The USA is far more better than Europe.


Just this: Due, I agree, both political parties are equally corrupt.  And that's yet another problem in the US: we will NEVER have more than two parties, as many European countries have, which is why we are so often forced at the polls to choose between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich.

Jan 9, 12 7:22 pm

is obama the douche or the turd?

Jan 9, 12 10:04 pm

"Image the one hobby you love to do and you do it weekly. Imagine now not being able to do it cause it's too expensive"

BREAKING NEWS: No one in Europe has hobbies.

Then again, IMHO, hobbies are for buffoons

Jan 10, 12 12:46 am

"The USA is far more better than Europe"

Shouldn't it be mo' betta?

Jan 10, 12 8:44 am

Sure, both countries have its pros and cons, but in America, you have the choice to live meager as most Europeans do, or live the American dream. In fact, you can even live like a North Korean. I just wanted to point out that many countries like Europe don't have that freedom. We should appreciate the fact that we CAN live the way we want.

Jan 10, 12 9:25 am

harold, are you 12 years old or something?  How can you live like a North Korean in the US?  Oh yea I guess you can hire some asian guy to be your live-in dictator and hang huge murals of him in your apartment.  This thread is making me dumber just reading it.  why dont you start another?  How about...

- coke is way more better than pepsi because it is good.

- school bus windows taste more better when it is cold outside

- buildings that look like cheese

- who can win in a fight a bear or a tiger


Jan 10, 12 1:08 pm

um school bus windows do NOT taste better when its cold outside.

Jan 10, 12 2:10 pm

yes they do


Jan 10, 12 2:42 pm

j.arleo, You can live like in North Korea, by not having internet, cable or any other luxury items.

Jan 10, 12 3:03 pm

But even if you live in North Korea, Indianapolis with no Internets and a new dictator, school bus windows will still NOT taste better cold.

Jan 10, 12 3:05 pm

Harold, people are being too nice with you here (and this is probably an American thing). But I will straight-up tell you that you are a retard. You can compare apples and oranges all day long, but at least get your facts right. What do you mean 'we can choose to live like Europeans'. Lifestyle here is dictated by the amount of money you make.

Also, did you forget healthcare? Ever been in an accident or know someone that did and did not have insurance? Well, that is one way you can really live like a North Korean. What about gun crime? There are so many things that are more advanced in Europe, and frankly speaking, if you had the means, you could live the American dream there as well -- just make more money!

Jan 10, 12 3:35 pm

curtkram I will ask my son tomorrow and Friday to lick the school bus windows - tomorrow will be 50d., Friday predicted to be 20d.

Jan 10, 12 9:05 pm

is harold a parody? first off, i don't think it's possible to make a direct comparison to the two. very different values, ways of life, histories, traditions. that being said, harold's trite piece is full of a number of gross errors.

1. there are no quasi-communist states.

2. the average us house is 2300 sf, not 4000 sf.

3. actual tax rate for median income of about $44,5K in US is about 27% (local, state, federal) out of pocket.

4. that same income rate in DE (€35k) would be taxed at under 22% out of pocket. if married, just under 12.5%.

5. what do you get for your less than US tax rate? decent health insurance (my wife didn't wait for her appendectomy). pension. unemployment insurance of around 2/3 regular salary. kindergeld (money to help w/ cost of raising kids) of ~€175/kid per month. oh, and 25 days of paid holiday/leave as compared to 10 in the US.

6. when we lived in UK/IT/DE/BE our houses were neither cramped or had small backyards. they were, however, townhouses.

7. people shop for groceries every day because they don't need to store groceries. they purchase fresh food and eat it that day. since the store is on the way home from your walk/commute to work - it's an easy task. we lived like that here in the states for 2 years after moving back. but when we lived abroad, we did know folks (americans and germans) who bought lots of packaged stuff to reduce number of trips to grocery store. it's more a cultural thing than anything else.

8. only a dunce would buy a lincoln town car in the EU. they make much better cars.

9. the cost of gas in the UK/DE/FR is about $5.60/gallon

10. dining out in EU can be as expensive or as cheap as the US. I lived off doeners for about $1.50 that made a burrito look like a baby taquito. the other nice thing i miss about dining out in europe? wait staff that made a living wage and tips being included in the menu price. none of this 20% gratuity for parties of 6 or more. we spent countless nights not blowing wads of cash while eating food. then drinking good beer and hanging out til the sun came up in the local square. being able to drink a beer in a public plaza while hanging out is also something i really miss.

