Monday 12 February 2018

Dollar Street

Reminder: Darwinday Today. prev - prevlier
If you haven't seen these compare and contrast photos before, then you haven't been reading the Blog. If you haven't seen pictures like these before, then you should get out and about more. A German family displays a week's food: all that Speck, Wurst, Schinken, Leberkäse and beer :
compared to the sack of rice and a smaller sack of lentils that supports a family from Chad for a similar length of time
Admittedly the lads from Chad are refugees but the local family is not conspicuous for extent of its larder. The last link displays at least a dozen countries by week-food. It may be more difficult to live on $4 / day in NYC than it is to live on $1 a day in Chad. It's well known to obesitologists that it's cheaper to eat badly in America than to eat well.

What about a wider exploration of standard of living round the world - the stuff that folks have is a better indicator of relative wealth than comparing income at the current US$ rate of exchange. We all know food is cheaper in Chad than in German. Dau.II sent us a link to Dollar Street at Gapminder.  You'll be familiar with Gapminder at least in its spokesman Hans "Data-display" Rosling, who died a year ago [obit]. Here is Anna Rönnlund explaining how Dollar Street works. The idea is to send photographers out to 250+ family homes in 50 countries to capture a specific list of material goods which you more or less have to possess as a member of the human race. Most homes have something to keep the rain off; something to keep stray dogs out; a place to sleep and a place to sit; a place to cook food, and something to eat it with; somewhere to shit; a pair of shoes; paper and something to write with; something cherished. Dollar Street is all clickable and comparable.

The quality and abundance of the items enumerated and recorded is dictated far more by economics than by geography. A middle class bedroom is essentially the same in China as in Canada and very different from the same thing in a house on the other side of the tracks in the same town. None of this is exactly surprising but it brought me up short (and grateful) aNNyway.

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