Gasoline at $2.07 a gallon – less at Costco ($1.97). Avocados are 3 for a dollar at the trendy Sprouts grocery store – cheaper at the farmer’s market. Pineapples are 88 cents each. Most fruit and veggies seem free. Ribeye steaks are $4.99 ($3.99 on sale) a pound and lean ground round is at 99 cents a pound. Cucumbers at 50 cents each. A full week’s groceries lacking nothing in the way of good, nutritious food of the highest quality, all-in: $85.00. Same ‘basket of goods’ in Campbell River? Easily $200 plus.
The golf cart sports 6 x 12 volt shiny, new-looking Trojan batteries. Hardly ever used. Still, they are swapped out every three years to ensure performance. The ‘cart guy’ comes with a truck, loads the cart, takes it away, services everything, replaces the ‘power pack’ with brand new batteries and returns it two days later for $800.00. Couldn’t be done for twice that back home.
The golf cart guy said, “Hey! Just so you know, Fry’s has a sale on beer. Thirty six large cans for $19.00.”
This very well built, attractive 3 bedroom home, nicely landscaped in a beautiful, safe neighbourhood is $200K (30 year fixed rate at 4% = (with taxes) under $1,000 a month). And you get to deduct your mortgage payments from your already-lower income taxes in the US. IF you had US income.
The golf courses are green. Car washes (automatic, drive through) are $3.00.
Can someone explain to me why Trump thinks NAFTA ain’t workin’ for ‘Mericans?
And let us not delude ourselves, fellow Canucks. The pineapples came from Costa Rica, the avocados came from Guatemala and a good portion of the gasoline came from Canada. But, once the product is on the truck from Central America, it is just one or two more days of driving to get to Canada. So, extra distance and currency exchange simply does NOT account for the price difference of an avocado at C$2.49 and a C$5.00 pineapple in BC. Nor our gasoline prices at $1.15 a liter.
And we have way higher taxes.
I am not a cowboy. Deserts aren’t my thing. I don’t get flat and straight. Seriously…I get disoriented. It all looks the same. And dry is weird to me. But I hafta say, the snowbird phenomena now makes some, if not more, sense than ever before. At the very least, you save in living expenses what you spend in getting here. More, if you stay three months like many do. It’s a wash, financially speaking. And it is sunny and pleasant when a Canadian winter is extra bleak.
Fuggedabout ‘vacationing’…this is NOT that….this is just living cheaper and in better weather.
And, while Trump is poisoning the planet politically and making me sick to my stomach, he is no more offensive viewed from here rather than there. And it is not like Trudeau didn’t just renege on the promise that got him elected. Or Clark admitting that all her BS has amounted to nought. Politics sucks all over.
But, like most places I have visited around the world, the people here have been, with no exceptions so far, pleasant and friendly. Even the idjut MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN hat seller at the local market was in a happy (tho obviously demented) mood.
No bugs, either.
Don’t get me wrong. I will not be reviewing Arizona for the local tourist bureau. Wouldn’t have anything to say, really. In a vacation sense, it is dull. In an alternative winter lifestyle sense, however, it is turning out to be great! In a demonstration of friendship kinda way (our stay was a gift), it is over-the-top generous and wonderful.
Now I get it,,,’our stay was a gift’ , for a couple who lived 10 years on a sailboat, I’d have thot a sojourn along the southern california coast , san diego to santa Barbara would be more appropriate.
Certainly more interesting,
Would be and was. Been there. All good. But this was a different kind of horse, one whose mouth you don’t examine. Complete leap of faith. Took a bit of adjustment. But, now I can see the appeal….this is a place I wouldn’t wanna visit but wouldn’t mind living in…..weird, eh?
Folks are attracted to America for various reasons some as you note are economic ones. In the land of cheap labour, I’m sure that many people do not earn enough to enjoy the many of the benefits provided by stateside living. Americans may well pay lower taxes but as a result the American debt is is approaching a 20 trillion dollars. Scary! By 2050 Canada might be in debt one trillion dollars. Isn’t it case of pay now or have the grandchildren pay later? Is it not the case that low American taxes are part of a general ethos of denial pervading the American psychy ! There is no global warming, taxes are evil…!
All of which is true but I have a theory….you just know I’d have a theory, right?