11. taxi rides in the EU are not more expensive than boston.

12. UK weddings make US weddings look like quaint dinner experiences.

13. and yeah, they have a leg up on the architecture as well.

oh, and beta's comments on the hypocrisy of the right should be comment of the day.

Jan 10, 12 11:37 pm

Overall, I'd say this is a good example of why it's good to include training in the humanities as part of an architecture curriculum and why architects shouldn't run for office. Look at Nicholson Baker's Human Smoke for a start on why such exceptionalism is not useful or constructive for dealing with complex social and economic issues. Europe, outside of PIG is enjoying unemployment at roughly 5% and higher growth compared to US at 9-10% and weak economic growth.

Jan 11, 12 2:19 am

Hello everyone, this is an interesting debate.  I read the first page, leaving off at the post where someone mentioned how a maid in Europe would be paid much better (a concept later expounded upon by right above).


My question regarding the wait staff/maids is this: how easy was it for them to enter those countries?  What seems to be missing from the debate so far is the freedom that we have-- and the freedom and social security that is given in the U.S. to foreigners who flee here for refuge from Mexico and other South American nations-- even those people who enter our country illegally.  Isn't this what has practically bankrupted the State of California?


I am not in favor of changing our current democracy into a European socialist model.  Why not look at Australian models of socialized medicine instead?  For example, I've read where the dentists' offices are located adjacent to the elementary schools- so the patients (the school children) can walk in for their bi-annual appointments.  This sounds like a good idea to me.


Our country was built on the usage of the car-- that's true.  So, this is going to be a tough model to break away from-- we're so used to it.  We don't have the rich centuries of history (nor the geography) that Europe has to warrant changing models.  Who wants to live and work in a flat, boring city and not be able to venture out in one's car whenever you feel like it? 

Regarding Europe having much lower unemployment, I question those numbers.  And, they did not have to pay as much for the "appropriation of funds" (aka wars) in Iraq and Afghanistan, and drone attacks in Pakistan and military action in Libya. 

America seems to be splitting apart at the seems between people who want us to all morph into France 2.0 versus those of us who like our freedoms and are willing to look for solutions to our current problems that don't create more bloated government waste and spending and achieve a realistic balance.


This is Earth, not Earth 2.0, and not heaven.  There is no utopia.  But the USA, thanks to God, has been very close to it.  God bless America! (and everywhere else...)

Jan 11, 12 3:26 am

I am not in favor of changing our current democracy into a European socialist model.

Ok, seriously, this makes you sound like an uneducated right wing lunatic.  I think it would be better for everyone involved if you stopped using the work "socialist" or any derivation of that word like "socialism."  Please include "communist" in the forbidden word list as well.

When you get a spare minute, please read up on socialism and democracy.  One of them is an economic system, the other relates more to a decision making process.  I'll let you figure out which is which.

On a side note, if you're still looking at a globe that has "U.S.S.R." printed on it, you may want to throw it away due to the fact that the world changed while you were out.  The Berlin Wall fell, there is no more iron curtain, and there is no more cold war so  connotations suggesting that there is some evil empire trying to erode our values by introducing a foreign government is obsolete.


Jan 11, 12 9:52 am

This is an interesting debate... as I have lived in both sides of the pond (I am an European myself). 

I pretty much agree with what has written. Anyway, you can live pretty much an "American" lifestyle nowadays in Europe (and with free healthcare and college education! :)... or the choice to pay for them if you wish). Just drive a few miles outside of Paris, Stockholm, London or Madrid and you will see a very "American" lifestyle, with single houses and even gated communities, malls, McAutos and once-a-week groceries in a chain hypermarket. 

