Great post. Totally agree. And I've experienced it as well.
I came here direct from Japan, which had then and now a stronger currency, which is really great when traveling back home or basically anywhere else in the world. Also key for buying things from Amazon instead of paying 2.5-3x the price for the same things here.
As outlandish as this might sound, as high a cost a living as is there, and higher taxes, I feel I saved more money there than here. That might not be the case if rents here were now what the were 8 years ago.
I'd be interested in how JR, BillyB, Aster, and the like might view that comment.
The lower tax and cost of living were among the main reasons I left that place I didn't really want to leave; the other reason was what was happening in the the job market there and here at the time. Which, as we have discussed in other threads, is changing.
I've always said the quality of living here is better than there, but the quality of life is better there. While it may be an awkward definition, it just means that while it's pleasant here, life is more rich elsewhere, and we pay a price for that in the long run.
In fact now I feel, the trap of lower taxes dont even work anymore. Although the taxes are low it is more than evened out due to the higher rentals, higher cars costs, higher and substandard education.
Sometimes I feel we are working hard not for ourselves, but for our house landlords and their agents, what with a disproportionately high part of our income going for rents, whom are we working for?
Think about it. The agents themselves drive cars and appear so snobbish to us, without even understanding that without us, they wont even have their jobs