User avatar
allrite
Topic Author
Posts: 2358
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:28 pm

Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:12 am

Just watched this story on low income workers in the United States on ABC Australia's Foreign Correspondent program. I understand it's not a detailed analysis of the topic but, boy, does it make me glad that I live here. And yes, I don't mind paying more for stuff if it means the employees can live and I'm happy for some of my taxes to go to Medicare (and glad that it's around when I need it) and other services, despite also having private health insurance. It's not perfect here and there are still many in poverty, but I do feel quite a bit luckier after watching it.
I like artificial banana essence!
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:28 am

I will be sure to watch that later

Given that I have split loyalties, my first response when I saw the thread title was to gasp. After all, the USA has many, many wonderful attributes that make it a great place to live.

However, I agree 100% with what you say. For anyone earning less than, say, $75,000 I have no doubt in my mind - none whatsoever - where I would rather be. While Australia does fall down compared to other countries, such as Scandinavia and Iceland, overall I think that we have a great balance. After all, it's not for nothing that we are #2 on the HDI. If you are a low income earner you are definitely better off here than in the USA even with our much higher cost of living.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
AA7295
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:48 am

Hmmm... I have to say... I watched it in its entirety.. and while I definitely got a whole new level of appreciation for Australia and all I have been given, this documentary did raise some ethical questions for me.

Firstly.... if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

Secondly.... that couple in California. Well, I've been to Africa and India... People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:12 pm

Quoting allrite (Thread starter):
Just watched this story on low income workers in the United States on ABC Australia's Foreign Correspondent program. I understand it's not a detailed analysis of the topic but, boy, does it make me glad that I live here. And yes, I don't mind paying more for stuff if it means the employees can live and I'm happy for some of my taxes to go to Medicare (and glad that it's around when I need it) and other services, despite also having private health insurance. It's not perfect here and there are still many in poverty, but I do feel quite a bit luckier after watching it.

That is saying a lot when you consider that every other living creature on that continent is trying to kill you. LOL.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Secondly.... that couple in California. Well, I've been to Africa and India... People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?

Granted, "poverty" in the First World is different from the genuine starvation in places like Africa...but the paradox here in the US is that the cheapest food you can get is high calorie, zero nutrient stuff laden with fat, corn syrup and death. Lean meats and vegetables etc. are substantially more expensive and more importantly require WORK to prepare. A lot of people either don't have or don't want to invest the time.

I believe that people could opt for a far lower quantity of higher quality unprocessed food instead, and prepare it from scratch for the same money and still get enough calories; pretty obvious which choice most people make. One exception is the real issue of many neighborhoods being "underserved" by real grocery stores (too much violent theft and shoplifting for the big chains to bother) so they subsist on shrink-wrapped crap and fast food.
 
User avatar
allrite
Topic Author
Posts: 2358
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:28 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:13 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Firstly.... if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

Are they taught that in school? The implication was for the young African-American lady that the child was, in a sense, the cause of poverty, in that she fell pregnant before she had the opportunity to realise the earning potential of her studies. Also there is a certain major religion which specifically forbids the use of contraception (and while enormously wealthy is thus in a sense a contributor to poverty - just ask my wife's Filipino colleague who keeps popping out kids and can barely afford anything, understanding that the urge to engage in procreative activity is fundamental to most living creatures).

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Secondly.... that couple in California. Well, I've been to Africa and India... People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?

This struck me as well, but it may be that fatty fast food is more affordable than fresh food. Poverty in western countries is, I believe, often associated with unhealthy eating habits. So is extreme wealth, judging by a couple of rather well known magnates in Australia.  
I like artificial banana essence!
 
photopilot
Posts: 3069
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:16 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:13 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Secondly.... that couple in California. Well, I've been to Africa and India... People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?

Completely different scenario. The African and Indian people are malnourished and very thin due to a total lack of calories. The "fatties" in America, while poor are able to get food, but the wrong type. Likely they consume very little protein (meat) and far too many carbohydrates and starches which their body converts to sugars/fat. Also, the African/Indian poor only drink water, but I'm pretty sure the American poor drink too much Soda because as stupid as it sounds, Soda Pop is cheaper than milk, juice, or even bottled water.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 13846
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:40 pm

The monied interests in the US seem to have no problem stirring up hatred of the poor, taking the focus off of all the great perks they have gained for themselves. Income disparity in the US is at a century high mark due to things like the Bush tax cuts that were supposed to prevent the kind of economic malaise we now have, yet we still continue those policies.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:43 pm

Quoting allrite (Reply 4):
The implication was for the young African-American lady that the child was, in a sense, the cause of poverty, in that she fell pregnant before she had the opportunity to realise the earning potential of her studies

With all due respect, I think she was from a fairly low socio-economic background to start with. Growing up in a single parent family in Newark means that she will have had a pretty tough childhood. That said, it appears that she was smart enough and ambitious enough to try and improve her position, and that having a child restricted her options for further study. That is the real travesty.

