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10 things we are worse at than Europeans

By tovarichpeter following x   2014 Jul 11, 12:44pm 8,324 views   73 comments   watch   nsfw   quote     share    


http://www.salon.com/2014/07/11/10_things_america_does_so_much_worse_than_europe_partner/

The term American exceptionalism is often tossed around by politicians. Neocons, far-right Christian fundamentalists and members of the Republican Party in particular seem to hate it when anyone dares to suggest that some aspects of European life are superior to how we do things.But facts are facts, and the reality is that in some respects, Europe is way ahead of the United States. From health care to civil liberties to sexual attitudes, one can make a strong case for European exceptionalism. That is not to say that Europe isnt confronting some major challenges in 2014: neoliberal economic policies and brutal...

#politics

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34   dublin hillz   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 2:23am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

I've been to several countries in western europe and for the most part found that things there cost more than in united states. The one exception being portugal where going out to eat is a significantly better value proposition compared to united states especially where seafood and wine are concerned. In england, surprisingly some things were also better priced compared to united states (such as brazilian steakhouses) but others such as chinese restaurants were considerably more expensive. Items in stores such as clothes and television seems much more expensive than here for equivalent quality. I do like the european custom of restaurant establishment not presenting you the bill, the customer asks for it when they are ready to leave. They are not all about the table turnover ratio like here in united states. It's also nice how for the most part over there people are compensated better so that it's not expected how you "have to" tip the employee 15-18% like here. And no separate "sales tax" to hike up the food bill, the VAT is baked into the price.

35   dublin hillz   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 2:25am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

A walk after dinner rather than a trip to walmart or the mall is the norm many
other places.

This is a stereotype. Plenty of people where I live go walking after dinner and have no interest whatsoever to go to walmart regardless of what time of the day....or what time of the year.

36   P N Dr Lo R   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 2:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

There are a lot of people who look west over the atlantic and say why the hell do the americans want to live like that? Are they crazy?

Well they can stay over there and live the way they want to and we can live the way we want to and we'll both be happy.

37   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2014 Jul 14, 2:30am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

New Renter says

This part is bullshit. The European anti-GMO has nothing to do with science and everything to do with protectionism.

But US GMO has more to do with bullshit exportation; versus naturalized hybrids, GMOs have a mixed record. It's not awesome massive increased productivity 100% of the time like Monsanto and the USG promulgate.

(I don't believe that GMOs are going to kill you, but I also don't believe they're going to save the planet and are wonder weapons against starvation that marketing has made them out to be - their job is to redirect limited cash surpluses back to the US in the form of next year's seed grain instead of saving seed).

bob2356 says

If you mean there is a lot less of the wealth held by the 1% and a lot more held by the rest of society then you are correct. Miiddle class families in a lot western europe makes almost as much as middle class families in the US. But they work 35-40 hours a week, take 6-8 weeks off a year, are frequently single earner, and pursue a much less consumer orientated lifestyle. A walk after dinner rather than a trip to walmart or the mall is the norm many other places.

And nobody loses a home or their life savings due to medical bills.

Oh, and you get free tech ed - you don't graduate with some generic HS diploma.

38   Peter P   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 2:35am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

f you mean there is a lot less of the wealth held by the 1% and a lot more held by the rest of society then you are correct.

What's the point of working if "making it" is not as satisfying?

bob2356 says

Those societies have chosen to be anti-wealth. It's pretty arrogant of you to assume that the greed is good american consumer society should be the goal of everyone around the world.

This is why they are going nowhere.

There are exceptions though. Denmark is quite successful. Everything is awesome. They have pro-business policies.

No, greed is NOT good. Greed is the only fear of missing out. However, the sheer will to satisfy oneself is holy. Consumerism is not that bad. It is a platform with which regular folks can satisfy some of their wants.

39   bob2356   ignore (4)   2014 Jul 14, 2:36am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

dublin hillz says

English language was always considered the language of business so other cultures in europe learned it in order to be competative with and interact with other marketplace participants. It was a purely business matter. English language is the antidote to babylon.

