Why in the hell have I never heard this before. Seriously, that is incredible. But wait there is more:
Across the Pacific in Australia, the national statutory minimum wage is $15.51 an hour in Australian dollars. Over the past three years, the Australian dollar has been roughly equal in value to the American dollar, so the figure in American dollars is about the same. One Australian dollar roughly equals one American dollar.
Only about 2 percent of Australians, however, are covered by the minimum wage. The rest are covered by industry-wide agreements that are negotiated by the government on behalf of workers. The minimum wage in most of these agreements (including, for example, for adult fast food workers) is $17.03 an hour.
But wait, there’s more: full-time permanent employees in Australia, from toilet cleaners to chief executives, get at least ten sick days, 20 vacation days and (depending on the state) ten or more paid holidays every year. Everyone. All over Australia.
Of course, there is a catch. Part-time and temp workers don’t get these benefits. Instead, they get paid an extra 20 percent to 25 percent in cash compensation. As a result, a part-time, entry-level adult fast food worker in Australia makes a minimum of $21.25 an hour. Oh, plus health insurance. That’s universal in Australia.
Of course, exchange rates go up and down over time. But at $21.25 Australian dollars an hour, it doesn’t matter what exchange rate you use or how you adjust for cost of living. The simple fact is that an Australian entry-level fast food worker makes more than the average American worker. An absolute majority of Americans would increase their income if they moved to Australia and got fast food jobs.
AN ABSOLUTE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WOULD INCREASE THEIR INCOME IF THEY MOVED TO AUSTRALIA AND GOT FAST FOOD JOBS! Holy shit that is insane, and as the author says terribly pathetic on America’s part.
Here is a link to the article (there’s more good stuff in the article that is worth checking out)
Here is a link to an interview with the author.
Here is Salvatore Babones’ personal page (Lots and lots of good stuff there).