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Old October 8th, 2010, 04:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
zabu of nΩd
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Better place to live -- USA or Europe?

This is something I ponder every now and then, and since I don't know enough about life in Europe (either on a continent-wide level or in terms of a specific region) to really answer the question I figured I'd make a thread in case someone more knowledgeable can help me broaden my perspective.

I know this question is absurdly open-ended, and depends upon not just the region of the USA or Europe one lives in but also on the interests and values of the person living there. That said, here are some opinions of mine on the matter, some of which are likely stereotype-based:

Advantages of USA
* economic opportunity (i.e. generally more business-friendly environment)
* geographic diversity (temperate, tropical, arid, subarctic, sandy beaches, rocky coasts, mountains, plains... you name it we've got it)
* greater access to comforts and conveniences (for all the problems they cause, it is pretty nice having a Walmart, 20+ fast food chains, 7-Elevens and pizza delivery services all within ~10 miles of you)
* more individual purchasing power? (from what I've gathered, the average paycheck seems to go farther in the US, be it due to taxes, price of commodities or whatever)

Advantages of Europe
* richer culture & history (duh)
* better overall governance (economic policy considerations aside, Europe seems to be way ahead of the US in terms of social policy, physical infrastructure, environmental and health policy, etc.)
* less commercialism / fewer ubiquitous chain stores
* generally more aesthetically pleasing cities & towns (there are a LOT of dumpy/drab looking urban areas in the US)
* healthier lifestyles (thanks to America's culture of convenience)
* closer communities (thanks to American individualism and dependence on cars)

Am I missing anything? Wrong about anything? Of course I am. Help me out here folks.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Advantages of USA

* greater access to comforts and conveniences (for all the problems they cause, it is pretty nice having a Walmart, 20+ fast food chains, 7-Elevens and pizza delivery services all within ~10 miles of you)
This. If I can't get a pizza at 3 in the morning, I either need to move or commit suicide.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 05:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How about the incarceration and crime rates? It may be different by country, but I'm guessing as a whole Europe is probably much safer, or at the very least has a lower percentage of incarcerated criminals.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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From what I've heard, Europe is trending toward American ways and therefore is starting to go down the shitter as well.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How about the incarceration and crime rates? It may be different by country, but I'm guessing as a whole Europe is probably much safer, or at the very least has a lower percentage of incarcerated criminals.
Pretty sure both of those are true. I was avoiding having things like that on my lists since they don't really affect the average person, but suffice it to say that the US is a 'riskier' place to live than Europe.

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From what I've heard, Europe is trending toward American ways and therefore is starting to go down the shitter as well.
Care to elaborate?
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Old October 8th, 2010, 05:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For example, more big box stores are popping up in Europe, and the German education system is starting to suffer because too many people are going into the university track and not enough are going on the professional track.

Also, the economic system the EU's got going is in serious trouble. Greece is a good example of that, and there is turmoil in Spain and other countries as well.

The "super-state" the EU is going for is a neat idea, but there isn't enough power in Brussels to keep it going in the right direction.

And one more thing. Immigration is getting to be a problem in the EU as in the US, causing culture conflicts over who takes jobs and what not.


These are the things I've heard. I don't claim any expert knowledge of what's really going on.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You could say an underlying conflict is that Europeans are starting to suffer from their own elitism, no longer valuing the jobs that make civilization tick, and letting immigrants do them for them. Same situation is in the US, where too many people are going to college and not enough are going to technical training because there's this flawed philosophy that not going to college makes you an inferior person. The result is unemployment and poor wages.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 07:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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They both have pro's and cons honestly. I would much prefer Northern Europe's weather and population size though.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 08:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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* more individual purchasing power? (from what I've gathered, the average paycheck seems to go farther in the US, be it due to taxes, price of commodities or whatever)
This in a big way. Has anyone watched House Hunters International? For the price of a PoS flat in any given European city you can get a nicer and incredibly larger house, with a big yard in a great area in the US. Don't even think about owning a home anywhere near a city in Europe. That's what happens when people get packed in like sardines. (To be fair, it's like that in the Northeast US as well)

Edit: On the side of Europe, the people seem much more intelligent. I don't necessarily agree with the overall political climate in Europe, but people as individuals in my limited experience seem much more intelligent than your average American.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 09:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This. If I can't get a pizza at 3 in the morning, I either need to move or commit suicide.
you'd hate to live where I live then.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 10:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The only reason Europe is better is because of Amsterdam.
Because I like weed.
And hookers.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 10:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Europe definitely. I fucking hate this country and I want out. Everyone here is an ignorant religious dumbfuck.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 10:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Because religion doesnt exist in europe.

