BigMac Index: Argentina more expensive than US

bigbadwolf

Registered
"Stanexpat" said:
Why the locals can't seem to come up with a good burger seems to me to be the result of a lack of vitality in some aspects of the culture here. Making a good burger is not exactly something that requires extensive culinary training. My observation would be that coming up with one would require someone to take intiative and a vision or idea that something could be done better. These qualities generally seem to be in short supply here.
Not to say that you can't get good food here but there is a surprising lack of variety for a city this size.
Argentinians lack entrepreneurial flair. Argentinians can't cook (tossing a chunk of meat on a grill doesn't count).
I would think opening a good hamburger restaurant would be a definite winner that some expat could consider.
Such an entrepreneur would get screwed by suppliers, by customers (if possible), by various government agencies, and by thieves and robbers.



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Stanexpat

Veteran
Bigbadwolf, you might be right that starting a business here would be rife with problems. One Argentine I know has a glass factory which he had to shut-down last year at this time due to energy shortages. Another I know has had big problems with the government relative to firing non-performing employees. I started and ran a small business in another South American country restoring old cars. I did this for about two years and ended up making about $800 month working at it a few hours a week. I did it more for fun and something to do. Of course I had people who new what they were doing and who could be trusted. When I got to Argentina I decided not to do this again as we had concerns over the work attitudes and potential problems we would face here. If I were going to start a business here I would try to do something where I didn't have to hire to many people, most of the work to be done by myself or friends/family I could count on.Another business I thought of would be to go to the owners of the various Kiosks in the city and have them stock umbrellas on a consignment basis (i.e. no cost to them, they simply get a percentage of sales). Have you ever tried to find an umbrella in Buenos Aires in a rain storm? This could be a one person business with a minimal start-up cost. This would be very simple just go around every couple of weeks and get paid for the umbrellas sold and restock. This is a free idea to anybody who wants to use it.
 

Fettucini

Active Member
I have been thinking of starting up a quality food product in Argentina, perhaps going into the marketing of natural healthy foods that have got so popular now in UK. I already have family contacts of product distributers and sellers in BA, but the question is will the Argentineans be that interested in buying quality food products? There doesnt seem to be an attitude here of enjoying these sorts of finer things in life, take for example when i did up my apartment last year i went round various shops in Recoleta to buy bed linen and could only find polyester foam pillows and sheets.
Also the music scene here of Cumbia and Reggaeton - I can't believe how people listen to this rubbish - it's the worst music i've ever heard, and it shows a distinct lack of appreciation for quality. This actually got me quite down for a while when i first got here as coming from London i'm big into the music scene there which is much more diverse. Brazil on the other hand seems to have a good music scene.
Maybe these sorts of things would do well in Argentina, but they don't exist because the number of people investing in businesses here is just a fraction of what it is in say the UK, so less diversity.
 

Stanexpat

Veteran
"I have been thinking of starting up a quality food product in
Argentina, perhaps going into the marketing of natural healthy foods
that have got so popular now in UK."It's hard to figure out what would work here from a business standpoint. There isn't much interest in investing by either the locals or outsiders due to the political and social climate. My feeling is that Argentina probably resembles Eastern Europe right after the collapse of communism. A lot of people there were used to the government doing everything for them(although badly in most cases). A lot of people there had a very difficult time adjusting to doing things for themselves.
The government here is similar in that it's very intrusive in the economy with price controls, subsidies, etc., that as a result the entrepreneurial spirit here probably isn't very strong. The government doesn't really encourage investments and seems to view successful business people as exploiters of the poor. Obviously this is a big difference compared to the U.K and other western countries.
 

steveinbsas

Registered
"Fettucini" said:
when i did up my apartment last year i went round various shops in Recoleta to buy bed linen and could only find polyester foam pillows and sheets.
Recoleta has many shops that sell cotton sheets (with high thread
count) and feather and/or down pillows. They're a bit pricey here, but
also pretty easy to find in numerous shops on Avenidas Santa Fe and
Aranales. Did you ask for sabanas de algodon ...or almohadas de
pluma?
 

bigbadwolf

Registered
"Stanexpat" said:
The government here is similar in that it's very intrusive in the economy with price controls, subsidies, etc., that as a result the entrepreneurial spirit here probably isn't very strong. The government doesn't really encourage investments and seems to view successful business people as exploiters of the poor. Obviously this is a big difference compared to the U.K and other western countries.
The politics of resentment. Western Europe (including the UK) have an ambivalent attitude towards business success and wealth. Unconditional adulation is only found in the US. There must be a golden mean somewhere -- where initiative, work, and risk-taking are enouraged and rewarded, but without the excesses and super-exploitation of the United States. Argentina unfortunately is too much on the other side. It's a difficult place to do business and make an honest buck. Contracts aren't honored; a man's word is certainly not his bond; regulatory agencies are intrusive, foot-dragging, and suspicious; officials don't do an honest day's work (either they goof off and/or they expect some bakshish); policies, tariffs, and tax regimes change on a daily basis and according to whim. What a joke of a country. Still, the beef is good.
 

RWS

Veteran
Quoting "bigbadwolf": ". . . . Western Europe (including the UK) have an ambivalent attitude towards business success and wealth. Unconditional adulation is only found in the US. . . ."
Boy, BigBad, have you lived in the United States in this century? Or is my perspective skewed by living in a semi-socialist (that is, northeastern) state?
I do agree, though, that most Argentine attitudes, both governmental and personal, tend too far in a direction opposite to the typical American ones to be either helpful or, in the long term, realistic for the survival of a successful society.
 

sergio

Registered
Mr Wolf...If you want nutritious food you have to eat selectively and choose natural ingredients. I find it very hard to get organic or other quality ingredients here. I can easily get it in the US. There is also very little variety here. Try getting a variety of fowl. Just about the only thing available is chicken. For a metropolitan area the size of BA one should be able to find much more varied and better quality food. Argentine beef, incidentally, is no longer guaranteed to be grass fed. Feed lots are increasingly the norm. Mr Wolf, you can live in the US and eat healthy food. You have to work at it as you would anywhere.
 

Rad

Active Member
It almost looks to me like people are moving to Argentina but expect USA with lower prices. Wouldn't it make more sense to move to West Virginia or Texas?
"My feeling is that Argentina probably resembles Eastern Europe right after the collapse of communism. A lot of people there were used to the government doing everything for them(although badly in most cases). A lot of people there had a very difficult time adjusting to doing things for themselves."
I agree with this - politically and economically, Argentina is like Eastern Europe in the early '90s. But look at Eastern Europe now. There is hope.
 

RWS

Veteran
Quoting "Rad": "It almost looks to me like people are moving to Argentina but expect USA with lower prices. Wouldn't it make more sense to move to West Virginia or Texas?"
I think you're right, Rad, on both counts!
Quoting "Rad": ". . . Argentina is like Eastern Europe in the early '90s. But look at Eastern Europe now. There is hope."
Many eastern Europeans really wanted radical changes -- democracy, limited free enterprise -- and power moved in their direction. I don't see the same in Argentina today.
 
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