As for the issue of using contraception raised by AA7295, it is very easy to say after the fact. That doesn't necessarily excuse stupidity, but you play the hand you are dealt with.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 3):
paradox here in the US is that the cheapest food you can get is high calorie, zero nutrient stuff laden with fat, corn syrup and death.

  

Read up on "Mountain Dew Mouth". It is a phenomenon in the Central Appalachia, in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, where polluted water supplies caused by the run-off from the coal mines makes the water unsafe to drink. When you can pay $1 for 32oz of Mountain Dew, but $2.50 for 16oz of bottled water, poor children are fed Mountain Dew.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
melpax
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:13 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:55 pm

A lot of people here find it scandalous that the 'greatest country on earth' can allow people to be paid so little. If an employer here was to pay someone $3 an hour plus tips, they'd proably be fined out of existence, or jailed for slavery. Add in only 2 weeks or annual leave if you're lucky, and it looks like a lot of people live a miserable existence.....
Essendon - Whatever it takes......
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 9963
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:14 pm

Quoting allrite (Reply 4):
and while enormously wealthy is thus in a sense a contributor to poverty - just ask my wife's Filipino colleague who keeps popping out kids and can barely afford anything,

She's just stupid, smart catholics use contraception, or if they don't most intelligent women know when they are fertile and don't shag during that time.
 
flymia
Posts: 6808
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:30 pm

I agree there are problems in this country with low income jobs. I also think there should be mandated vacation time of three weeks. At the same time is it really easy to compare a country of 22,000,000 with a country of 314,000,000. Yes I no lame excuse right? But not really besides for Japan there are no other first world countries over 100 million people. You have Russia if you want to call them first world, its close IMO but Russian has tons of problems. It's just such a different world when you have so many people. More people more problems its simple.

I am sure if we place 200,000,000 people on Austrlia there would be some more problems there. I agree the U.S. has its problems a list I don't have the time to write out right now but I'm sorry in no way could you compare a countr of 22,000,000 with one of 314,000,000.

[Edited 2013-10-22 06:30:31]
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:41 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
I don't have the time to write out right now but I'm sorry in no way could you compare a countr of 22,000,000 with one of 314,000,000.

To be fair, that was the OP's assertion, and the TV program did not make the comparison.

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
I am sure if we place 200,000,000 people on Austrlia there would be some more problems there

Obviously if you dumped then there tomorrow, but the population of the USA has grown steadily over time and has had the opportunity to adapt (or not) to its large population. Australia's population has grown at a much faster rate than the USA's over the past 50 years, and yet it has done a pretty decent job at assimilating that population increase. A country of 10mn people in 1960 has been able to more than double its population and INCREASE the quality of life it provides to its population, while the standard of living in the USA - adjusted to a common denominator - has effectively decreased.

Rather than considering absolutes, a proportional basis provides a much clearer comparison.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:51 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
After all, the USA has many, many wonderful attributes that make it a great place to live.

Like what? Aside from the fact everything is cheap compared to other "civilized" countries?

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 3):
but the paradox here in the US is that the cheapest food you can get is high calorie, zero nutrient stuff laden with fat, corn syrup and death.

Exactly. They eat McDonald's and drink soda (well, I used to drink a lot of soda too).

Since I arrived in Switzerland 4 months ago from the States I lost 10 pounds, and I don't think my eating habits have changed much... Hm. No, I don't eat "fast food" all that often, depending on what you consider fast food.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 3):
One exception is the real issue of many neighborhoods being "underserved" by real grocery stores (too much violent theft and shoplifting for the big chains to bother) so they subsist on shrink-wrapped crap and fast food.

Aye, there's the rub. The USA has a HUGE crime problem (IMO that's the USA's main problem), but it's compartmentalized into poor areas mostly, so no one gives a shit, apparently.

Quoting melpax (Reply 8):
If an employer here was to pay someone $3 an hour plus tips, they'd proably be fined out of existence, or jailed for slavery. Add in only 2 weeks or annual leave if you're lucky, and it looks like a lot of people live a miserable existence.....

