I read your article about the price of chickens in Mississippi vs the cost in the EU, because you were recommended on my friend’s facebook page.
As an American who has lived in Europe for over eight years, I can wholeheartedly disagree with your assessment on food prices in the US and EU in your article.
First off, your town was probably bankrupted by illegals working for less than locals, thus taking their jobs and driving down the wages. Secondly, I lived in France for over a year and never paid $22 for a chicken, but Paris is Paris. I currently live in the second biggest Czech city and the cost of living compared to average salaries is shocking. For example: my brother in law is an anesthesiologist at a local hospital and he sometimes works 32 hour shifts and on a good month he might make a little over $2000 before taxes. We pay more for food, rent, gas, electronics here so you can imagine how far his salary goes. Services, beer and meals out are cheaper here than in the States, but a one room + kitchen and toilet apartment here, similar to an efficiency in the US, rents for at least $450 a month, and that’s not living in the city center.
As for farming in the EU. I like it that our meat isn’t pumped full of hormones as it is in the US, but are farmers here much better off? Czech dairy farmers are going broke, because of EU mandates and subsidies to dairy farmers in other EU countries. It’s actually cheaper for them to throw out their milk and collect EU welfare than to bring it to market. Also the EU tells countries what crops they can grow for export, meanwhile fertile land sits useless.
In my opinion cheap healthy food is not a bad thing. If every middle class person in the US had to pay $22 for a chicken, then there would be no middle class.
Thanks for sharing your perspective. I lived in Slovakia for a while and understand about the cost of living versus pay over there.
In my hometown, they actually bring workers in from Latin America because there aren’t enough people there to do the work. That’s definitely not what caused the economic downfall of the town.
I don’t want to pay $22 for a chicken either, but I do believe it’s wise to pay a fair price that accounts for the people working in that industry to make a decent living. I believe Americans’ obsession with cheap could be the downfall of our whole economy. We can’t always get so much for so little. History shows us that somebody pays the price for that.
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