Australia travelling down the US path

I've long suspected that Australia is going down the USA path of working two jobs and struggling and that it's the second earner, not home buyers' grants that sent our property market skyrocketing.

Well, a Google search of America's middle class and also the working poor have confirmed my suspicions.

Not only does two wages devalue individual earnings but drive wages down as the need to create new jobs is multiplied when contented homemakers are forced into work, not to keep up with the Jones' but to pay bills.

You'll notice when new jobs are created here unemployment figures don't change.

That's because partners aren't on the dole. One website proclaimed to have 35 stats on working poor that will blow your mind.

Here are some of them:

 ·     America continues to trade high wage jobs for low. Since 1980 a number of low wage jobs has risen from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of jobs. A higher percent of children living in poverty than 1975.

·Company profits as a percentage of GDP (country's total earnings) are at an all time high; wages percentage of GDP all time low.

·The wealthiest one per cent have greater wealth than bottom 90 per cent combined. Bottom 60 percent of Americans own just 2.3 per cent of wealth. Worst of all median household earnings have fallen four years in a row.

 On a related site, electricity bills have risen faster than inflation five years running. Gasoline doubled in the past four. As living costs rise wages stagnate, between 1969 and 2009 median wages earned by American men aged 30 to 50 dropped 27 per cent after taking inflation into account.All we get here is the nonsense about wages rising. They are mean averages; a different thing entirely. Far more adults staying with mum and dad, and nowhere near enough jobs for college (uni) graduates.This is all very worrying if you can see the similarities we have in Australia.

Andrew Bradshaw

Talbot

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