4/17/12

Were you born on the wrong continent? Thomas Geoghegan seems to think so. Geoghegan's book, which is actually titled "Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?" came out a few years ago, but I think it's pertinent right now as the Eurozone struggles through its many issues. Geoghegan essentially says that European social democracy, specifically in Germany, not only leads to a greater quality of life for the middle class, it also results in a more productive working class. All this is accomplished even as Germans work fewer hours, have 6 weeks of federally mandated vacation, free university tuition, nursing care, and childcare. Geoghegan also notes how America's high GDP per capita doesn't necessarily mean its citizens are better off.

You can pull out these GDP per capita statistics and say that people in Mississippi are vastly wealthier than people in Frankfurt and Hamburg. That can't be true. Just spend two months in Hamburg and spend two months in Tupelo, Mississippi. There's something wrong if the statistics are telling you that the people in Tupelo are three times wealthier than the people in Germany. Despite the numbers, social democracy really does work and delivers the goods and it's the only model that an advanced country can do to be competitive in this world.

Sounds tempting. It's an interesting topic, but I don't buy Geoghegan's argument. Here's why:

I think he raises the right questions, but draws the wrong conclusions. First of all, comparing the happiness of U.S. workers to certain European countries isn't really fair. Sure, Denmark, Finland and Norway appear to have social democracies that offer more vacation time, more benefits, and possibly greater economic well-being, but they're so small and homogenous that they bear no economic or cultural resemblance to the United States.

Second, larger countries like Germany may get valuable vacation time, but the fact is that Americans and Europeans simply choose different ways of living.

I'm sure most people here on WSO are willing to bust out 100-hour workweeks in exchange for the possibility of making a boatload of money down the road. In Europe, the mentality is different.

The average American works 400 more hours per year than a German and 300 hours more than a Frenchman. Would he do this if he thought he'd be making the same salary as a worker in one of those countries? I know I wouldn't. Does he do this simply because he loves his job more? It's a nice thought, but unlikely.

Americans, especially those in finance, were brought up with the idea that if they work a little longer than the guy next to them, they'll be spared when it comes time to let people go. The biggest shortcoming in Geoghegan's argument is that he assumes Europeans and Americans share a common view of the world.

Finally, I would dispute the fact that Americans are not as productive as Europeans. Like it or not, our GDP per capita is higher, and keeping population equal, we still have twice as many billionaires as Germany. For a look at productivity, America has some of the most innovative companies in the world when you look at Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.

Those are just my thoughts on this, but I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks:

So who would you rather be?
1) The European worker, who gets free education and lengthy vacation time, but is less likely to become very, very wealthy.

2) The American worker, who works long hours and retires later in life, but is more likely to become Mr. Monopoly and live that "bottles and models" lifestyle.

Summary--I realize this is a long post: This author asserts that the average German worker is better off and more productive than the average American worker. I disagree for a number of reasons.

Comments (151)

Best Response
4/24/12

ANT, you've made some completely nonsensical comments in this thread.

Your " I wish we had never risked lives for such an ungrateful continent in WWII..." comment is ignorant. If you haven't figured it out yet, the United States is always happy to risk lives for little gain, as the Vietnam, Korean,Gulf, Afghan and Iraqi wars have shown. So don't pull this "Europe's ungrateful" shit as if the United States soldier's lives are so inherently valuable. The country kills its own soldiers for little, if any, gain.

Oh, and please don't bring up this "we have to police the world so can't afford a safety net like the Europeans" bullshit. Nobody forces America to keep many thousands of troops stationed in Japan, Korea, Europe, so on and so forth, doing absolutely nothing. Nobody forces the United States to maintain more nukes than every other country (besides Russia) combined. The United States makes it own bed to lay in.

Furthermore, America might be more "competitive" than Europe in terms of labour costs, labour flexibility and so on, but who gives a fuck? China and India are both significantly more "competitive" than America, but the majority of Chinese and Indians are poor and both countries are shit-holes to live in. Go figure. In the scheme of things, "competitiveness", whatever it's defined as, doesn't really matter. Economically, what does matter is GDP, which is by definition a measure of productivity. The statistics show that Western Europe's GDP per capita is not far behind the United States, and when you account for the fact that a greater proportion of the United States GDP is generated by a few absurdly wealthy individuals, Europe and America are closer than you might think.

For gods sake though Ant, don't be so single minded. For every individual thing America is great at or has going for it, there is another which America is just terrible at. Don't think freedom is one thing America has that many other countries don't, because quite frankly, in terms of freedom America is many places down the list.

Personally, given the choice between Europe and America it's hard to say. I'd prefer Switzerland, Norway and Sweden over anywhere in America, but living in Manhattan > any European city other than Geneva or Zurich. Apart from that, its a tough choice between California or Germany, Boston or say Paris, Chicago or say Amsterdam...

4/17/12

He's not talking though about the top 1% (the elite and privileged few) which is why the US has a high GDP per capita and a large number of billionaires , he's talking about the average middle class German worker compared with the average US worker. Sure, the US is a great place if you're wealthy, but the fact is that the US is moving away from the meritocracy it used to be. That's why I always find it amusing when the average American points to things such as "freedoms" when explaining why the US is the greatest country in the world.

I personally don't know what's "free" about working 400 hours a week more with three weeks less holiday to pay for overpriced healthcare, education and to simply struggle through life like a large majority of the US middle class.

4/17/12

Everyone had better get their two cents in before ANT sees this...

One of my greatest blessings has been American citizenship, and I'm proud to have it. I love the freedom and independence we are able to have here, and in general I think Americans are more optimistic and forward-thinking than the European counterparts. I only like Europe for basically superficial reasons (more history and better cuisine, haha).

Although sometimes it may seem like more fun is being had on the other side of the pond, I think I'm pretty content where I am right now.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

4/17/12

Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

The average European lives better than the average American, for right now. Unfortunately they are living on borrowed time.

Oh and once again, they can than hard working Americans and brave soldiers. Europe can spend on lavish entitlements because they don't have to defend themselves. Honestly, I giggle with glee thinking about the negative birth rates for native Europeans and the massive influx of Islamic immigrants. Oh and that they are bankrupt and not competitive on a global stage.

Enjoy your vacations and indulgent government spending. Tons of butter will make you fat and weak, exactly what they are right now.

In reply to adast027
4/17/12
adast027:

He's not talking though about the top 1% (the elite and privileged few) which is why the US has a high GDP per capita and a large number of billionaires , he's talking about the average middle class German worker compared with the average US worker. Sure, the US is a great place if you're wealthy, but the fact is that the US is moving away from the meritocracy it used to be. That's why I always find it amusing when the average American points to things such as "freedoms" when explaining why the US is the greatest country in the world.

I personally don't know what's "free" about working 400 hours a week more with three weeks less holiday to pay for overpriced healthcare, education and to simply struggle through life like a large majority of the US middle class.

Oh so you equate freedom with free shit huh? Glad to know. Let me know where to send the one way ticket out of this country. Ill bring the gasoline to burn your citizenship, you don't deserve it.

4/17/12

Chill the fuck out with the Europe bashing. Talk about insecurities...

End of the day, we're all Africans anyway.

In reply to In The Flesh
4/17/12
In The Flesh:

Everyone had better get their two cents in before ANT sees this...

One of my greatest blessings has been American citizenship, and I'm proud to have it. I love the freedom and independence we are able to have here, and in general I think Americans are more optimistic and forward-thinking than the European counterparts. I only like Europe for basically superficial reasons (more history and better cuisine, haha).

Although sometimes it may seem like more fun is being had on the other side of the pond, I think I'm pretty content where I am right now.

Who cares what ANT thinks, he's a moron. His neo-conservative nonsense is just that, nonsense.