French was the language of business until the last 20-30 years. With 40 countries that are french speaking french is one of the three top languages for business around the world especially in africa and se asia . French is on the decline, but it's still important for doing business in big chunks of the world.

40   Peter P   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 2:37am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

dublin hillz says

English language was always considered the language of business so other cultures in europe learned it in order to be competative with and interact with other marketplace participants. It was a purely business matter. English language is the antidote to babylon.

English is also a PUN-tastic language. No wonder the two countries with the best comedians are UK and USA.

41   Peter P   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 2:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

French was the language of business until the last 20-30 years.

Restaurant business? ;-)

I know just enough French to order off a menu.

42   Strategist   ignore (2)   2014 Jul 14, 2:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

MMR says

Indian.....is that what those people in India speak?

Strategist says

You don't know So. Cal. They are Americans who don't speak American.

This is what I see at times in the top 5 languages:

1. Spanish Spanish Spanish

2. Chinese

3. Vietnamese

4. Indian

5. Arabic

6. English

I understand there are multiple languages in China and India. I just lumped them together.

43   bob2356   ignore (4)   2014 Jul 14, 2:45am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Peter P says

No, greed is NOT good. Greed is the only fear of missing out. However, the sheer will to satisfy oneself is holy. Consumerism is not that bad. It is a platform with which regular folks can satisfy some of their wants.

I don't think I can explain this to you. Actually I'm sure I can't. But there are places where peoples want's aren't about buying junk from walmart. Not because they can't, because they don't want to. A very strange, almost unfathomable, concept for most americans.

44   indigenous   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 2:48am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (3)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

I don't think I can explain this to you.

Yes delusions are hard to explain. By definition they are subjective. Things that are easy to explain are objective...

45   bob2356   ignore (4)   2014 Jul 14, 2:53am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Peter P says

bob2356 says

French was the language of business until the last 20-30 years.

Restaurant business? ;-)

I know just enough French to order off a menu.

That qualifies you as a linguistic genius for an american. I had a couple belgian windsurfing buddies I used to hang out with in leucate (languedoc region) who told me I spoke pretty good english for an american. Mercifully they didn't comment on my present tense only french other than giggling at things like I go to the store yesterday.

46   bob2356   ignore (4)   2014 Jul 14, 2:55am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

indigenous says

bob2356 says

I don't think I can explain this to you.

Yes delusions are hard to explain. By definition they are subjective. Things that are easy to explain are objective...

Is there some type of conservative creed that says you always have to be a pain in the ass? Why don't you add some excitement to your life and go watch the grass grow.

47   indigenous   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 2:58am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

conservative creed that says you always have to be a pain in the ass?

You are just figuring that out now?

48   bob2356   ignore (4)   2014 Jul 14, 3:04am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

indigenous says

bob2356 says

conservative creed that says you always have to be a pain in the ass?

You are just figuring that out now?

No I'm just stating it now. Everyone knew it a long, long time ago. Ok if watching the grass grow is too much action adventure for you, try watching paint dry. It's much less movement involved. No one wants you overstimulated.

49   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2014 Jul 14, 3:16am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The problem with English is that it's the Freak of Indo-European languages.

It's much easier NOT to have to remember to do something than to remember to do an entirely new thing, so an English speaker has to remember to genderize and pluralize definite and indefinite articles, for example - something that comes reflexively to any other IE speaker, whether it's a German learning Spanish or a Russian learning French. Not to mention aggressively conjugate verbs based on the Subject.

I have, you have, they have, she/he/it has, we have. Only one verb change in the present tense, and in English regular verbs it's usually only the third person that changes. Compare to Spanish: Yo tengo, tu tienes, uds tiene, el/ella tiene, ellos/ellas tienen, nos. tenemos. English really only has two tenses (past and present) and the gerund. IE languages have many more, plus a subjunctive case with multiple tenses.

