I suspect the answer is might be richer (just) for Australians but poorer for our friends in the northern hemisphere (unless they work for Goldman Sachs, aka the Vampire Squid of course). The New York Times has a review of Richard Wolff's book "Capitalism Hits the Fan" which looks at Americans' changing economic fortunes (a trend which will continue as China and India continue to industrialise and resource limits become more apparent) - The State of Families, Class and Culture.
Over the last 40 years, we have witnessed a profound shift in the American family, one that bears the deep footprints of a disappearing economic sector and a transformed culture. The shift has hit blue-collar families especially hard. These days, the best gauge of social class is years in school. In 1970, a female high school dropout had a 17 percent chance of becoming a single mother (versus 2 percent for a woman with a bachelor’s degree). By 2007, her chances had jumped to a whopping 49 percent (versus 7 percent for the B.A. holder). Nearly all new mothers with graduate training, but only half of high school dropout mothers, are married.
Why is this happening? As the economist Richard Wolff tells the story in his book “Capitalism Hits the Fan,” for a century before 1970 most American companies paid wages that slowly rose decade by decade, so that a male worker could feel better off than his dad and trust that his son would be better off than he was. But by the 1970s, the deal was off; corporate profits continued to rise while workers’ real wages stagnated. Scrambling to make up for this fact, fathers worked longer hours. Mothers got jobs — and this in a society without paid child care or parental leave. Families went into debt. The blue-collar family became the shock absorber of the broken deal. On top of this, Americans of every class found themselves less and less secure about their jobs, pensions and health insurance. For as Jacob S. Hacker, the Yale political scientist and Democratic adviser, argues in “The Great Risk Shift,” over the last 30 years, companies and government have offloaded risk onto the shoulders of individuals.