Sunday, January 05, 2014

How would your life compare? Australia vs US where it counts

The figures below are pretty wobbly but there is no doubt that Australians live a lot longer, which is a bottom line of sorts.  The elephant in the room is of course the different racial mix in the two countries.  Australia is almost completely white and East Asian.  So only a comparison with American whites would be really informative

WHILE the United States is the world's superpower, Australia is arguably stronger in many aspects.  So how do the two compare? has compiled the facts and figures to compare what really counts - the quality of life in each nation - and show you how your life may differ if you lived in  the US.

If you lived in the US you would likely be paid more for a professional position and less for a minimum wage job.

You'd also find it harder to get a job in the first place - unemployment is nearly twice as high in the US and the gender pay gap is significantly wider. Australian women earn 83.1 per cent of a man's average salary. US women earn just 77 per cent of what the average US man makes.

On the upside you would probably make more money in the US. In 2008, the median household income was $37,690 for Americans compared to $27,039 in Australia, in US dollars (purchasing power parity) according to the OECD.

However, you are also more likely to live in poverty in the US. The UN Human Povery Index shows that 12.2 per cent of Australians live on less than half of the median income, considered the best gauge of wealth distribution.

For US citizens, the number of people living on that amount or less jumps to 17 per cent.

Both Australia and the US have similar histories founded on immigration. But in the US today you have less than half the chance of knowing someone born in another country than in Australia.

Just 12 per cent of Americans were born outside of the US. More than one in five Australians (27 per cent) were born overseas.

For every 1000 people in Australia, there is a net migration increase of 6.03 people, almost two whole people above the United States’ 4.18.

More American finish high school, but Australians study for longer.

Australians spend an average of 21 years in education (from primary through to university), far above the 16-year average of Americans. But as you can see in the data above, more US citizens over the age of 25 have completed high school.

According to the US Census, 38.54 per cent of all US citizens over the age of 25 had obtained an Associate or Bachelor’s degree. More than 59 per cent of Australians had obtained an Advanced Diploma or Bachelor's degree by 2006.

If you did gain a tertiary education in the US, you would pay much more for it - an average of $20,517 a year for a private independent institution. In Australia, that's just $7902.

 The US spends more on healthcare per capita than Australia but many US citizens still suffer under exorbitant costs. In 2007, 62 per cent of people filing for bankruptcy cited high medical expenses.

Of the total expenditure on health in the US, the government contributes 18.7 per cent. The Australian government spends 70 per cent.

The top five causes of death are the same for both nations, with similar rates of fatal cancer, but cardiovascular disease is responsible for 1.3 times the number of deaths.

And respiratory diseases cause nearly 60 per cent more deaths per 100,000 people in the US than in Australia.

If you lived in the US you would be twice as likely to have HIV/AIDS. The number of people living with the illness is 0.6 per cent in the US and 0.3 per cent in Australia.

There are 2.999 doctors for every 1000 Australians, just above the US rate of 2.672.

The Australian lifestyle is good for you.  Australians live 40.8 months longer than our American counterparts, making it to the ripe old age of 81.9 on average.

Australian women born today have a life expectancy of 83.9 years, longer than US women at 80.8 years. The difference is similar for men with 79.3 years expected life time for Aussie blokes and 75.6 for Americans.

Infant mortality is also higher in the United States with 6.06 deaths out of every 1000 compared to Australia’s rate of 4.61/1000.


Greenies protest shark kill

Sharks just do what Greenies would like to do  -- reduce the population

PROTESTERS vow that yesterday's passionate rally at Cottesloe is just the starting gun on their campaign to scrap the Barnett Government's shark catch and kill policy.

And as the Greens said their lawyers were exploring a legal challenge, acting Premier Kim Hames said the Government was unmoved by the furore and would press ahead with the plan to place 72 baited hooks off beaches from Friday.

Speaking after 4500 protesters gathered on WA's most iconic beach, Dr Hames said there would be a bigger public outcry if anyone sabotaged the drum lines.

"What . . . if someone gets taken on the Rottnest Island swim for example, or a child at Scarborough Beach? Where will their protest be then?" he said.

Meanwhile, the Greens said their lawyers were investigating the legality of killing protected shark species.