Basically, English is the only primarily analytic IE language. All others, from German to Spanish to Russian, are primarily synthetic. English relies on adding words rather than modifying the same word many different ways. For example, compare the future tense in English which is basically "will"+ present tense verb, whereas with other IE languages it's memorizing a boat load of multiple verb endings/stem changes.

That's why English speakers have such a hard time.

I made faster progress through Chinese and Indonesian than I do in Spanish, because they are analytic languages like English. Shit, Mandarin is so easy the past is indicated just by adding "Le" at the end of a sentence (if I remember right).

50   indigenous   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 3:17am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

Everyone knew it a long, long time ago.

It is incumbent on our ilk to guide the sheep in a safe direction in spite of themselves. Every once in a while one of the sheep wakes up and says you know Indigenous what you are pointing to is true, but this is very rare. With ability comes responsibility, so that is our cross to bear.

51   edvard2   ignore (1)   2014 Jul 14, 3:48am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

indigenous says

Bingo

Unlike ours, which seems to have a contingency of people who are definitely pro-wealth, but only so long as all of it is concentrated at the very top while the rest of the country gets poorer and poorer and any talk of wage increase is deemed " communist"

52   indigenous   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 3:53am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (4)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

Unlike ours, which seems to have a contingency of people who are definitely pro-wealth, but only so long as all of it is concentrated at the very top while the rest of the country gets poorer and poorer and any talk of wage increase is deemed " communist"

As I have stated many times this is a result of inflation. Which is a result of government not the market.

53   Peter P   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 4:05am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

indigenous says

Bingo

Unlike ours, which seems to have a contingency of people who are definitely pro-wealth, but only so long as all of it is concentrated at the very top while the rest of the country gets poorer and poorer and any talk of wage increase is deemed " communist"

Wealth concentration is NOT an issue. In America, there is enough mobility for people to get in and out of the top.

There IS an equality problem though. People should have the equal access to opportunities. But regulations like minimum wage will not change this.

It is no longer sufficient to work hard and build a career. The world is changing too much in one lifetime. People must learn to become opportunists.

54   edvard2   ignore (1)   2014 Jul 14, 4:26am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

indigenous says

As I have stated many times this is a result of inflation. Which is a result of government not the market.

Nope. I already disproved your assertion. 5 times so far. I'm puzzled as to how its so difficult to understand. Sure- its easy to "Blame da' gummbermint'" for everything. But the reality is that wages have been driven down by market expectations: The push for ever-cheaper consumer goods lead to ever-lower wages for the employees whom support those businesses. When you have that then the overall net income of the country as per capita household income drops over time. Meanwhile this effect has greatly benefited the various board members, owners, CEOs and so on whom pushed such agendas.

55   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2014 Jul 14, 5:11am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Peter P says

It is no longer sufficient to work hard and build a career. The world is changing too much in one lifetime. People must learn to become opportunists.

Unfortunately, mastery is not free and true mastery requires experience, not just lecture attendance.

Humans are limited by their biology and neurological aspects, even if the economy demands otherwise, in which case economics must change to confirm to humans, rather than humans to blackboard theory.

56   Peter P   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 5:23am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Well, European food is better in Europe. American food is usually not that great even in America. Even the more interesting American sub-cuisines (Cajun, Californian) have European influences.

57   Peter P   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 5:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

thunderlips11 says

Peter P says

It is no longer sufficient to work hard and build a career. The world is changing too much in one lifetime. People must learn to become opportunists.

Unfortunately, mastery is not free and true mastery requires experience, not just lecture attendance.

Humans are limited by their biology and neurological aspects, even if the economy demands otherwise, in which case economics must change to confirm to humans, rather than humans to blackboard theory.

Quite the contrary, the human will is stronger than you think.

Economics work so long as there are winners and losers, and we all evolve as a society.

58   HydroCabron   ignore (1)   2014 Jul 14, 5:32am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

CaptainShuddup says

America is becoming a better commie fascist state than Europe we should all be proud of that.

Yes Europe has it better because of their low taxes which we have never tried here it's (its) liberals wrecked our economy what happened to my prunes where's my bourbon at kids get off my lawn.

