Who wins in U.S. vs Europe contest?

By Bernd Debusmann
February 12, 2010

In these days of renewed gloom about the future of Europe, a quick test is in order. Who has the world’s biggest economy? A) The United States B) China/Asia C) Europe? Who has the most Fortune 500 companies? A) The United States B) China C) Europe. Who attracts most U.S. investment? A) Europe B) China C) Asia.

The correct answer in each case is Europe, short for the 27-member European Union (EU), a region with 500 million citizens. They produce an economy almost as large as the United States and China combined but have, so far, largely failed to make much of a dent in American perceptions that theirs is a collection of cradle-to-grave nanny states doomed to be left behind in a 21st century that will belong to China.

That China will rise to be a superpower in this century, overtaking the United States in terms of gross domestic product by 2035, is becoming conventional wisdom. But those who subscribe to that theory might do well to remember the fate of similar long-range forecasts in the past. At the turn of the 20th century, for example, eminent strategists predicted that Argentina would be a world power within 20 years. In the late 1980s, Japan was seen as the next global leader.

The latest pessimistic utterances about Europe were sparked by a debt crisis in Greece which raised concern over the health of the euro, the common currency of 16 EU members. Plus U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to stay away from a U.S.-EU summit scheduled for May in Madrid, with a new EU leadership structure that should have made it easier to answer then U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s famous question: “Who do I call when I want to talk to Europe?”

There are still several numbers to call in the complex set-up, giving fresh reasons to fret to those crystal-gazers who see the future dominated by the United States and China, the so-called G-2.

Pundits who see the European way of doing things as a model for the United States (and others) to follow are few and far between, not least, says one of them, Steven Hill, because most Americans are blissfully unaware of European achievements and, as he puts it, “reluctant to look elsewhere because ‘we are the best.’”

As foreigners traveling through the United States occasionally note, the phrases “we are the best” and “America is No.1″ are often uttered with deep conviction by citizens who have never set foot outside their country and therefore lack a direct way of comparison. (They are in the majority: only one in five Americans has a passport).

Hill, who heads the political reform program at the New American Foundation, a liberal Washington think tank, has just published a book whose title alone is enough to irk conservative Americans: Europe’s Promise. Why the European Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Future.

STUBBORN PRECONCEPTIONS
It marshals an impressive army of facts and comparative statistics to show that the United States is behind Europe in nearly every socio-economic category that can be measured and that neither America’s trickle-down, Wall Street-driven capitalism nor China’s state capitalism hold the keys to the future.

While China’s growth has been impressive, says Hill, the country remains, in essence, a sub-contractor to the West and is racked by internal contradictions.

“When I talk to American audiences,” Hill said in an interview, “many find the figures I cite hard to believe. They haven’t heard them before. U.S. businesses making more profits in Europe than anywhere else, 20 times more than in China? 179 of the world’s top companies are European compared with 140 American? That does not fit the preconceptions.”

Such preconceptions exist, in part, because U.S. media have portrayed Europe as a region in perpetual crisis, its economies sclerotic, its taxes a disincentive to personal initiative, its standards of living lower than America’s, its universal health care, guaranteed pensions, long vacations and considerably shorter working hours a recipe for low growth and stagnation. “In the transmission of news across the Atlantic, myth has been substituted for reality,” says Hill.

He is in good, though numerically small, company with such views. The economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, both Nobel prize winners, also have positive outlooks for Europe. In a recent column in the New York Times, Krugman said that Europe is often held up as evidence that higher taxes for the rich and benefits for the less well-off kill economic progress. Not so, he argued. The European experience demonstrates the opposite: social justice and progress can go hand in hand.

The relative rankings of countries tend to be defined by gross domestic product per capita but Hill points out that this might not be the best yardstick because it does not differentiate between transactions that add to the well-being of a country and those that diminish it. A dollar spent on sending a teenager to prison adds as much to GDP as a dollar spent on sending him to college.

On a long list of quality-of-life indexes that measure things beyond the GDP yardstick — from income inequality and access to health care to life expectancy, infant mortality and poverty levels — the United States does not rank near the top.

So where is the best place to live? For the past 30 years, a U.S.-based magazine, International Living, has compiled a quality-of-life index based on cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and climate. France tops the list for the fifth year running. The United States comes in 7th.

73 comments

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When I traveled through Europe I noticed a distinct difference in standard of living. For example, the average middle class citizen in Europe lives in a box, cannot afford to shower on a daily basis, cannot afford to use much electricity, cannot afford gas to drive around, have refrigerators roughly the same size as those you may find in a typical college dorm room, wait in line often for days to see the doctor (and usually pay under the table to get care0, among others. Now, one may have the perspective that the United States lifestyle is one of excess and largess; if that is the case, perhaps those individuals may prefer the European lifestyle. I, however, honestly enjoy these facets of American comfort and have little desire to see them mitigated. Europe is a beautiful place to visit, but I will always prefer to come home to the comfortable USA.

Posted by Zacs | Report as abusive

The keyword is growth, and the EU is unable to generate it, so far.
Have a look at these statistics:
http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-w di&met=ny_gdp_mktp_cd&idim=country:DEU&d l=en&hl=en&q=germany+gdp#met=ny_gdp_mktp _cd&idim=country:DEU:FRA:USA

Posted by yr2009 | Report as abusive

I would love to hear Debusmann’s response to just the first two comments so far. Bernd? I, too, have traveled extensively in Europe and found the vast majority of Europeans (who have traveled to the US) to prefer the quality of life and opportunity available in the US. I have also experienced the sometimes primitive level of comfort and convenience found all over Europe and have felt the same relief upon returning to the States. Just a quick trip through the retirement areas of Florida reveals a huge number of European retirees — those Europeans who can afford to retire in the US very often do. The reverse is relatively rare. What gives?

Posted by TheOracle | Report as abusive

@Zacs,

What on earth are you talking about? You sure you visited Europe not Africa??

I’ve lived in Europe for a number of years, Amsterdam, Paris and London. All those cities have a far high standard of living for the middle class then anywhere in America.

I now live in the U.S and I can assure you I intend to leave. This place is a mess.

America is not what it use to be, nor will it ever be.

The middle class in Europe are treated far better then in America.

Posted by dutch | Report as abusive

@Zacs

I’m sorry, but maybe you have visited a ghetto in Europe. What you are claiming is absolutely absurd!

I, for instance, live in one of Europe’s poorest countries (namely Romania) and even our least developed cities are ages ahead of what you described there.

@yr2009

I’m sorry, but what you posted there shows absolutely nothing. European GDP does not grow at the same pace with the US one, but you should take a look at HDI too.

Furthermore, please read the article twice before actually comparing the US to Germany and France. The EU is a lot more than that (it states clearly that it’s about the 27 EU members states.).

You wanna compare GDP dynamics? Well, go ahead, sir and compare the US with Romania and Bulgaria when it comes to dynamics. Does that mean that those countries are way better than the US?

