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Got sent this the other day. A slightly romantic view, but there is truth in it. If it is by David Mason of CO, he is married to an Australian so does have experience of the differences between here and there that very few have.

AUSTRALIA: AN AMERICAN VIEW...
Interesting set of observations from a visitor from the other side of the Pacific. ‘Value what you have and don't give it away.' There's a lot to admire about Australia, especially if you're a visiting American, says David Mason. More often than you might expect, Australian friends patiently listening to me enthuse about their country have said, ''We need outsiders like you to remind us what we have.'' So here it is - a small presumptuous list of what one foreigner admires in Oz.

1. Health care. I know the controversies, but basic national healthcare is a gift.
  • In America, medical expenses are a leading cause of bankruptcy.
  • The drug companies dominate politics and advertising.
  • You can't turn on the telly without hours of drug advertisements - something I have never yet seen here.
  • Obama was crucified for taking halting baby steps towards sanity.
  • And your emphasis on prevention - making cigarettes less accessible, for one - is a model.


2. Food. Yes, we have great food in America too, especially in the big cities. But your bread is less sweet, your lamb is cheaper, and your supermarket vegetables and fruits are fresher than ours.
  • Too often in my country an apple is a ball of pulp as big as your face. The dainty Pink Lady apples of Oz are the juiciest I've had.
  • And don't get me started on coffee. In American small towns it tastes like water flavoured with burnt dirt, but the smallest shop in the smallest town in Oz can make a first-rate latte.
  • I love your ubiquitous bakeries, your hot-cross buns. Shall I go on?


3. Language. How do you do it?
  • The rhyming slang and Aboriginal place names like magic spells.
  • Words that seem vaguely English yet also resemble an argot from another planet.
  • I love the way institutional names get turned into diminutives - Vinnie's and Salvos - and absolutely nothing is sacred.
  • Everything's an opportunity for word games and everyone's a nickname.
  • Lingo makes the world go round.
  • It's the spontaneous wit of the people that tickles me most.
  • Late one night at a barbie my new mate Suds remarked, ''Nothing's the same since 24-7.'' Amen.


4. Free-to-air TV. In Oz, you buy a TV, plug it in and watch some of the best programming I have ever seen - uncensored.
  • In America, you can't get diddly-squat without paying a cable or satellite company heavy fees.
  • In Oz a few channels make it hard to choose.
  • In America, you've got 400 channels and nothing to watch.


5. Small shops. Outside the big cities in America corporations have nearly erased them.
  • Identical malls with identical restaurants serving inferior food.
  • Except for geography, it's hard to tell one American town from another.
  • The ''take-away'' culture here is wonderful.
  • Human encounters are real - stirring happens, stories get told.
  • The curries are to die for. And you don't have to tip!


6. Free camping. We used to have this too, and I guess it's still free when you backpack miles away from the roads.
But I love the fact that in Oz everyone owns the shore and in many places you can pull up a camper van and stare at the sea for weeks.
I love the ''primitive'' and independent campgrounds, the life outdoors.
The few idiots who leave their stubbies and rubbish behind in these pristine places ought to be transported in chains.

7. Religion. In America, it's everywhere - especially where it's not supposed to be, like politics.
I imagine you have your Pharisees too, making a big public show of devotion, but I have yet to meet one here.

8. Roads. Peak hour aside, I've found travel on your roads pure heaven.
My country's ''freeways'' are crowded, crumbling, insanely knotted with looping overpasses - it's like racing homicidal maniacs on fraying spaghetti.
I've taken the Hume without stress, and I love the Princes Highway when it's two lanes.
Ninety minutes south of Bateman's Bay I was sorry to see one billboard for a McDonald's. It's blocking a lovely paddock view. Someone should remove it.

9. Real multiculturalism. I know there are tensions, just like anywhere else, but I love the distinctiveness of your communities and the way you publicly acknowledge the Aboriginal past.
Recently, too, I spent quality time with Melbourne Greeks, and was gratified both by their devotion to their own great language and culture and their openness to an Afghan lunch.

10. Fewer guns. You had Port Arthur in 1996 and got real in response. America replicates such massacres several times a year and nothing changes.
Why?
  • Our religion of individual rights makes the good of the community an impossible dream.
  • Instead of mateship we have ''It's mine and nobody else's'.
  • We talk a great game about freedom, but too often live in fear.



There's more to say - your kaleidoscopic birds, your perfumed bush in springtime, your vast beaches.

These are just a few blessings that make Australia a rarity.

Of course, it's not paradise - nowhere is - but I love it here.

