Re: Is Australia becoming the new America?
Today Tonight isnt exactly the pillar of journalistic integrity.
As for being like America, well, thinking about it seriously, are we becoming more like the USA ? Or do all western countries behold a similiar sort of culture ? - Are we really just misidentifying our culture and blaming it on America.
BS Court Claims - well, you see that in the US for sure, however, we do have legislation out here to limit certain torts of claims for negligence etc in certain circumstances, we dont have the billion dollar payouts that the Yanks do. Although, our media likes to report it that way.
Liability - well, the bad news is that because of these claims increasing, the insurance companies have continued to increase their premiums, as to how much that is an excuse, Im not sure. Don't forget that Insurance companies have reinsurance too, that is, the insurance company actually has insurance itself! So, although they have some exposure, its not as bad as what you think, and the majority of Reinsurers are based in Europe.
Ive spent some time in NZ lately and I was amazed to find that this sort of insurance liability increase doesn't seem to be happening there - some of the stuff you can do in Queenstown for instance would give insurance companies a heart attack here.
As for the FTA, well, thats a bit funny there, we have been campaigning for years with an FTA with the US, this isnt so much of a Howard initiaive, its been on the books for years. However, with the increasing value of the dollar, neither the US nor Australia really looks likely to gain. Another strong criticism of the FTA is that it includes harmonisation of our Interlectual property laws with the US. This means that after a certain stage of time, our laws towards Patents, Copywrite and Interlectual proeprty will reflect the US laws, which is fairly authorative.
What is ruining our culture IMHO is the TV networks, these current affairs shows which are the TV equivalent of British Tabloids, what a load of crap, they might as well run Jerry Springer on channel 7. The amount of defamation claims that ACA, 60 Minutes and TT get must be phenominal. I know of a couple at the moment.