Posted by Kinetic | Report as abusive

I’ve lived both in Europe (Scandinavia and France), and now I live in the US (New England).
While I found Europe a very pleasant place to live and travel in, the US is better, and it’s also more dynamic – economically, socially and culturally speaking.
What I deplore the most about Europe is the fact that it often takes a very long time for young people to get their first job, and many of them are forced to be unemployed for years because of the rigid system.
You hardly see that in the US.
The EU is on the right path (I hope), but the pace of progress is much too slow.

Posted by yr2009 | Report as abusive

Wow, I’m baffled by the comments I read here. Is it just ego trips? Did you all travel to Europe in 1941? Boxes? Showers? Is nothing better than what is done here in the USA?
These comments just feed the worldwide position that we Americans are ignorant. And God only knows WE ARE. Debusmann is making an extremely interesting point. He’s showing us that there is a huge opportunity (business or other) to look outside our borders.
Let’s stop looking at our bellies, would we!

Posted by jeansdabiquini | Report as abusive

I totally agree with the statements in the article. Having lived both in the US (NYC & DC) and the EU (London & Bulgaria) I have a pretty good idea what life is like in each place. I wonder how good of an idea one can get while traveling and looking at people’s refrigerators.
Quality of life doesn’t mean how big your house is, your car, or fridge. It means if you have time to travel (I travel for pleasure at least once a month), if you have social life (and yes, Europeans do love to socialize) and if you’re generally happy.

If life in America was so great, why is it that half the population lives on PROZAC???

WAKE UP PEOPLE – MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING!!!

Posted by AVVESOME | Report as abusive

jeansdabiquini,
I’m neither European nor American, so it’s not about an ego trip – just a statement of my impression as a foreigner who’s lived in both places.
I like Europeans, and I feel close to them in many ways, but when I lived in Europe I always had the feeling they tolerated my being different, while here in the US I get the feeling that most people embrace diversity, and accept my being different – they don’t just tolerate it.
If you haven’t lived in a foreign country, you might not be sensitive to these nuances.
And FYI, the US is the most admired country in the world, and the model the EU has been trying to follow, and I hope they succeed.
The US is far from being perfect, as everybody knows, but still the best by far.

Posted by yr2009 | Report as abusive

@Zach
Clearly you don’t really know what you are talking about. I am French myself (and have travelled pretty much to every country in Europe) and I have NEVER met anyone who fits the description you give. Way to spur misconceptions about Europe!!
I strongly suggest you go back for at least a few months and stop spreading such crazy ideas. Really – these kinds of comments make me quite angry!

Posted by Go_France | Report as abusive

It was recently reported in the media twice in two weeks that most voters in the UK ,if they were able,would leave..Nuff said

Posted by beechbum | Report as abusive

Nothing in life is pure! Europe has its advantages and USA has theirs. As far as quality of life I tend to agree that SOME states in Europe is ahead. Quality of life I would define as security, health,stress free,and time on hand. US might be behind in many of these categories, but it has security and opportunity and those 2 are x factors. Besides how can you compare Europe To US? 27 states VS 1 ? yea one might might say the EU but the EU is not as bound as many think!

Posted by v21a | Report as abusive

I lived twice for 2 and 1 year in NY, in London 2 years and Paris.
What I red above is just pathetic ! Showers ! box ! Size of fridge !
I like both US and Europe for different reasons but the real difference in life is understanding the difference between “confort of living” and “art de vivre” :-)

Posted by laboland | Report as abusive

Why do I see Europe as a collection of nanny states?

Posted by pspv21 | Report as abusive

Re: The GDP-growth graph link posted by yr2009… That hardly shows any difference at all between the United States and Europe. If anything, the difference is marginal. (If you think otherwise after looking at that graph, go and read about exponential curves, and take note of the fact that graph is not adjusted for inflation.)

I’ve encountered the “we’re the best” attitude too often from Americans. It can get really ugly when Americans FIND OUT that another group of people are beating them at their own game. All of a sudden, the rules (that were so important previously) are irrelevant to the game. Anything goes, in the fight to stay “top dog.”
Just look at the anticompetitive US government support for GM, Ford and Chrysler… For decades, US politicians have preached free-market propaganda (with some justification), and tried to enforce the rules of this game on everybody else around the world… But the moment the good ‘ol USA starts losing the game against Japanese and European manufacturers, they shore up the system to prevent their beloved market leaders going bankrupt.

The problem for America is that the US “economy” is doing great by the numbers, but they’re in overdrive. There are plenty of natural resources but there’s not much human capacity left in the system. Too many American people are just run into the ground, working every hour they can just to eat their next meal and keep their trailer home going – and the system doesn’t even thank them with a decent holiday, a respectable minimum wage or HEALTHCARE cover. They are just left to be fleeced by the health-insurance wolves. Too many Americans are running on empty… If America is going to stay ahead, you will have to curtail the ideological propaganda (which your own people are dangerously close to BELIEVING), promote equality and start giving some respect to the people who keep your country going.

Americans are on Prozac because they’re supposed to smile all the time, even if their lives are “the pits.”

With administrative and manufacturing efficiency improving all over the world, and with globalisation in the markets; over-production is going to be a BIG problem this century. I anticipate:
* Countries that don’t cool industrial growth with emissions trading will face over-production, deflation and under-employment.
* Countries that adhere to climate protocols will ring-fence their economies.
* Countries that are behind the cutting edge in supporting climate protocols will eventually fall in line (after other countries have got ahead in environmentally friendly industry), and start buying environmentally friendly cars from countries that got the jump on them. (Oh, that’s happening already.)

Posted by compsci | Report as abusive

From a New Zealander who has lived in the US (for 7 years) and England and Ireland I found this artilce pretty accurate and insightful.

Full details on the Quality of Life index mentioned can be viewed at http://www.internationalliving.com/Inter nal-Components/Further-Resources/quality -of-life-2010

Posted by grantperry | Report as abusive

One other thing… An excellent strategic method of tackling the kind of private-sector over-production that leads to serious inequalities, whilst using the excess capacity for something GOOD, is to INCREASE THE PUBLIC SECTOR. Services like:
* Public healthcare
* Advocacy services for the downtrodden in society…
etc. We have excellent public services in Europe, but I see and hear little of it in the good ‘ol USA.
It seems to me that the American system was well-placed to dominate the 20th Century, but in the 21st Century, the Americans are following an ideological dinosaur (of unrestricted free market chaos, or “every man for himself”) to collective disaster… All because they’re frightened of the other ideological dinosaur, “Communism.”

I’d love to see how the US government would respond to a major health epidemic or natural dister on home soil. (Oh, we already saw that in New Orleans, sorry.)

Americans ARE more “competitive”, but they’re also more AGGRESSIVE than Europeans. Case in point, an American thought I was after the girl he liked, so he had a friend call me up and threaten to kill me. No European has ever tried that sort of thing with me, even though I’ve lived in a few rough areas. So what do you think – does the character of AGGRESSION make people happier? No wonder half of you are on Prozac.

