I've been reading Ben De Vries' update on Facebook and the conversation following it (posted on his timeline on May 5th at approximately 8am GMT) - and found it very enlightening. It started as a comparison of costs of living in USA and Greece, then went into other realities, and explored myths such as "everyone in the USA is rich".
Truth is more complex than soundbites and headlines. Real comparisons are very hard to make.
The conversation reminded me of how I found it hard to explain to people in rural Nigeria that I couldn't afford to be there, away from work, for long. They'd point out that my daily living expenses in rural Nigeria weren't very high, so they'd assume I could easily choose to stay longer. They found it hard to understand that I needed to go back home to earn some money before long, because most of my regular bills in UK were as high while I was in Nigeria as when I was at home (rent, council tax, water rates, internet connection, insurance, etc).
Things are so different. When I'd tell people in rural Nigeria that some of my friends at home thought Africa was mostly made up of starving children, conflict, corruption and big game parks they'd say something like "But Pam - you know that's not true!" and I'd agree. (Yes, there is hunger and poverty and terrible things, but it's "not that simple"). I'd point out that my UK friends only "knew" about Africa from stories on TV etc.