As for what you ask, Parthenon1, it was pretty easy for non-Europeans to migrate legally or illegally to Europe during the global economic boom. Europe has a border with Eastern Asia, and Spain is just 10 miles away from Morocco (and Malta and some Italian islands not far from Lybia or Tunis either)... a quick boat trip. Contrary to the US, someone from China or India can get to Paris by land and... they do (they cross via Central Asia, Turkey or Russia, etc.), or someone from Burkina Faso could get to Spain via Morocco and a 10-mile boat trip. Also, Europe has its own poor nations, like Moldova or Albania. Countries like Spain or Greece have a comparable rate of foreigners (+10%) to the US. Because Europe is "socialist", immigrants are provided free health care and education, and an stipend to live in many countries (and that's one concern in many European countries nowadays). 

As for the unemployment rate, I agree. Every single country tries to lower that rate, doesn't it the US do the same?

But my particular barometer is what architects I know do. Since I have lived in both the US and a bunch of European countries, I got to know what I think is a good number of architects. And for me it is very clear.

Most architects in the US, the UK, Spain, Greece or Portugal are underemployed or unemployed... or their job is at permanent risk.

Most architects I know in countries like Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Denmark or Belgium are working, have worked during the global meltdown and, every time I have talked to them about massive lay-offs or lack of work... it is like I talk to them about life in Saturn... they just don't know what I am talking about!

Also, for bad or for good, architecture is at service of money everywhere in the world. However, for my experience, that's much more accentuated in finance-driven economies (like the US or the UK) rather than in industrial-driven economies like Germany.










Jan 11, 12 9:57 am

@ parthenon:

california's money problems are stemmed from the fact that the majority of their revenue is collected through sales taxes and other fees rather than property taxes (which I think are capped at 1%). This means the state's fiscal health is tied directly to the strength of the state's economy rather than property values which are typically more stable.


it's no coincidence that states with higher property taxes (like NH and ND) weathered the economic downturn much better than states that rely more heavily on sales taxes.


and how they spend their money is a whole other issue - but I'm continually baffled at these arguments that only show deficits and spending and completely ignore the recent huge drops in revenue... it's like an architecture firm losing a bunch of work and then blaming their decreased profit margins on how much they pay their interns or what brand pen they buy.

Jan 11, 12 10:41 am

"Just drive a few miles outside of Paris, Stockholm, London or Madrid and you will see a very "American" lifestyle, with single houses and even gated communities, malls, McAutos and once-a-week groceries in a chain hypermarket. "

Pretty much this.

As far as architecture specifically goes, North America has a much bigger share of "shit projects" disposable crap that's supposed to melt away in the rain. There is (was) great architecture happening on both continents, but if you are a truly horrible designer who can at least BS well, you are much better off being in the US.

Jan 11, 12 10:43 am I like your points but you are a tad mistaken. Taxes in DE for 35K euro is more about 40%. I can show you my pay stub. And while gas prices have dropped since the summer, I paid 1.60 euro per liter last week... which is currently $7.69. Holland is more expensive. Anytime Im near the austrian border I pop over to get some "cheap" 1.40 euro per liter gas. 

Jan 11, 12 5:22 pm

Where do you get a Doner for $1,50? Even 15 years ago a Doner in Germany was 5DE which was roughly $2,50......unless prices went down and it's cheaper now!?!? I was just back in Nurnberg in October and we were paying anywhere from 2 euros to 3,50

Jan 11, 12 5:31 pm

'The USA is far more better than Europe.'

Educated communication of the english language aside..................far more better it is then.

Jan 12, 12 5:48 am


'This is Earth, not Earth 2.0, and not heaven.  There is no utopia.  But the USA, thanks to God, has been very close to it.'

Putting God aside (my default position in any meaningful discussion). On man’s utopia is another man’s dystopia. Orwell and Huxley can explain the rest.

Jan 12, 12 6:50 am



Option A: Live a comfortable life at an upper-middle-class salary for the rest of my life in the U.S. but never be transformed into a goat for a day and gain access to the goat tower...


Option B: Be transformed into a goat for a day, access the goat tower and then be forced to live in Austria on a lower-middle class salary for the rest of my life...


I will always choose GOAT TOWER.

Jan 12, 12 10:06 am

GOAT TOWER!!!  I will choose it too.

Edit: Or, I might choose to be a Crayfish and live in Cancer City.


Jan 12, 12 11:50 am

"I just wanted to point out that many countries like Europe don't have that freedom."

I'm new to the discussion..but did Harold really call Europe a country?