Also, you mad.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 11:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think Cannibal needs to develop a personal relationship with Christ.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 12:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Europe definitely. I fucking hate this country and I want out. Everyone here is an ignorant religious dumbfuck.
That's because you're in fucking Oklahoma, move to a more progressive part of the country.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Old October 9th, 2010, 01:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I'll stick with the good ole' U.S. of A.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 06:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Old October 9th, 2010, 06:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
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that's a load of shit AUG. It's illegal almost everywhere. You probably sleep with trafficked Moldovan women who were sold to gangs and are kept locked in the brothel.

You can buy houses in European cities for cheap prices. Especially if it's somewhere fairly unpleasant.

If you want to own a large house in a respectable part of a western European capital then you're fucked though. Seriously fucked.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 07:57 AM   #20 (permalink)
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* geographic diversity (temperate, tropical, arid, subarctic, sandy beaches, rocky coasts, mountains, plains... you name it we've got it)
This point is absurd imo. You still have to travel similar distances to get from one point with snowy hill to another with sunny beach, it's just that it's in the same country. It doesn't really matter if you know what I mean.

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* less commercialism / fewer ubiquitous chain stores
The situation in Prague for example is simple. There are huge mega-stores and US-like complexes on the border of the city and small Vietnamese shops on every corner inside the city. It works well tbh. What do I need?

Yeah, and pubs everywhere too.

I believe the situation in other bigger EU cities is similar, just switch Vietnamese for something else, like Tabacs in Paris or whatever.

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The only reason Europe is better is because of Amsterdam.
Because I like weed.
And hookers.
Isn't weed and hookers accessible everywhere? Legal or not. Like, You could get both in like ten minutes anywhere.

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Europe definitely. I fucking hate this country and I want out. Everyone here is an ignorant religious dumbfuck.
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Because religion doesnt exist in europe.
Well, there is definately fewer religious dumbfucks here. I've watched Religulous just for fun and the picture of US christian citizens arguing over their absurd faith is just scary. Nobody in czech government could claim that people came from Adam and Eve or even be creationist imo. I still kinda hope that the guys in US government say this to get christians vote for them and don't really mean it. Almost everybody here is an atheist and who claims to be a Christian just believes in some higher force and really doesn't take every word in Bible seriously.

Maybe it's different in Poland or somewhere else where it's said to be a more religous place but not radically. I've seen this image of sad Jesus somewhere on the internet with "I'm like Jesus in Czech - nobody believes in me" text
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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:01 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Because religion doesnt exist in europe.
Many European countries are far more secular than America.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I back up what Onder has said. I visited Prague and Wroclaw (Breslau) in Poland and while the middle of the cities are nice and full of little shops, the periphery has the box stores.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 10:35 AM   #23 (permalink)
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America has a lot more religious nuts because of our history of being a breeding ground of hack "prophets". Evangelic Protestantism, Mormonism, the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostalism, etc. all have their roots (or at least a great deal of development) in America. I imagine that in rural Europe, you'll still find a lot of fundamentalist Christians like you do pretty much anywhere else in the western world, including America.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 10:55 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Don't even think about owning a home anywhere near a city in Europe. That's what happens when people get packed in like sardines
That's not my experience, here it's no problem to own a large house or estate just 15-20 minutes outside of any town. Perhaps it's because Sweden/Norway/Finland all have lower population densities than the US, and certainly lower than continental Europe or the UK. On the other hand most of our cities may not be as respectable as many cities in mainland Europe or the US. Moreover, it IS pretty fucking expensive to buy a house or even a flat in a city like Stockholm. You can probably get two houses where I live for the expense of one small house there.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Agree with most of what has been said and I'm surprised no-one has mentioned class divide yet. There's a much more systemic inequality in the US than in Europe.

Also, European food is way better.
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