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Australia Vs US Standard of living

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Zardnaar, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    I'm not Australian or American and I'm considering moving to Australia form New Zealand. For years now we've heard that Australia is a great place to be and the average wage over there is 40% higher than New Zealand. I've talked to both Australian and American friends and compared the average wage. While I suspect that you may be better off in the US if you're rich (as in millionaire rich) and I'm not sure if I've spoken to the right people.

    1 $AUS is approx $0.8 USD ( had to convert AUS $$ to NZ $$$ and then to US $$$)

    As far as I can work out the avergage wage in Australia is around $18 AUS per hour and a 17 year old I know who works in a cafe gets $15 AUS. . Starting rate in factories seem to be around $18 AUS an hour with rates rising to $20-$25 per hour. A school teacher friiend of mine is 29 and earns $60000 AUS per year, is about to get a pay rise to $80000 and gets around 10 weeks holiday a year.

    One of the guys from work just came back from Australia after a 3 week holiday. He stayed with an Australian family with 6 children and apparently they the government gave them $5000 for each kid+a lump sum payment of $2000 each per year until they were 18 years old on top of just under $200 per week per child via some sort of tax credit scheme or something. The wife recieved $1100 per week and the husband worked in a factory driving a forklift for $32 an hour. Another friend over there is also on $32 an hour and my uncles are over there on similar income as is another friend in a joinery factory (lotsa New Zealanders in Australia).

    The cost of living for them was $280 a week in rent for a 4 bedroom house with a swimming pool and they lived in Melbourne. After talking to my American friends they said for the most part wages in America wouldn't come close to that for the most part and the minimum wage was less than $8 an hour. One was on $10 US an hour in LA but she gave that job up and moved home to Texas.

    For those who don't know Australia is making alot of money from its mines and exports iron, uranium, opals, and god knows how many other minerals. Of course the Australians could be lying or showing off but I'm also hearing the same stories from New Zealanders including members of my own family and people I know from the UK over there. Similar income to Europe, better lifestyles and its warmer.

    I suspect the average australian is richer than the average American although I'm sure someone will whip out GDP figures showing the US is richer- maybe Australia has better wealth distribution though.
     
  2. CivGeneral

    CivGeneral Valkyrie Cybernetic Grand General

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    For both countries, it depends on where you live. It's much expensive to live in a city than a town or rural environment.
     
  3. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    True that- you have to be well off to live in Manhatten but I also inclded the cost of living as well and these areas of Australia aren't Sydney which is the Australian version of LA/New York in terms of expensive living.
     
  4. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    Come to Perth, where the housing affordability is at it's lowest ever, I think. That is why so many West Australians are angry at their state government, because it is due to their policy that we have had such a massive increase in house prices, via artificial means.
    http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=145&ContentID=55251
     
  5. Oerdin

    Oerdin Chieftain

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    In Purchasing Power Parity terms Americans make more. A lot depends on where you live as always with big countries.
     
  6. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    We've had the same problem here. Several ears of economic growth made house prices rise 100% in the last 10 years while the average wage went up 36% or something. Theres also a generational gap with plder people in there 50s or so investing in property and pricing young home buyers out of the market. Most bets are in a fall in house prices soon (its already started but may go drastic with inflation rising as well).
     
  7. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Is that because things are cheaper in the US/ A paperback book in the US cost $8-$9 here about $20-25 which is around $18 USD. Same deal with electronics and cars. Its kinda relative though as our minimum wage is almost double the USA's in our currency and you don't have to worry about health insurance or saving to go to university as much.
     
  8. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Challenge accepted

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    Well Melbourne was voted a few years ago as the world's most livable city, although housing is now quite unaffordable. It all depends on where you live though.
     
  9. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Thats where my uncles live. Warm but not to hot most of the time.
     
  10. obliterate

    obliterate Warrior Monk

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    You get some really hot spells here in Melbourne during the Summer. 35+ for 4-5 days straight.

