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Is Poland a poor country?


Sasha 2 | 1,083
17 Feb 2012 #61
What is average net salary in Poland? In Russia it's $700. I think it's about the same in Poland.
a.k.
17 Feb 2012 #62
Isn't that Moscow moguls are boosting this average greatly?
Sasha 2 | 1,083
17 Feb 2012 #63
That may well be the government that boosts it. ;) According to their figures the average in Moscow is roughly $1450. I can hardly believe that.
GabiDaHun 2 | 152
17 Feb 2012 #64
Poverty is subjective because people put too much emphasis on the numbers in money, and how much one earns.

There is no difference in earning $700 a month or $1400 a month if it buys you the same quality of life, the same house and the same food the same healthcare, and gives you the same holidays.

The question perhaps should be "Does living in Poland afford you a good "quality of life".

Well according to USwitch
uswitch.com/news/money/uk-worst-place-to-live-in-europe-uswitch-quality-of-life-index-890419
out of 10 countries surveyed including Poland, the UK offers nearly the worst quality of life while they are the top earners of the countries polled (£32,766 per year), and Poland comes in 5th out of 10 even they own the least (£7,986 per year - a quarter of what the UK average household income is).

This chart
www1.internationalliving.com/qofl2010/?field=final
uses a different method and puts Poland below the UK. (although not that far below) 21st I think out of approximately 50 countries in Europe. Which I wouldn't class as poor - but then it depends on what your definition of "poor" is and if it includes health, happiness and holidays- which to me it does.
pip 10 | 1,661
17 Feb 2012 #65
pip: I don't think it is poor at all.
Not only are you bubble blind but you are also wearing rose tinted glasses.

It is only rich or poor when compared to another country. If we don't compare at all but just define it based on its own merits then it is different.

Yes I live in Warsaw but my husband is from the north as is all of his family- I am not talking about my 2 square km radius.

Of course there is poverty here. There are people that live in one room flats with their families and the dog. But they still have access to health care and any social system that they qualified for. It is not like India where there are families that make their living from the garbage dump or a ghetto in Chicago. Poland is in a transitional stage and those that are suffering the most in my opinion are the elderly. They are not given enough. And of course those with problems such as addicts or alcoholics.

Poland is like any other country- there is rich and poor but overall it is not a poor country.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
17 Feb 2012 #66
It is only rich or poor when compared to another country. If we don't compare at all but just define it based on its own merits then it is different.

Very true.

One thing about Poland is that a lot of people are asset-rich but cash-poor.
a.k.
17 Feb 2012 #67
That may well be the government that boosts it. ;) According to their figures the average in Moscow is roughly $1450. I can hardly believe that.

But in your eyes is $700 the average or not?

The question perhaps should be "Does living in Poland afford you a good "quality of life".

No.

he UK offers nearly the worst quality of life

If so, then something wrong with the rank.

Well according to

The rank is quite intresting. It says that:
- Polish prices of alcohol are 4th highest. One may buy alcohol way much cheaper in Germany!
- Polish prices of food are 2nd highest (after the British)
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
17 Feb 2012 #68
- Polish prices of alcohol are 4th highest. One may buy alcohol way much cheaper in Germany!

That just doesn't seem right, with the cheapest vodka still around 20zl.
a.k.
17 Feb 2012 #69
Precisely! ;)
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
17 Feb 2012 #70
Same with the food. It isn't that expensive in the UK and is slightly cheaper in Poland.
GabiDaHun 2 | 152
17 Feb 2012 #71
It depends if they are looking at the money cost, or the cost as a percentage of household income (which I think they might be). I'd like to know the figures that uswitch used so I could see myself how they calculated it. Personally I think that the international living table gives a more accurate representation. Really it depends on what is important in your life.
pip 10 | 1,661
17 Feb 2012 #72
I was in England in October- there is no way that food is cheaper.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
17 Feb 2012 #73
A lot depends where you are in England and how you shop. It is possible to live OK on very little by shopping at traditional markets for fresh veg and meat (mostly a Northern thing), going to Aldi, Jack Fulton's etc (in the North mainly) as well as getting your divvy from the Co-op.
ShawnH 8 | 1,501
17 Feb 2012 #74
One thing about Poland is that a lot of people are asset-rich but cash-poor.

