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Response to stevenleser (Reply #36)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:42 AM

86. There are a couple of other factors that affect the significance of 'median wealth' . . .

For one, almost all Aussies' wealth is tied up in their homes (just like Americans), but those homes are hugely more expensive than equivalent American homes.

The majority of Aussies live in cities and their suburbs (>70%) where median housing prices sit at AUD400-500 thousand. That pretty much takes care of your 193K per capita right there. But that wealth is not liquid, and while some older people do mortgage their houses and travel after retirement, that option is not generally available to younger families.

Secondly, the cost of living is insanely higher here. A beer in a pub is AUD8 minimum. A starter car is 40,000. An economy flight from Sydney to Perth is AUD900, a meal for two with a glass of house wine in a family restaurant is AUD100. (The only thing that's inexpensive is health care, which is nearly free.) Taxes are also substantially higher including an across-the-board consumption tax called GST, which adds 10% to most purchases, and income tax that tops out at about 50%.

It's true that Aussies love to travel. But hey if you lived there (as I do), you'd travel too. Not that Australia is a bad place to live (it is, literally, one of the best places in the world) it is nevertheless at the ass end of nowhere, and it's most certainly not London, or New York, or LA, or Paris, or Stockholm, or Munich, etc., etc., etc.

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