You cannot foreclose on a country. The most you can do is impose sanctions and payments. Several countries have already gone technically bankrupt and the world simply had to ‘forgive their debt’ and carry on. And so long as the US dollar is the primary trading currency, America never has to declare bankruptcy. They just have to ignore their debt and print more money – as they have been doing. But if the Chinese succeed in getting their currency on equal footing globally (commodities), then the US has a problem. They may have to start paying others back in yuan/Renmimbi.
So…what to do?
War with China would maybe do it? But, really, what excuse would the US have for blowing the smithereens out of China? Whatever it might be, they better get on it soon because China has past puberty and is in growing up to be a big strong boy.
Can they get outa debt any other way? Well, they ARE printing as fast as they can….but picking a fight you are sure you can win (at least for now) is so much easier…….now about those sand bars in the South China Sea……
Perhaps increase their GDP as the debt is measured as a percentage of GDP. Canada is arguing that. The debt to GDP ratio is falling.
The problem with that is that GDP is NOT true. It is yet another sleight-of-hand accounting trick. Means almost nothing. Yes, autos, parts, oil, wheat…etc., counts but so does the ‘work’ of bureaucrats and other paper-shufflers. I can even accept that nonsense but, get this: if a house burns down, the disaster ALSO adds to the GDP because of the firemen, adjusters and motels utilized. AND the new house subsequently built adds more. So, in that nonsensical way, we would be way better off just burning our houses down. Buy a tent and up it goes again. More crooks stealing means more cops on the beat…voila! Higher GDP.
I have referred at times to the BIG LIE and this (the GDP) is just a small part of it.
Have you not hit on the reason countries go to war?
Not really…..I know that it is always economics but I don’t see a clear, specific reason every time. Israel is war-like and vengeful because it has been attacked so much that it i now belligerent. The US goes to war for oil and imperialism, mostly. African nations war because of despots and tribalism. And confusing the issue is the changing ‘face’ of war. Can you have a war on drugs? On terror? Is cyber-war actually war? Was the Cold War actually war? Is backing the Contras war? I honestly can’t tell you. But I do know that if you lie with dogs, you will get fleas and if you arm yourselves to the teeth, you will eventually kill someone.
You may be on to something because Trump has mused about defaulting on America’s debt. Your argument sorta supports defaulting. Isn’t paying with wallpaper the same thing as a default? He accuses China of being a currency manipulator ‘so what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.’
Wallpaper is the peaceful equivalent of default but only if the wallpaper (US$) is received and accepted which, in Int’l terms, it still is. But if we get another ‘common currency’ in the form of the yuan/renmimbi, then the int’l creditors will choose the currency they have the most faith in. If it ain’t the greenback, the US debt comes crashing down hard. Bretton Woods was a blank check for the US. And they filled it in and spent it.
Trump is suggesting that he will sell America’s assets such as airports and harbours and what ever he can privatize. Is his middle name Harper? Pay down the debt by selling assets. Is this why he is trying to repatriate off-shore money squirreled away by America’s tax dodging corporations so they can buy these assets?
I don’t know. They never call me. But that sounds plausible. Greed is greed. Pointless but real.
But while a country cant be “foreclosed” it can be put through the wringer like Greece( and to a lesser extent Iceland or Ireland…. which reminds me of a joke that was going around a few years back. “Whats the difference between Iceland and Ireland’s economies? One letter “)
If your govt leaders are a money squandering, spineless bag of opportunist windbags….eventually the banksters come a callin.
Higher interest rates, forced sweeping budget cuts, forced interest payments, recession, deflation, unemployment, higher taxes, tax evasion, money hoarding, money restrictions, higher crime, poverty, etc ……..essentially all the reasons you want to live OTG…..
EXACTLY! And you haven’t even touched on the worst of it. That comes later. See Venezuela.
Ahh yes. Hugo Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution”
(Venevuela?) …….. continued after his premature death by a former…. bus driver….
Where an oil rich State blames the starvation of its people “a US conspiracy” but still wont allow the same people to cross the border to buy food. A Govt so inept inflation is %500….per month.
Ya gotta luv dreamy socialists in power.
Not a clue and stubborn as a burro
We do love something about the desert. I love the look of the colours in the soil and rocks, and the plants that can survive in a harsh, dry environment. We had a geologist friend who called the desert “naked geology.” We went on quite a few tours and camping trips with him and learned a lot. Of course, when we go to Arizona it’s usually for Spring Training so lots of our time is taken up with games, but we do set aside some extra time to go walking or exploring. – Margy