Yes, while the USA is outwardly the most positive society, the people live a pretty shitty life on average. However, they themselves don't seem to realize it, since the US is also the most culturally isolated first-world country. It's really a different world between Europe and the States... From what I know, Australia is much closer to the former. It's a US-sized country with a much more European attitude.
 
LittleFokker
Posts: 664
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:25 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:15 pm

I am reminded of this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?layout=...3D1%26utcoffset%3D-300&app=desktop

I'll gladly pay a little bit more for my products and services if it means a healthier economy overall.
"All human activities are doomed to failure." - Jean Paul Sartre
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:18 pm

Quoting melpax (Reply 8):
'greatest country on earth'

Boy I wish people (here) would just stop saying that. This is a great country with much to be proud of but plenty of room for improvement. Not sure why that can't be enough.

I think it is sort of unfair for people in any country to point at another and say "why don't you do what works for us?" when each place has their own history that has led them to where they are now.

But it is fair to say that "The American Way" has resulted in amazing levels of excellence and productivity as well as disenfranchisement and suffering. I think there is some risk that our system would come off the rails if we were to abandon the "Every man for himself and Devil take the hindmost" approach that has worked with varying levels of success for the past couple of centuries...case in point the recent goatrope where people on SNAP (food stamps) loaded up their shopping carts to the gills at WalMart when there was computer glitch with their spending limits. Moving a society to a more 'collective' (ie socialist) focus requires a corresponding increase in the level of personal accountability and mutual concern for it to work. People have been fighting to scratch out whatever they can get (even if at others' expense) so long here in the US it might be an impossible paradigm to break - look at the fight over something as seemingly straightforward as trying to make sure people can get health care.

Personally, as the recipient of the benefits of a socialist society (ie the military) I would support taking better care of the less successful since I believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, but I don't know how it would be implemented without the rigorous entry and conduct requirements that we have in the Service, or without removing the incentive for individuals to do great things and destroying the noble ideal of self-reliance.
 
ImperialEagle
Posts: 2238
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:53 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:34 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
. if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

Oh, there are people who really need social services especially the mentally ill and elderly however-------
here in the US we have multi-generational families who have learned that the more babies they can crank-out the more "entitlements" they can get. Such as free food (food stamps) free public housing, free or greatly reduced utility bills, free or greatly reduced medical services, free education, even free indigent burial services. All they have to do is keep those babies coming and man they can have everything they want. These people are perfectly capable of getting a job yet they just continue to "play" the system for all the freebies.
So it behooves every American citizen to go out and work extra-hard this week to help pay for all these entitlements.  
Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
. People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?

Because they can go out and get free food with their "WIC" cards. They stand there at the supermarket check-out with a shopping cart full of stuff and the poor hard working guy behind them is buying beans and rice for his family and he pays cash for his stuff. Some of the fattest people you ever saw can be seen in public housing and food stamp lines. They just know how to play the game.  
Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
The monied interests in the US seem to have no problem stirring up hatred of the poor,

OMG you just can't past that mantra can you? People who have money are the ones that support the world's charities. Who ever heard of a poor man donating thousands or millions to a charity? And why would anyone want to spend their lives "hating" the poor? That is just a ridiculous thing to say. Too much drama.  
I really don't understand why you haven't sold-off all your worldly goods and moved to a third-world country somewhere where you can donate the rest of your life and income working for the poor. You might even reach sainthood.  

My father used to say "most poor people do not choose to be that way". And given the opportunities here in the US I have seen whole generations of the poor who used the system to pull themselves up and make something of themselves. They are now contributors. I recall how many of the Vietnamese "boat people" who fled to the US in the late 70's and early '80's with nothing but the shirts on their backs, same for a lot of Cubans. (The Cubans have made Miami a beautiful metropolis!) Or the Koreans, or the Russians, or the Indians, I can go on and on and these people don't live in public housing and on welfare more than one generation. They use the free public education system to educate their children so they can get good jobs and earn good incomes----and they do.
So I have little sympathy for the generations of people who believe they are entitled to all the government freebies just "because".
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3072
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:53 pm

Quoting photopilot (Reply 5):
Likely they consume very little protein (meat)

Are you sure ? whenever I visit the US it appears that meat is available in huge portions at very low prices, particularly ground beef.
 
User avatar
DeltaMD90
Posts: 8245
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:54 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 15):

Actually, I agree with 90% of what you are saying. I think, however, you make the case for cracking down on welfare abuse and the case for welfare reform, not just scaling back welfare. If we scale back welfare without fixing the fundamental problems we'll just have a lot more very very poor people. Increasing welfare will just fuel the current problems we have.