In reply to adast027
4/17/12
adast027:

He's not talking though about the top 1% (the elite and privileged few) which is why the US has a high GDP per capita and a large number of billionaires , he's talking about the average middle class German worker compared with the average US worker. Sure, the US is a great place if you're wealthy, but the fact is that the US is moving away from the meritocracy it used to be. That's why I always find it amusing when the average American points to things such as "freedoms" when explaining why the US is the greatest country in the world.

I personally don't know what's "free" about working 400 hours a week more with three weeks less holiday to pay for overpriced healthcare, education and to simply struggle through life like a large majority of the US middle class.

A more apt comparison is to compare the 80th percentile citizen in the US to that an 80th percentile citizen in Germany (which virtually everyone on this forum will achieve).

An 80th percentile citizen in the US has far 'richer' lifestyle than a comparable citizen in Germany.

4/17/12

europe has better scat, especially germany. if you are a man who likes to pleasure other men sexually, belgium is of course the place.

In reply to Babyj18777
4/17/12
Babyj18777:
In The Flesh:

Everyone had better get their two cents in before ANT sees this...

One of my greatest blessings has been American citizenship, and I'm proud to have it. I love the freedom and independence we are able to have here, and in general I think Americans are more optimistic and forward-thinking than the European counterparts. I only like Europe for basically superficial reasons (more history and better cuisine, haha).

Although sometimes it may seem like more fun is being had on the other side of the pond, I think I'm pretty content where I am right now.

Who cares what ANT thinks, he's a moron. His neo-conservative nonsense is just that, nonsense.

Absolutely wonderful rebuke to what I have to say. I mean it is obvious that believing freedom is more than just a government hand out makes me uber right wing. Also, I am blinded and drugged by all my Fox News when I report about Europe's inability to truly compete on a global scale.

Plain fact is Europe has calcified labor laws, a negative birth rate, expensive costs to businesses and high taxes combined with high government spending. Europe is at the point where the Laffer Curve takes effect.

Try and have an intelligence discussion and maybe you can then earn the right to use the word moron.

4/17/12

Someone needs to figure out what the output of major industry advances are in medicine, science, tech, and finance are between Europe and the USA.

My hunch is that Europe piggybacks on most of the USA's advancements with our hard work and entrepreneurial attitudes while Europeans cry about how uncivilized, fat, lazy, stupid, and backwards we are. My guess, Europeans love European medicine using American funded drugs and advancements...

Ask yourself "what would the world be like without the USA" and that should answer your question of USA vs Europe.

In reply to Boreed
4/17/12
Boreed:

Chill the fuck out with the Europe bashing. Talk about insecurities...

End of the day, we're all Africans anyway.

This is my favorite of all liberal buzzphrases. We evolved for 3.7 billion years on earth from single cell prokaryotes, then when humans left Africa (supposedly) 100,000 years ago and spread out to different climates and continents with different drivers for evolution, we magically stopped evolving and to this day we are all exactly the same. Sure.

A German Shepherd and a bulldog are members of the same genus and species. That means they must be identical physically and mentally.....right?

4/17/12

PetEng, I agree that comparing the 80th percentile citizen would be much more worthwhile.

Adast027, I see your point, but considering the top 1% makes nearly $400,000, that wasn't really the group I was going for. Yes, I mentioned the billionaire stat, but I think what's important here is that while the U.S. doesn't get universal healthcare/education, people seem less content with their income bracket than in many European countries. The top 1% already has the money to pretty much do as they please, but to me the advantage the American worker has is that we're in a society that so badly strives to be in that 1%, and this drives our economy in a huge way.

If you take away Germany's social safety net, America's middle class is much better off by comparison. And most economists would agree that entitlement spending can't last forever. Eventually, if the Euro falls apart tomorrow or a recession hits in 10 years, that free education and universal healthcare will disappear, but the American middle class will only get hungrier.

See my WSO blog

    "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." Albert Einstein
4/17/12

Very biased, I wonder if the chances of being incredibly wealthy in the US are more than 10 times than being in Germany, but you are ignoring the downside, I would argue is 100 times better to be poor here than in the states. The odds of someone buying the lottery of being far richer than someone who doesnt buy it are higher all things equal, but it doesnt mean he has good odds of being very rich by doing so. Self select audience, I dont think anyone here is very poor, and most than anything selective perception, so yeah, we are better than anyone else, im better than the others and my chances of success are higher cause I rock and work hard... If hard work brought wealth, african mothers would be very rich.

There is also the previous generation success stories, but remember things change and suvivorship bias is a big thing, many people failed and we dont know their stories. Flame on.

Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

4/18/12

I completely agree that our freedom's are being eroded and we are slowly moving towards a European type government (which is wrong).

My point is that freedom is about more than a check from the government. Our precious liberties are under attack because we walk the government to do more for us rather than less. The very issue is that we are selling what is valuable for a cheap hand out.

4/18/12

America isn't perfectly free, we have flaws, the PATRIOT Act, Warantless wiretapping, governmental intervention in the marketplace all have eroded our fundamental freedoms, to be safe in our persons and effects. However European laws scare the fuck out of me, the notion of being tried for "hate speech" like Geert Wilders is ridiculous. In America the notion of freedom of speech is much better supported, look at cases like NSPA V. Skokie, to see that despite how abhorrent a view may be we are more than willing to defend the ability to say it. Europe has incredibly limited liberty of commerce.

4/18/12

When you say freedoms do you mean:

-The Patriot Act
-Wiretapping
-47th place in press freedom rankings
- FATCA (Switizerland's Wegelin Bank and many more)
-Ability to kill own citizens on American ground without due process of law
-Construction of NSA's Utah Data Centre (Not the only one)
-TSA's "Pat Downs"
-SOPA & PIPA
- MFG, Mortgage Robosigners,etc.

We all know this is just the tip of the iceberg. My comment is not meant to stir another pointless US vs The World debate, I'm just interested in other people's opininions on these issues. I'm perfectly aware of the great things that living in the US affords and Europe and the rest of the world have their own problems as well, there is no arguing that. There is a reason why America was always thought of as the land of milk and honey by outsiders, including my parents.

Would you agree though that in the last couple decades there has been a great decoupling from what made this country so great?

As far as the article goes, I feel that the GDP Per Capita statistic is a flawed measure of productivity in the true sense of that word. I admit I don't feel confident in my abilities to defend that arguement, but I do know that the composition of GDP is drastically different today from what it was 50-60 years ago (Agriculture,Manufacturing vs Services, Government Spending). I suppose it boils down to ones definition of productivity and I feel that I'm in the minority.

Again, please don't miscontrue this as some attack or attempt at settling this debate, Europe (not all of it) is a shitshow and faces their own challenges.

Put wealth aside for a second and consider mental health, family stability, unemployment, and other aspects of being happy or content. Which average citizen do you think has the edge when you look at more than just money? I think US has Germany beaten the World's Happiest Countries Index, although top spots are occupied by Nordic countries with Switzerland, Netherlands and Austria close by. Not saying these "rankings" are a true measure of happiness, but something to think about.

" A recession is when other people lose their job, a depression is when you lose your job. "

4/18/12

10 Pfennig from Germany:

Ive read too many of those essays like from chabo in GMAT prep and in MBA classes. Honestly, do Americans think that this is coherent argumentation? Assumptions and anecdotal evidence ... come on. A neat structure doenst make an argument.

Ill give you guys an anecdote from my life: In the cafeteria of my gradschool in the US, there was this probably 75y old lady, shaking, couldn't even walk straight. But nevertheless she worked all day cleaning the tables. Me and my German friends were baffled and disgusted by the fact that she had to work. I spoke to a guy from the US about it and he told me "she chose to do so" - "fuck seriously, that is what you think - damn think twice, retardo". Now comes the point, In Europe this woman would be sitting in a decent, retiring residence financed by the state. Now you probably think, too expensive! just like this lousy Healthcare (that reduces your freedom ... hahaha seriously?) ... think twice. especially about your deficit/capita.

4/18/12

What I've always wondered is what makes the US "freer" than some other non-European Western democracies like Canada, Australia, New Zealand?