Posted by compsci | Report as abusive

Let us get one thing straight: Europe is not a bloody country! I am Greek-American, born in Greece till the age of 12 (returned at 20 for military service) and lived the rest of my life in America. French, Germans, Italians, Greeks, English and everyone else on the continent consider themselves to be whatever their nationality is, not European. This is not the United States of Europe! You cannot group it all together! Yes, I love Greece, but guess what!? I got out of there. Why? Every time I go back and talk to my now 25 year old friends who do not have jobs and are still leaving off and with their parents, unable to find employement, or if they are, for a measly 550 euros a month (and no, that will not by you anything in Athens of the 8 dollar coffees). Europe is so diverse that it is impossible to group it together.

Posted by Sebastian293 | Report as abusive

@Zacs, Your personal experience in Europe may not necessarily be a reflection of the general state of EU member countries.

@yr2009 – The EU consist of 27 countries, not 2. And you have to aggregate the figures.

Personally, I believe the US has the most potential to be number one in all the quality of life indexes, because it truly is one country, one language and one central government. But first they have to put aside politics (republicans and democrats) and concentrate on getting something done (energy, healthcare etc).

Posted by Tical | Report as abusive

I usually find that people complain about the thing that they are guilty of.
Might be all of these Prozac comments are coming from people who might just need it.
Personally, I don’t know anyone on Prozac.
I like Europe, and I assume the people are like Americans, good at heart and looking for some happiness.
Most of the people here think they are taxed too much for what they get, their representatives only represent their own interests, and most people would be willing to give more in taxes if they felt the people spending it were doing so responsibly.
Do Europeans think like that too?

Posted by pspv21 | Report as abusive

I am an American who moved to Barcelona, Spain, almost 3 years ago. I moved here because US Immigration will not allow American gays to sponsor their foreign partners for immigration, a fact that has embittered me against the country where I was born. That said, Europe is an interesting place to live but it is far different than the USA.

Disadvantages: Homes are very small; affordable apartments mostly lack heat or air conditioning; owning a car is very expensive (obtaining a Spanish driver’s license requires even experienced drivers to spend ~US$1500 for driving school); European drivers are mostly pretty horrible-drive too fast, follow too close, disregard posted signs; clothing prices are ridiculously high; many people are thoughtless: sidewalks often littered with dog feces/trash tossed carelessly; there is not a strong feeling of unity-pitifully few people care about the EU but seem more concerned about conserving local languages that should have died out 500 years ago e.g., Catalan/ Basque; lack of job opportunities for young people-on average, young people live with their parents until they are 29 or 30 years old; excessive government meddling (e.g., govt. stipulates who will be beneficiary of estate when you die); toll roads ridiculously expensive.

Advantages: Public transportation in cities is inexpensive, and convenient; public art is superb and plentiful; health care system works reasonably well, (though long waits for hospital care are common); long vacations for employees; gays have 100% equal rights; pedestrian walkways are plentiful.

Though they would miss the longer holidays/vacations, many Europeans admit that they would prefer to live in America. I believe a part of this desire hinges on the sense that in America, if you get a good education and work hard, you can be anything you want to be-a sense that seems to be missing in European culture.

Posted by AaronA | Report as abusive

first of all how can this guy even comapare America to the EU? the EU is 20 something different countries and the U.S is 1. It’s pathetic to even compare. California alone (1 state) has the 8th largest economy in the world! Its funny how much you people hate the fact that America is the number one country economically and militarily that you say that 25 or 27 countries combined have a bigger economy than 1 country. A perfect example of this is how everyone talks about how china is going to pass the U.S as the largest economy by 2035. the united states GDP is 14.4 TRILLION and China is 4.2 TRILLION. how can you compare. If all of you anti-american’s would leave the country you hate so much it would be an even better place. America has become the Best country in the world at everything and we have only been around as a country for 233 years. IF America didn’t exist this world would be a totally different place for the worse. look at the recent earthquake in Haiti for example. How much did the combined EU give as aid??? America has given hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. probably more than all other countries in the world combined!!! We can do that because of capitalism and because we are generous people. How much has china given? or japan? or India? how about the EU? italy? greece? Great Britan? No Country is better or more generous than the United States.

Posted by IHATELIBERALS | Report as abusive

Zacs and others… spending habits and not the level of wealth, explain your perceived different level of comfort between the two economic zones… Americans are known to spend way beyond their means, the Europeans, on the other end, have a higher propensity to save… that’s a matter of personnal preferences and not affordability. High savings habit are probalby costing job creation in Europe but have offered a more comfortable cushion in downturns. I’m not certain that the millions of Americans that lost houses and jobs in this severe downturn share your same view on comfort. For a more sustainable economic growth, I would truly like to see the American spending a little more like the Europeans and the European spending a little more like the Americans. Cheers.

Posted by Steph77 | Report as abusive

I’m a Yank who over the course of the last 40 years has lived at times in London, Austria, Denmark, and Spain. Always, everywhere I went in Europe, I took a hot shower every day without problem, and though my fridges were smaller than my current one in the U.S. they still easily held a +week of groceries. Perhaps in parts of the old Soviet empire things are what Zacs describes, but west Europe, trust me, has electricity and hot water.

The principal difference I would cite, is that Europeans tend to be more urban focused, and London, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, tend to influence the countryside more so than say Denver does Colorado, or D.C. does N. Virginia. That said, I know more than a few French farmers that would be as glad to do without Paris as any midwesterner would New York.

Posted by ARJTurgot | Report as abusive

I found quality of life in Western Europe to be good, but I found it’s better in the US.

Europeans (mainly young ones) who’d rather live in the US if they could, far outnumber Americans who’d prefer to live in Europe. The figures aren’t even comparable.
Ask these young people and you’ll know why (see comment by sebastyian293 )

And by the way, the US is one country, but you’ll be surprised how different its regions are from each other – geographically, economically and even culturally.
Even states in the same region differ from each other, as can urban areas and rural areas in the same state.
America isn’t necessarily ‘As Seen On TV’

Posted by yr2009 | Report as abusive

Haha Defacto superpower status through expanding borders…shall we say imperialism even? LMFAO I guess when you add a new country to the “superpower” every six months you’re bound to overtake real economic success in places like China, Japan, and the U.S. Interestingly enough since Europe is now a superpower, maybe they can start contributing to charitable causes around the world. Giving larger contributions to relief missions in places like Haiti and the fight against HIV in Africa. Oh and speaking of Africa, maybe Europe in all of its superpower greatness can start rebuilding the devastation that still exists all across that continent from all the misguided Colonial conquests during Europe’s last stint as a Superpower? Doubt it, European gratitude and compassion are only skin deep, if that!

Posted by CoLeo | Report as abusive

I have lived in North America (Canada & the US) Europe (Italy, France, others), Asia (China).