They are also looking into so-called "irregularities" in the tender to maintain the shark drum lines, which will be deployed 1km off beaches in Perth and the South-West.

Great white, tiger and bull sharks will be shot and discarded at sea, most likely in waters past Rottnest Island. A contract to patrol the lines will be awarded to commercial fishers late this week.

Protesters said the turnout at Cottesloe indicated the level of opposition to the policy, which was announced after the death of surfer Chris Boyd near Gracetown in November.

Sea Shepherd Australia director Jeff Hansen said: "Western Australians have spoken. It's the biggest rally I think we've ever seen in WA - and it's for sharks. People are educated and they understand the importance that sharks play in our oceans.

"Save Our Sharks", "Cull Pollies Not Sharks" and "Stop Cullin Barnett" were among the banners held aloft as the crowd chanted: "Two, four, six, eight - we don't want your bloody bait".

Ben Taylor performed a welcome to country ceremony and told the crowd that great white sharks were part of his culture.

"Colin Barnett should hang his head in shame for what he is doing. We must all stand together against this," he said.

Organiser Natalie Banks, a scuba diving instructor, invited the protesters to turn and bow to the Indian Ocean. She vowed to continue the fight and is planning a second rally for February 1.

Simultaneous protests were yesterday also held in Bunbury, Broome and the eastern states. Ms Banks estimated more than 4500 were at Cottesloe.

Surfer Cody Robinson, 18, of Port Kennedy, was among them and said: "I have told my family that if I get eaten by a shark I don't want any harm to come to it because I was fully aware of the risks when I went in the water."

Mother-of-two Kellie Pearse, 30, of Clarkson, added: "There is no science behind this decision. I don't go out too far in the water because I'm scared of sharks, but I don't want to see them being killed."

Other beachgoers, however, backed the State Government's new stance.

Gerald Simenson, 79, who has swum at Cottesloe beach since he was four years old, said: "If sharks come within 1km of the shore they should be destroyed. I am for survival, I want to live and I want to enjoy the ocean."

Mosman Park agricultural banker Crawford Taylor, 46, added: "If this helps to keep people confident in the safety of beaches then I am for it until we get more information.

"If you are in government, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't in terms of trying to protect the public at beaches."

The Greens' Lyn MacLaren said her party was pursuing legal avenues to stop the "illegal" killing of great white sharks.

"Whether it's an injunction or something taken up in the federal parliament, we don't know that yet," the member for the South Metropolitan Region said.

Dr Hames said drum lines had been used in Queensland for 10 years and the hooks used off WA would be bigger to reduce the risk of bycatch.

Ross Weir, founder of Western Australians for Shark Conservation, urged boaters to document evidence of dead sharks and bycatch, which he suggested could include smaller sharks, turtles and dolphins.

Labor's fisheries spokesman Dave Kelly spoke against the "indiscriminate killing of sharks", but said legal options "were not immediately apparent".


The bowler's view of  Piers Morgan

Brett Lee also thinks Morgan acquitted himself creditably in dramatic cricket episode

Piers Morgan salutes the crowd after facing deliveries from former Test cricketer Brett Lee (in red shirt)

Sydney Sixers pace ace Brett Lee admitted he would not have wanted to face the barrage he unleashed at English TV host Piers Morgan in a television stunt that resembled the first public stoning in Australia.

Lee, who at 37 still approaches the 150km/h mark with the ball, was criticised by New Zealand great Richard Hadlee for subjecting Morgan to a seemingly life-threatening over for a segment on Channel Nine's Cricket Show.

Morgan challenged Lee to a duel via Twitter to prove a point to the English batsmen about courage under fire after he watched them get bounced out of the Ashes by Mitchell Johnson. Morgan finished the over battered, bruised and with a broken rib but Lee told Fairfax Media he simply gave the media celebrity what he craved - the chance to educate "keyboard warriors" about how tough it was to face extreme pace.

"At the end of the day Piers Morgan is a great guy, he totally gives it to people on Twitter [where he boasts 3.9 million followers] but what I love about him is he stands by his word," said Lee.