Can you expand on this?
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,720
17 Feb 2012 #75
as well as getting your divvy from the Co-op.

you such an old socialist jon.... the coop is sooooooooooooo expensive these days...you would need a bloody divvy if u shopped there.
Lidl and Aldi rule, I am sure Polish and UK food prices are much the same.These days we are all poor, but living in countries with lots of rich people around.

Just a passing thought....are Lidl and Aldi part of the sinister German takeover of Europe?
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
17 Feb 2012 #76
Can you expand on this?

Average wage, 2 flats and a dzialka.

the coop is sooooooooooooo expensive these days...you would need a bloody divvy if u shopped there.

It's dearer than it used to be. Do they still put reduced stuff out late in the day? I know people in England who only go shopping at teatime to get the bargains. That happens sometimes in PL but not as often.
ShawnH 8 | 1,501
17 Feb 2012 #77
Average wage, 2 flats and a dzialka.

From your experience, are they carrying mortgages on these properties or are they owned outright through inheritance?
Wroclaw Boy
17 Feb 2012 #78
I was in England in October- there is no way that food is cheaper.

its comparable, especially if you shop at Asda, as grumpy smurf says "I hate Asda".

Do they still put reduced stuff out late in the day?

yep pastrys etc, coissants for 20p type of deals
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
17 Feb 2012 #79
From your experience, are they carrying mortgages on these properties or are they owned outright through inheritance?

Now that's something you'd have to ask someone, isn't it.

Off the top of my head, three acquaintances come to mind. One has a very low mortgage on one flat, the other he inherited, I've never asked him about the dzialka and he earns about 3k. Another person has one flat which I think is inherited, a very posh buy-to-let with a huge mortgage secured as far as I know partly on the other and an income of about 1.5k. He can hardly afford to eat properly. The third inherited one flat, bought the other for peanuts in the early 90s without a mortgage and is now effectively unemployed living of the rent from one of them.

These stories are not unusual in Warsaw.
milky 13 | 1,657
17 Feb 2012 #80
Like everything else, some people think Poland is a wealthy country and some people think it's a poor country.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,915
17 Feb 2012 #81
One thing about Poland is that a lot of people are asset-rich but cash-poor.

Agreed. There's a lot of people out there who either inherited decent properties (that they can barely afford to live in - but they won't sell because they know they'll get more if they hang onto it - madness) or they took huge mortgages on properties that they can barely afford now, but will be able to afford in the future.

One interesting figure - at least until the end of last year, banks were lending on the basis of one year's accounts from self employment. I've heard mumblings that some people were submitting nonsense invoices to made up people to artificially increase their income, paying tax on the "income" and then presenting the figures to banks. The banks, obviously impressed with their high income, were happy to grant mortgages to them - and that's how some people managed to buy much more than they could outwardly afford.

When I was buying a flat, I kept running into a lot of people no older than 30 who had inherited granny's flat - and they wanted ridiculous amounts for them.
ShawnH 8 | 1,501
17 Feb 2012 #82
Now that's something you'd have to ask someone, isn't it.

Didn't mean to pry, (actually, I kind of did...) but I am interested in Personal Finances. I (with the fantastic support of the better half) do try to avoid unnecessary / unrealistic levels of debt. I was just interested in trying to understand the mindset of why somebody would be asset rich and cash poor. I always found it best to take a balanced approach. A nice stash of cash can go a long way when times are tough, or a financial emergency pops up. Having assets locked up like that can put you in a bind, as you pointed out when you stated:

Another person has one flat which I think is inherited, a very posh buy-to-let with a huge mortgage secured as far as I know partly on the other and an income of about 1.5k. He can hardly afford to eat properly.

What do you think drives them to maintain that kind of position?
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
17 Feb 2012 #83
do try to avoid unnecessary / unrealistic levels of debt.

Same here. If I had a quid every time someone criticised me for not getting a mortgage on a second flat when prices were rising I'd be rich. And if I'd taken that advice I'd probably have had negative equity now and a big headache.

the mindset of why somebody would be asset rich and cash poor.

That seems to be a situation that people end up in - old ladies in huge houses in the UK that they can't afford to heat. There are plenty of people like that in Poland and likely to be more given the rural 1990s building boom with all those vast 3 storey houses.

