@WaityKatie Totally! Tell immigration I sent you! (I think you'd have to become a permanent resident if not a citizen, but no big deal). There are bad things about Australia, naturally - I don't want to be a total jerk - but I'm proud of much of what our government does.
@EvanDeSimone We tell everyone that everything is poisonous to scare people away and keep all the affordable education and health care to ourselves.
@WaityKatie Until very recently there was a 'first home buyers grant' of $7000 (now you only qualify for it if you purchase a newly-built property) and a baby bonus of $5000 (if your household income is less than 75000 dollars). Australia is pretty great. Come!
@Keck Not entirely: we've always had much tougher financial regulations, so there was never the degree of subprime lending and creation of credit derivatives here (we were involved in the global trade of them). Property prices are very high in the capitol cities (particularly Sydney) but that is due to high demand: the majority of our population living in urban areas is increasing dramatically (Greater Sydney's population is 4 million out of a national population of just over 20 million), including our growing immigrant population. We are definitely riding out a mining bubble though, so when that ends in the next 5-10 years there will be a downturn if not a full-blown recession.
@Fig. 1 Do people in the US have to register separately for each election? Or just if they move electorates? In Australia you can't register on the day of an election, but you only have to register to vote once (in your life) and the electoral office goes round to schools so that teenagers can register prior to turning 18.
@MaríaJosé E.H.@twitter I'll pip in for Australia! I've voted in probably 8 or 9 elections (local, state and federal) since I turned 18, and I live in a very solidly right-wing electorate, so none of the stories are very exciting. But voting is about my favourite thing. I've worked as an electoral official for the last two elections and its fascinating. Voting is compulsory in Australia (which is fantastic IMO - it's a secret ballot), so voting becomes a community event. Last election I was able to help several recent immigrants vote for the first time.
I find it really frustrating when people are so worried about consistency - or, I don't know, motivated by extreme fear of other people doubting their motivations - that they never do anything worthwhile. If you've got good intentions and you're receptive to feedback anyone can be useful. Sure, you can't fix everyone's problems, but you can do something.
@MuffyStJohn This. I am as much a special-snowflake-nobody-can-destroy-my-dream as anyone, but last year I received some very good advice from a writing mentor. He told us that it is not a compromise to have day job - it's an essential part of being an artist. It feeds you, literally and figuratively. Very few of my favourite writers were full-time writers when they made their best work. Not that I enjoyed working a 14-hour shift on Saturday...
I had no idea you were expected to give a gift at both the bridal shower and the wedding. And the engagement gift? Gah. I'm really glad all my friends/family are all progressive weirdos with no interest in marriage.
@MuffyStJohn At what income level can you afford to behave ethically? Surely there will always be non-downloadable pot pies to buy with money otherwise spent on music. Ethics are not a product with an identifiable cost, they are the standards that govern our interaction with other people.