59   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2014 Jul 14, 5:32am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Peter P says

Quite the contrary, the human will is stronger than you think.

Can you expand on this?

History's graveyard of ideologies is full of ideas that depend on harnessing human will. The humans failed the ideas.

Peter P says

Economics work so long as there are winners and losers, and we all evolve as a society.

How many economists predicted the financial crisis?

60   Peter P   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 5:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

thunderlips11 says

Can you expand on this?

History's graveyard of ideologies is full of ideas that depend on harnessing human will. The humans failed the ideas.

Will drives history, not ideas.

Best example, Genghis Khan, the greatest man ever lived, defeated all odds and conquered the largest land empire in history. That could not have been predicted. It simply defied analysis.

thunderlips11 says

How many economists predicted the financial crisis?

Precisely! Economics works best without economists trying to predict this and explain that. ;-)

61   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2014 Jul 14, 5:43am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Peter P says

Best example, Genghis Khan, the greatest man ever lived, defeated all odds and conquered the largest land empire in history. That could not have been predicted. It simply defied analysis.

When you have billions of people, you're going to get exceptional ones. The problem is, what do the 99.9% do?

Peter P says

Precisely! Economics works best without economists trying to predict this and explain that. ;-)

And the measure of a "Science" is it's predictive power. If Economics can't predict even the very near future, it's not much of a science.

62   Peter P   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 6:03am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

thunderlips11 says

And the measure of a "Science" is it's predictive power. If Economics can't predict even the very near future, it's not much of a science.

I trust my astrologer over any economist. ;-)

The problem of "science" is that it needs to be right. In this regard, it is not epistemically robust.

thunderlips11 says

When you have billions of people, you're going to get exceptional ones. The problem is, what do the 99.9% do?

Daytime TV?

63   Peter P   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 6:14am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

BTW, why do most "Italian" restaurants in America fail to understand simple concepts like al dente?

64   indigenous   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 6:30am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

But the reality is that wages have been driven down by market expectations: The push for ever-cheaper consumer goods lead to ever-lower wages for the employees whom support those businesses.

Yeah that is nice theory but it what you think based off of your "explanations" The problem you know fuck all about economics, there fore you might first want to realize that you don't know shit about the subject and to study the facts about the situation.

65   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2014 Jul 14, 6:46am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Peter P says

I trust my astrologer over any economist. ;-)

The problem of "science" is that it needs to be right. In this regard, it is not epistemically robust.

Yep!

Peter P says

Daytime TV?

With basic income, sure.
indigenous says

realize that you don't know shit about the subject and to study the facts about the situation.

Step one, don't make a priori assumptions. Right, Austrians?

66   edvard2   ignore (1)   2014 Jul 14, 6:47am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

indigenous says

Yeah that is nice theory but it what you think based off of your "explanations" The problem you know fuck all about economics, there fore you might first want to realize that you don't know shit about the subject and to study the facts about the situation.

Nice. So basically you came up with no reasonable counter-debate and instead you decided to hurl a bunch of 3rd graders insults. Translation: you don't have a counter to the debate. But let me explain this again. reallll. slowwwww....

Ok. So go look up whom the largest employer of th US working population is. I already told you but as a refresher the top employers in the US are all either big box retailers or fast food. In fact to be more specific, SIX of the top 10 employers are as what I described with THREE of those making up the No.1,2,and 3 spots.

So here you have a situation where a HUGE percentage of the US population is now working for anywhere from $8 to $12 an hour, or putting that in another way, below poverty wages.

Of those top employing big box and fast food restaurants, the overall structure of those company's business is to deliver the absolute cheapest prices possible. Being that workforce is an expensive cost of doing business as mentioned above the wages of that workforce is kept low.

You had previously blared out that the shifting fortunes of the US working populace was due to government intervention. So did the government go to those stores and fast food joints and tell their owners to pay their workers LESS? Did they tell them to avoid working their employees at full time so they didn't have to provide benefits?