These countries have free speech, democratically elected governments, universal healthcare, low crime rates etc, etc.

Without descending into gutter retorts like we could bomb them, or they'd be nothing without us, or referencing GDP per capita, how are there "freedoms" in the US that are not existent in these places?

I'm not trying to stir here, I'm actually curious myself. I'm just wondering if anyone has an objective answer?

4/18/12

If I'm getting paid in pounds, I'll take it.

4/18/12

Without the US Europe would not exist? That is pure foolishness. Without Europe, the US would not exist either.

But - I'm beginning to realize that most of you have never lived in Europe. I have.

Let's be clear - outside the tri-state area and perhaps California and taxes, the US is a totally different country in terms of income. The top 80 percentile in say Germany may not live better than their contemporaries over here, but the bottom say 20% live MUCH, much better. There is something to be said for an element of shared wealth.

This is a financial forum, so by default, most of us enter the job market around the 50/60 % mark, however you need to realize that we're the privileged of the US, we're the ones who got the chance, we're the ones who made the cut. We're not the average Joe (the plumber?) on the street

I like the US because I'm one of the "privileged". If I wasn't, perhaps not so much.

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

And Rhaegar died.

4/18/12

That's a good point Anomanderis. It sounds like some people here have some pretty strong opinions on comparing Europe to the U.S., and I do admit that I was pretty biased in this post. I was pointing out how Geoghegan was being too general in declaring the majority of European workers better off and more productive than Americans, but I also admittedly wrote it from the perspective of someone who hasn't experienced life in the bottom 20%.

In the U.S., our economic system offers more paths to affluence than arguably any other country in the world. Yet in Germany, social democracy offers the opportunity for equality and stability, making it difficult for someone to slip through the cracks. The top 20% have better growth opportunities in the U.S., while the bottom 20% have a system in Germany that is specifically designed to support them through things like universal healthcare and free education.

Different economic models work for different people. Each of these systems could be considered ideal, depending on who you are.

See my WSO blog

    "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." Albert Einstein
4/18/12

I enjoy getting paid in Monopoly Money

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

4/18/12

I don't understand the big fuss about the Patriot Act. As someone working in the intelligence community, let me tell you, getting a wire tap on someone is a painstaking and lengthy process that has to cross multiple levels of government and takes months to approve. We don't go out and listen in on phone calls unless there is sufficient evidence to do so. But hey, this gives extreme liberals something to complain about so I guess its a big deal. I mean, these are the same people who will blame us for not being more proactive next time a terrorist attack hits.

In reply to TNA
4/18/12
TNA:

Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

Oh and once again, they can thank hard working Americans and brave soldiers.

LOL. Yeah, American soldiers are making the world a safer place for everyone! LOL. If it weren't for hard working Americans the entire global economy would collapse!

Get the fuck outta here man, you're joking right?

4/18/12

Tough to compare the two over the long run because both systems have become incredibly unsustainable. I think every one here realizes that the European model is eroding and the US has far to many unfunded liabilities going forward. In both nations standards of living are projected to decrease for the next generation which is a first. There are a boatload of students on this blog that have to wonder what the future holds for these nations as they still have their entire working life ahead. So whats coming? Im not sure what the out come is but I am sure that the world will change in my generation in a drastic way. The major money makers will be the ones that correctly see this change coming and can figure out the end result. Conclusion, both of these nations will be vastly different in the next 10 years which is what a student like me cares about. Personally I dont feel like ether one will do well primarily due to their politicians. For now I would rather work in Canada even though Harper is next to useless.

In reply to CuriousCharacter
4/18/12
evilbyaccident:
TNA:

Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

Oh and once again, they can thank hard working Americans and brave soldiers.

LOL. Yeah, American soldiers are making the world a safer place for everyone! LOL. If it weren't for hard working Americans the entire global economy would collapse!

Get the fuck outta here man, you're joking right?

Oh so Europe was kicking Hitler and Stalins ass in WWII huh? Or was Europe keeping the USSR at bay?

Whatever. Europe can afford to spend all of their money on social issues because they have no need for a military because the US offers the protection for free. Even ethnic genocide on the continent had to be taken care of by the USA.

Keep on over taxing people and promoting a stagnant work force. Europe is a wonderful museum.

In reply to ChrisHansen
4/18/12
FusRoDah:
Boreed:

Chill the fuck out with the Europe bashing. Talk about insecurities...

End of the day, we're all Africans anyway.

This is my favorite of all liberal buzzphrases. We evolved for 3.7 billion years on earth from single cell prokaryotes, then when humans left Africa (supposedly) 100,000 years ago and spread out to different climates and continents with different drivers for evolution, we magically stopped evolving and to this day we are all exactly the same. Sure.

A German Shepherd and a bulldog are members of the same genus and species. That means they must be identical physically and mentally.....right?

Lol you must have a great understanding of evolution. Evolution is such a slow process that you would not see it take place in generations or even many centuries. That being said it happens every day on an individual level when people have mutations. Guess what though society is so stigmatized on what a perfect body is that even if this mutation were beneficial that person would be a freak. Further more we have successfully kicked survival of the fittest out the window with our advanced healthcare. Therefore, evolution at least on a cosmetic level has stopped.
As far as the german shepherd and bulldog argument understand basic genetics or biological anthropology before you throw something like that out. Your over 99% genetically similar to to chimps and banobos, enjoy! thats just a fact. are we the same? not at all because subtle genetic changes can have sweeping changes.

4/18/12

Kicked survival of the fittest out? Yeah right.

Regardless, where we came from has jack balls relevance in this discussion.

In reply to TNA
4/18/12
TNA:

Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

Epic.

In reply to Panic
4/18/12
Panic:
TNA:

Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

Epic.

Let me qualify that by saying the land mass would exist, but if not for the US everyone would be speaking German or Russian.

4/18/12

I see what you mean, but while I agree that the US has aided Europe in many ways you're neglecting the benefits the US receives by aiding Europe. Also, saying that the US provides free defense for Europe is just plain wrong. I'm Dutch and as I am sure you know our military is heavily involved in your current conflicts in the Middle-East. The military alliances are not one-sided.

In reply to Panic
4/18/12
Panic:

I see what you mean, but while I agree that the US has aided Europe in many ways you're neglecting the benefits the US receives by aiding Europe. Also, saying that the US provides free defense for Europe is just plain wrong. I'm Dutch and as I am sure you know our military is heavily involved in your current conflicts in the Middle-East. The military alliances are not one-sided.

Agree. We benefit each other. But while European nations provide help when they can, the USA kept the USSR at bay and the USA was the driving force liberating Europe. Other nations helped, but if not for the materials and man power Europe would look and act very different.

And the fact the Europe did not have to spend heavily on defense because of the defactor promise of US involvement, they were allowed to spend on other things, mainly social programs.

Europe can do whatever they want, but I on a whole, the labor laws are largely pro worker and making hiring and firing very hard. Rich entitlements are hard to remove once put in place and are very expensive and on top of that, immigration is the only way Europe will continue to grow and have young workers supporting older workers.

The problem is, immigration in Europe is largely Islamic or non white European. Socialism or socialistic policies work well when everyone shares a common bond, community, etc. You see this in small towns in the US where the church or town hall act as a rallying point for citizens and people donate to help their neighbor. But it is hard to implement this on a national scale when you have a diverse and different country.

When everyone is ethnically Swedish and everyone fits into Swedish society (for example) you have a country that is really a large community. You want to help you fellow Swede. When you have people from different nations, that do not perfectly fit within this community you lose that bond, that fellowship. You ask yourself why are you paying for XYZ when they do not fit into our culture or maybe they use or do not contribute.

This is the thinking that is gaining momentum in Europe. Unfortunately, those "non-Europeans" are what are needed to provide lifeblood into the various countries. So you have two warring factions/emotions.