This is one of the huge flaws with the Democrat party. They know abuse is there but I don't see them trying to fix it. In fact, they seem to avoid the issue. I don't agree with the way the GOP would go at it... again, I think the answer lies in the middle
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
Marcus
Posts: 1666
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2001 5:08 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:00 pm

I live here in the US and done so for a few years now, I have been and have friends that live in countries like Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and I also lived in France for a little while, no country and no system are perfect regardsless of what you see on TV or in the movies. Having said that, if you have a good income the US is a pretty damn good place to live, if I was poor I would rather be poor in another developed country and not the US.

I saw this film this last weekend if you get the chance to see it go for it, it explains some of the current economic and wage issues in the US.

http://inequalityforall.com/
Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
 
romeobravo
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:37 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:10 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
the people live a pretty shitty life on average.

The US has its problems but that is an utterly ridiculous statement. The US has a very high standard of living.
 
ImperialEagle
Posts: 2238
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:53 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:44 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
Yes, while the USA is outwardly the most positive society, the people live a pretty shitty life on average.

Well, that must be why you left and went to Switzerland. Perhaps you will even renounce your US citizenship and stay in Europe, well, I mean, if you are an American citizen. Must have had a terrible time here.
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:18 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
Aye, there's the rub. The USA has a HUGE crime problem (IMO that's the USA's main problem), but it's compartmentalized into poor areas mostly, so no one gives a shit, apparently.

Crime in the US is an extremely complicated phenomenon that is not worth getting into unless you're up for a 200+ post circle jerk about guns, race, drugs etc. that we've beaten to death on here already. Suffice to say that to a large extent American society is just broken and low income/poor health etc. is as much a SYMPTOM as it is a CAUSE of it.
 
Mir
Posts: 19093
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:55 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Firstly.... if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

This is very true, but it's hardly something unique to the US. You see it across the world, particularly in developing countries.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Secondly.... that couple in California. Well, I've been to Africa and India... People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?

Because the unhealthy foods in the US are far cheaper than the healthy foods. So it's not surprising what people end up getting when they have limited income. It's not surprising what people get when they only have a limited amount of time to eat due to working multiple jobs and there are fast-food places everywhere. Fixing that dynamic would go a long way to reducing obesity, but it would be a very complicated task.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 17):
This is one of the huge flaws with the Democrat party. They know abuse is there but I don't see them trying to fix it.

The problem with trying to fix abuse is that you invariably make it harder for people who actually do need the help to get it. So unless levels of abuse are high, the best solution might be to just keep the status quo. I'd point to the recent push to test welfare recipients for drugs as a prime example - they did catch a few people, but they spend loads more money than they saved, and they had to deal with all the issues of drug testing everyone on welfare. Would have been better to just accept the few people using welfare money for drugs. I'm not saying that we shouldn't look to fix abuse, but I don't think it's very good policy to hurt fifty honest people in order to stop one abuser, and we have to be careful about that.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 9963
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:19 pm

Quoting melpax (Reply 8):
greatest country on earth

Seriously when has the US ever been the best country on earth, if it ever was it was a hell of a long time ago.

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):

I am sure if we place 200,000,000 people on Australia there would be some more problems there.

It could never happen, there isn't enough water or arable land in Australia to support 200,000,000 people.
 
AM744
Posts: 1435
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 11:05 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:21 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
But not really besides for Japan there are no other first world countries over 100 million people.

   Can't overlook enthropy.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 13846
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:08 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 15):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
The monied interests in the US seem to have no problem stirring up hatred of the poor,

OMG you just can't past that mantra can you? People who have money are the ones that support the world's charities. Who ever heard of a poor man donating thousands or millions to a charity? And why would anyone want to spend their lives "hating" the poor? That is just a ridiculous thing to say. Too much drama.

The "mantra" of income disparity is, like all facts, a stubborn thing.

Of course poor people don't contribute millions to charities, that's why my comments addressed the Bush tax cuts, but you steamed right past that to make your inane rant.

I didn't say the rich hated the poor, I said the rich stir up hatred of the poor, for the obvious reason that it takes attention away from them. Ask yourself about the nature and the setting of Romney's infamous 47% comment, only voiced because he thought he wasn't being recorded. His focus is the people of low or no income. My focus is on the people of extremely high income, who are getting all kinds of breaks in our society.

I can't see why people react so irrationally to my point of view. I doubt they are of extreme wealth so I don't get the sympathy for the rich.

I still don't understand why the way to solve all our problems is to squeeze the people with low or no income. It makes no sense to me.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 15):
I really don't understand why you haven't sold-off all your worldly goods and moved to a third-world country somewhere where you can donate the rest of your life and income working for the poor. You might even reach sainthood.

