How long does it take to afford a beer?
ON SEPTEMBER 22nd, the beer started flowing at Oktoberfest in Munich, an annual Bavarian beer festival which confusingly begins at the end of September. Last year, over the course of the 16-day event, visitors glugged 7.5m litres of beer, sold at an average princely price of €9 ($12.50) a litre, which is what a typical large stein holds. Germans love beer and down around 100 litres per person a year. Away from the Oktoberfest beer is readily affordable. Analysts at UBS, a Swiss bank, have calculated that it takes a German earning the national median wage just under seven minutes of work to purchase half a litre of beer at a retail outlet. At the bottom of the pint glass, low wages and high taxes mean that boozers in India must toil for nearly an hour before they have earned enough to quench their thirst.