But, again, this in turn limits your other choices. It's not just the cost of train rides, it's the frequency and convenience of them as well. Most of the the suburban rail lines in the Chicago area, for instance, run once an hour outside of rush hour, if that. I have friends who spend an hour and a half or more each way commuting from the affordable neighbourhood on the Far North Side of Chicago we all live in to their jobs on the South Side or in the burbs. As a result, they hardly ever see anyone socially.
Well, yeah, that's why they're cheaper, cause they're, for the most part, less desirable. being rich is more convenient that not being rich.
So ultimately the answer that matters to Chagen is not whether we think $40,000 buys a good quality of life but whether he thinks so. We can tell him roughly what kind of life it will buy depending on where he is and then it's up to him to decide if that's something he can settle for.
Well, yes and no. The same case might be made about kids cursing the day they were born because their parent didn't get them a black iphone4G for christmas. there is objective, quantifiable suffering happening there, but that doesn't make them less spoiled or entitled.
On the Polanyi point: true, but you seem to be missing the other part. Which is that, yes, people CAN be miserable because they feel impoverished, but they don't HAVE to be. What people here are doing are adding perspective and context to that impression of impoverishment. Chagen can, if he chooses, readjust his perception of poverty, relative to a more helpful benchmark.
that, and that your ability to have money problems is kind of independent of how much you make, so 'I don't make enough to live how I want' is no metric on which to ground a claim like 'I'm poor'.
That's just it: If you polled most people about what they considered a "luxury" and what they considered a "necessity", I'd be surprised if many people listed "living near friends and family" as a "luxury"--particularly one on a par with owning eight Hummers (or whatever other absurd strawman Torco was tossing out earlier). Several, I'm sure, would consider it a necessity. If my older brother didn't live where he had familial assistance close to hand, he wouldn't be living on his own. He'd be instituionalised--if he were lucky.
Not a strawman, I never claimed it was your -or chagen's- metric. It's an analogy. No need to get nasty with stuff like this, btw.
(Or do you simply have such limited proficiency in English that you read "having limited proficiency in the dominant language" as "speaking English"?)
AAnyway, If your family lives in, again, the french riviera, where cans of seven up cost 400 dollars, wouldn't living near them be sort of a luxury? And anyway, luxury vs. non-luxury/need is a sloppy, ambiguous and rather unhelpful dichotomy to begin with, methinks. There's plenty of people who've decided that, say, owning a motor vehicle, or a two-story house, or other people, is a necessity.