5 Reasons Why Australia is Better & Worse than the US
Here’s a quick list of 5 ways that I see Australia as being superior to US and five ways that I believe it is inferior.
Disclaimer, I live in Australia and have never lived in the US. Most of my information derives from reading over the years.
Why Australia is Better
1. Great beaches and unique wildlife
With majority of the population living on the coast, beaches are not far off. Australia has many great beaches and coastlines. The Australian culture around the beach-scene is worth mentioning as well, but something similar can be said about places such as California.
Every continent and most countries have their own unique set of wildlife. But Australia, due to its geological history of being so remote has one of the most unique groups of animals e.g. marsupials anywhere in the world.
2. Universal healthcare system and a better safety-net
Australia has a relatively great healthcare system that allows universal coverage to most people. I personally have never heard of a person going bankrupt due to their health in Australia. My understanding of the US healthcare system is that it’s not universal, and suffers from constant increases in health insurance premiums from private health providers. US has state of the art medical research and technology but is only available to those with big pockets.
The safety-net inAustralia is stronger preventing many people who would be in poverty a chance to get back up. Sure there are those who cheat the system, but that is a side-effect that has been addressed in various ways.
Having become much more interested in Australian and US politics, I get to compare the two systems regularly. I see Australian current political climate as much more tame with less bipartisanship. I do get a feeling that Australia is heading in the wrong direction with divided party lines, but it’s not even close to the deadlocks seen in theUS.
There is more opportunity in Australia for minor and independent parties to have a seat and a voice. US system has been shaped in such a way as to prevent any independent candidate from even get past the starting lines.
4. Better education system
Having finished watching a documentary on the US education system titled ‘Waiting for Superman’, Australia produces better results in all categories and subjects for students in schools. I am still unsure why that is, but it could be the higher standard of teacher training and subject material. Finland is said to be the best in the world with a strong teachers union, so I don’t think the unions are the only thing to blame in the US system.
5. Good gun restriction laws
Some US citizens would probably see this as a negative, but having lived in Australia that has strict gun laws, the tired old argument in favour of guns doesn’t hold water. The argument follows as such, if you get rid of guns then only the criminals will have guns, how are we to protect ourselves? Gun violence is very low and criminals using guns against citizens is even lower in Australia, it seems a good police presence does the trick without worrying if the guy you accidently bumped in the cinema, and whose popcorn got spilt, will not return the favour with some hot led.
Why Australia is Worse
1. History of the country not as rich
There is a joke I once heard that goes like this:
What is the difference between yogurt and Australia?
Yogurt has some culture
What the above lines poke fun at, is the short history of Australia that is responsible for the lack of long standing traditions and sophisticated cultural marks. Sure the US doesn’t stand a chance against European culture that spans several millennia, but it is double that of Australia. There is a sense that the Revolutionary and Civil wars and the Constitution have enriched the patriotism and connection to the past for many US citizens. Don’t get me wrong Australia has many distinct things about it, but it’s still a modern country.
2. Little influence in the world
Being water bound and with a small economy comparatively, Australia hasn’t been a big player on the world scene. Perhaps we are living in changing times in world history with global powers shifting. Australia with their badge of successfully surviving the GFC, is receiving more recognition. There are also whispers of the US being the modern day Roman Empire facing a slow decline.
Regardless Australian markets still move as a response to other countries rather than the other way around.
As previously mentioned Australian population is very coastally populated. That is due to the vast amount of dessert it has. The distances don’t help tourism and local expansion of housing. That is party why we have less than 1/12 of the US population and still struggle with land.
4. Right to free-speech not as strong
I also think Australia is doing poorly with internet censorship laws that are being introduced. Having said that there is currently a bill in Congress being proposed that would appear to stifle the freedoms of the internet, but that appears not to have a high chance of passing.
5. Talent doesn’t take you as far
I don’t know how true it is in reality, but I have read that Australia has a tall-poppy syndrome that collectively tried to hold people down that attempt to succeed ahead of the pack. US tends to do the opposite by raising and look up to those individuals with talents.
Also due to the larger population if you are more successful at something the reward tends to be greater. You constantly hear Australian comedians, actors entrepreneurs and business people moving to the States for the prospect of receiving greater recognition and pay-cheques.