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Tom Allensworth

Perspective

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Folks, I am in Japan at the moment on the downside of a two week trip to the orient. Just to give us all some perspective of "things" in the world, I thought I would post this.I just came from the bar, where I had two small draft beers of local manufacturer. Not even the "imported" stuff. Total bill? $18.00 USD. My breakfast this morning was two fried eggs, ham, toast and coffee. Total bill? $25.00. Remind me not to have an AVSIM exhibition in Japan. :)And that is with a decling yen against the dollar!!! Yesterday's exchange rate was 130 yen to the dollar. Last year, it was somewhere in the vicinity of 100 to the dollar. This place is way too expensive. Meekal.. can't you do something about this? :)

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Well, Tom, I am not surprised. After all, Japan is one of the most expensive places in the world. Particularly for a tourist, who goes to the tourist bars and must eat his breakfast in his hotel.But, generally, I have found that all the developed world has higher prices than the U.S. I have spent all of my adult life overseas, and am always surprised, even astounded, when I go back to the US to visit family, and find prices, and wages, and taxes, so low. This cannot be right. The U.S. is the richest and most advanced country in the world. As an economist, I would expect this to imply high prices, and wages, and taxes.Then again, you could try avoiding the tourist traps and business trips to Japan.AvSim convention in Santo Domingo, anyone?Best regards.Luis

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Luis,You are right. The US is still a very inexpensive place to live. Except for health care and college education! The paradox of an advanced country status and relatively low prices can be explained by (relatively) high US productivity.As for Japan, it's services sector is notorious for its inefficiency and high costs--in stark contrast to it's export sector which is still a world-beater.Meekal

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Tom,See my note to Luis below which attempts to explain your observation.But come to think of it, London (or other parts of Europe) are not a heck of a lot better. Have a heavy English breakfast in a decent hotel and it will set you back fifteen pounds sterling. A good steak will cost you twenty, equivalent to $28! And, as we all know, a gallon of petrol in the UK, and much of the continent, is five bucks! Rents for mediocre accomodation are outrageous. And so on and so forth. Count your blessings..........and get back home! Meekal

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Luis and Meekal,Being lazy here. Will answer both of you in one go.. :)Luis, yeah, I know. I lived here in the '60's and have been doing business here and elsewhere internationally since the late 70's. It is still a shock everytime I come here though (1 to 2 times a year on average). I had two cups of coffee and wheat toast this morning and it was an $18.00 bill. I guess as an American, I have been spoiled. If I paid more than $3 for that in the U.S., I would be spewing the coffee all over the place.When I was in Kuwait last July, the food prices were about half of what they are here (if my memory serves me correctly) and like Japan, they import almost everything. Import costs don't appear to have much bearing on pricing at this level. I suppose import duties do and I am sure the Japanese duties for some items are pretty high.It is the cost of doing business internationally, and we accept that, but it is hard to swallow, so to speak. :-lol

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