No need to wave flags like Americans and add to the world's windiness.

Just value what you have and don't give it away.



David Mason is a US writer and professor, and poet laureate of Colorado
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Mason_(writer)

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Sounds like you live in the perfect place....for you.


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Well, seems Socialism generally sounds pretty good on paper, but those type regimes never trust the people. They can't afford to have an armed populace. Sheep don't bite. Govt is by the people or it rules the people. When govt fears the populace, you have freedom. When the populace fears the govt, you have tyranny.

Color me skeptical. There's always a price to pay for free stuff. You can't see the Wizard of OZ behind the curtain. Don't think that's an accident do ya?

Capitalism has its warts, but beats whatever is number two. Too bad the USA is drifting that way. It's coming here soon enough without me going there. And, I have some great Australian friends.

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Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer
Well, seems Socialism generally sounds pretty good on paper, but those type regimes never trust the people. They can't afford to have an armed populace. Sheep don't bite. Govt is by the people or it rules the people. When govt fears the populace, you have freedom. When the populace fears the govt, you have tyranny.

Color me skeptical. There's always a price to pay for free stuff. You can't see the Wizard of OZ behind the curtain. Don't think that's an accident do ya?

Capitalism has its warts, but beats whatever is number two. Too bad the USA is drifting that way. It's coming here soon enough without me going there. And, I have some great Australian friends.

DF


The US is drfiting the same way? fella, the US constitution fell in about 24 hours like everyone elses when non elected officials told you you all had to go indoors for covid. Your country is now a patchwork of work/vax mandates like everyone elses. You have lost free speech, cant say the N word anymore, and your cops incarcerate people 5x more often than any other country in the world.

Australia just had a protest with 500,000 people,(population % wise that would be like 7 million americans) Europe is convoying across 20 countries to protest, Canada has the largest blockade in western history going, and you yanks more worried about Biden pooping his pants with the Pope.


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We Yanks are cheering the Canucks on to victory, as they fight for their freedom. Looks like they may have the upper hand, Libs are getting desperate. I think Trudeau has cooked his political goose, shown people what he's really like.

I salute those who fight the same fight in OZ.

Freedom loving people everywhere need to stand together. When one loses, we all lose. Socialists regimes need to go.

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If all the socialists moved to a country there’s a few questions:
1. Who’s going to get a job?
2. How fast can the government print money to keep up with inflation?
3. Where’s all the goods and services coming from?
4. What’s going to happen when the other guy’s money runs out?

I know they’ll get the money from rich corporations.


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Our healthcare has never been so screwed up here in the US. Our premiums triple and my deductible went from zero to 10000. Please keep your healthcare I can’t afford it. Canadians close to the border take out supplemental insurance and then come here for treatment.
Think Mayo Clinic for the best of the best. You it’s in the USA. Edk

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The US is drfiting the same way? fella, the US constitution fell in about 24 hours like everyone elses when non elected officials told you you all had to go indoors for covid. Your country is now a patchwork of work/vax mandates like everyone elses. You have lost free speech, cant say the N word anymore, and your cops incarcerate people 5x more often than any other country in the world.


Actually not true. Some states yes but in many no that did not happen. And that consititution is working for us right now and in the right direction. As for saying the "N" word there is no fine for doing so.


Australia just had a protest with 500,000 people,(population % wise that would be like 7 million americans) Europe is convoying across 20 countries to protest, Canada has the largest blockade in western history going, and you yanks more worried about Biden pooping his pants with the Pope.


We were not worried about Biden pooping his pants we thought it was emblemic of the leftist progressive party. In fact the real problems in this country are inflation and immigration issues caused by the Biden presidency. These are why we should park in DC not Covid policies.


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Originally Posted by rickt300

Actually not true. Some states yes but in many no that did not happen.

Thats why I said a patchwork Rick.
Quote
As for saying the "N" word there is no fine for doing so.

No fine, nice one. Just job loss, being torn apart by the media, socially ostracized.
Quote

We were not worried about Biden pooping his pants we thought it was emblemic of the leftist progressive party. In fact the real problems in this country are inflation and immigration issues caused by the Biden presidency. These are why we should park in DC not Covid policies.

The real problem is you have a president on one side that allowed all this stuff to occur at exactly the same time every other world leader did , got himself vaccinated and is pro vaccine. The other is Joe Biden.

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My boss I had when I worked at a mine was from Canada. He hated the Canadian health care system. There’s a politically appointed committee that has to approve your operation before you are allowed to have it.
Many people are forced to go the the USA and pay for their needed operation or wait. Sometimes they die before the committee decides it’s ok.
You think our health care system is ducked up. Wait until you have some politically appointed committee deciding whether or not you are worthy of getting an operation. If you’re old, you have a much lower chance of getting approval. Let the old duckers die.

