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Rising Cost Of Living Diminishes Benefit Of Living In Ba


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#21
rickulivi

rickulivi
Clearly BA is more expensive than a few years ago, if that's the benchmark you use to compare things. However, if you use other benchmarks, you will find it's not expensive. I live half the year in California, in suburbia. You need a car to go anywhere. If i walk around my neighborhood, you'll never see anyone. Only cars parked in the streets, driveways or garages.

We love spending time in a major city because city living is sooo different compared to suburbia--which has its own beauty. Which are our choices for experiencing city living? We want a large city where English or Spanish is spoken, so our choices include London, New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago, or Mexico city, Madrid, Buenos Aires. The English speaking cities I mentioned are very expensive compared to BA. As an example, we go to San Francisco every six weeks or so and fortunately stay with a daughter, but can you spend money in that city! Just a simple pizza costs a fortune. And Toronto is toooo cold.

That leaves Mexico, Madrid or Buenos Aires.  Mexico is high above sea level, so I get headaches, plus the water may get you sick.  That leaves Madrid or Buenos Aires. For sentimental reasons, I will pick the latter.

In sum, BA is a lot more expensive now that at different periods in the past, but for the experience of living in a huge city, it is less expensive that other options. You will, however, have to put up with "broken sidewalks, the dog poop, the inconsiderate drivers, the frequent power outages, the absurd bureaucracy and the disrespect for the law manifested in many annoying ways" as the original writer in this post. I believe that's a price you pay to live in a less expensive city compared to the other choices.

#22
Bradly

Bradly

julian63, on 18 March 2017 - 06:38 PM, said:

Moreover, I would venture to say that most readers don't consider the Bolivians, Paraguayans, and or Peruvians that inhabit villa 31 as 'ex-pats' as that term is understood at this English language site, but even if they were included in the definition, they do not rely on USD incomes.

No? So, if they were European (or of European descent), wealthy and complaining about paying $10 dollars for movie tickets, could the foreigners residing in Villa 31 qualify as expats?

The subject I think is relevant. Why do you think things were so cheap during Isabelita's presidency? At what cost? Who ultimately paid for it? I always find foreigners whining about how they can't get things for dirty cheap anymore borderline offensive and certainly tactless. And in this case, perhaps a bit racist.

#23
Ries

Ries
I have never been interested in places that attract expats because they are cheap- in fact, I have always avoided such places. Even back in the seventies, I would skip the parts of Thailand, or Bali, that had expats living there- they were always the least interesting, most generic.
So to me, its actually a good thing that there are fewer of the people who move from place to place because its cheap.

There is no question that BA has become much more expensive.


Whether its "ruined", or too expensive, is entirely subjective, however- and it depends on who you are, why you are here, and where you came from.
Ten years ago, my wife and I chose Buenos Aires for what it is. It helped, of course, that at that point it was very cheap in dollars- but that was not why I came, or why I come back every year.

As far as costs, its still cheaper than the Pacific Northwest, where I live- but my day to day in Buenos Aires is so much richer in non-monetary rewards that, frankly, I would still be here if it was more expensive.

I cannot agree that its "worse"- the things I care about are mostly much better, and the argentines I know, aside from the prices they pay for Iphones, are far better off than the Argentines I know were in the seventies, or the eighties, or even the nineties.

#24
srtamollygreen

srtamollygreen

Serafina, on 18 March 2017 - 07:40 PM, said:

...Argentina has never faced a situation like this one, however being considered part of the cheap and easy to exploit also contribute to the current state of affairs, in my opinion...

Question: I won't pretend to know everything about or understand this complex country, but I have been told that this ├ępoca/temporada is exactly like the 90s for Argentina... (before the crash)

What says you? Why do you think AR has never faced a situation like this before?

#25
julian63

julian63
  • Locationrecolet/san fernando

rickulivi, on 19 March 2017 - 02:53 PM, said:

Clearly BA is more expensive than a few years ago, if that's the benchmark you use to compare things.......In sum, BA is a lot more expensive now that at different periods in the past, but for the experience of living in a huge city, it is less expensive that other options. You will, however, have to put up with "broken sidewalks, the dog poop, the inconsiderate drivers, the frequent power outages, the absurd bureaucracy and the disrespect for the law manifested in many annoying ways" as the original writer in this post. I believe that's a price you pay to live in a less expensive city compared to the other choices.

