I didn't realise that, so you've got a double whammy then, low wages and high costs.
Exactly. Cars in Brazil, for example, cost a lot more than anywhere else. The least expensive car in Brazil, the Fiat Mille (no AC, no power windows/doors/steering, no alarm, tinted windows, no nothing) costs the equivalent to US$ 14,600 today.
The question with wages is that an employee costs a lot to the employer, bacause there are so much taxes and duties to be payed, such as social security, IRS, and so on. An employee that has a liquid income of about R$ 1,000 costs his employer exactly R$ 2,240.
All of the Australians I know are very nice people, and my sister-in-law's husband is Australian. I know I'd get along with them beautifully, but I also know Australia has 4 distinct seasons: hot, damn hot, even hotter and "I can't believe it isn't summer".
Obnoxious import regulations, as well, apparently.
Don't get me started on those!
On the other hand, our senators and representatives (both state and federal) are among the most well paid politicians in the world.
CrossRoads, I remember in a recent thread we talked about Boston, and I mentioned how much I loved it. You were in the thread, as well as another user from Boston. I mentioned how much I loved the city when I visited (twice) it in 1991 and 1992. I am so sorry about what happened there and I hope you and your family are ok.
Before the 2016 Olympics we will host a FIFA World Cup (Soccer), next year. My city is one of the host cities, and you can be sure I won't
stay here! There will be a total of 11 host cities, although most of them will only have 1 or 2 matches at most (there will be 10-14 games in my city).
Most cities in Brazil have absolutely no infra-structure able to comfortably receive the amount of tourists a World Cup brings. I work about 9.3 miles (15km) from my house, and yet most times it takes me 45 minutes to go from home to work and vice versa, by car, in a normal sunny day. Public transportation sucks and is expensive. Riding a bike would be a solution I'd love, but there are too many hills here and there aren't many bike-only lanes in the streets. Besides there is no place to shower where I work, which makes riding a bike an even worse choice.
Now take all those problems and condense it to a single city: Rio de Janeiro, one of Brazil's most violent cities. That is what the 2016 Olympics will be, except there are no hills there: the city is mostly flat. It is hot, however. Do you guys think Australia is hot? Rio de Janeiro is hotter and I am willing to bet money on that!!! I don't know how much news you guys get about Rio de Janeiro, but every now and then the Army and our poor-man's version of the Marines have to invade the favelas (fortified slums, made fortresses by drug lords).
If you get the chance, ask any athlete who was in Rio de Janeiro for the 2007 PanAmerican Games what it was like.
Don't get me wrong, there are many things I love in Brazil: fruits are inexpensive, there are beautiful places to go (last week I was here: Cataratas do Iguaçu
), and we have beautiful women. The problem is that over 50% + 1 of our population is ignorant and illiterate, and keep on voting on politicians that want nothing but steal from and screw us, so the same old people keep running the country indefinitely. Nothing changes, ever.
None of the population was favourable to Brazil hosting the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup. What we need is more schools, hospitals, road paving, libraries, and not stadiums. Those 2 events are only happening because of our former president's ego (Lula, hated by everyone with an IQ > 1, **THE MOST** corrupt politician we ever had). Now we are short over US$ 43 BILLION (with a capital "B"), just so we can please Lula, a few tourists and a handfull of soccer players, and not a single school has been built.
Sorry for the long post.