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Ever heard the phrase “death panels?” Didn’t it come up during an election a while back?” 🤬


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Every time someone bloviates about “free” healthcare in another country, I encourage them to compare tax burdens. I can buy a lot of healthcare and college with the difference.

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Free healthcare. I have no idea what the answers is but how many Americans truly go bankrupt over healthcare and healthcare alone? Most people with even halfway decent jobs are covered through their employer for all but $3,500 tops per year out of pocket if not significantly less. The poor are covered through the government. The worse case scenario if someone did file bankruptcy on it in most cases it would be a complete write off for them without losing anything and their credit could be back in decent shape within a year or two.

I want my guns and my God given freedoms.

I’ll pass on multiculturalism. All decent people and cultures deserve respect but that doesn’t mean that I want to live with them all. I like neighbors with somewhat similar worldviews, family, moral, work, and lifestyle views to my own and even a similar age. I have a young family with kids which is why I live in a subdivision full of younger married couples with kids and not a college town or a retirement community. Most people tend to “self segregate” for the same reasons.

Free cable TV. I don’t own a TV

Free camping. We have way more free camping and hunting land in the US by far than what Australia does. If you want RV style camping with sewer and electric hookups then you’ll have to pay.

The author seems to really like free stuff while being lukewarm at best towards God, individual freedom, and guns.

The notion of the community good over individual freedom is one of the greatest evils. At face value it can sound good but it’s the 50.1 majority popular group being able to run roughshod over the God given rights of everyone else. Most of the time the majority is little more than the uniformed sheeple being lead by a charismatic politician and his propaganda wing or are voting for the candidate that will give them “free stuff.”

Edit to add that none of this is meant to be anti Australia but anti the American that wrote the article.

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Health care expenses are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.


TV has become nothing more than the Petri dish where this country grows its idiots.
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Originally Posted by windridge





Health care expenses are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.

Our healthcare system is far from perfect and is inefficient in many ways mostly due to government. Overall it’s pretty dang good if you’re sick. Even if you’re someone that falls through the cracks so to speak as far as coverage. To my understanding American bankruptcy laws are especially easy on medical bills. As in it’s 100% wrote off under chapter 7 bankruptcy with zero out of pocket cost in nearly all cases and credit is rehabbed within about 12 months.
Which isn’t to say that it’s ideal because it isn’t. But you’re not going bankrupt in the sense of losing your property, having to pay it back and your credit is relatively quickly restored if you were otherwise responsible. And all while paying much lower taxes and for most of us being insured through an employer with fairly low annual premiums and Dr. care on demand.

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i just had a neighbor move to Australia glad they left America for good , they were a family always looking for freebies , they were lazy and all for Liberal politics , they will be a good fit down under .


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Originally Posted by TheLastLemming76
Originally Posted by windridge





Health care expenses are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.

Our healthcare system is far from perfect and is inefficient in many ways mostly due to government. Overall it’s pretty dang good if you’re sick. Even if you’re someone that falls through the cracks so to speak as far as coverage. To my understanding American bankruptcy laws are especially easy on medical bills. As in it’s 100% wrote off under chapter 7 bankruptcy with zero out of pocket cost in nearly all cases and credit is rehabbed within about 12 months.
Which isn’t to say that it’s ideal because it isn’t. But you’re not going bankrupt in the sense of losing your property, having to pay it back and your credit is relatively quickly restored if you were otherwise responsible. And all while paying much lower taxes and for most of us being insured through an employer with fairly low annual premiums and Dr. care on demand.


Still, most bankruptcies filed are the result of medical costs. Most of us aren't insured through employers; only 49% are insured in some measure by employers. High deductibles and co-pays clobber the low wage workers, and many are forced to seek bankruptcy to keep the wolves away. The cost of medication is one major factor. Look at what's happened to the price of Insulin for example. Few if any health plans cover Diabetic supplies, and woe be the folks who need the really expensive drugs to stay alive, the ones the insurers won't cover.


TV has become nothing more than the Petri dish where this country grows its idiots.
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Originally Posted by pete53
i just had a neighbor move to Australia glad they left America for good , they were a family always looking for freebies , they were lazy and all for Liberal politics , they will be a good fit down under .
Did they just move or did he have a job waiting? Australia doesn't usually let people show up and stay, even before Covid. You have to be useful to them.