"When I was going into the nets to bowl at him he said, 'Make sure you go flat out,' because he thought if I went half-hearted it wouldn't look good. [Morgan] said he wanted to know what it felt like for the English batsmen to face 150 km/h bowling - and he did it.

"Yeah, he might've got a broken rib in doing it and while he might have backed back a bit … I wouldn't call it backing away … that was a natural step a batsman would take. Considering he hasn't played a top level of cricket, but he does have a great cricketing brain, you have to take your hat off to him … I wouldn't have got in there and faced that."

Lee admitted the crowd that milled around the MCG's practice nets to jeer Morgan and urge him to take the Englishman's head off, generated an electric atmosphere. He said "natural instinct" also played a big part.

"It was like a cauldron," he said. "There were about 5000 people watching [at the nets] and a million people watching on TV. It was my full intention to bowl the first ball over his head, but when I was about to let the ball go I saw his feet move and decided to chase him - it was my natural instinct that took over.

"When I bowled it I said, 'Oooh!' and he said, 'Oooh!' when it hit him - but he was fine. If someone is facing 150km/h the keyboard warriors and armchair critics say it's easy when they're getting caught behind or stepping away, but I can tell you it's a lot harder than what it looks."

Lee said he'd received plenty of feedback from people in non-cricketing nations, America included, following Morgan's effort. "It's gone worldwide but it wasn't about me maiming someone at all - I don't aim to hurt people. It was about educating people what it's about to face fast bowling and [it was] also Piers backing up his comments."


Brisbane motorist fined for leaving car window slightly down on hot day

A FATHER who left the window down on his parked and unattended car on a scorching summer's day has been slugged with a fine that has left him hot under the collar.

Julian Harris was visiting family in Brisbane's north on Sunday when he decided to leave two windows down "three to four" centimetres to let some of the hot air escape from the parked car on the 34C day.

It was a decision that left the father of one with a $44 fine and a rap across the knuckles from police.

"It was 34 degrees so I left the windows down slightly so it wouldn't be boiling hot for my 3-year-old son when we got back in.
Julian Harris with his three-year -ld son Javier.

"I was trying to do the right thing…it's just what you do with it being so hot in Queensland."

Mr Harris returned to the car, which was parked on Windsor Place at Deception Bay, about two hours later to discover the fine for an offence he had never heard of.

Under Queensland law, if a driver is more than 3m from their car, the vehicle must be "secured" with the engine off, hand brake applied, ignition key removed (if no one over 16 remains in vehicle) and windows up with a gap no more than 5cm.

Perplexed by his fine, the Albany Creek resident attended the police station and spoke to the officer who issued the ticket.   "I asked him if he had any measurements and he said no…he just told me he had an accurate eye."

"The officer said he had the window on video but told me that he didn't have time to show me."

Mr Harris, 21, said the policeman suggested in future he leave "where he is half an hour early to unlock the car and let it cool" in the future.

Shocked by the fine, the apprentice plasterer took his ticket to the Australian Street Car Magazine Facebook page as a warning to others.

Dale Brown, media manager for the magazine, said readers were reporting petty fines "all the time".  "Police have discretion to use and in this instance we would have thought it would have been better to use this discretion than to write the ticket.

"We understand the police have a hard job to do but I am sure they have better things to be doing than booking a father for having his window open a crack to keep the heat down in his car."

Mr Harris said a friend of a friend was booked for the same offence within hours in Nundah, in Brisbane's inner north.  "It would have been better to leave a first and final warning," he said.

Police refused to say whether there was a current blitz on the peculiar offence.

"Vehicle security remains part of ongoing Community Safety and Crime Prevention strategies designed to help reduce property crime," a spokeswoman said.

Police yesterday told The Courier-Mail officers were required to prove all offences beyond reasonable doubt but didn't comment on the specifics of Mr Harris' case.



Paul said...

Police (real title: Policy Officers - as in Enforcers of Policy) of Queensland are now being sent out to raise revenue in a way that would a Victorian Police Chief blush. They are not there as a service for us any longer, if they ever were.

Allen @automatic transmission exchange said...

The person who was fined for the car in the parking just because of the window was down for passing hot air. I rules and regulation in the country are getting strict day by day, I believe.