When you can get a grip of yourself and speak rationally perhaps we can have a discussion...

I believe I've seen you do much better than this. I'm hoping the above is an aberration.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
ImperialEagle
Posts: 2238
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:53 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:36 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
His focus is the people of low or no income.

O.k., so that was his thing. Who cares? A lot of people on both sides of the aisle didn't pay him any more mind then Palin.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
speak rationally

Wow, that's a pretty arrogant statement. Do I detect an inferiority complex going on?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
I can't see why people react so irrationally to my point of view.

Maybe it's because you need to:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
get a grip of yourself and speak rationally

 

But hey, it's only a blog that most of the world has never even hear of. It's only a few of us arguing between us because we don't have anything better to do today. Anybody with any sense isn't going to bother with this discussion anyway. Especially this topic because it:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 21):
is not worth getting into unless you're up for a 200+ post circle jerk about guns, race, drugs etc. that we've beaten to death on here already.

 
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 13846
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:57 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 27):
Maybe it's because you need to:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
get a grip of yourself and speak rationally

I am. I explained myself clearly and rationally. I didn't tell you to go move elsewhere or make silly accusations about you wanting sainthood.

It seems you are aiming for a:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 21):
200+ post circle jerk

As the warning before you post says, this forum is only as good as you make it.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
ImperialEagle
Posts: 2238
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:53 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:01 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 28):
this forum is only as good as you make it.

You are right. So relax, chill out and remember it's only our opinions. Our opinions don't amount to a speck of dust in the universe. Feel the love?
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:18 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
Seriously when has the US ever been the best country on earth, if it ever was it was a hell of a long time ago.

Up until the day before the first person declared it to be such!


Seriously though, how might one even achieve consensus on what "best" means?

The very idea of countries continues to become less relevant over time as our fates become interconnected. Soon enough it won't much matter which country is the "best" when even the best country will need to work closely with others to ensure mere survival against the impacts of declining natural resources, pressures on the environment/food supply caused by population growth etc. and people identify more closely with like-minded individuals online than they do with the people who live next door to them.

And that is not even accounting for an alien invasion/Godzilla scenario  .
 
User avatar
allrite
Topic Author
Posts: 2358
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:28 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:29 pm

I once read something by US travel writer Rick Steve, IIRC, in which he said something along the lines that the Europeans were willing to have higher taxes to have better services like a great rail system and more leisure time, but he preferred the United States because there was more opportunity to work hard and get rich. Each to their own and I think the world is a better place for having a diversity of systems. Better to pick and chose what works best in each country than to go for ideological purity (Socialism is evil! Down with all capitalists!) or to try to impose those ideals on everyone else.

Whatever criticisms we have of the US, look at the recent examples of Elon Musk and Google for what can still be achieved in the country.

Rather than directly criticise the US, my OP was perhaps more for those increasingly noisy Australians (and others like them) who constantly complain that we pay too much in tax, our wage costs are too high, goods cost too much compared with the US and Asia etc etc. That their personal wealth is the only thing that matters. Be careful what you wish for!
I like artificial banana essence!
 
ImperialEagle
Posts: 2238
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:53 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:05 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 23):
The problem with trying to fix abuse is that you invariably make it harder for people who actually do need the help to get it

[quote=Mir,reply=23]I'm not saying that we shouldn't look to fix abuse, but I don't think it's very good policy to hurt fifty honest people in order to stop one abuser, and we have to be careful about that.
/quote]

   A vicious circle isn't it? Somewhere along the line you just have to put the brakes on and say no more of this, or the system does go broke and EVERYBODY looses.

Check this out:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/22...urning-food-stamps-into-cash-snap/

Big surprise  .
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 4462
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:13 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 30):
Seriously though, how might one even achieve consensus on what "best" means?

With all the subjectivity involved in such process, I'm tempted to quote President Henry Hayes: "Never going to happen!"
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 13846
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:23 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 29):
So relax, chill out and remember it's only our opinions. Our opinions don't amount to a speck of dust in the universe.

Yet you chose to ridicule mine...

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 29):
Feel the love?

Not particularly...

I'll get over it, though...
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:16 pm

Quoting allrite (Reply 31):
Rather than directly criticise the US, my OP was perhaps more for those increasingly noisy Australians (and others like them) who constantly complain that we pay too much in tax, our wage costs are too high, goods cost too much compared with the US and Asia etc etc. That their personal wealth is the only thing that matters. Be careful what you wish for!