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Originally Posted by Gooch_McGrundle
Every time someone bloviates about “free” healthcare in another country, I encourage them to compare tax burdens. I can buy a lot of healthcare and college with the difference.

I had thought that, not having paid much attention between the two countries as Death and Taxes are inescapable no matter where I'm working.

The numbers don't stack up as you think...

Income Tax (residents)
Australians are taxed at a tiered individual income tax rate that ranges from 0% to 45%.

Americans are taxed at a tiered individual rates between 10% and 37%. Unlike Australia there is no initial tax free threshold.
Additionally, most American states also impose a personal income tax which varies between states. Typically the state tax rates are under 10%.

American Income taxes are generally (but not always) higher for ordinary and low income people. High income tends to work out much the same.


Social Security Tax Rate
Australians are not taxed separately for Social Security.
Americans have additional social security taxes, which is payable by both the individual (6.2%) and their employer (6.2%). There is a cap on the maximum wage that is subject to this tax each year.

Americans pay a tax that Australians don't.

Income Tax Summary
Generally, the US offers much lower income tax rates, when you add up the various taxes on income there may be a small margin in favour of America for high income earners, but for ordinary or low income earners there is usually a disadvantage.


Government Provided Health
Australians are taxed for a medicare levy on all of their income, unless they are under low income rate thresholds.
The medicare levy rate is currently 2% of taxable income.
High income earners are also charged a medicare levy surcharge, unless they have appropriate private health care coverage. The rate of medicare levy surcharge is between 1 and 1.5% depending on the individual’s taxable income level.
In Australia many medical services and public hospital services are provided free for all Australians under the medicare system. This is what the medicare levy and medicare levy surcharge tax levies pays for.
Military don't pay Medicare for themselves (part of the job package) but do pay for spouse and dependants.

America also charges a medicare tax on all individual income.
The rate is currently 1.45%, plus employers are required to withhold an extra 0.9% medicare tax when an individual’s wage exceeds $200,000 in a year.
Unlike Australia, the US does not provide universal health care for its citizens. In the US each individual is responsible for funding their own health care. This means that instead of the medicare taxes going towards a general public funding pool for universal healthcare, they go towards your Medicare Hospital Insurance for when you are a senior. Medicaid is available to help support low income earners.

Again, slight advantage to American high income earners.
No advantage, and usually real disadvantage to ordinary or low income earners in America.
Depending on where you are in the salary stakes, advantage to Australia.


Health Insurance
Australians can choose to pay for private health insurance, which covers private health care as well as services (elective, non-life threatening) that aren’t covered by medicare. High income earners will be exempt from the additional medicare levy surcharge if they take out private health insurance with adequate hospital coverage.

Americans are individually responsible for health insurance (most employers do provide health insurance coverage) in order to get their health care services covered, or partially covered, by their insurance provider.
Medicaid is available to assist low income earners to access free or reduced cost health care.

Advantage Australia.


Sales Tax
Australians pay the same sales tax (Goods and Services Tax - GST) across the country, and it is in the asking price of an item. GST is a federal tax charged at 10% on most goods and services. Basic essentials are exempt.
American sales taxes apply on most goods and services, and these are levied by the various state governments. These taxes range from 0 to 13.5%.

In low tax states, advantage to Americans, most other states the advantage goes to Australians.



Income from your retirement fund - terminology Superannuation = 401(k)
Australians are taxed on superannuation income streams and lump sums is taxed differently depending on whether you have reached the preservation age (60 years old), and the type of super income stream that is paid.
Australians over preservation age (60yo) a retirement benefit from your superannuation fund is tax free, and there is a 15% income tax deduction.
The Australian Old Age Pension forms part of taxable income, however if you have no other income then your pension won’t exceed the tax free threshold.

Americans with income stream from any 401(k) plan, social security or pension are taxed depending on your income sources and overall level of income. There is no preservation age so no real (Federal) tax breaks.

Advantage to Australians.

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Australians do not spend as much on military and welfare, thus their taxes may be lower. We have welfare, section 8 housing, food stamps, etc. We also help a lot of countries around the world. Thus we run deficits and have to borrow money from many sources to pay the difference. We also have a very inefficient bureaucratic system of government agencies. We also have more freedoms that are constantly under attack. Australia has a worse problem with liberals controlling the country vs Americans. They took their semi-automatics away. Don't know about handguns. Parliments suck because the ruling party also controls the leadership of the country. We have more checks and balances with our Republic. House, Senate, President, and the Supreme court are all supposed to be separate. This creates in theory more compromise and not forcing one group to accept what the other group wants.

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