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About the Author

Marianne Diaz
Writer, Lawyer, Activist (Valencia, Venezuela)

Venezuelan lawyer and fiction writer. Blogger for Amnesty International on Human Rights issues. Author for Global Voices Advocacy. Interested in gender, poverty and work issues, and freedom of speech and information.

Post

How much for a pizza?

Published 22nd June 2010 - 16 comments - 4213 views -

A pizza and a glass of wine are the main elements of this infographic. As superficial as it sounds, I don't pretend to make a profound study of poverty and hunger with basis on this. If I had a better picture of the infographic, I would just paste it here and there you go. But I don't, so I'm gonna explain it a little.

 

How much for a pizza?

What this says: A pizza for two costs around $25 in Caracas (and in Valencia too, dare I say, I just ate one). I won't mess with the wine, cause I don't drink and I can't assure what they say. At dollar's official prices, that same pizza costs:
$15 in Bogotá, Colombia.
$20 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
$19 in Ciudad de México, México.
$7 in New York, USA.
$12 in Madrid, Spain.
$12 in London, UK.

And for a complete understanding of the issue, I'll add that the venezuelan minimum wage is around $260.


Category: Poverty | Tags:


Comments

  • Lara Smallman on 22nd June 2010:

    An interesting way of highlighting the issue!


  • Radka Lankasova on 22nd June 2010:

    The price seems to be OK, but minimum or average wage makes a biiiiig diference.


  • Johan Knols on 23rd June 2010:

    Hi Marianne,

    To me it is not clear what you are trying to tell us.
    But if your aim is to say that a pizza in Caracas is too expensive, then let me give my thoughts.

    If the market of people being able to afford a pizza is too small, then obviously the price for a pizza will be astronomical. In the USA (where pizza was invented) everybody eats pizza, so the demand is high, but also the supply is high. The price has to be low in order to make a buck.
    I would like to know how many places in Caracas offer pizza…..

    If this is not what you are trying to tell us, please make it more clear, as examples like this can be enlightening.


  • Marianne Diaz on 23rd June 2010:

    Dear Johan, I’m really sorry but I have to disagree with you. Firstly, pizza was not at all “invented” in the EEUU, pizza is a traditional italian food and was invented in the city of Napoles. And secondly, we do eat a lot of pizza in Venezuela, and you can find a pizza restaurant in Caracas almost every other block, at least in the commercial area.
    However, I’m not saying (and I highlighted it) that it is a perfect example, I just throw the idea there as it is, but as a matter of fact, I do think it is a good example.
    In Venezuela, you buy a pizza for two with 110 Bs. F., as it is told in the graphic. Which means that every person pays 65 Bs. F. And that, actually, is the average cost of a dish of food for a person in every single fast-food place, whether it is a burger or a subway sandwich or a shawarma (yes, we eat a lot of foreign food and we don’t have fast food of our own). There’s pretty much nothing you can eat below that prize, and the reason why that survey chose pizza as a example was because it is a food that is eaten worldwide, and therefore it can be easily compared.

    Radka, better yet, that is not the real “minimum wage”, because it is not calculated in basis of the “real cost” of dollar, but with “controlled dollar”. If we try to get closer at what the proportion dollar/bolivar is when it comes to its actual capacity of buying things, our minimum wage is actually around $190.


  • Hussam Hussein on 23rd June 2010:

    You should also consider which pizza you get… In Warsaw pizza is cheaper, but it’s not a good pizza… better to spend money to buy pierogi, at least you’re sure you’ll get good pierogi.
    Anyway, you raised a good idea!


  • Marianne Diaz on 23rd June 2010:

    @Hussam, that sounds very logical. Actually, here, quality and cost are not usually related when it comes to food. That is weird and kind of sad, you know, but not so much if you think that you can get a better pizza for a few bucks less than another one not so good and more expensive, if you know where to go.
    I’m rambling here. And now I’m hungry…


  • Luan Galani on 23rd June 2010:

    Interesting overview, including cost of life…
    A silly question, but, anyway: is the minimum wage enough for most people in Venezuela? I kind of imagine the situation but I want more details on it from you, please. =D

    Thanks for this post.


  • Marianne Diaz on 23rd June 2010:

    @Luan: I’ll try to explain it as objectively as I can: I guess it depends on what you understand by “enough”. With a minimum wage, a person alone can afford his/hers basic expenses, if s/he lives in the house of her/his parents and doesn’t have a family on his own.
    If you imagine a typical family (wife, husband and a child), with two minimum wages (his and hers), it is barely enough to cover the basic food basket. They can not save money for the future and they can not pay a rent, so they’ll live to the day and probably have to live with someone’s parents or as squatters in what we call a “rancho” (usually, in our slums, “houses” which are made with cardboard and zinc sheets).
    A family of the size described, will probably need between four and five minimum wages of income, in order to cover their basic expenses, food, health, education and housing.
    Thanks for asking, Luan. smile


  • Luan Galani on 24th June 2010:

    Thanks for such a quick answer. This situation you described is the very same in Brazil. Sad mad reality…


  • Hieke van der Vaart on 24th June 2010:

    This pizza graph reminds me of the “Big Mac” index (or Hamburger Standard), yearly published by the Ecomomist, that “seeks to make exchange-rate theory more digestible.”

    http://www.economist.com/markets/bigmac/

    Norway is leading the list, a Big Mac costs 7,02 dollars. In China, the same burger costs $1,83.

    The question below all this: how long does it take in the different countries to earn a Big Mac? (or a pizza, for that matter…)


  • Giedre Steikunaite on 24th June 2010:

    Good point, Hieke.

    So what if a BigMac costs less in my country than yours, if I need to work a week longer than you to buy it.


  • Sylwia Presley on 24th June 2010:

    It is pretty similar to comparing UK and Easter European situation. I like the graphics!


  • Marianne Diaz on 24th June 2010:

    @Hieke, @Giedre, yes! I agree with you completely. A Big Mac costs about $9 here, but that’s not the point at all, the point is that a person who makes minimum wage needs to work about seven hours in order to afford one (though I wouldn’t recommend that s/he eats it, but that’s a different subject).

    @Luan, @Sylwia, I am sure that this situation occurs worldwide. It would be interesting to really get to compare the relationship between food cost / profit per worked hour, in a more educational and fun way than the usual statistical graphs and tables we’re all familiar with. smile I don’t know, it always seems like people gets bored whenever I start talking on the subject raspberry


  • Sylwia Presley on 25th June 2010:

    No, I agree, it would be interesting to see it globally!


  • Daniel Nylin Nilsson on 25th June 2010:

    I think all coments here have good points. Aquestion to you Marrianne - what do poor people eat in Venezuela? I guess they can’t afford pizza :S


  • Emilio Suarez on 05th October 2013:

    Depending on your salary, you could afford pizza once a month, if you are careful with your expenses and consider eating out (being it pizza, shawarma, burgers or arepas) a luxury. As of October 5th 2013, a good pizza is about 165bs, officially $26, but barely $4 with black market prices. People with a low income will try to get subsidized food from government’s supermarkets where they are around 4 times cheaper when available, where as people with a higher income can buy the same products in the black market. Regular supermarkets will sell products with a price set by the government to ensure they are robbing the people, but supermarket owner’s and producers complain that those prices deprive them from any profits, actually making them incur in losses. The situation is dire, but answering your question and quoting Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “El coronone no tine quien le escriba, poor people in Venezuela eat shit.-


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