I actually had a very similar conversation with my girlfriend a couple of days ago. She was complaining bitterly about having to pay the Medicare levy. Admittedly her issue was that she is a low income earner and she therefore thought that she should be exempt, not that she was ideologically opposed to Medicare, but after listening patiently to her tirade I said "you can go and live in America if you like?"

Her face at that point was absolutely priceless 
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
User avatar
pu
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:08 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:17 am

Quoting allrite (Reply 31):
but he preferred the United States because there was more opportunity to work hard and get rich. Each to their own

Apple
Google
Facebook
Microsoft
Twitter
Amazon
eBay
.
.
and a median household income one-third higher than in the EU,

........is what you get from a country where there is much more opportunity to get rich.

The self-congratulatory threads and "quality of life" rankings that come out every year fail to point out that there is no such thing as a leading European internet company, there is no Australian consumer goods company that spans the globe, and there is no such thing as a Chinese social networking site shared by the entire world.

If the Americans wanted to give up their prosperity and creativity in return for ensuring poor people have a good quality life, they would do so. They could at anytime join the arguably more comfortable but decidedly less innovative places like Scandinavia, but choose not to.

Without the fear of complete failure and personal disaster, the urge to innovate and succeed is significantly muted.


Pu
 
BMI727
Posts: 11110
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:28 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Firstly.... if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

  

Quoting allrite (Reply 4):
The implication was for the young African-American lady that the child was, in a sense, the cause of poverty, in that she fell pregnant before she had the opportunity to realise the earning potential of her studies.

Whose fault is that?

Quoting photopilot (Reply 5):
The "fatties" in America, while poor are able to get food, but the wrong type.

Whose fault is that?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
The monied interests in the US seem to have no problem stirring up hatred of the poor, taking the focus off of all the great perks they have gained for themselves.

Yeah, what could possibly be seen as wrong with a group of people who will fatten themselves up on junk food and then expect the taxpayers to pick up the tab for the resulting heart attack, diabetes, stroke, etc.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
I doubt they are of extreme wealth so I don't get the sympathy for the rich.

Because they bankroll the country (besides likely employing many people) and all liberals can do is complain about how they don't do enough.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
solarflyer22
Posts: 1453
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:07 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:29 am

I do agree that there are some great qualities to living the US. If you are on the higher end of the middle class or above its probably better than anywhere else. The standard of living in other countries does seem better in the sense that there is less frustration over public transit, healthcare, government shut downs etc. I think Australia's trajectory is headed up whereas the US is probably on a slight decline.
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:38 am

Quoting pu (Reply 36):
The self-congratulatory threads and "quality of life" rankings that come out every year fail to point out that there is no such thing as a leading European internet company, there is no Australian consumer goods company that spans the globe, and there is no such thing as a Chinese social networking site shared by the entire world.

Well I would personally swap a higher quality of living for not being able to boast that I came from the country that invented Google, Facebook, and Microsoft  

I 100% agree that the USA has fundamentally reformulated the way we live, when they are on fire then no country in the world - none at all - can compete with them.

Quoting pu (Reply 36):
a median household income one-third higher than in the EU

BUT that does not excuse the fact that incomes are declining in real terms for a significant swathe of the population.

Income inequality is acute, with much of the money centred in a relatively small number of homes.

Quoting pu (Reply 36):
fail to point out that there is no such thing as a leading European internet company, there is no Australian consumer goods company that spans the globe, and there is no such thing as a Chinese social networking site shared by the entire world.

So what's your point? The largest health insurance provider in the United States is British, the majority of malls in the United States are owned by Australians, and so on... Just because we didn't have the foresight to invent social networking doesn't makes us in some way less as a country.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
User avatar
DeltaMD90
Posts: 8245
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:06 am

Quoting pu (Reply 36):
If the Americans wanted to give up their prosperity and creativity in return for ensuring poor people have a good quality life, they would do so. They could at anytime join the arguably more comfortable but decidedly less innovative places like Scandinavia, but choose not to.

I'm not sure it's quite like that. We have a HUGE economy, not being uber patriotic, it's just a fact. If we cut defense in half we could still have the biggest/best military in the world but if we routed all that extra money towards education and if we efficiently got universal healthcare, I think you'd see us near Scandinavian level quality of life with more money and opportunity to go around. I mean for all our problems, we still are very high on the HDI (actually, aren't we #1?) and we throw billions and trillions of dollars away IMO. I think we have great potential.