The USA is the USA. What works across the pond does not work here. I think the USA is the best because I am firmly against socialism, want to maximize liberty and do not measure freedom by safetynets or hand outs. If more people fail in the US that is fine, it is the price of liberty. We are unfortunately moving away from these ideals, which saddens me, but I hope we eventually swing the other way.

And when I talk about Europe, I include all countries, not just the prosperous ones. Just as people quickly talk about the weaker US states when comparing living standards, one must also look at the weaker EU counties.

In reply to TNA
4/18/12
TNA:

Oh so Europe was kicking Hitler and Stalins ass in WWII huh? Or was Europe keeping the USSR at bay?

Whatever. Europe can afford to spend all of their money on social issues because they have no need for a military because the US offers the protection for free...

TNA, I think you forgot the vast amounts of cash Europe poured into TARP and TALF to help stem systemic risk just like we have been doing for the ECB. Oh wait a second...

In reply to tiger90
4/18/12
tiger90:
TNA:

Oh so Europe was kicking Hitler and Stalins ass in WWII huh? Or was Europe keeping the USSR at bay?

Whatever. Europe can afford to spend all of their money on social issues because they have no need for a military because the US offers the protection for free...

TNA, I think you forgot the vast amounts of cash Europe poured into TARP and TALF to help stem systemic risk just like we have been doing for the ECB. Oh wait a second...

I am not forgetting it, I just did not think is was pertinent to the discussion. Europe had their own issues and own problem banks and the USA helped bail them out just as much as Europe helps us out.

In reply to TNA
4/18/12
TNA:
Panic:
TNA:

Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

Epic.

Let me qualify that by saying the land mass would exist, but if not for the US everyone would be speaking German or Russian.

Ah.

And if not for the UK, the US would likely be speaking french.

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

And Rhaegar died.

In reply to Anomanderis
4/18/12
Anomanderis:
TNA:
Panic:
TNA:

Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

Epic.

Let me qualify that by saying the land mass would exist, but if not for the US everyone would be speaking German or Russian.

Ah.

And if not for the UK, the US would likely be speaking french.

Ok, cool, thanks for adding to this conversation.

4/18/12

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

In reply to melvvvar
4/18/12
melvvvar:

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

So African and Italy had nothing to do with things? Had the US not been in Africa, Rommel would have taken the ME oil fields, secured North Africa and the Italians and Germans would have pushed through into Russia.

America, with their man power and production capabilities turned the tide. Also, my original statement stands. Had the US not been involved Europe would be speaking German or Russian.

In reply to TNA
4/18/12
TNA:
melvvvar:

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

So African and Italy had nothing to do with things? Had the US not been in Africa, Rommel would have taken the ME oil fields, secured North Africa and the Italians and Germans would have pushed through into Russia.

America, with their man power and production capabilities turned the tide. Also, my original statement stands. Had the US not been involved Europe would be speaking German or Russian.

80% of the wehrmacht was deployed to the eastern front. the US/UK deserves as much credit for winning the european war as the british/dutch/australians/kiwis for beating the empire of japan.

4/18/12

I was actually trying to be facetious, I don't think they committed nearly as much as we have for them. Also, I think it should be noted that our subsidies in the emerging world have allowed for significant increases in European exports to those countries. Perhaps the world would prefer the US to stop subsidizing it and use that cash for its own social programs lol.

EDIT: I don't find any indication there were European taxpayer funds involved with the US bank bailout, in fact, the bailout had probably saved the TBTF Euro banks in 2008 from systemic risk.

In reply to TNA
4/18/12
TNA:
melvvvar:

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

So African and Italy had nothing to do with things? Had the US not been in Africa, Rommel would have taken the ME oil fields, secured North Africa and the Italians and Germans would have pushed through into Russia.

America, with their man power and production capabilities turned the tide. Also, my original statement stands. Had the US not been involved Europe would be speaking German or Russian.

I think what he means is that the Germans were getting tired of slaughtering the Russians through the entirety of WW2, and that they chose not to rebuild their manufacturing facilities that were destroyed by B29s.

4/18/12

1) We conquered the world in WWII and gave it back.
2) We went to the moon over 40 years ago.

Still waiting for someone to top either of those. The ball is in your court, world.

Leadership can be defined in two words: "Follow Me"

In reply to illiniPride
4/18/12
illiniPride:

1) We conquered the world in WWII and gave it back.
2) We went to the moon over 40 years ago.

Still waiting for someone to top either of those. The ball is in your court, world.

With a slide ruler and a pencil.

In reply to melvvvar
4/18/12
melvvvar:

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

So the Red Army had the Eastern front in the bag before the US gave them 450,000 vehicles?

Their entire army was mobilized due to Lend-Lease.

In reply to PetEng
4/18/12
PetEng:
melvvvar:

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

So the Red Army had the Eastern front in the bag before the US gave them 450,000 vehicles?

Their entire army was mobilized due to Lend-Lease.

did we give them vehicles that drove themselves and had guns that automatically shot at germans?

In reply to melvvvar
4/18/12
melvvvar:
TNA:
melvvvar:

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

So African and Italy had nothing to do with things? Had the US not been in Africa, Rommel would have taken the ME oil fields, secured North Africa and the Italians and Germans would have pushed through into Russia.

America, with their man power and production capabilities turned the tide. Also, my original statement stands. Had the US not been involved Europe would be speaking German or Russian.

80% of the wehrmacht was deployed to the eastern front. the US/UK deserves as much credit for winning the european war as the british/dutch/australians/kiwis for beating the empire of japan.

The Germans lost because of aerial bombing from US bombers and a lack of resources. Had they better the British at El Alamein the Germans and Italians would have secured the oil fields and directed resources to destroying the already almost destroyed Russians. Hitler invaded Romania primarily for their oil.

The North African front and Italian campaign were all extremely important, leading up to the invasion of France which took resources and troops away from defeating the Russians. Then the US held the Russians at bay and prevented all of Europe from becoming East Germany.

In reply to melvvvar
4/18/12
melvvvar:
PetEng:
melvvvar:

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

So the Red Army had the Eastern front in the bag before the US gave them 450,000 vehicles?

Their entire army was mobilized due to Lend-Lease.

did we give them vehicles that drove themselves and had guns that automatically shot at germans?

Last time I checked butt naked, un armed troops are about as good as tanks with no drivers. The Germans has a ridiculous kill ratio and simply ran out of parts for their far superior Panther and Tiger tanks. Plain fact is the Germans lost because they were out manufactured by the USA and did not have the parts and oil to run their war machine. Hence why Africa was so important.

And Montgomery would have lost in Africa if it wasn't for the US opening up operation Torch and supplying weapons and armor. The Italians and Germans had it locked up, would have taken ME oil and diverted troops to the Eastern front, thereby defeating the Russians.

Hitler would have re-orged, and started bombing the UK, eventually rolling out Sea Lion and storming the UK coast. All of Europe would have stiff arm arthritis and be saying Guten Tag.

4/18/12

ant, that is some serious revisionism there. despite all of the US/UK bombing, german war production INCREASED up until nearly the very end of the war. the only key resource germany lacked was oil but that was because the soviets took the ploesti fields away from them early on (and hence the coal to oil conversion). and yeah, africa and italy were important, but took no more than 20% of the wehrmacht away BECAUSE EIGHTY PERCENT OF THE GERMAN ARMY WAS ON THE EASTERN FRONT.

what's next man, you gonna tell me that it was MAO who beat the japanese just because he tied down a few divisions?

4/18/12

TNA, you completely defused my version a couple posts up lol. Anyways, I'm pretty sure he's just trolling.

In reply to melvvvar
4/18/12
melvvvar:
PetEng:
melvvvar:

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

So the Red Army had the Eastern front in the bag before the US gave them 450,000 vehicles?

Their entire army was mobilized due to Lend-Lease.

did we give them vehicles that drove themselves and had guns that automatically shot at germans?

I'm not sure what your point is. Spell it out.

In reply to PetEng
4/18/12
PetEng:
melvvvar:
PetEng:
melvvvar:

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

So the Red Army had the Eastern front in the bag before the US gave them 450,000 vehicles?