Yes, of course. BUT that price  (i.e. enduring lots of negative social stuff like power outages and bad traffic) that you say I need to pay in order to live in a less expensive city may be a price higher than I want to, or need to, pay because I have enough money to live reasonably well in places without those negative things. In other words, the quality of life is determined by my ability to avoid the bad things and to enjoy the available good things. That all depends on the amount of money I have, the cost of the available good things, and the quality of life I can afford of the place in question. If I have sufficient wealth to dine out, avoid unpleasant public transport, go to entertainment venues, put my kids (if I have them) in good schools, take a vacation/trip a few times /year, etc,  in a place without the power outages and other downsides of BA, then I may very well opt to do so even if it means doing those fun things a little less often. That option is preferable to me. Besides, I might even have enough money to not have to cut back on the good stuff appreciably in a place other than BA >That is especially true as the COL in BA nears the COL of the alternatives. Then it becomes a no-brainer. I'm leaving.

In other words, the more expensive BA gets the easier it is for me to make the decision to spend less time there. I might even sell my apt and return only when my spouse needs to return because of her family ties. If she didn't have them I might choose to spend more time in a place like Rio, or Miami, or Barcelona or Valenica or even New York. It all depends.

#26
julian63

julian63
  • Locationrecolet/san fernando
Okay, I have some time on my hands.

Bradly, on 19 March 2017 - 02:58 PM, said:

No?   
  No, what? What are you saying "no" to or about?

Bradly, on 19 March 2017 - 02:58 PM, said:

So, if they were European (or of European descent), wealthy and complaining about paying $10 dollars for movie tickets, could the foreigners residing in Villa 31 qualify as expats?
Yes, but only if they were relying on USD or other hard currency income on which to live. Those are the kind of ex-pats which are the subject of this thread. You did comprehend that, right? Whether they complained about $10 movie tickets would seem kind of inapposite since, as villa 31 residents, they would be presumably too poor to pay that or anything close to it to see a flic.

Bradly, on 19 March 2017 - 02:58 PM, said:

The subject I think is relevant.
To what subject do you refer?

Bradly, on 19 March 2017 - 02:58 PM, said:

Why do you think things were so cheap during Isabelita's presidency?
Because the Arg peso was worthless and that was because Peron had foolishly wasted the wads of money Arg made during the years of WWII selling goods to both sides. The country had run out of money. Hard currency become desirable even at a steep premium in order to reduce the effects of inflation and to use to travel outside Arg.

Bradly, on 19 March 2017 - 02:58 PM, said:

At what cost? Who ultimately paid for it?
At the cost of a national mania, malaise, reduction of the middle class, increase in poverty. All Argies paid except the aristocracy although they, too, suffered in some ways .

Bradly, on 19 March 2017 - 02:58 PM, said:

  I always find foreigners whining about how they can't get things for dirty cheap anymore borderline offensive and certainly tactless.
Hey, I feel your pain. However, I don't think it is fair to say that I'm whining for the old days when one could buy a good steak meal for a buck. I'm simply observing that because of the rising cost of living and all the negative socio-politico-economic problems existent in BA, I find it less desirable as an ex-pat destination. I don't gloat over how cheap it used to be. I get no pleasure out of the hardship endured by so much of the Argie population. (I have family here). However, since I could, I took advantage of ability to live well.

