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  #121  
Old 15.09.2017, 15:41
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Re: Why so expensive

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You're right TexasT. Competition, open market is staunchly opposed here. Protectionism, nepotism and all those last-century-isms are very rampant. A shopping trip to Konstanz is a smart option for most family, grocery shopping, especially if they're meat lovers. My Swiss neighbors however were very agitated once they learnt about my cross-border shopping! One even said, "we pay you high salary so that you can live comfortably here, not shop abroad". This basically explains the narrow mindedness and low education of the society. I earn my wage because I provide a high-value service in return. My employer (US firm) put me here in this dumbo-land because they couldn't find anyone suitably skilled locally. The "we"s are too busy on online forums instead of doing some skill building on Corsera. "Corsera, was ist das?", I often hear from those "we"s. So, I am free to spend my money as I see fit. Heck, I even maintain a EUR account with a German bank. CHF is too weird, volatile and artificially inflated, to entrust my future with. Overnight, the "we"s of SNB could do something to wipe 10/20% off.

As for grocery shopping, the effect is much smaller on any household budget, but Konstanz is a good way to deal with the inflated prices. Wherever possible, I also order stuff online from manufacturer's website, anything from Nespresso capsules to small electronics.

Come on - tell us what Corsera is... please Mr Trump.
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  #122  
Old 15.09.2017, 16:13
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Re: Why so expensive

Anyone who's too focused on earning stickers in silly debates isn't expected to know what Corsera is, and that includes Mr. Trump. He is in fact, pro shovel-jobs for coal miners and wants his entire country to do menial factory labor, shielded by protectionist policies, instead of focusing on education reforms. If you think a bit (I know it's asking a lot), the policies here closely resemble Trump administration: protectionism, false-nationalism, low education and favoring "keeping money in" over competition. High prices is a natural effect of such policies.

Last edited by makas; 15.09.2017 at 16:26.
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  #123  
Old 15.09.2017, 16:13
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Re: Why so expensive

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Average salaries are higher, i.e. the average shop worker can afford to live in an apartment, afford adequate healthcare and maybe take a holiday once a year.

A wealth gap exists but it's nowhere near as stark as, say, the US. Not many people here, by comparison, live hand-to-mouth.
Sorry but that's not true at all.

While it is true that income distribution is much less concentrated in CH (lower Gini coefficient), wealth distribution is roughly the same in the two countries Gini coefficients .803 for CH and .801 for the USA. Interestingly enough Sweden is a Gini-neighbor with .742 (other data sources differ in the details but the basic message is the same).

Unfortunately Piketty provides no data on wealth in CH so I quoted the respective Wiki numbers, here's the one on wealth distribution. Wealth data are mainly taken from "Global Wealth Databook 2016" by Credit Suisse which relies on data by OECD, IMF, et al.
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Do you have sources to back up this?
For a broader picture see "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" by Thomas Piketty, it created quite some waves among macroeconomists some five years ago. The underlying data are openly accessible at wid.world

For those interested in macroeconomics with good knowledge in German the "Nevermind The Markets" blog by Tagesanzeiger and FuW may be of high interest.
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Old 15.09.2017, 16:26
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Re: Why so expensive

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Sorry but that's not true at all.

While it is true that income distribution is much less concentrated in CH (lower Gini coefficient), wealth distribution is roughly the same in the two countries Gini coefficients .803 for CH and .801 for the USA. Interestingly enough Sweden is a Gini-neighbor with .742 (other data sources differ in the details but the basic message is the same).
Actually, I was intending the point to be a bit wider and more general. You don't see the abject hand-to-mouth kind of poverty here in Switzerland that you see in poorer parts of the US.

Does everyone in the US have the same fair and equal access to healthcare as they do here, for example?

Someone here on a very low income would still be able to get a necessary hip replacement or the cancer treatment they need without getting themselves 10s of thousands of CHF in debt, wouldn't they? They might not get their choice of doctor or a single patient room but they would have the right treatment in a timely manner.