From what I've read it seems like what ones needs/priorities are would be what would define where one would want to live.  I for one would love to live in Europe, but live in the US because that's where I grew up and can function easier...Hopefully someday I can change that.

I have a lot of relatives in Norway...and I for one would love to have 5 weeks off a year (not including all of their holidays)... a system where they actually give maternity leave to both the mother and the father (imagine that!) and where work is not the central focus of everyone's life...instead the idea of family, friends, healthy activities, travel etc. are.

Just a simple idea of stores being closed on Sundays...that used to be the case here... now that they're open does that make life better here? More convenient surely..but with a little planning it sounds kind of nice.  Of course I dread the idea of moving to another city here in America where I actually have to use a car to go the grocery store..where there aren't a ton of bodegas and restaurants open til all hours...and where I have to go to a liquor store to buy beer...and at restricted hours no less..not whenever I want to like I can here in NYC.  Convenience is very nice..but maybe it's what's made some of us fat and lazy

Jan 12, 12 3:42 pm

"so  connotations suggesting that there is some evil empire trying to erode our values by introducing a foreign government is obsolete." 

I guess unless you're from Iraq or Afghanistan etc. this is more or less true...

Jan 12, 12 3:44 pm

It's not just more better, it's actually bestest.

Jan 13, 12 9:38 am

I'm with Donna here. I am both English and American and lived in London for 3 years.  I chose to live in San Francisco upon returning to the US because it has many European ideals. The cheap food in the US is also generally much lower quality and pumped full of growth hormones and other crap. I would also be willing to pay more for gas if it meant environmental protection as in Germany. As for higher taxes.. I was actually paying pretty much the same in London as I am in California and at least in London I got free healthcare and didn't have to worry about crippling medical bills. That being said, there were many cons to me experience in England, but ultimately, I find the general attitude towards more responsible living to be much healthier there than in most of the US.

Jan 13, 12 6:50 pm

also harold... perhaps a lesson in grammar in either the US or Europe would be beneficial to your writing.. ;)

Jan 13, 12 6:51 pm

The fact Harold pulled this farce off and got serious responses to his 'fat-American' spiel illustrates two things:

1. Architects have a lot to learn from contemporary urbanism.

2. Relativism lives on.  It is an objective fact that the sprawling suburban way of life is utterly unsustainable, but--unable, mentally, to take an ethical stand either way (and possibly lose clients)--architects dither, believing in their quasi-futurist hearts however f'ed up we make it, we can design ourselves out of it.  Many architects (any that may still be influenced by postmodernism) actually have a thing for aesthetic ugliness...and it seems to translate too easily to ethical ugliness.

Jan 18, 12 8:57 am

The U.S. is better if you are wealthy and self-regarding, like religiosity, appreciate political correctness, will never get seriously ill, like the quiet suburbs, like an automatic transmission, and like being better paid in most lines of work.  (I like the last 3).

Europe is better if you like REAL people, more vacation time, culture, diversity, relative lack of political correctness, might get sick sometime in your life, gastronomy ... and did I mention REAL people?  Unless you had a more bohemian side and had a sandwich shop or a pastry shop, I don't think it's a great place to work, seeing what they get paid.

Jun 25, 13 12:29 am

In Europe, the taxes you pay are used to provide social services that benefit the public. In the US they are used for corporate subsidies and to further line the pockets of billionaires and their political stooges.

In the US, GMO food doesn't have to be labeled, in Europe it is banned.

In Europe there is a vast, reliable, affordable network of public transportation. In the US you individually navigate a broken public infrastructure in a privately owned all-terrain vehicle.

Europe 3, US 0. Want to keep playing?

Jun 25, 13 8:56 am

what i found in europe is that people take dogs on the subway, or sometimes even out to eat, and they are all well behaved.  there are well behaved dogs in the US, but not very many.

it should be noted that there are no bad dogs, only bad owners.  people have been training dogs for thousands of years.  i can't believe how some people are so stupid they can't even get a dog to sit, not to mention quit chasing neighbors.

Jun 25, 13 9:16 am
danywaz sums up the US point-of-view.
Jun 25, 13 11:04 am
chatter of clouds

Has the re/vitalisation of strictly xenophobic right wing sentiment and parties across Europe I.e. Greece, Hungary, UK...etc been taken into account?

