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A bit of local culture and observation
Something really interesting is about to happen in Australia, and its got to do with money. Typically speaking, things here in Australia are expensive, especially when compared to America which is in fact the paradigm that I use.
For the last 20 or so odd years the Australian dollar has hovered between .70 - .95 to the US dollar, so one american dollar would buy you about 1.25 of Australian money.
So if you project this onto the prices here which coming from America seem high, and then understand that your dollar is essentially buying you anything Australian at about 25% off, with that discount prices begin to align to the more comparable familiar. Average price for eating out lunch in DC $10-15 bucks, lunch at a cafe here probably $15-23, both prices in native currency.
Assuming that you take 25% off the australian lunch you get a relatively nominal price increase.
Now here is when things get interesting, you would think then Australia is just a more inflated society, so I assume that the normal minimum hourly rate would be in the realm of ours albeit mildly inflated. What I found is that the minimum hourly rate is double that of the US, so the poorest workers in Australia have to work just over an hour to eat lunch in Melbourne, while the poorest workers in DC have to work almost three. Which is great for the people living in Australia, but its terrible for the Australians doing business with the rest of the world, until recently.
For the last few weeks the Australian dollar has stayed pretty comfortable at .95 to the US and yesterday it hit .99 and is expected to reach 1.20 in the next few days. Which means that a mac here in australia costs 2400 and the same mac in the states costs 1600, and I could spend 1300 australian to buy the mac in the states that costs $1600 in US currency. I am very curious how the prices here will adjust or if they will at all, but with the unique situation the Australian dollar will have nearly a double buying power in the states. Why buy a 2400 mac from the store in Australia when for just 200 more you can order two macs and have them sent? A bit of a pain with a lot of a gain. And thats my 2 cents.