What do you think drives them to maintain that kind of position?

I don't think the guy in question has much of a clue about anything. He shouldn't have been able to borrow enough to buy the second flat and would be unlikely to be able to pay off the credit (which by the way is in Swiss Francs) by selling it. He's in a bit of a Catch 22 situation. Perhaps he's thinking about his old age
delphiandomine 83 | 17,915
17 Feb 2012 #84
That seems to be a situation that people end up in - old ladies in huge houses in the UK that they can't afford to heat.

The same ones complaining about council tax despite being asset rich. As much as I'm liberal minded, I have no patience for such people - if I can't afford taxes, I have to sell my assets - why shouldn't they?
pip 10 | 1,661
17 Feb 2012 #85
What do you think drives them to maintain that kind of position?

so others will think they are rich.

When I was in England I was talking with a few colleagues about some of the differences about living in Poland vs Canada. In Canada it is not typical for people to show off their money(except Montreal). It is almost like people dress down if they are super wealthy. Most of the people I was with said it was the same thing in the U.K.

In Poland it is the extreme opposite. People will get themselves into debt but as long as they have a name brand shirt or jeans than they appear wealthy and those that are super wealthy have so much name brand stuff it just becomes a tacky joke.

My husband gets razzed a lot by his work colleagues because he doesn't drive a fancy big car. All of his work mates drive bmw's or audi's or some other showy car but he has a simple hatch back and they are all in debt- but at least they look rich.
grubas 12 | 1,391
17 Feb 2012 #86
OK, you convinced me. I am not going to do that. Thanks for taking care of the environment.

I am glad I did.Don't fall into this "buy,buy,buy,consume,consume" trap.In my opinion it's stupid and like I already said bad for enviroment.I felt very,very disturbed watching on YT many perfectly good vehicles being destroyed in Cash for clunkers program.They weren't clunkers,some of them "fought" a long time before they killed them.I wished I could save them...

Don`t US manufacturers pay you for buying their car?

If they did I would consider buying a brand new car.
ladykangaroo - | 165
17 Feb 2012 #87
brand shirt or jeans

I would say it's all down to the fact that Poland is (relatively) poor. Relatively, because paying Western European prizes for global brands with your Central European salary makes you feel like a beggar. Quite often you can get local equivalent and great quality goods for half the price (if not less) - and that could make you feel like a rich man, able to afford sooo much (hence the "relativity").

But.
Cheaper goods from local company cannot confirm your social status. This one is getting validated by a pair of shoes with a logo - and on this precious little brand sign you spend half of the Polish minimum wage. The same pair of shoes in most of eurozone countries cost you the equivalent of half day - maybe a day work. Nothing to brag about. Runners are therefore for tracks and jeans for casual afternoon, not for social validation (also, funnily enough, Polish prices on global brands are often higher than prices of the same goods in UK, Germany or Ireland. All because the companies know very well that they are selling not only the product, but the prestige so they bump up the price. Not too much, they still want to sell after all). If you add to the equation the fact that the big flashy brands were like a holy grail in pre-'89 Poland you almost get the picture. Tacky, yes. But for ages dreamt of and also seen as the social norm "everywhere else".

bmw's or audi's

Partly agree...
Only partly. Too many 2012 registrations seen in Dublin today on the way to work. This is not necessarly Polish thing :D
grubas 12 | 1,391
17 Feb 2012 #88
Same with the food. It isn't that expensive in the UK and is slightly cheaper in Poland.

We should look not only at the price but also or maybe even first of all factor the quality.Lets compare carrots.American carrots at my local Food Lion are $1/lb,Polish carrots in Poland are 1PLN/lb but if I had a choice I would pay even $2/lb for Polish carrots because American grown are juiceless,they are like dried carrots or something.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
17 Feb 2012 #89
Most of the stuff the farmers sell on the street markets in Warsaw comes from the wholesale veg market, more often than not imported from Holland :-(

Cheaper than the supermarkets, but then again they don't pay tax or overheads.
pip 10 | 1,661
17 Feb 2012 #90
We should look not only at the price but also or maybe even first of all factor the quality.

they taste like crap because they are crap- full of chemicals. Polish fruit and veg is still organically grown. no gmo.


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