OZ and AMERICA - religious and social values


 On the surface, people in the USA may seem to share many values with Australians, and the high saturation by US-sourced entertainment media into Australia reinforces some sense of comfort at apparent fellowship & similarities between the USA and Australia, as with many Western countries

however ...

 Recent research & polling showed that:

48% of Americans believe the US has special protection from God

58% believe that their strength and success is based on religious faith

60% say faith is involved in every aspect of their lives

more than 60% attend a church once or twice a week (compared to 10% in Europe)

40% believe the world will end with Armageddon ... and a battle between Jesus and the anti-Christ

45% believe Jesus will return in their lifetime

In a survey of 23 countries,

Americans topped the poll of being very proud of their country

60% considered their culture was superior to others (compared to 37% of Britons and only 30% of French polled)

98% of American youth thought this, compared with 65% of Germans  

US workers think they enjoy the best living standards in the world

but ...

 US workers may normally take a maximum of only two weeks' leave a year, working 10 more weeks than Germans, 4 more than the British, 3 more than Australians

Americans each year work 1877 hours, compared with 1840 in Japan, and 1562 in France

The USA is one of only three (developed countries) without legislated maternity leave - by comparison European Union countries have paid maternity leave ranging from three to six months. Many have 100% paid maternity leave for at least three months

Unlike most other developed countries, the USA has no universal health service ... attempts to introduce one in recent years have been defeated by special interest groups (in a similar way as efforts to improve gun control)

based on article by Mike Moore, Australian Financial Review

[Mike Moore is adjunct professor at Latrobe University, former director-general of the World Trade Organisation, and was prime minister of New Zealand]