Their entire army was mobilized due to Lend-Lease.

did we give them vehicles that drove themselves and had guns that automatically shot at germans?

I'm not sure what your point is. Spell it out.

the point is that vanya and sasha still had to get into said jeeps and take shrapnel up the ass from the german army. we gave them the jeeps because hitler was the greater threat but we wanted to make sure that the russkies didn't get their victory too easy and at too little cost because we would have to deal with them later. when the western soviet front was collapsing in 1942 stalin was on his knees begging FDR for a second front in western europe and FDR was not forthcoming. when it was clear in 1944 that joe steel was gonna take it ALL, the western powers got off their asses and invaded france before it became the franco-soviet socialist republic.

20 million soviet civilians and military personnel died fighting hitler. we gave them equipment, which counted for something, but they bought that victory with their blood, which counted for a lot more. jeeps with no soldiers could never win a war.

4/18/12

So what you're saying is that the Russians would continue to have been slaughtered if not for the strategic assistance of the US.

4/18/12

no one can possibly know what would have happened to the russians. it is not as if they had no production themselves. even the germans concded that their T-32s were superior to german tanks, and many of them were literally being rolled out of the factory as the factory was being shelled. lend lease barely had any effect in 1941 and still the soviets held off hitler in stalingrad. so your argument that the US material aid decsively saved the soviets is a huge stretch.

yeah, they may have taken 40MM casualties. the US should be thanked for lowering the body count.

In reply to melvvvar
4/18/12
melvvvar:
PetEng:
melvvvar:
PetEng:
melvvvar:

on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

So the Red Army had the Eastern front in the bag before the US gave them 450,000 vehicles?

Their entire army was mobilized due to Lend-Lease.

did we give them vehicles that drove themselves and had guns that automatically shot at germans?

I'm not sure what your point is. Spell it out.

the point is that vanya and sasha still had to get into said jeeps and take shrapnel up the ass from the german army. we gave them the jeeps because hitler was the greater threat but we wanted to make sure that the russkies didn't get their victory too easy and at too little cost because we would have to deal with them later. when the western soviet front was collapsing in 1942 stalin was on his knees begging FDR for a second front in western europe and FDR was not forthcoming. when it was clear in 1944 that joe steel was gonna take it ALL, the western powers got off their asses and invaded france before it became the franco-soviet socialist republic.

20 million soviet civilians and military personnel died fighting hitler. we gave them equipment, which counted for something, but they bought that victory with their blood, which counted for a lot more. jeeps with no soldiers could never win a war.

Soldiers with no jeeps can't win a war either. That's my point.

Regardless, due to the Manhattan project the US/UK still had a reasonable probability of victory even if the USSR was taken over by the Germans (if the war continued and peace wasn't sought).

4/18/12

I have never read anywhere that there were any tanks superior to the Panzers of WW2. Again, we supplied the Russians, we destroyed the German war generating capability, and surrounded them by 3 sides. Although the line didn't move past Stalingrad because of tactical disadvantages, the Russians had no way to push back the Germans until US intervention, they even began sending women and children to fight because they were running out of men. Without US aid Europe would have been screwed because of detente which allowed Germany to mobilize far ahead of everyone else, once Germany destroyed GB, they would have been able to focus soldiers to continue the fight at the Eastern Front and annihilate the Russians. The Atomic Bomb would have clearly allowed for US domination should the Russians have failed to utilize our supplies. When D-Day was launched they were still in Romania, by 1945 Austria. They were definitely not 100 miles east of Berlin. The reason the Eastern Front fell was because they had to pull troops as a result of the Battle of the Bulge.

4/18/12

if you haven't read it anywhere yet, keep reading. see how the T-34 performed in Barbarossa against the german makes.

and read into how german war production rose YOY until the end of the war.

4/18/12

The Battle of Kursk section would be enlightening...

4/18/12

Well I suppose having 3 times as many tanks as your enemy does have its advantages, I still don't think they stand up side by side. This was a big part of the reason the Russians ran into problems even being able to make enough guns for its troops. They made shitty tanks which usurps the steel they have and they cant arm their infantry.

4/18/12
4/18/12

keep reading, tiger. find some accounts of german grunts comparing the strengths of the T-34 against ANY panzer where it COUNTED, which was the russian marsh and plain with no year-round all-weather roads like western europe. just because the russkies can't run an economy doesn't mean they don't have a gift for making weapons.

In reply to tiger90
4/18/12
tiger90:

Down 70% from 1944-1945?

how about 1941 - 1944? i understand 1945 would have been a bad year with the defeat and all. start with albert speer's memoirs, but considering his pedigree, you will want to corroborate with british and american sources.

4/18/12

1941 The Germans and Italians failed to break through the British.

1943 Germans failed to capture Stalingrad, one of the most pivotal Russia cities.

If the Germans and Italians break through UK lines and take the oil, they secure North Africa.

Germans and Italians lost ~500,000 troops when the US/UK defeated them in North Africa. Assuming a force of maybe 200K left in NA (mainly Italians with a nominal German contingent) to protect the territory, about 150K battle hardened Germans would have been diverted to the Eastern Front, completely awash in ME oil.

Panthers and Panzers would have been refueled, troops would have been added and a 2 front war would have been only a 1 front war and never would have become a 3 front war.

Russians would have continued to take bullets and once Stalingrad fell the Germans would have rolled onward.

Russians did the fighting, but never would have beaten the far superior German military.

4/18/12

Ya if I was infantry I'd shit myself if I was running against a tank too.

I'd like to think I've watched enough History Channel on WW2 weapons to feel fairly confident that the panzer was the most state of the art tank in WW2 *flex*

4/18/12

Russia had the worst production line of the major powers in WW2, they were fraught with defects, missing deadlines, and undersupply of raw material lol.

In reply to tiger90
4/18/12
tiger90:

Ya if I was infantry I'd shit myself if I was running against a tank too.

I'd like to think I've watched enough History Channel on WW2 weapons to feel fairly confident that the panzer was the most state of the art tank in WW2 *flex*

i figured that's where you were getting 100% of your information.

4/18/12

Germans ran out of bullets before Russia ran out of Russians to get shot. That is what won the war. I suppose when you have an endless amount of human shields you will eventually beat the far superior force.

4/18/12

Read articles about Russian soldiers throwing away their weapons to pick up German ones and keeping those for the entirety of the war.

In reply to tiger90
4/18/12
tiger90:

Read articles about Russian soldiers throwing away their weapons to pick up German ones and keeping those for the entirety of the war.

was that on the history channel too?

In reply to TNA
4/18/12
TNA:

Germans ran out of bullets before Russia ran out of Russians to get shot. That is what won the war. I suppose when you have an endless amount of human shields you will eventually beat the far superior force.

maybe so. after the sorge operation plenty of vanyas got freed up for that duty. as i said: jeeps without soldiers can't win, but soldiers without jeeps can and do.

In reply to melvvvar
4/18/12
melvvvar:
tiger90:

Read articles about Russian soldiers throwing away their weapons to pick up German ones and keeping those for the entirety of the war.

was that on the history channel too?

Articles come from written publications ;)

4/18/12

During the Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, it was discovered that the Soviet T-34 tank outclassed the Panzer III and IV. Its sloped armour could defeat most German weapons, and its 76.2 mm gun could penetrate the armour of all German tanks. This forced the Germans to improve their existing models. The Panzer III, which was intended to be the main medium tank, was upgraded to a longer, higher-velocity 50 mm gun.