For that to happen, there needs to be an effective distribution of wealth.
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  #125  
Old 15.09.2017, 16:31
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Re: Why so expensive

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Anyone who's too focused on earning stickers in silly debates isn't expected to know what Corsera is, and that includes Mr. Trump. He is in fact, pro shovel-jobs for coal miners and wants his entire country to do menial factory labor, shielded by protectionist policies, instead of focusing on education reforms. If you think a bit (I know it's asking a lot), the policies here closely resemble Trump administration: protectionism, false-nationalism, low education and favoring "keeping money in" over competition. High prices is a natural effect of such policies.







Maybe you meant Coursera but didn't know how to spell it. Just to say...
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  #126  
Old 15.09.2017, 16:35
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Re: Why so expensive

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Maybe you meant Coursera but didn't know how to spell it. Just to say...
I thought they meant a type of car, but obviously it was asking too much for me to guess correctly
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  #127  
Old 15.09.2017, 16:36
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Re: Why so expensive

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Maybe you meant Coursera but didn't know how to spell it. Just to say...
Nope, I'm pretty sure he meant corsera, the third person singular future of the French verb corser, to complicate. Because that makes perfect sense, and fits with the smug tone of the poster.
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  #128  
Old 15.09.2017, 16:40
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Re: Why so expensive

Oh now I see - it's that website you see as a hiring manager, where you get twenty self-printed "certificates" attached to the back of a CV on random subjects that have no relation to practical work or the job being applied for.
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  #129  
Old 15.09.2017, 16:57
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Re: Why so expensive

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Actually, I was intending the point to be a bit wider and more general. You don't see the abject hand-to-mouth kind of poverty here in Switzerland that you see in poorer parts of the US.

Does everyone in the US have the same fair and equal access to healthcare as they do here, for example?

Someone here on a very low income would still be able to get a necessary hip replacement or the cancer treatment they need without getting themselves 10s of thousands of CHF in debt, wouldn't they? They might not get their choice of doctor or a single patient room but they would have the right treatment in a timely manner.

For that to happen, there needs to be an effective distribution of wealth.
Isn't that more about society's willingness to provide minimal living standards and healtcare if necessary?

Yes people aren't left to rot in the ditch around here and I'm grateful for that. But that's no Swiss invention, if anything it's a western European achievment. Thanks to unions and the rejected "left" that forced the institution of what ignorant US-Americans call "European socialism".

Since perhaps 30 years though the trend moves is in the opposite direction, the winds of change have shifted by about 180°.
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  #130  
Old 15.09.2017, 18:03
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Re: Why so expensive

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I had a discussion with an Italian butcher two weeks ago.

He said that Swiss prices for meat accurately reflect the price of production, and that the only reason that he can sell meat so much cheaper is because meat prices are heavily subsidized in Italy.

Tom
I lived in South America too and there I used to pay 1/3 of what I paid for beef in Italy! And the quality and choices were vastly superior too.
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  #131  
Old 15.09.2017, 18:14
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Re: Why so expensive

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I had a discussion with an Italian butcher two weeks ago.

He said that Swiss prices for meat accurately reflect the price of production, and that the only reason that he can sell meat so much cheaper is because meat prices are heavily subsidized in Italy.

Tom
Actually according to this (slightly old) article, he was completely wrong:

https://www.thelocal.ch/20130920/swi...hest-subsidies

The thing about Swiss farming is that, compared to much of Europe, it doesn't seem to be causing massive loss of hedgerows, monotonous fields of oilseed rape, and twisted incentives from weird subsidies. I have no idea whether that's because of sensible targeting of subsidies, or Swiss stubbornness in resisting change - although I'd guess it's a bit of the first and a lot of the second.
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  #132  
Old 15.09.2017, 18:16
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Re: Why so expensive