In Europe, we said that the Americans have a standard of living, but Europeans have a quality of life. I second that motion wholeheartedly.

It is inexperience, shortsightedness, and a bit of arrogance to make the criticisms I see here about Europe.

For example, fridges are small because most Europeans buy their groceries on a daily basis. Everything is always fresh. Each day, on the way home from the office, you stop at a few shops and buy what you need for that day. No more.

And the shopping is far superior to that of a mega-superstore. When I lived in Rome, there was not a single supermarket in the entire city. Every street consisted of shops at the street level. A cheese shop, a meat shop, a bakery, a wine store, a fruit market, a vegetable market, ad infinitum. And every few hundred meters the process repeated itself.

And in those shops, the clerks (owners) knew everything – about every kind of cheese or meat or bread or fruit, or wine. Most of the little grocery stores had wood stoves they used to roast your coffee beans for you – while you waited. The aroma was heavenly, and the clerk would choose the beans you wanted, roast them the way you wanted, and grind or not as you wished.

Nothing like that exists in the US, and I could provide hundreds of other examples where the quality of life there is far superior to that in America.

But you don’t find it living in an expat enclave. You need to be part of culture to appreciate it. Life there has a richness that is incomparable.

North Americans are astonishingly provincial, and even bigoted, in their appraisal of Europe. If it’s different, if it’s not our way, it’s no good. What a shame.

Posted by WatchingChina | Report as abusive

@Zach
Simply put, you’re an idiot. And that goes for anyone else who thinks quality of life and standard of living is measured in square feet/meters or by the amount of food they put on your plate. It’s quality not quantity that matters. It’s how much time you get to spend with your family and enjoying the simple pleasures in life not just working nonstop to get bigger cars, bigger houses, and bigger bellies.

Posted by dushenko | Report as abusive

@CoLeo

Europe has sent resources to Haiti, but the EU doesn’t make a show out of this.

It is true that most contries that make up the EU are far from perfect, but claiming that we have no compassion isn’t correct. Think about sustainable development and globlal warming. Europe did its best to implement green policies in times when the US was all about bringing the next SUV to the market. We could have done better, I’m sure, but at least we did something.

That is a sign of compassion for me. Or at least a sign of lucidity.

Posted by Kinetic | Report as abusive

And please allow me to say that absolute GDP comparison is a bit irrelevant (considering the US has a far more citizens than, say, Germany or France).

Instead, let me link here to some statistics that can offer apples-to-apples comparisons:

1) GDP per capita (purchasing power parity – this will favor the US a bit, but it’s how it should be presented):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cou ntries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

2) Human development index:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cou ntries_by_Human_Development_Index

3) Satisfacion with life:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfactio n_with_Life_Index

All these paint a different table than what most people think.

Posted by Kinetic | Report as abusive

I never said that there was no hot water or electricity in the places I traveled in Europe, just that it is not as affordable, so the Europeans I met used these luxuries much more sparingly. The point is that the USA has a much higher comfort level for me, personally, and I am sure for many others. For example, everyone in my family can take a relatively long, hot shower every day of the week without blowing out my utility bill. From my experience, this is not as common in Europe because utilities are generally much higher than they are here – thus, smaller refrigerators, less showers, etcetera. Housing is generally much smaller in Europe as well. I think that someone of my relative means in many places in Europe does not enjoy the same amount of living space as I and many other Americans do. Please allow me a little license when using the term “box” to make that comparison. I like some of the comments about Europeans being much more social – I agree, and that may lead to a higher quality of life for many…just not for me. I am not ashamed to admit that I prefer frequent long hot showers, big cars, and open floor plans.

Posted by Zacs | Report as abusive

Demographically, many European countries will have Islamic majorities within the next 30 to 60 years. The Netherlands is projected to become Western Europe’s first majority-Muslim nation by 2015 and France is project next in 2040. Kind of makes the whole Jihad crowd look rather silly. With secular Western Europe’s embrace of abortion, contraception, low birth rates (well below the 2.1 needed to sustain a population), glorification of GLBTQ lifestyles, militant feminism, gay marriage and the disdain and outright contempt held for tradition marriage or for even getting married at all; all the Jihadists need to do is wait it out and allow demographics to take its course and they will win by default.

Does anyone want to venture a guess as to what the effect on trade will be between those European countries with an Islamic majority and the rest of the world? My first bet is that all trade between Israel and these countries ceases (If Israel survives that long). My next bet is that trade between these countries and the U.S. drops off significantly. On the other hand, I would bet that trade between these countries and other Islamic countries increases significantly.

Europe is sure to see an increase in its Islamic population which should in-turn cause an increase in its overall population (Not so for its non-Islamic population which will die off as a result of their failure to reproduce). This is sure to have an effect on the distribution of goods and services with the way government is structured in Europe.

There’s a brave new world coming and no one can tell for sure what it will look like down the road. I’m sure those folks who though the U.S. would be the sole superpower for an indefinite period of time after the fall of the Soviet Union have had a change of heart recently. With the recent financial crisis in Greece, it also makes one wonders how long the Euro can hold out.

Posted by skylarke1958 | Report as abusive

yr2009… quality of life is an extremely subjective and arguably comparable element. The Europeans value and cherish their virtually free and quality healthcare, education and infrastructure system… also their food (and 2 hour lunches) and relative energy independence. An American would perhaps give them a different weighting on their preference scale. As far young people are concerned, European have a habit to travel outside their own border (due probably to the relatively small size of their countries. However, after a few years spent abroad, the majority would return to their homeland. Just look around you, you’ll be surprised to see how few young Western Europeans have permanently settled in the US. There’s a sort of irony in Europe where people complain about the lack of jobs and envy the formidable US job machine (it truly is enviable)… these are probably the same people that would strike against any attempt to add fluidity the job market!!

Posted by Steph77 | Report as abusive

Without even an ounce of military might, Europe will NEVER be a superpower. It shouldn’t have delusions of grandeur.

Posted by cassieopeia | Report as abusive

I love Europe, and have visited several times, i can certainly see the differnce in life styles.
I often think that I would love to live there, but NY metro area is pretty much a close second.

Posted by jk718gp | Report as abusive

All these posts by our beloved “blind patriots”. I feel as if your comments are playing into the stereotype the author argued for. We Americans are bigoted, ignorant, and blind to the rest of the world…

Posted by cjdelgross | Report as abusive

For those who knock Europe, you are very deluded. Its ironic that one poster said Americans embrace diversity, whereas many of the commentators have intolerant, almost xenophobic views of Europe.

I have lived in France, I also traveled to Switzerland, Germany, Monaco & Italy. I am sorry, but the European quality of life is far superior compared to the USA. You have less income disparity, ie no ghettos like in US. The middle class lives very well, and the community is exceptionally supportive. There are no oppressive police chasing down every teenager in sight. There is culture, music, festivals, etc.. events that would not even be allowed to happen in the US, due to crowd control and crime concerns. While they may not have as many convenience stores and malls, that’s fine by me, cause the US has way too many of them. Except for a couple major US cities like NY, SF, Boston, DC, I find the US extremely boring, all you can do, all you are allowed to do, is shop. There is nothing else here, the USA has a mass-market culture and activities. Everything good to do here, costs way too much. In Europe, you can have a great time, for next to nothing.