Thus the Panzer IV, originally intended to be a support tank, became the de facto main medium tank re-armed with a long-barrelled, high velocity 75 mm gun to counter the T-34; the Panzer III, with its smaller turret ring, could not mount a gun larger than 50mm, which had become inadequate against Allied tanks. The Germans also started to develop newer heavier tanks. This included the Panzer V Panther, which was intended to be the new main German battle tank. The Panther tank was a compromise of various requirements. While sharing essentially the same engine as the Tiger I tank, it had better frontal armor, better gun penetration, was lighter overall and thus faster, and could handle rough terrain better than the Tigers. The tradeoff was weaker side armor; the Panther proved to be deadly in open country and shooting from long range, but vulnerable to close-quarters combat. The Germans also started to develop a new series of very heavy tanks.

The first one was the Tiger, which outclassed all its opponents in terms of firepower and armor when it was put into operational use. Being obsessed with very heavy and mighty tanks, Hitler ordered even heavier and stronger tanks to be produced, which led to the development of the heavy Tiger II, which replaced the Tiger I late in the war. Its powerful gun and very heavy armor made it superior to every Allied or Soviet tank in a head-to-head confrontation, but the underpowered engine and the enormous fuel consumption limited its use in maneuver warfare. Right before the end of the war there were plans for even heavier tanks, such as the Panzer VIII Maus, but only small numbers, or in case of the Maus only prototypes, were produced.

I took this from the above section:

"the Panther proved to be deadly in open country and shooting from long range, but vulnerable to close-quarters combat. The Germans also started to develop a new series of very heavy tanks.

The first one was the Tiger, which outclassed all its opponents in terms of firepower and armor when it was put into operational use. Being obsessed with very heavy and mighty tanks, Hitler ordered even heavier and stronger tanks to be produced, which led to the development of the heavy Tiger II, which replaced the Tiger I late in the war. Its powerful gun and very heavy armor made it superior to every Allied or Soviet tank in a head-to-head confrontation, but the underpowered engine and the enormous fuel consumption limited its use in maneuver warfare."

And on more reduction:

Hitler ordered even heavier and stronger tanks to be produced, which led to the development of the heavy Tiger II, which replaced the Tiger I late in the war. Its powerful gun and very heavy armor made it superior to every Allied or Soviet tank in a head-to-head confrontation, but the underpowered engine and the enormous fuel consumption limited its use in maneuver warfare."

The Germans adapted and had far superior armor. Russia just absorbed more damage. Historical fact.

It is like saying 800 villagers are better than 20 Navy Seals because 700 villagers died absorbing all the Seal's ammo and the remaining 100 beat them to death with clubs.

4/18/12

"but the underpowered engine and the enormous fuel consumption limited its use in maneuver warfare"

all the more so when you are fighting in MARSH and MUD where fuel economy worsens. the german tanks were awesome in western europe where you had good roads and solid earth and if the damn russkies had the decency to relocate battles to there everybody would be jamming in lederhosen today.

4/18/12

Ran out of fuel is what I read. Also, this was the 2nd version, much heavier than the already superior tanks.

And only marshy in the summer, but fine in the hard soil in the winter, which is exactly when they were needed. Throw another 200K troops and no 2nd front and you have a turned battle.

Also, no loss in Africa and Italy and you have no worry of a Western Front being opened up. You send Rommel to the East and unleash him.

4/18/12

ok i got some errands to run, and it was a pleasure to debate ANT and the mini-ANTs as usual. we are down to the minutiae of weapons now and i think we have at least dispelled the fairy tale of Uncle Sam saving europe while ignoring all the events of 1941-1944. it is not as if hitler was just pacing the wolf's lair for 36 months worrying about d-day. he was pretty preoccupied with something to the east.

4/18/12

Most wars in history end when resources run out, not when the enemy is annihilated, although sometimes the resources run out then the enemy is annihilated. They don't end because you captured the King when there are still 2 Rooks a Queen and 2 Bishops on the board. The strategic advantage the Soviets had were being allied with the US and GB.

4/18/12

1942 Operation Torch

Then Tunisia

Then Sicily 1943 and Italy -1945

1944 France

Russia didn't start defeating the Germans until like 1943-1944. After a two front war had been opened, after the precious fuel sources in the ME were denied, after 500K axis troops were captured.

"s the Soviet Union's manpower reserves ran low from 1943 onwards, the great Soviet offensives had to depend more on equipment and less on the expenditure of lives. The increases in production of materiel were achieved at the expense of civilian living standards - the most thorough application of the principle of total war - and with the help of Lend-Lease supplies from the United Kingdom and the United States. The Germans, on the other hand, could rely on a large slave workforce from the conquered countries and Soviet POWs.

Although Germany produced many times more raw materials, it could not compete with the Soviets on the quantity of military production (in 1943, the Soviet Union manufactured 24,089 tanks to Germany's 19,800). The Soviets incrementally upgraded existing designs, and simplified and refined manufacturing processes to increase production. Meanwhile, German industry engineered more advanced but complex designs such as the Panther tank, the King Tiger or the Elefant from a 1943 decision for "quality over quantity"."

Quantity over Quality.

In reply to melvvvar
4/18/12
melvvvar:
TNA:

Germans ran out of bullets before Russia ran out of Russians to get shot. That is what won the war. I suppose when you have an endless amount of human shields you will eventually beat the far superior force.

maybe so. after the sorge operation plenty of vanyas got freed up for that duty. as i said: jeeps without soldiers can't win, but soldiers without jeeps can and do.

Not on the Eastern front. Over 50% of the Red Army's logistic ability was supplied by the US. That's not a winnable situation without that aid.

In reply to TNA
4/18/12
TNA:

It is like saying 800 villagers are better than 20 Navy Seals because 700 villagers died absorbing all the Seal's ammo and the remaining 100 beat them to death with clubs.

In war it's all about the W.

4/18/12

I'm sick and tired of these what ifs by Ant. The US didn't save diddly, all they (we?) did was cover their own arses and look out for their own interests.

Get over it dude, US shite smells as well. And it's particularly pungent nowadays.

The arrogance of that statement is ridiculous/typically Ant-spouted bollocks, The US is merely another "nation" to temporarily run the world.

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

And Rhaegar died.

4/18/12

I'm European, and I enjoy being one. But I'd much rather be Scandinavian (which I am) or Western European, than Romanian or Polish. I'm sure most Americans are proud to be American, and would rather be that way. In the end, it's a biased proposition. I know many Europeans who wish to travel nowhere but the US, and many Americans who enjoy themselves in Europe, and wish to stay here.

As for Americans more likely to enter the finance and 'models and bottles' scene, that is untrue. There is higher inequality in the US (GINI), and there is significantly less social mobility than in Western Europe. A (Western) European is somewhat more likely to go from being an average joe to a high flyer. It is also not appropriate to conclude that since the US has Facebook, Google and Apple, it is a consequence simply because of people working harder. The US is a large homogenous market for once, which Europe is not: cross border business dealings can be quite complicated and detrimental to businesses here.

Besides, I think there is a lack of depth to Americans, and what you see on the surface is really what you get. The US has some nice cities, like NYC and SF, but there is so much more to Europe. The people, food, culture, architecture, history and beliefs are much more developed than in the US in my opinion. I don't like that in every corner of the US the cities look the same, and are filled with the same people.

But in the end, success is achieved in similar manners across all regions of the world, and one has to be willing to work hard to achieve it, no matter where you live.

4/18/12
4/18/12

interesting article in the Washington post yesterday that echoes what a lot of people have been saying in this thread. Here's the link.

Whole volumes have been written on the virtues of cities -- the way they make people around the globe smarter, more productive, more innovative. The report's authors argue that the city gap between the United States and Europe account for about three-quarters of the difference in per capita GDP between the two. In other words, the United States appears to be wealthier than Europe because it has a greater share of its population living in large, productive cities.

See my WSO blog

    "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." Albert Einstein
In reply to utexas2010
4/18/12
utexas2010:

I don't understand the big fuss about the Patriot Act. As someone working in the intelligence community, let me tell you, getting a wire tap on someone is a painstaking and lengthy process that has to cross multiple levels of government and takes months to approve. We don't go out and listen in on phone calls unless there is sufficient evidence to do so. But hey, this gives extreme liberals something to complain about so I guess its a big deal. I mean, these are the same people who will blame us for not being more proactive next time a terrorist attack hits.