Also, I see the EU becoming a bigger player in the upcoming years. Your unification has granted a lot of synergies. Look at CERN, that's not American. You guys are producing your own GPS, right? Magellan I think. You guys have Airbus. I think at the rates yall are improving you might surpass the US if we stay the way we are. But if we (the US) really focus on Americans and not foreign entanglements, I think we could be so much more...
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:15 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
#1

#3

The top ten are:

1) Norway
2) Australia
3) USA
4) Netherlands
5) Germany
6) New Zealand
7) Ireland
8) Sweden
9) Switzerland
10) Japan

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
we throw billions and trillions of dollars away IMO. I think we have great potential.
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
if we (the US) really focus on Americans and not foreign entanglements, I think we could be so much more

  

I am still VERY optimistic for America's future, I think that the country can continue as a major economic and political power for a long time to come, but to do so it must confront its stagnant economic situation. When the bottom 50% are trapped into a cycle of poverty with little chance of social mobility, then America will not be able to sustain its economic prowess IMHO. I don't want to sound like a "bring all the factories back" trade protectionist, because I am not, but the service industry (which is all that left in many places) is not the path to economic prosperity. When people are barely able to pay their rent then there is no way that they will be able to save, and when they can't save then they can't send their kids to college etc... Social mobility has declined markedly over the past couple of decades, and the country should ignore that at its peril.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
User avatar
pu
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:08 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:17 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 39):
Just because we didn't have the foresight to invent social networking doesn't makes us in some way less as a country.

Of course it does - it makes you a less innovative country. (not Oz specifically, more like everyone in the world in general being less innovative v. the US). I mean seriously, no one is in their league in internet or high tech....large software companies or small startups, web innovations, e-commerce, global consumer products etc. all come from only one place. The real embarrassment is Europe = virtually equal in economic size to the USA but on life support where innovation is concerned.

Any other nation would call it their national pride if they had Google OR Apple OR Facebook....

Anyway, perhaps a lack of innovation does not mean you come from a lesser country according to YOUR values. Can you accept Americans have their own values? Without having to so desparately argue your way of life is somehow better?

It would be a lot more convincing if the rest of the first world didn't spend so much time and breathless argument trying to persuade each other that they really are living better than Americans....


Pu
 
User avatar
DeltaMD90
Posts: 8245
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:23 am

Quoting pu (Reply 42):

Again, we our in our own league, so can we become a mixture of Scandinavia and innovative America or can it only be one or another? And will Europe always lag or are the synergies of the EU starting to crank up? I honestly think the US will become more like Scandinavia and the EU will become more innovative like the US as we go on
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
BMI727
Posts: 11110
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:37 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
If we cut defense in half we could still have the biggest/best military in the world

...it just wouldn't be the military we need.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 41):
I don't want to sound like a "bring all the factories back" trade protectionist, because I am not,

If you were, you'd be a fool.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 41):
the service industry (which is all that left in many places) is not the path to economic prosperity.

The path to economic prosperity is to get an education and get the government out of the damn way. Be lean and smart, it's that simple.

Quoting pu (Reply 42):
Of course it does - it makes you a less innovative country. (not Oz specifically, more like everyone in the world in general being less innovative v. the US). I mean seriously, no one is in their league in internet or high tech....large software companies or small startups, web innovations, e-commerce, global consumer products etc. all come from only one place.

The fact that all that happened in America is not a coincidence.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 43):
Again, we our in our own league, so can we become a mixture of Scandinavia and innovative America or can it only be one or another?

Why would you want to be Scandinavia? The taxes are ridiculous.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
User avatar
pu
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:08 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:39 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
If we cut defense in half..,have the biggest/best military in the world but if we routed all that extra money towards education and if we efficiently got universal healthcare, I think you'd see us near Scandinavian level quality of life

Yes, the US can of course re-allocate how it spends its resources to reflect different policy objectives. I am not enough of an economist to know if you could really replicate our sublime Scandinavian cradle-to-grave totally-worry-free existence (!!!) in such a large and culturally diverse place like America, and I honestly don't think you would want to. One of the main differences is that, for instance, all Norwegians are Norwegians and Americans are probably half a dozen different identifiable culturally different groups....you would spend all your time arguing, witness the recent govt shutdown.

It might be impossible to start thinking in terms of communal good when you see yourself as a patchwork of several different peoples....Republicans, Democrats, Hispanics, Africans, city-dwellers, rural types, etc.

Lets just see how Obamacare goes!


Pu
 
User avatar
DeltaMD90
Posts: 8245
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:46 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 44):
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
If we cut defense in half we could still have the biggest/best military in the world

...it just wouldn't be the military we need.