Now, I will admit, that the economic potential of Europe is limited, due to some of the aforementioned benefits. They dont have as many stores, stores close early or are closed all summer for holidays, jobs are more scarce even for the educated, taxes can be high, the quality of certain foods, like steak, are subpar compared to America. But then of course they do have other foods that are magnificent.

Basically, you have a totally different mindset in Europe. It is not about money, it is about family, friends, and experiencing life. If those things sound interesting, then Europe may be the place for you. If you like dynamic economies, greed, upward mobility, selfishness, cookie cutter culture, expansive parks and nature preserves, crime, geographic mobility, ghettos, volatility, and shopping, then the USA is for you.

Btw, when I think of Europe, I think of the Continent. The UK is a different animal, it is a hybrid Euro-American society, that is cursed with terrible weather and equally terrible food. No wonder everyone wants to leave.

Posted by LucidOne | Report as abusive

Zach – please stop digging your grave :)

Posted by Go_France | Report as abusive

Having lived in London for the last 40 years, it is apparent that many changes which have come to UK from US have been damaging to the fabric of our society – in particular the damage to the social centres of our towns secondary to the development of out-of-town supermarkets and other retailers giant sheds. However, there are many towns and urban neighbourhoods where people deliberated shop locally, garden in allotments, sing in choirs (community, rather than church), cycle, walk, or use public transport where a car can be eschewed and so on. The London theatres have seen increases in their audiences in recent times, museums and art galleries likewise. Good societies have to be developed and actively maintained. It’s still a great joy to be able to partake in the richness of London, and European life. I’m sure that in any society there is delight to be found for those who both contribute to and enjoy their neighbourhoods.

Posted by fmb.bak | Report as abusive

Just talked with my Spanish partner. In his opinion, it is far better to have a career in the USA rather than Europe, because:

a) Chances for upward mobility are far better in the USA
b) Homes can be purchased at a reasonable price
c) Gasoline, clothing and utilities are cheap
d) Taxes are low
e) Investment opportunities are excellent.

Then, when you are wealthy, you can move to Europe which is more compact, has a lot of art, historic buildings, great architecture and socialized medicine. In his opinion, a career in America and retirement in Europe, provides the best that the world can offer.

Posted by AaronA | Report as abusive

Thank you for this insightful article. I found it very accurate and many comments in this thread — with @Zacs being their willing spokesperson — give further credence to the arguments the author has presented.

As an aside, it’s worth mentioning that in an era of diminishing natural resources, European infrastructure is better equipped (and more accustomed) to a world with fewer cars and less extravagant lifestyles.

Posted by brad2k | Report as abusive

I think this article is a bit biased, as one poster mentioned EU is a ragtag of many completely different countries, whilst America and China are united countries, in government, language and so forth. Also Germany for example would be a much better place to live in than UK in my opinion.

I also think the quality of life thing is down to interpretation, in my view all European countries are boring and equal meaning good social security, universal healthcare, however Europe is only a little safer than US. Crime/vandalism/immigration is just as a huge problem in most of Europe. Universal healthcare is often ineffective, making people end up paying private or waiting too long.

Everything is overpriced, from food/water/electricity/fuel bills, everything you have to think before you spend, if you leave your heating on for too long you will go bankcrupt. The average EU citizens, suffers from crap transport and can’t afford to drive too much, or they risk not being able to pay their mortgage/rent. Decades of laziness also create companies that are completely incompetent in providing decent updated services, but charge premium high prices.

The middle class is swamped by high taxes, whilst europe remains highly elitist, with the upper echelons doing as they please dodging taxes (look at italy’s prime minister) Europe is still very much class driven (upper class only mingling with themselves), with very little wealth movement.

Of course I think its down to personal taste. EU is better if you don’t like competition, want to enjoy a relaxed social life, and not think too much about wanting luxury and so forth. Whilst America is for those who seek the “American Dream”. Both EU and America has its good points.

I find America a scary place to think about, but at the same time. I can’t deny thats the same country that pretty much invented advanced technology, and still does whilst I look at my iphone. It would seem America has a way of getting the talented/gifted to the position they deserve (James Cameron/Steve Jobs/Bill Gates/Obama etc etc), whilst Europe doesn’t.

Posted by Raidiant | Report as abusive

Lucidone,
FYI, there are plenty of ghettos in Europe, and the people who live in them don’t seem to appreciate it, otherwise they won’t be demonstrating in the streets and burning cars.
Just remember those long rows of huge apartment buildings you can find in or near any European city, where poor people live in small, crowded and noisy flats, are unemployed or under-employed, bitter, destitute and often desperate.
That’s part of the European culture too, and it’s those people who are happy to roast your coffee beans for a meager salary and a paltry tip, and give you a taste of the great European Culture, but many don’t even get to do that.
Chronic unemployment has been plaguing Europe for decades, and it’s a shame because unlike third world countries, European countries have the means to solve this problem.

Posted by yr2009 | Report as abusive

I have read some interesting comments on this thread. Thank you for those. Naturally everyone writes from his/her own perspective and of his/her own experiences so stereotypes are inevitable, but it is a pity that so many of the authors on this thread do not seem to realize this fact and very liberally use superlatives when describing either the US or EU.

It is interesting that so many authors cite their visits to different places, but at the same time, they conveniently forget about the difference between VISITING a place and LIVING in a place. a VISIT (as a tourist, for example) hardly counts when you try to describe a place in depth. Surely you can state facts like the width of the refridgerator in a place you visited, but it is simply laughable how some authors seem to draw a correlations such as “quality of life and the size of the refridgerator”!

In my view, Debusmann’s article rather pointedly illustrates why Europe (or, rather EU in this case) is perhaps not quite as stagnant a place to be brushed aside as many investors in the US may think. Many authors unfortunately have msised this point.

Quality of life from the individual perspective is one thing for sure. Personally, I like many places in the US, but not all. Same goes for the EU; I like some places in EU, but not all.

Debusmann writes “As foreigners traveling through the United States occasionally note, the phrases “we are the best” and “America is No.1″ are often uttered with deep conviction by citizens who have never set foot outside their country and therefore lack a direct way of comparison.” While I do not wish to generalize too much, this has been also my observation. Many of those Americans who most loudly claim their country to be “The Best” have in fact only limited experience outside the US. In all fairness I think this is true with Europeans as well.

I think one should exercise great caution when discussing any value based statements (such as quality of life) of any place one has only visited shortly (eg. as a tourist). Personally, I would make such value based statements only after having lived through the entire culture shock (which sometimes can take years), because of the emotional aspect that affects the judgement.

