One Thing I Hate about German Journalism

I could possibly team up with my father and Max Goldt to make this into a book, but for today, only one thing.

You keep hearing or reading these reports about poor places in which the journalists say or write something along the lines of, "The average monthly income in this village is 90 €." First of all, this is incorrect, as people in China or Brazil don't earn Euros. But that's a minor point. What bothers me is that they never, ever tell you whether that figure's adjusted for purchasing power or not. My guess is that it's not because a) to adjust for purchasing power you have to look up two numbers rather than one and b) saying that the average income is 90 € sounds much more dramatic than saying that the average income is the equivalent of, say, 240 €. If so, the numbers you hear are uninformative about the interesting question what the people's standard of living is. (Apart from that, I'd also like to know about standard deviations, but maybe that's asking a bit much.)

Having said all that, I read in a source that I remember I deemed trustworthy (but don't remember anything else about) that the figure that roughly a billion people on earth live off one dollar or less than a day actually is based on numbers adjusted for purchasing power. Which makes this much sadder news than it otherwise would be.

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