money elsewhere.

I’ve always thought that alcohol in Canada was expensive and over priced. But I’ve made the mistake of only comparing Canada to the US. Now I’ve realized that we don’t have it all that bad :0) I don’t feel upset anymore about paying more money for beer because I know it’s still more affordable than what most people in the world have to deal with.