Be as it may, before I had children, I thought the US was a great place to live because of lower taxes etc.. However, now that I have children I have decided to relocate to one of the Nordic countries for many reasons, one of the main reasons the more family friendly policies by employers as well as the society in general, which allows me as a parent to spend more time with my children – and thereby allows be to be a better parent to my children. To me, this is a very important factor when thinking of “high” quality of life.

Posted by interestedEUUSA | Report as abusive

Why does one place have to better than the other? A bit silly I’d say.

I heartily recommend finding as much joy in life as you can no matter where you live.

Enjoy what you can and improve what needs improving.

Posted by breezinthru | Report as abusive

I’ve visited Europe weeks at a time. Strange, no one mentions the VAT and higher prices. Americans don’t visit Europe, because it is expensive. It’s cheaper and takes less time to go to a nearby state.

My first shock are the hotels: small, filthy and overpriced. The second shock are the dirty streets and crumbling infrastructure, but a lot of places in the USA are the same. The third shock is the graffiti. Wow! I thought NYC in the 1970′s was bad. And everybody smokes!

The train system is marvelous for traveling the continent. I wish the US had that. The food is fresher, and the people are generally nice.

I’ve never met a anyone from Switzerland, Italy, Spain, UK or Germany who defined themselves as European. They are very very centered on being a Roman, Bavarian, or some other group.

Europe doesn’t have the cultural power and cohesion of America. The comparison does not apply.

Plus, it’s probably still easier to start a small business here.

Posted by goldenah | Report as abusive

I think everyone is missing a fundamental point here.
In Europe there are many countries that do not have high standard of living like US. For instance, many east europen countries (former soviet union states) have lower standard of living than US. But there are other western european and scandinavian countries that have better standard of living than US in many respects, especially not being on PROZAC!!!.
But the formula is very simple. In US, because it is a (ultra) capitalistic country, only PROFITS ($$$) matter!!!. In some european countries, especially those that are (ultra) socialist countries only PROPLE matter!!!.
The best states in europe that have better standard of living are those countries like Germany, Denmark, Holland and to a lesser extent France etc, where both PROFITS AND PEOPLE matter!!!.
That I think is the crux of the whole discussion. Both US and Europe have some thing to learn from each other. Just like the American right wing who are ultra capitalists, I am sure there are a lot of European left wing who are ultra socialist. Both of them are wrong!!!.

Posted by ProwdLiberal | Report as abusive

BTW, I forgot to mention in my previous post…

Does any European Country have 40 million!!!! people without medical insurance!!!.

This might tilt the “who wins” debate towards Europe.

Posted by ProwdLiberal | Report as abusive

Question time:

“Which of these three things is NOT a nation”

a) The United States of America.
b) China
c) Europe

“The European Union is an example of a…..”

a) Country
b) Economy
c) Trading Bloc

“China has had incredible amounts of growth. Why is this?”

a) Because of an incredible amount of resources.
b) Because of an incredible amount of innovation.
c) Because of an incredible amount of currency manipulation.

“When is China expected to exceed the economy of the United States of America?”

a) 50 years.
b) 20 years.
c) The west will insist that it stop manipulating its currency, long before this happens.

Answers: To all of the above = C

Posted by Anon86 | Report as abusive

I recommend you to follow Turkey !

Posted by TURK | Report as abusive

@ProwdLiberal: the “40 million uninsured” number was debunked months (if not years) ago. The accurate number is approx. 10M, and many of those are voluntarily uninsured. Then compare real access to healthcare services by socialist state citizens versus the uninsured in the US (who still must be treated by law, regardless of insurance status), and there is little difference in actual overall access to healthcare between the two regions.

Posted by TheOracle | Report as abusive

As long as Europe is comprised of many different states, each with their own military, we can expect American domination of the continent and a future in which Europe will have even less significance than today. What’s more, Europe’s population is in serious decline (so much for their population being larger than the US) and their economy grows at 1-2% during the good years (you can thank their over-burdened with pension plan budgets for that…) For more, see this article: http://www.philosoguy.com/169/whats-all- the-hype-about-europe/

Posted by pcasinelli | Report as abusive

How silly to try and dispute the fact of Europe’s being thought of as a cradle-to-grave nanny state, since that phrase precisely describes Europe. With no economic future, it’s no wonder job security is such an overwhelming political concern in, to take the most desperate example, France. The euro is headed for the dustbin, and so is the idea that the comically self-important apparatchiks in Belgium can run a pan-european government that has almost no connection to those whose lives the bureaucrats would purport to control.

Posted by reggie55 | Report as abusive

[...] Debusmann’s article “Who Wins in U.S. Versus Europe Contest?” challenges our parochial thinking about the competitiveness of Brand America in the global [...]

@Zacs

In your comment not only do you show yourself a stereotypically ignorant American in lumping in all countries of Europe based on your limited experience, but it boggles the mind as to where exactly you traveled to to make the ignorant statement that Europeans “live in boxes” or “can’t afford to shower”. I live in Belgium and travel/work regularly in The Netherlands, France and Germany. I have also lived in the US. I can assure you that no one I know in lives in a “box” or rations their showers. And what’s this about waiting in line days to see a doctor? The longest I’ve ever waited was 20 minutes! What exactly are you basing this claim on?

I think as the article suggests, Americans have a hard time taking in the fact that their way of life isn’t necessarily “the best” or “the greatest”. There are good things about living in America but there are also good things about living in Belgium or France or Sweden or Spain. The only difference is the citizens of those countries don’t feel the need insist that they are “the best” all the time.

Posted by Gardyloo | Report as abusive

The Europeans have been getting a free ride from the Americans since they were saved from the Nazi’s. Take away the American security umbrella today and you will see the Europeans bicker and kill each other. So this needs to be factored in the comparison. The only reason there is anything in Europe that is worth comparing with the US is because we are enabling the existence of the European Union. Otherwise there is nothing over there to compare to the US.

Posted by Dela | Report as abusive

[...] than the US. An interesting article i found on the web. Who wins in U.S. vs Europe contest? (Who wins in U.S. vs Europe contest? | Analysis & Opinion |) Written by World Affairs columnist Bernd Debusmann. [...]

[...] than the US. An interesting article i found on the web. Who wins in U.S. vs Europe contest? Who wins in U.S. vs Europe contest? | Analysis & Opinion | Written by World Affairs columnist Bernd Debusmann. (Reuters) Actually my friend I used the word [...]

Well, this is sure an interesting subject. 2 indecently rich continents battling out who is the richest. I live in Norway and are therefore not a member of the EU, but are part of the same market. I guess Norway scores a lot higher than the US in every economical aspect(and others) worth mentioning, per capita. It doesnt mean that I think Norway necessarily is a better country.