Jun 25, 13 11:17 am
The title if this thread contains a grammatical error.
Jun 25, 13 1:16 pm

The title if this thread contains a grammatical error.

Yeah, I caught that.  And I caught the error above: the title of this thread ...  all in good fun.

I don't know, curt.  Most American dogs are well-behaved, except for the pit bulls living in chain link fence neighborhoods.  My dog, when on a leash, was well behaved.  She only got unraveled when other dogs were around.  They all want to sniff each other.  But, if I raised my voice to her, she listened pronto.

As for Europe, there are two Europes:  northern and southern.  My version of Europe is southern Europe.  Except for an oasis that is Paris, the northern part is too somber and not my bag.  Can't beat sidewalk cafe life and the mercurial demonstrative behavior displayed in the Mediterranean.  That's why they live so long.  They don't keep anything inside and, generally speaking, they don't give a shit.

Jun 25, 13 1:25 pm
chatter of clouds

actually the socioeconomic climate in the south is sombre. Greece is having a miserable time now. their Golden Dawn rightwing party has been harassing and beating up foreigners. here is what they're doing to syrian refuges.

the socioeconomic context is that of the crisis and austerity policies. Greece is going through a very difficult time followed by Spain, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus. Merkel and Lagarde must be the two most hated living women in the world at present.

Jun 25, 13 1:39 pm

I was typing on my iphone, I misspell 'of' all the time.
Jun 25, 13 2:39 pm


I was just toying with the faux pas! 

About Europe, the last few times I was there, I wanted to tear up my boarding passes to come back to the States while sitting in the airport.

Jun 25, 13 3:01 pm

tammuz, most of the problems in Greece (and elsewhere) can be traced directly to economic manipulation by US and multinational banks and speculators. The rise of radical right-wing movements is similar to Germany in the late 1930's after economic sanctions from the Treaty of Versailles destroyed the economy.

Jun 25, 13 10:28 pm


I know haha, it's all in good fun!

Jun 25, 13 10:31 pm

The thought of reverting back to individual currencies in the EU is mind boggling (the lira, the drachma, the peseta, the franc, etc.).  I think the EU is conceptually good, but the all to predictable subsidizing of the "poorer" countries or, should I say, those richer in "dolce vita" factor, was something tough to imagine, given some very different cultures and value systems.

Jun 25, 13 11:42 pm

The idea behind sovereign currency is that your central bank controls the value and protects the domestic economy. The idea behind the Euro (and the $) is that capital markets (banks and investment houses - wich turned into banks after 2008) control currency values for their own benefit. For example, the US would have a thriving industrial economy and a trade surplus with China if we valued the yuan on par with the dollar. Instead we actually let China set the value, and somehow that's called "free market". 

Jun 26, 13 12:39 am

@Miles Jaffe, re: Greece

Perhaps that's true to a certain extent, but it's also true that the statistics on the number Greeks who evade taxes are stunning.

Jun 26, 13 12:51 am
chatter of clouds

yes, Miles I know. but the austerity reaction in itself has been calamitous.

the Greeks are suffering en masse in a terribly inhumane manner. bringing up tax evasion -whether valid or not-  does not in any way justify, validate or qualify the inhumane effects of strict austerity forced upon the Greeks: poverty, homelessness, spree of suicides, the rise of xenophobia..etc.

in the face of such misery, any justification can only be deemed brutish and callous. furthermore, austerity is breeding a climate of hatred that promises future detriment - where austerity might be accounted for in numbers (and even there, there are prominent economists who have come out against the severity of strict austerity policies) , the psychological imprints of austerity have not been taken into account and these WILL affect reality as much as -if not more than- abstract numbers will. 

Jun 26, 13 2:28 am
chatter of clouds

i'm no economist but perhaps it would be interesting to answer a subquestion -within the context of the OP question- which system has managed to better weather the economic crisis, the US or the overall EU (albeit not a country) taking into account the best case and worse case EU countries?

Jun 26, 13 3:29 am
Canada is doing ok. Socialist Canada where we get stupid high taxes but also a mind boggling ability to fuck the little guy just like in USA. Best of both worlds really.
Jun 26, 13 6:18 am

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