There are a number of issues with this meme. First, the wrong facts:
- The $16/hour figure is inflated. The Australian minimum wage is 16.87 A$/hr., which is less than 15 US$/hr. as less than writing this. Click the link for the figure based on today’s exchange rate.
- “Big Mac” isn’t the same thing. In Australia, it is 201 grams. In the US, it is 215. So about a 6.5% difference.
Next, the misleading ones:
- This minimum wage starts at age 21, which means it only applies to about 70% of the US fast food work force. I couldn’t find statistics about the age of Australian fast food workers.
- Big macs are only part of the cost of living picture. If you look at the whole picture, Australia is an expensive place to live.
There are a lot of other differences between the US economy and the Australian economy, but these are the ones that spring to mind with a short search.
Edit: I’ve been informed that a Big Mac costs less than $4.62 in the US. I apologize for the mistake and plead vegetarianism as the excuse for my ignorance.