Im a public school teacher, can travel 3 – 4 travels abroad a year, buy what I want, why would I need more? If the american dream is to become richer than you would ever need, its a foolish dream. A typical dream here would be to see the world, educate in what interest you. One could argue that this mentality will backfire on our economy, it probably will. And is the welfare state sustainable in the extent we see now, I doubt it.Is work just something we do between our spare time? How many social anthropologists can we feed?

Some argue that urban flats in southern european cities are too expensive and small. But, for me, I would change my big suburban house for a small central apartment in Barcelona if I had the chance. Aircon or no, who cares, put up a big fan! Point is, its personal. Some people like comfort, and some people are looking for something else.

Ive been in the states for a summer and I liked it. Climate in california, the people were nice and polite. I ve met a lot of americans in other countries, travelling alongside europeans and others. I ve also met the occasional cowboy, and started wondering. When it comes to values, LOTS of people on both side of the atlantic share a lot more between themselves than each residence does with many of their countrymen.

Posted by Whitepele | Report as abusive

[...] Der Spiegel columnist says US becoming too … European..by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air Both the behavior of the American government and the Federal Reserve makes one thing clear: They do not see the solution to the US’s economic woes in a return to traditional American virtues. Obama is not calling for the unleashing of market forces, as Ronald Reagan once did during an equally critical pe… [...]

@ LucidOne
UK has terrible weather and food?
Its warmer than Germany, drier than France and high or low extremes are relatively rare
and the food- top cities for world class restaurants Tokyo -1 Paris -2 London – 3
Not to mention London was named centre for international dish dishes
You have never lived in the UK so you cant judge it like that
and as for Euro-American society, that is false.
The UK is different from the continent because its lifestyle is more similar to the UK than anywhere else in Europe,
America – UK/EU society I think you will find
The capitalist ideas etc have always been at the core of British society, the foremost and most influential peoples to the US were British hence the similarity.
As a Parisienne chef once said “we make fun of British food because we know it annoys them, but US food is so bad its not even worth mentioning”

Posted by Animesis | Report as abusive

@ Raidiant
Americans may come out with many Gadgets but the most advanced tech usually comes from Europe,
The industrial revolution happened in UK/Europe, look into the history of the advancement of mankind and you will quickly see it was Europe that brought civilisation to its current high point
Look into CERN, TransRapid, History of Steam/Jet/Car
Americans tell us the plane, light bulb and electric are from there, they are all from Europe, as is democracy.
Dont let Americans false advertising fool you.

Posted by Animesis | Report as abusive

Comments from an 80 year old high school dropout United States of America citizen. Fortune smiled upon me and allowed me to receive a “technical” education as an aviator. I traveled and worked my trade throughout much of Africa, Asia, and Europe for almost forty years. In my obvious ignorance of the superior ways of life that these places had to offer, I was always satisfied to return to my unsophisticated and humble origins in the country of my birth. While I recognize our many faults, I am also aware of the many advantages that were offered to me as an ordinary citizen of an extraordinary country. Through my own effort and with minimal assistance or interferance by my government I was able to aquire and hold extremly interesting and gainful employment as a “technical” and learn some of the customs and culture of the world, and retire quite comfortably mostly as a result of my own effort. Allow me one comment concerning the “Educated” persons of our world that tend to feel a bit superior to the technical workers. With some notable exceptions I have found that while highly educated people may be rich in theory, they have little ability in day to day practicality and given the opportunity cannot fasten a nut to a bolt without damaging the threads.

Posted by u206 | Report as abusive

Hi. I am an European currently living in Madrid. I’ve been previously living in London and Berlin. In these three cities and associated countries I have enjoyed electricity and hot water 24/7.

I am an IT professional, and thanks to that I have travelled quite frequently to the US, specifically to SF, Oakland, NY, Newark and Philadelphia.

I really don’t want to play ‘who’s got it bigger’ – Both lifestyles (america/europe) have advantages and disadvantages, but something that called my attention is the far more violent society and lack of safety in America, specially between young people. I think the fact that deadly weapons are easily accessible in the US plays a big role in this.

Maybe it’s you’re more advanced (USA), have more immigration, love guns … i don’t know. But I do know in Europe we’re rarely afraid of each other, happy to go out and interact, be it 3PM or 3AM.

And for me this is the biggest point in Europe nowadays. I won’t trade this for anything.

Posted by robert34 | Report as abusive

As a UK/US dual citizen I am very happy to live in the UK, a truly great nation. I have travelled extensively in the US and I understand the desire of many Europeans to travel and work in the US. I have come across the ugly “the US is the greatest” attitude from Americans who, frankly, should know better. That 80% of Americans have not travelled outside the US, and given US cultural imperialism in Europe and across the world, a perceived bias toward the US is understandable. The US ‘may’ be a better place to forge a career, but it most definitely does not compare to Europe on many levels (as the indices demonstrate – on crime, education and health it simply does not compare). The food is dreadful; US influence on UK society has been devastating. Personally, I am willing to work for less money if it means I can work with well-educated people with whom I can discuss, for example, Libyan self-determination and the Renaissance (for personal development reasons), live in a lower-crime society and spend valuable holiday time with family members and friends, contributing to society, rather than pursuing selfish materialistic aims. Americans here deign to discuss the size of their fridges? Having travelled in sub-Saharan Africa I find discussion about the size of fridges frivolous to the extreme, and if I may say so, pretty disgusting.

Posted by cardew | Report as abusive

Zach have you been listening to this guy or what?

http://youtu.be/-7z_1Smg6pk

Posted by mrcwill | Report as abusive

It appears to me that both groups are exceedingly biased to their side of the atlantic. europeans living in boxes while americans work their lives away. also, quality of life depends on what the person thinks, one might think knowing your neighbor and having a lot of friends is the best, while another might like a bigger house and nicer car. Its not for you to decide.

also saying that their is nothing in america is completely wrong. Its like staying in the bronx and calling New York a horrible place. Not all the beauty is in the cities. Don’t forget we were the ones who invented national parks.

Posted by mostlyneutral | Report as abusive

[...] [...]

Jajaja…I just wish Everyone but europe get to dominate the world…They still think they should have colonies all over the world…old culture, old continent, old people, old ideas, will never succeed. Europe has done well just because americans have done badly….by the way I do live in Europe (Spain) I hate it I want to go to America to get a job at least, since there is nothing but lazyness, coruption an lack of inspiration to make things work over here.

Posted by EUROPESUCKS | Report as abusive

Neither side is perfect. I think Americans can be ignorant of other cultures. However, I also think European’s can be terribly snotty about being European. The only reason european countries have clout is because of the EU. They applaud their economy claiming it is bigger and subjectively better. Let’s not forget the U.S. made those economies after WWII. We were the only country to come out on top of WWII. We poured mounds of money on Euro nations. To this day, those debts have gone uncollected (most countries believe time has canceled those debts. No, they technically still exist, yet are not factored into national debt). Both sides should get off their high horse.

Posted by elliottbenton | Report as abusive

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does. The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does. If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed. An [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also hasmore Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does. The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does. If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed. An [...]