Are you serious? It's a lengthy process? .
These are excerpts from a recent Wired article regarding the ongoing construction of NSA's Utah Data Center:

"The NSA also has the ability to eavesdrop on phone calls directly and in real time. According to Adrienne J. Kinne, who worked both before and after 9/11 as a voice interceptor at the NSA facility in Georgia, in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks "basically all rules were thrown out the window, and they would use any excuse to justify a waiver to spy on Americans." Even journalists calling home from overseas were included. "A lot of time you could tell they were calling their families," she says, "incredibly intimate, personal conversations." Kinne found the act of eavesdropping on innocent fellow citizens personally distressing. "It's almost like going through and finding somebody's diary," she says."

"...Before he gave up and left the NSA, Binney tried to persuade officials to create a more targeted system that could be authorized by a court. At the time, the agency had 72 hours to obtain a legal warrant, and Binney devised a method to computerize the system. "I had proposed that we automate the process of requesting a warrant and automate approval so we could manage a couple of million intercepts a day, rather than subvert the whole process." But such a system would have required close coordination with the courts, and NSA officials weren't interested in that, Binney says. Instead they continued to haul in data on a grand scale. Asked how many communications--"transactions," in NSA's lingo--the agency has intercepted since 9/11, Binney estimates the number at "between 15 and 20 trillion, the aggregate over 11 years.

When Barack Obama took office, Binney hoped the new administration might be open to reforming the program to address his constitutional concerns. He and another former senior NSA analyst, J. Kirk Wiebe, tried to bring the idea of an automated warrant-approval system to the attention of the Department of Justice's inspector general. They were given the brush-off. "They said, oh, OK, we can't comment," Binney says"

I understand there is a need for this as a preventitive measure, but don't tell me it's a lengthy process to obtain a wire tap warrant. What are you smoking? You still think you have to go through multiple levels of government?

"According to Binney, one of the deepest secrets of the Stellar Wind program--again, never confirmed until now--was that the NSA gained warrantless access to AT&T's vast trove of domestic and international billing records, detailed information about who called whom in the US and around the world. As of 2007, AT&T had more than 2.8 trillion records housed in a database at its Florham Park, New Jersey, complex.

Verizon was also part of the program, Binney says, and that greatly expanded the volume of calls subject to the agency's domestic eavesdropping. "That multiplies the call rate by at least a factor of five," he says. "So you're over a billion and a half calls a day." (Spokespeople for Verizon and AT&T said their companies would not comment on matters of national security.)".

Either way, all this is besides the point and the whole thread has once again, and as always with these USA vs The World posts, devolved into a "we're better then you" arguement, albeit I did enjoy the WWII lesson.

All I'm saying is that it baffles me how people still think they have "freedoms".

" A recession is when other people lose their job, a depression is when you lose your job. "

4/18/12

back to the topic at hand. you just can't get good cheese in america with our stupid food safety "laws." the cheese in france and italy (the good, unpasteurized stuff) is to die for. also, the stupid animal cruelty "laws" has dried up the pipeline for foie gras d'oie. if i can earn in america and spend in europe, that would be the ideal.

In reply to Anomanderis
4/18/12
Anomanderis:

I'm sick and tired of these what ifs by Ant. The US didn't save diddly, all they (we?) did was cover their own arses and look out for their own interests.

Get over it dude, US shite smells as well. And it's particularly pungent nowadays.

The arrogance of that statement is ridiculous/typically Ant-spouted bollocks, The US is merely another "nation" to temporarily run the world.

Wow, I am blown away by the convincing argument you just dropped on us. Oh wait, you didn't. Sorry, but adults are having a discussion. Go play with blocks or something.

While I disagree with Melvaar, at least that person engages in debate and has an intelligent opinion.

In reply to melvvvar
4/18/12
melvvvar:

back to the topic at hand. you just can't get good cheese in america with our stupid food safety "laws." the cheese in france and italy (the good, unpasteurized stuff) is to die for. also, the stupid animal cruelty "laws" has dried up the pipeline for foie gras d'oie. if i can earn in america and spend in europe, that would be the ideal.

Europe is all about torturing animals, which is sad because animals display more human like qualities than humans do.

I thank God every day I am not European. Honestly, whenever I meet a WWII veteran I always tell them I am sad their friends died or risked their lives freeing that ungrateful continent. We should have let the Germans or Russians do as they please. Their faux tolerance is disgusting.

In reply to Baoch
4/18/12
Baoch:

Besides, I think there is a lack of depth to Americans, and what you see on the surface is really what you get.

WTF does this mean? Europeans are more complex/deeper human beings for some reason; perhaps more evolved?

The people, food, culture, architecture, history and beliefs are much more developed than in the US in my opinion.

So, you're saying, the people in Europe are more developed - they have evolved to a higher level or what? The food is also more developed - what does that mean - Europeans have developed some more advanced food? How exactly are beliefs more developed? And how does one have a more developed history?

I don't like that in every corner of the US the cities look the same, and are filled with the same people.

Perhaps they are more or less the same because wherever in the US you go, it is still the same country, and Europe is not really a country? When I lived in the UK, I encountered the same phenomenon there - things in London and Birmingham were very similar and most people were the same - they were British!

In reply to TNA
4/18/12
TNA:
melvvvar:

back to the topic at hand. you just can't get good cheese in america with our stupid food safety "laws." the cheese in france and italy (the good, unpasteurized stuff) is to die for. also, the stupid animal cruelty "laws" has dried up the pipeline for foie gras d'oie. if i can earn in america and spend in europe, that would be the ideal.

Europe is all about torturing animals, which is sad because animals display more human like qualities than humans do.

I thank God every day I am not European. Honestly, whenever I meet a WWII veteran I always tell them I am sad their friends died or risked their lives freeing that ungrateful continent. We should have let the Germans or Russians do as they please. Their faux tolerance is disgusting.

you're right man, let's just ship the statue of liberty back to those frog assholes. fuck em all.

4/18/12

Honestly, have it back. This concept that Europe is a utopia is a joke. Place cannot compete on a global scale and is full of entitled and lazy people. Sickening that genocide is happening in their back yard and it takes the USA to stop it.

Continent of hand outs and robbing from the producers to give to the takers.

In reply to TNA
4/18/12
TNA:

Sickening that genocide is happening in their back yard and it takes the USA to stop it.

What genocide are you referring to?

In reply to N.R.G.
4/18/12
N.R.G.:
TNA:

Sickening that genocide is happening in their back yard and it takes the USA to stop it.

What genocide are you referring to?

I know, there are so many. I am referring to the most recent one, in Bosnia.

4/18/12

I'm still wondering what the basic "freedoms" are that the US as a country has that some other countries don't (referring to places such as Australia or Canada).

In fact, the US is such a litigious society, with higher crime levels than other developed nations, with the patriot act (airport security and any number of things) that I feel actually less free in the US than I do other places such as Canada, New Zealand or Australia.

This is coming from someone who lived 8 years in the US and has a US passport.

4/18/12

Also, in regard to the US and its involvement in WW2, don't forget that many other nations such as the ANZAC troops (in WW1 and WW2) were involved in these wars as well helping to try and liberate the European and fighting against the Japanese in the Pacific. This is from the very outset of both wars (unlike the US) and I would argue that the fatalities and human sacrifice was greater from these troops than the US, especially when they had just as much right as the US to stay out of each war, which the US did until the 11th hour.

In reply to adast027
4/18/12
adast027:

Also, in regard to the US and its involvement in WW2, don't forget that many other nations such as the ANZAC troops (in WW1 and WW2) were involved in these wars as well helping to try and liberate the European and fighting against the Japanese in the Pacific. This is from the very outset of both wars (unlike the US) and I would argue that the fatalities and human sacrifice was greater from these troops than the US, especially when they had just as much right as the US to stay out of each war, which the US did until the 11th hour.