And lastly, what do you think happens when a HUGE chunk of the population works at poverty wages, gets no medical benefits, and so on? Why- they then require government assistance. So it is ironic that you seem incapable of thinking beyond that typical right wing belief that somehow ALL of the nation's problems are caused by the government when in the indisputable fact of today more or less shows that it is these big box retailers and fast food restaurants whom are actually costing us billions of dollars because the government in turn has to help these people who are getting treated like crap.

So the next time you decide to come up with a response, try to come up with something a little more mature...

67   indigenous   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 6:55am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (3)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

Nice. So basically you came up with no reasonable counter-debate and instead you decided to hurl a bunch of 3rd graders insults. Translation: you don't have a counter to the debate. But let me explain this again. reallll. slowwwww....

No dumb ass I explained earlier to go look at what your own Pikkety has to say about this.

edvard2 says

Ok. So go look up whom the largest employer of th US working population is. I already told you but as a refresher the top employers in the US are all either big box retailers or fast food. In fact to be more specific, SIX of the top 10 employers are as what I described with THREE of those making up the No.1,2,and 3 spots.

That is irrelevant.

edvard2 says

So here you have a situation where a HUGE percentage of the US population is now working for anywhere from $8 to $12 an hour, or putting that in another way, below poverty wages.

That fact is a symptom but not the cause.

edvard2 says

Of those top employing big box and fast food restaurants, the overall structure of those company's business is to deliver the absolute cheapest prices possible. Being that workforce is an expensive cost of doing business as mentioned above the wages of that workforce is kept low.

So what that has fuck all to do with the cause

edvard2 says

You had previously blared out that the shifting fortunes of the US working populace was due to government intervention. So did the government go to those stores and fast food joints and tell their owners to pay their workers LESS? Did they tell them to avoid working their employees at full time so they didn't have to provide benefits?

It is, you just don't understand why.

edvard2 says

And lastly, what do you think happens when a HUGE chunk of the population works at poverty wages, gets no medical benefits, and so on? Why- they then require government assistance. So it is ironic that you seem incapable of thinking beyond that typical right wing belief that somehow ALL of the nation's problems are caused by the government when in the indisputable fact of today more or less shows that it is these big box retailers and fast food restaurants whom are actually costing us billions of dollars because the government in turn has to help these people who are getting treated like crap.

That is an idiotic statement. You must drool a lot?

edvard2 says

So the next time you decide to come up with a response, try to come up with something a little more mature...

Go read what Pikkety has to say about the subject

68   edvard2   ignore (1)   2014 Jul 14, 7:11am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

indigenous says

That is irrelevant.

Totally relevant. Again, if you are going to have a debate, simply not coming up with any meaningful counter-point means you really don't have a point to make. indigenous says

That fact is a symptom but not the cause.

Of course it is. I made that very plainly and easily clear in the following explanation. I am starting to wonder if you comprehend basic financial reasoning.indigenous says

It is, you just don't understand why.

Oh, I see. So basically you are in fact stating that the gubbermint DID go in and tell those companies to keep their wages low? Is that it? The government caused those companies to pay their crappy wages? I am so very curious how you came to that conclusion. Explain. Some of us are bored and want to be amused by your answer.indigenous says

That is an idiotic statement. You must drool a lot?

Is it? Again- if the only thing you can do is produce lame and empty insults as a reply then you don't really know how to respond and so the knee-jerk reaction you have is again- a third grade level immature response.indigenous says

Go read what Pikkety has to say about the subject

No. How about you go back anf actually re-read what I just wrote because your answers seem to suggest you failed to do so before.

69   indigenous   ignore (0)   2014 Jul 14, 8:00am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (3)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

No. How about you go back anf actually re-read what I just wrote because your answers seem to suggest you failed to do so before.

What the fuck do you think Pikkety is talking about? He is embraced by your Krugman, Warren, and other notable left wing ideologues, why the fuck not you arrogant bitch?

70   bob2356   ignore (4)   2014 Jul 14, 9:38am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

. I made that very plainly and easily clear in the following explanation. I am starting to wonder if you comprehend basic financial reasoning.

It hasn't happened yet.

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