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3. Even taking into account higher labor rates, I can't figure out why costs are so darned expensive there:

There's an old story that circulates about the cost of bath tubs in Australia (probably at least from the '50s) and perhaps from the recollections of the many WWII vets who served there.

The usual justification is that Australia offers all the modern conveniences, but production runs are smaller (due to smaller market served) and hence overhead costs are higher.

But I wonder how this has changed in an age of numerous imports from Asia.

Why is real estate more expensive in NY State? Because it always has been. But they say the origin actually is that British nobility got very large estates carved out of the best land. They then sold at their prices forcing others into lower quality land.
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