Business: How They Live So Well in Europe

"Black work" and a thrift ethic help them handle those prices

It used to be that Americans returned from a vacation across the Atlantic full of tales of shopping bargains and cheap travel. No longer. Today, most return with their wallets empty, their credit cards fully charged and their spirits shaken by how little the dollar now buys. Many wonder just how Europeans can afford to live at all in Western Europe, let alone so well.

Prices are indeed high. In the shopping meccas of Paris' Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, Munich's Maximilianstrasse or Brussels' Avenue...

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