Bradly, on 19 March 2017 - 02:58 PM, said:

And in this case, perhaps a bit racist.
What did I say that prompts this accusation? Do the inhabitants of villa 31 live on USD or other hard currency? I submit that they do not and so are not the kind of ex-pats which are the subject under discussion. Your accusation is silly and only belies a lack of reading comprehension coupled with troll like intentions. ( I married a Brasilian, a Columbian, and am about to wed an Argentine gal so to the extent you regard latinos as the race I am "disrespecting" my actions also belie that accusation. However, I have always been curious why there are so few black people in Argentina? Does that have anything to do with Argentine attitudes towards that race? )

#27
glasgowjohn

glasgowjohn
  • LocationVilla del Parque

rickulivi, on 19 March 2017 - 02:53 PM, said:

Clearly BA is more expensive than a few years ago, if that's the benchmark you use to compare things. However, if you use other benchmarks, you will find it's not expensive. I live half the year in California, in suburbia. You need a car to go anywhere. If i walk around my neighborhood, you'll never see anyone. Only cars parked in the streets, driveways or garages.

We love spending time in a major city because city living is sooo different compared to suburbia--which has its own beauty. Which are our choices for experiencing city living? We want a large city where English or Spanish is spoken, so our choices include London, New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago, or Mexico city, Madrid, Buenos Aires. The English speaking cities I mentioned are very expensive compared to BA. As an example, we go to San Francisco every six weeks or so and fortunately stay with a daughter, but can you spend money in that city! Just a simple pizza costs a fortune. And Toronto is toooo cold.

That leaves Mexico, Madrid or Buenos Aires.  Mexico is high above sea level, so I get headaches, plus the water may get you sick.  That leaves Madrid or Buenos Aires. For sentimental reasons, I will pick the latter.

In sum, BA is a lot more expensive now that at different periods in the past, but for the experience of living in a huge city, it is less expensive that other options. You will, however, have to put up with "broken sidewalks, the dog poop, the inconsiderate drivers, the frequent power outages, the absurd bureaucracy and the disrespect for the law manifested in many annoying ways" as the original writer in this post. I believe that's a price you pay to live in a less expensive city compared to the other choices.

Rick .. i enjoyed your post . I remember my first work trip to Mexico City . My boss said brush your teeth with Corona ....that probably sums it up!
"If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt."

Dean Martin

#28
Somewhereinba

Somewhereinba
I agree the majority are here because of a partner - me included. Argentine women that still hold family values was the original attraction. I get funny looks when I tell people I am from Australia - the response is what the fuck are you doing staying in Argentina... I deal with robberies and associated screams most weeks out the front of our apartment, crime is definitely worse. There are a few things keeping me here for the time being but once the situation changes I plan to leave, its simply not worth the headaches for what it offers. It's a shame because the country has massive potential in terms of resources and natural beauty- unfortunately that is overshadowed by mass corruption, selfishness and only caring for those close to you. The policies of previous Governments have also made the problem 10X worse - there were already issues before they let mass immigration take hold to acquire votes.

#29
mmoon

mmoon
Great original post and good responses...it's good to have this discussion at this point in time.  I agree with much of what has been said, and I will add that the only expat friends I know who have stayed in BA full time are the ones who married locals.

I didn't come to BA because it was cheap, but I probably put up with crap for many years partially because it was cheap back in 2001 until the last nosedive began.  These days, it just wears me out much more quickly.  It's harder to have a good life not only because of costs, but because of all the social problems that have been exacerbated by the economic issues.

I've noticed a significant decline in BA expats for at least the last four years.  My impression is that it's not only the cost driving people away, but issues like security, density, and a total lack of stability (confirmed by Argentine history).  We get a lot fewer wide-eyed newbies on this site than we used to, for sure.

#30
chris

chris
The problems just wear you down -- not only expats but Argentines too.  I have a couple of Argentine friends who are looking into ways to emigrate.  They're just exhausted with the system and the never ending problems.  

I said in another post that in recent years there has been an increase in luxury along with an increase in poverty.  There's another thing I've noticed:  a decline in hygiene and standards in general (the exception being the posh places the well off minority go to).  I rode a micro to Pinamar recently and despite the fare of over 600 pesos one way, the bus was shabby, actually dirty with components on the ceiling broken and taped together.  The C line subway today had upholstered seats (left over I assume from the time when these worn out coaches were imported second hand from Japan) that were really grimy.  Subway stations on both ends smelled.  Collectivos can be even worse -- they look as though they haven't been cleaned in months.  I don't remember this even during the worst days of the crash.




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