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The thing about Swiss farming is that, compared to much of Europe, it doesn't seem to be causing massive loss of hedgerows, monotonous fields of oilseed rape, and twisted incentives from weird subsidies. I have no idea whether that's because of sensible targeting of subsidies, or Swiss stubbornness in resisting change - although I'd guess it's a bit of the first and a lot of the second.
Probably much more of the third - the Swiss landscape does not lend itself to intensive and/or large-scale farming.
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  #133  
Old 15.09.2017, 18:28
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Re: Why so expensive

Die Gewerkschaften hatten geltend gemacht, mit dem Gesetz würden sich die ohnehin schon prekären Arbeitsbedingungen des Verkaufspersonals weiter verschlechtern. Profitieren würden zudem nur die grossen Betriebe. Für die kleinen und mittleren wäre es eine Belastung, wenn sie das Personal länger beschäftigen müssten, um mit der Konkurrenz mithalten zu können.
Tranlation: Working conditions would get worse.And only the big sellers would profit.
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What bollocks.

Shops opening for extended hours represent a great opportunity for workers; those working the extra hours get paid penalty rates, or if they don't want to work those hours, the shop employs extra people to work them. Win-win all around.

I made my way through my first degree by working late evening shifts, weekends (both days) and public holidays at a major department store in Sydney (with a very amusing name, if you're a fan of Are You Being Served). Time-and-a-half and double-time paid for my rent, food and liquid pick-me-ups for three years.
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  #134  
Old 15.09.2017, 19:49
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Re: Why so expensive

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Tranlation: Working conditions would get worse. And only the big sellers would profit.
It is translation. Let's be sure to use correct spelling, or the spelling polizei will come running with their sirens! It's nothing but a sign that they cannot argue against the core matter, so choose to focus on spelling and other trivial aspects of the post.

And instead of speculating over this would happen and that would happen.. why not give people the choice to work shifts if they want/need to? Think of a fat lady who's drunk unhealthy A1 Swiss milk (was ist das??) all her life, enrolled in some kanton-schule, and needs to work after 6 PM. She could opt for kürserä (or Corsera) or she can work evening shift. Choice should be hers.
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  #135  
Old 15.09.2017, 19:55
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Re: Why so expensive

While Courses has some interesting content, it's hardly the benchmark for the cultural literacy of a population. :rolleyes
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  #136  
Old 16.09.2017, 18:19
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Re: Why so expensive

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You're right TexasT. Competition, open market is staunchly opposed here. Protectionism, nepotism and all those last-century-isms are very rampant. A shopping trip to Konstanz is a smart option for most family, grocery shopping, especially if they're meat lovers. My Swiss neighbors however were very agitated once they learnt about my cross-border shopping! One even said, "we pay you high salary so that you can live comfortably here, not shop abroad". This basically explains the narrow mindedness and low education of the society. I earn my wage because I provide a high-value service in return. My employer (US firm) put me here in this dumbo-land because they couldn't find anyone suitably skilled locally. The "we"s are too busy on online forums instead of doing some skill building on Corsera. "Corsera, was ist das?", I often hear from those "we"s. So, I am free to spend my money as I see fit. Heck, I even maintain a EUR account with a German bank. CHF is too weird, volatile and artificially inflated, to entrust my future with. Overnight, the "we"s of SNB could do something to wipe 10/20% off.

As for grocery shopping, the effect is much smaller on any household budget, but Konstanz is a good way to deal with the inflated prices. Wherever possible, I also order stuff online from manufacturer's website, anything from Nespresso capsules to small electronics.
they in turn allowed your employer install a business in CH, make profit and take it home. They allowed your employer to deploy you here and let you enjoy all the perks this country has to offer. So in my eyes it is fair that they expect you to spend your earnings here, since your earnings are proportional to the prices for other goods and services being offered by other entities here.

