Australia has twice the minimum wage as the US and Big Macs cost roughly the same

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Australia has twice the minimum wage as the US and Big Macs cost roughly the same.

via truth-out.org, Salvatore Babones, Jaisal Noor, The Real News Network

Go to link for complete transcript and VIDEO:

http://truth-out.org/video/item/18106-australia-has-16-minimum-wage-and-is-the-only-rich-country-to-dodge-the-global-recession

TRANSCRIPT:

JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.

Over the past year, increasing amounts of fast food and retail workers have been on strike demanding $15 an hour and better benefits and working conditions. Their struggle has spread nationwide, and their demands have been hotly debated in the media.

To talk about this issue, we’ll go to Australia, where the minimum wage is over $16 an hour for fast food workers.

We’re now joined by Salvatore Babones. He is a senior lecturer in sociology and social policy at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia, associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., and also writes for numerous publications, such as Truthout.

Thank you so much for joining us.

SALVATORE BABONES, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: Oh, thanks for having me on.

NOOR: So, Salvatore, from your perspective, working in a country where the minimum wage is almost $15 an hour and for fast food workers it’s over $16 an hour, what’s your take on these demands by the fast food workers in the United States, which so far have not really been taken seriously by the media or policymakers?

BABONES: I think it’s long past the time when Americans should wake up and see, you know, how far along the rest of the world has come. If a $15 minimum wage seems unrealistic, it’s only because we’re stuck in the 1950s or 1960s idea of how you should live as a worker in America. Ordinary workers, people who do, you know, grocery store checkout or fast food, simply do much better in the rest of the developed world than they do in the United States.

As far as the Big Mac index goes, that’s a really interesting index compiled by The Economist magazine. And, in fact, Big Macs are slightly more expensive in Australia than in the U.S., something like $0.70 more expensive in Australia. What you get for that in Australia is you get to go to a fast food restaurant where you know that everybody behind the counter has full health insurance, everyone behind the counter gets a really good wage, they’re treated well, and they have, you know, options in life beyond just a grueling minimum-wage existence like in the United States. For my money, I’d rather buy a hamburger for $0.70 more, knowing that people behind the current counter have a living wage, than to pay $0.70 less for a hamburger and have slave labor conditions in fast food restaurants.

Go to link for complete transcript and VIDEO:

http://truth-out.org/video/item/18106-australia-has-16-minimum-wage-and-is-the-only-rich-country-to-dodge-the-global-recession

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