[...] taszítaná.  Az Európai Unió gazdasága az Egyesült Államokénál is nagyobb. Európa több Fortune 500 céggel büszkélkedhet, mint az Egyesült Államok. Az európai szuverén adósságválság az [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also hasmore Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] über eine größere Bevölkerung als die Vereinigten Staaten. Darüberhinaus gibt es in Europa mehr Fortune 500 Konzerne als in den Vereinigten Staaten.Wenn es zu einem Zusammenbruch des europäischen Finanzsystems kommt, wird es alle erwischen. Der [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also hasmore Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] EU also hasmore Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also hasmore Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial [...]

[...] EU has a larger economy and a  larger population than the United States does. The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does. If the financial system in Europe breaks  down, we are all doomed. [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also hasmore Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.  If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed.  [...]

[...] The EU has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does. The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does. If the financial system in Europe breaks down, we are all doomed. An [...]

[...] Экономика и население ЕС больше Соединенных Штатов. В индексе Fortune 500 также больше европейских компаний, чем американских. [...]

This article is well done and objective. The comments of the readers are disturbing in that many of them reflect the same old rhetoric and seem to convey the sentiment: “Don’t confuse me with facts; America is best. Europe lags behind us. The end.” As an American living in Europe for many years, I find the American ignorance remarkable. With that said, I frequently find myself laughing at some of the European notions about USA.

Americans have no clue what it means to have free access to quality medical care, a months vacation every year (or more) and a safety net if you lose your job. We are so invested in believing that working ourselves to death is meaningful and the word “socialized” is a dirty word that would decrease our quality of life. It’s sad.

Posted by Truth4all | Report as abusive

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] mucho más que los EE.UU., y muchos expertos parecen estar de acuerdo que está funcionando mejor (ver artículo). Ojala los EE.UU. y otros países que todavía carecen de las actividades básicas [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States [...]

[...] that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the [...]

[...] that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the [...]

[...] that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the [...]

[...] that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the [...]

[...] that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the [...]

[...] that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companiesthat the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the [...]

[...] that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the [...]

[...] that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the [...]

[...] that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the [...]

[...] economies &#959f th&#1077 United States &#1072n&#1281 China combined.  Th&#1077 EU h&#1072&#1109 more Fortune 500 companies th&#1072t th&#1077 United States &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109, &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 banking system [...]

[...] che è grande quasi quanto le economie degli Stati Uniti e Cina messe insieme. L’UE ha più aziende Fortune 500che gli Stati Uniti, e il sistema bancario d’Europa è sostanzialmente più grande del sistema [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companies that the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companies that the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companiesthat the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companies that the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companiesthat the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companiesthat the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companies that the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companies that the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companiesthat the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companies that the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companies that the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companies that the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companies that the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

I read a lot of posts which are unrefined. This rivalry between Europe & USA is useless. Yes, we’re very different but we will need each other in this century. We share values: free trade and democracy.
Superpower (to be) China does not. Europa & USA as we know it will prevail together of die alone. America position isn’t untouchable anymore.
I am European myself (Belgian) and I acknowledge what the USA has done for us in the past (and present), just to let you know I am not a hater. Europe’s biggest problem is the diffused/shared leadership. We need a strong leader but our institutions prevent it.

Posted by Tuvia | Report as abusive

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companiesthat the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

Why is this writer pretending like Europe is one big country? If that’s the case, throw Canada in with the U.S.

Posted by Gonewiththewind | Report as abusive

[...] that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the [...]

EU has today also the largest military by Libon treaty and the most dangerous weapon on Earth set on french SSBN:The M51.

Posted by vindobona | Report as abusive

[...] nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU also is home to more Fortune 500 companies that the U.S. is, and the European banking system is far larger than the U.S. banking system.  [...]

I’ve just visited the US with my son and it was his first time. His first reaction was that America is like the djungle and have a somewhat dangerous feel to it..
That feeling is true for most europeans, ceartainly for us Scandinavians who live in probably the safest part of the world. The quality of life in Scandinavia is way better for the ordinary man than in the US, because we have more important values in life than just money.
Money is of course important to earn too, so we can travel the way we do and be influensed by other cultures. This is of course very important for a people..
Many americans are so ignorant and totally uninterested about anything outside America.
Strange it is to hear many americans say that Sweden or Norway is just socialistic reactionary countries.. Nothing could be more wrong, just take one look at all top 10 lists of welfare, innovation, economy and “good places to live in”.
I’ve have been to America many times because I love to come here, you meet a lot of stressed and angry guys but also a lot of friendly people once you give them a smile..
I don’t know if I would like to live in the djungle though.. ;-)

Posted by boberg | Report as abusive

[...] economy aside, the good ole USA sure could learn a thing or two from Europe, if we took the time to even think about it. The Europe we need to examine is not the Europe of today or pre-austerity Europe. The Europe we [...]

what struck me most when I visited the USA was the great divide between rich and poor, surely that is more doomed to fail than the so called “nanny states”, nationalism is way to high there as well, you can’t walk around for 10 seconds without seeing at least 2 flags (they’re literally everywhere). When we went to San Fransisco we saw a guy with a gun in his pants (just in the middle of the streetand clearly visible!), needless to say I’d rather live anywhere else

Posted by Petertel | Report as abusive

I am a citizen of the Netherlands. One of the richest nations within the European Union. Currently I am working in Germany. I have been in the U.S.A. for 2 months exploring the South, West and East side of the United States. You can´t really say which one is better.
Americans can enjoy certain freedoms Europeans cannot. However the United States felt a bit like a controlled environment and especially the uneducated Americans have no clue what goes on outside their borders, making their perception of everything quitte blurred.
Europeans act more socially, which can be frustrating if your next door neighbour is a lazy guy and you work very hard for a salary that eventually is being taxed for 52%. So the Americans are more driven by personal success, which I personally favour.
However when I look at the Netherlands, Germany, U.K. and Belgium. Our infrastructure is infinitely better then the American one. Good public transport especially in Germany, environmental policies (the air in L.A. is so filthy, unbelievable) and better highway systems in especially in Germany and The Netherlands. When I take my own country as an example we are truly more technologically advanced then the U.S. but we are around the same size as the state of New York so that is no suprise and no comparison.

Posted by Nevz | Report as abusive

This is extremely bias towards America and China, I like how the writer is so proud that EU has a larger economy than one country…lol some of the things he says are just so wrong, let see America has more billionaires, lower unemployment rate better economy, more medals as Olympics, more top universities, just as much alpha+ cities as EU. Better highway system, more powerful, higher oil production and gas, better landscape, we have most of the fame, actors, music and movies, and we are more diverse country in people.

Posted by JC1235 | Report as abusive

[…] Potrivit lui Steven Hill, de la programul politic New American Foundation, din Washington, citat de Reuters, este fapul ca majoritatea americanilor nu cunosc realizarile europene si "sunt reticenti la a […]