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This basically explains the narrow mindedness and low education of the society.
no this doesn't. It explains how a society(economy) is able to survive, otherwise we would have to need to fly to Asia for a haircut. Some people seem to misinterpret the meaning of a salary - like if it was meant to make them rich and let them consume as much goods and services as they can. Earning in CH makes it clear that the salary is meant to let one live comfortably in the environment they work in and let other people provide their services as well.

What's unfair though, is when westerners come to say Asia and don't give a damns about prices, in essence just benefiting from poor econmies of those countries and situation locals are in. However, nobody seems to speak about it, only the other way around.

I could understand the visitors complaing about prices in CH, but peeps earning in CH and still complaining? sounds like greediness to me. Or may be I should say naivety? like negotiating double as much for the salary but still expeting to pay for food like in Germany for instance, where taxes are higher and disposable income is lower.

Still the swiss allow one to spend their money as they see fit, just applying some fees etc. Where come the anger from is beyond me.

The EUR, with suffering economies like Greece, isn't much healthier either, so is the USD. I for one would not entrust my future in any currency, nothing special about CHF in that regard.

Coursera and other Khan Academy's clones are just supplements, why one would judge based on that I am not sure. The locals I know are actually busy living and getting weiterbildung in local universities.

Last edited by Sultan of Swing; 16.09.2017 at 18:31.
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  #137  
Old 17.09.2017, 17:43
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Re: Why so expensive

It's precisely the "we" vs "them" attitude that's preventing proper integration of migrants (expats included) in the society. In any other country, what people do with their salary is hardly a topic of discussion. But here, come back from Konstanz and be ready for the stares and judging looks!!!

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So in my eyes it is fair that they expect you to spend your earnings here, since your earnings are proportional to the prices for other goods and services being offered by other entities here.
Last I checked, your high living cost was hardly a consideration for your employer. If you don't deliver what's (perceived as) worth your salary, they're happy to shop around (outsource) to Barcelona, Warsaw, Bangalore, wherever. Just as we shop around for better value.

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What's unfair though, is when westerners come to say Asia and don't give a damns about prices
Expats in Asian countries by and large live in their "bubble". Frequenting places that are meant to serve that clientele, e.g. Marriot, Four Seasons, etc. Prices in those places aren't too different from Southern European countries. If you venture out to live a true local life, you could come across two menu cards with different prices: one for locals, other for foreigners. In my view, it is fair that they do this, otherwise you could buy everything on the menu for 5 dollars/EUR and waste 90% of the food - which I have painfully witnessed happening. Talk of consumerism!
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  #138  
Old 17.09.2017, 17:58
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Re: Why so expensive

Never seen anything like stares or judging looks. You're getting paranoid

Its a free market like they say on EF

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It's precisely the "we" vs "them" attitude that's preventing proper integration of migrants (expats included) in the society. In any other country, what people do with their salary is hardly a topic of discussion. But here, come back from Konstanz and be ready for the stares and judging looks!!!



Last I checked, your high living cost was hardly a consideration for your employer. If you don't deliver what's (perceived as) worth your salary, they're happy to shop around (outsource) to Barcelona, Warsaw, Bangalore, wherever. Just as we shop around for better value.



Expats in Asian countries by and large live in their "bubble". Frequenting places that are meant to serve that clientele, e.g. Marriot, Four Seasons, etc. Prices in those places aren't too different from Southern European countries. If you venture out to live a true local life, you could come across two menu cards with different prices: one for locals, other for foreigners. In my view, it is fair that they do this, otherwise you could buy everything on the menu for 5 dollars/EUR and waste 90% of the food - which I have painfully witnessed happening. Talk of consumerism!
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  #139  
Old 17.09.2017, 18:18
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Re: Why so expensive

The free market opinion isn't shared by many nationalists. I included a quote in my earlier post which basically mirrors what I've been hearing all along: we pay you.. so you must spend on us - in addition to the stares and looks.
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Old 17.09.2017, 18:28
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Re: Why so expensive

And what would be the case for pensioners or those on Social welfare
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