You're right, we need a huge one since we invade countries like Iraq needlessly and cause animosity by our presence. Now if we adopt a new foreign policy, we wouldn't need a huge military

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 44):
Why would you want to be Scandinavia? The taxes are ridiculous.

Their education is phenomenal, they have a great society, and I don't see the welfare leeches over there like over here. Might have to do with pu addresses, but yes, I would like us to be like Scandinavia, but if we did it right, I think we could be better than Scandinavia. Obviously my opinion

Quoting pu (Reply 45):
in such a large and culturally diverse place like America

The biggest and best objection to a lot of things, very true. I'd like to see how the countries within the EU and the EU as a whole forms

Quoting pu (Reply 45):
Lets just see how Obamacare goes!

Indeed
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
User avatar
pu
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:08 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:00 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 43):
Again, we our in our own league, so can we become a mixture of Scandinavia and innovative America or can it only be one or another? And will Europe always lag or are the synergies of the EU starting to crank up? I honestly think the US will become more like Scandinavia and the EU will become more innovative like the US as we go on

I tend to think you can tweak it and make improvements here and here, but essentially its either one system or the other. Everything has a cost, a sacrifice: you don't get "perfect" social equality without robbing the innovators of the motivation and ability to invent ...and you don't get places where great wealth is a realistic dream unless great failure is also possible. Its either

1. the ubber-capitalist places (like America) where the clever and hard working can get rich by innovating the products 7 bilion earthlings all demand, but where the less-than-average just kind of stew in a sea of underemployment and stagnation

or

2. the more socialised places where most everyone lives at very near to the same level as everyone else, there are few extremes, and a technology innovation comes along about once every hundred years because everyone is just so damn placated that they never want anything more than what they've already got, plus its too hard to innovate in a place that discourages individual success.

...and no, the EU will not change in our lifetimes, it will always be a cultural and socially-minded snob but a technological laggard relative to the likes of the US.



Pu
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:00 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 44):
The path to economic prosperity is to get an education

You clearly missed the next part of that sentence:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 41):
When people are barely able to pay their rent then there is no way that they will be able to save, and when they can't save then they can't send their kids to college etc
Quoting pu (Reply 42):
Anyway, perhaps a lack of innovation does not mean you come from a lesser country according to YOUR values. Can you accept Americans have their own values? Without having to so desparately argue your way of life is somehow better?

That wasn't my point at all, and I take offence at your tone.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
User avatar
DeltaMD90
Posts: 8245
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:10 am

Quoting pu (Reply 47):

I see what you're saying. Maybe not as far as cradle to grave care, but at least a solid education system and healthcare system. Could that be done with a big chunk of the defense budget? Maybe. If we could cut down defense to a reasonable level and pump that money into education and healthcare, we might really become a force to be reckoned with in many aspects. And again, we can still cut a big part of our defense and stay on top. I very much disagree with BMI
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
User avatar
pu
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:08 am

RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:37 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 49):

If I were in charge of the US defense budget the first thing I would erase would be new pilot training! Screw those guys, let them learn to fly drones from remote control and forbid them from ever being able to work at the airlines!
.
.
Ok, that was just a personal thing....now back to reality.

My concerns with your ideas are:

1. The Europeans are the only other peoples who are both democratic-minded and wealthy enough to sport a global military. Instead, we have chosen to outsource this to the US so as to build a workers paradise at home. In retrospect, I am against the Iraq invasion, Vietnam and a few other American adventures, but nevertheless without a global police force the whole globe might start to look like Mogadishu or Djibouti or rural Pakistan.....warlords versus warlords and dozens of regional conflicts. So, before you can cut the US defense budget, the rest of us have to fill in the blanks.

2. All that US defense spending is like FDR's work projects during the Depression, it keeps a lot of people employed and is a huge part of the global economy....plus technology for everyone often trickles down from defense-research innovations. So any big change in spending must come gradually.

3. In the beginning of my lifetime, the UK was a major player with global interests and a worldwide military presence. They began sometime in the late 60s or early 70s to adopt the ideas you discuss, reduce military spending, stop foreign invasions, etc. Now they are almost as powerless as the rest of Europe on a global scale, and without their heritage and cultural ties to America they would exert virtually no influence in the world any longer. Are you willing to give this up?

4. Look who the rivals for power are: Russia. China. A dozen crazy heads elsehwere. I don't mind saying that if you erased North America from the world map then a decade or two later the rest of us could enter another dark age of brutality, genocides, nuclear and environmental devestation....a complete nightmare.


So think about it!




Pu

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: TheF15Ace, wolbo and 10 guests