    I would rather live in Australia than America. Here's why:

    1)We don't have people going on shooting rampages at school.
    2)Free Public health care
    3)The economy is booming (The A$ is at US$0.9 and rising)
    4)If you don't want an inner city apartment or house then you can get a house at a reasonable price in the outer suburbs.
    5)When you go overseas and you say you're from Australia people don't automatically hate you. In fact it's quite the opposite.
    6)It's Australia
    7)We are arguably the greatest sporting nation in the world (comparatively to our size)
    8)In your case Australia and New Zealand have very close relations. As you said there are many New Zealanders over here. ANZACs. During our federation New Zealand was very close to become part of Australia.
    9)It's Australia
     
  11. Bast

    Bast Protector of Cats

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    Australia is perfect but two things:

    1. The big cities like Sydney and Melbourne are becoming too crowded and property is very expensive.

    2. The weather is not so good.
     
  12. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    Firstly, you guys need to be careful using the Australian/New Zealand dollar vs the US dollar as a measure of economic strength. They're rising because the Us dollar has fallen, but they're basically steady against other world currencies like the Pound and the Euro. Which is annoying because I'm still getting a pretty bad exchange rate here in Spain.

    Our average income is probably a little lower than the US depending on how you calculate it, but you'll find much less of a "working poor" in Australia thanks to the higher wages at the bottom end. I don't doubt those factory job starting rates you quote are legit -- the added bonus in those fields is unionisation which tends to mean higher wages. For example, the totally unionised supermarket workers earn upwards of A$20 an hour but people doing similar service industry work, for example in fast food, earn considerably less, maybe below A$15 an hour. Minimum wage, theoretically is somewhere around $12 per hour.

    Housing affordability sucks in Australia, but I disagree with Classical Hero that it's all the government -- because if it was state governments, the situation would be different in different cities, but it's not. Rather, it's simply a combination of fairly natural factors: Prosperity leading to increased demand is one, demand in particular for good locations such as coasts and inner cities. Australia's low density lifestyle is another (Sydney has roughly the same geographical area as Tokyo or Sao Paolo) because this reduces supply... people want houses rather than apartments and so there's not enough living space in high-demand locations. So you've got high demand and low supply, of course housing prices are gonna go up. Me I'm hoping the bubble bursts once all the boomers start trying to sell their investment properties to each other and realise nobody is left to pay the sort of prices they're asking.

    At the moment, it's true the economy's going well, we've recorded consistant growth for 15 or 20 years, thanks to a combination of effective reforms by both major parties (inflation is low, public debt is among the lowest in the world, productivity has been rising, etcetera) and especially the Chinese demand for resources. Depending on what sector and part of the country, you'd notice that prosperity mainly in terms of low unemployment and high house prices + rents. Rents had been lagging behind house prices but they've started to rise sharply now.

    Comparing costs of living between countries is notoriously tricky. PPP helps but isn't perfect. I think good food in Australia is probably cheaper, both in supermarkets and especially in restaurants. Australian cities have some amazingly good, very affordable places to eat out, and even the greasy takeaway is pretty good. Good food in America is, in my experience in California, harder to come by at the same cost and affordability. Petrol is more expensive, however, and alcohol I'm not sure about.

    On the welfare system: Payments for families are stupidly generous, but they're probably the only super-generous part of the welfare system. The conditionality on student and unemployment payments is bizzare and often actually discourages working. Also, eligibility for New Zealanders was tightened up a few years ago, apparently there was a problem with them being able to claim payments really easily.

    I think it's probably also worth mentioning that New Zealanders in Australia have a higher average income than the national average.
     
  13. Riffraff

    Riffraff Chieftain

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    Australia has myriads of lethal spiders and snakes roaming the country

    => move to the US
     
  14. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    The US has bears and panthers!
     
  15. Thorbal

    Thorbal not enough ram!

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    And Australia has the alps ftw :D !
     
  16. gegabitelord

    gegabitelord Chieftain

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    need ten letters:mischief:
     
  17. obliterate

    obliterate Warrior Monk

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    About the Public health care: Our population won't hit 300,000,000 until after hundreds of years. We don't have that much fertile land. And most of our Major cities are taking up the fertile land. :crazyeye:
     
  18. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    What the hell does population size have to do with public health care? That's an utter non sequitor.

    Hint: When population rises so do tax reciepts rise in proportion.

    Another hint: The US spends a higher portion of its budget on healthcare than we do, and a higher proportion of the total GDP goes towards healthcare as well.
     
  19. obliterate

    obliterate Warrior Monk

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    How do you know all this stuff if you're living in Spain?

    Anyway, Health care spending by the government is only going to increase over the next decade or so, if Rudd knows what he's doing.
     
  20. JerichoHill

    JerichoHill Bedrock of Knowledge

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    It will depend on what your potential job is and where you would be located in either place. You can't really make such a determination without knowing the specific details and giving them to us.

    Using generalized data and assumptions to try and compare if you're better off in one place or another is not going to be a valid analysis.

    If you can let us know some specifics, I could probably give you a better idea.
     

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