If by 11th hour you mean 1942- to 1945+ you are correct.

Try and learn some history before you engage in a conversation with people who obviously know. Also, whatever human sacrifice was made, it would have been in vain without US involvement.

But trust me, I wish the US never got involved. Our country was safe, far away. I would be plenty happy with the Germans or Russians ruling Europe. The French enjoyed it so much.

4/18/12

Yes, 1942 for a conflict that started in 1939 and this was only after a direct attack.

In reply to adast027
4/18/12
adast027:

Yes, 1942 for a conflict that started in 1939 and this was only after a direct attack.

The war was actually going on before this, but whatever.

Russia was not invaded until 1941. Americans began conflict against a nation that never harmed the US shortly there after.

But hey, facts are not important here.

In reply to adast027
4/19/12
adast027:

What I've always wondered is what makes the US "freer" than some other non-European Western democracies like Canada, Australia, New Zealand?

These countries have free speech, democratically elected governments, universal healthcare, low crime rates etc, etc.

Without descending into gutter retorts like we could bomb them, or they'd be nothing without us, or referencing GDP per capita, how are there "freedoms" in the US that are not existent in these places?

I'm not trying to stir here, I'm actually curious myself. I'm just wondering if anyone has an objective answer?

This may sound bad, but the real reason americans are more free is because of freedom of gun ownership in the US.

I am an American living in Europe and I hate the feeling that the government is the only one with guns. Although our murder rates etc are higher, I truly believe a well-armed citizenry keeps things in check.

You saw in the UK last summer a complete break down of law and order in the form of riots/anarchy/looting. Had the non-rioting citizens had guns, do you think there would have been so much looting?

We may have riots in the US (Watts comes to mind), but racially/politically motivated rioting is different entirely than opportunistic looting.

In reply to ChrisHansen
4/19/12
FusRoDah:
Boreed:

Chill the fuck out with the Europe bashing. Talk about insecurities...

End of the day, we're all Africans anyway.

This is my favorite of all liberal buzzphrases. We evolved for 3.7 billion years on earth from single cell prokaryotes, then when humans left Africa (supposedly) 100,000 years ago and spread out to different climates and continents with different drivers for evolution, we magically stopped evolving and to this day we are all exactly the same. Sure.

A German Shepherd and a bulldog are members of the same genus and species. That means they must be identical physically and mentally.....right?

haha right on.

In reply to TNA
4/20/12
TNA:
Anomanderis:

I'm sick and tired of these what ifs by Ant. The US didn't save diddly, all they (we?) did was cover their own arses and look out for their own interests.

Get over it dude, US shite smells as well. And it's particularly pungent nowadays.

The arrogance of that statement is ridiculous/typically Ant-spouted bollocks, The US is merely another "nation" to temporarily run the world.

Wow, I am blown away by the convincing argument you just dropped on us. Oh wait, you didn't. Sorry, but adults are having a discussion. Go play with blocks or something.

While I disagree with Melvaar, at least that person engages in debate and has an intelligent opinion.

Oh phooey. Typical of you Ant, you hear an opinion you can't argue against, so you brush it away as not being intelligent.

I'll say it again - the US didn't do anybody a favour. The US made a decision that benefited the US, everyone else who benefited was just lucky to be on that side.

If the US didn't enter WWII, then yeah, the Europe would have been under either Germany or USSR. Where would this have left the US?

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

And Rhaegar died.

In reply to TNA
4/20/12
TNA:
adast027:

Yes, 1942 for a conflict that started in 1939 and this was only after a direct attack.

The war was actually going on before this, but whatever.

Russia was not invaded until 1941. Americans began conflict against a nation that never harmed the US shortly there after.

But hey, facts are not important here.

You are aware that a) Italy and Germany declared war on the USA before the USA replied with their own declaration and b) As early as 1928 Hitler made pretty clear that a war with the United States was a key aim of the national socialist movement.? (Although the immediacy of this aim is contestable)

Also, as you will probably try and be pedantic about your definition of harm; before the United States and Germany went to war there was a not-insignificant series of naval confrontations in the Atlantic which resulted in the sinking of numerous American ships.

Your presentation of Hitler having some benign relationship to the US is un-supported by the vast majority of the historiography. Your arguments only really stack up in the world of WSO.

In reply to ChrisHansen
4/20/12
FusRoDah:
Boreed:

Chill the fuck out with the Europe bashing. Talk about insecurities...

End of the day, we're all Africans anyway.

This is my favorite of all liberal buzzphrases. We evolved for 3.7 billion years on earth from single cell prokaryotes, then when humans left Africa (supposedly) 100,000 years ago and spread out to different climates and continents with different drivers for evolution, we magically stopped evolving and to this day we are all exactly the same. Sure.

A German Shepherd and a bulldog are members of the same genus and species. That means they must be identical physically and mentally.....right?

I really, really struggle to understand you. Can you really honestly equate the artificial selection that produced the german shepherd and the bulldog to the natural evolution that led to human diversity? The majority of people in the USA immigrated from Europe over the last 4/500 years. By your argument, ~500 years of "evolution" is enough to produce an entirely new breed of people. And yet... Animals have remained practically the same over that period.
I'm able to accept relative amounts of diversity within humanity over 100,000 years (though if you knew anything about the sheer amounts of time over which evolution occurs, you would know that 100,000 years is nothing, but I digress). How this relates to the Europe/USA conversation is a mystery to me however.

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

And Rhaegar died.

4/20/12

TNA, you are honestly one of the most stupid people I know.

Congrats!

4/20/12

I was born in the US and I've lived half my life in Europe and the other half in the US. This is what I think about this whole Europe/US thing:

1) The whole idea that Europe is "lazy" is just laughable. Just look at GDP per capita for the US and the Eurozone. They're essentially the same. Yes, sure, Europeans work less per week, but this is primarily because of cultural differences.

2) If you look at civil liberties between the two areas, in reality, they are the same. You may be able to carry guns in the US, but this matters little. I read previously in this thread that someone said that the 2011 London riots would have not been as serious had people owned guns. I think the prime example to show that this conclusion is faulty is the LA riots. The riots resulted in over 50 deaths. In the end, guns matter little when it comes to preventing crime.

3) The Eurozone has some huge fiscal problems, which cannot be denied by anyone. Luckily Europe has been having huge success in introducing austerity programs. There are still a lot of problems, especially with PIIGS, but it could be much much worse. European governments do have to cut spending, but many have been able to introduce deficit caps, which is something the US has yet to do.

Either way, as a side note, I find it erroneous to use the term "Europe" to denote primarily policies that Southern countries have. I lived for a couple of years in Poland, and compared even to the US, Poland has a very liberal economy.

As to those who claim that the US is "better" because of its minor role in WWII, your argumentative skills are that of a 7 year son-of-a-hick in a social studies class. Please, for christ's (and America's) sake, grow up.

4/20/12

The world would be a better place if people didn't care as much about things.

In reply to anon56
4/20/12
anon56:
TNA:
adast027:

Yes, 1942 for a conflict that started in 1939 and this was only after a direct attack.

The war was actually going on before this, but whatever.

Russia was not invaded until 1941. Americans began conflict against a nation that never harmed the US shortly there after.

But hey, facts are not important here.

You are aware that a) Italy and Germany declared war on the USA before the USA replied with their own declaration and b) As early as 1928 Hitler made pretty clear that a war with the United States was a key aim of the national socialist movement.? (Although the immediacy of this aim is contestable)

Also, as you will probably try and be pedantic about your definition of harm; before the United States and Germany went to war there was a not-insignificant series of naval confrontations in the Atlantic which resulted in the sinking of numerous American ships.

Your presentation of Hitler having some benign relationship to the US is un-supported by the vast majority of the historiography. Your arguments only really stack up in the world of WSO.

The USA was very much against going to war in WWII. The Pact of Steel and subsequent Japanese bombing brought the US in. Once Japan declared war against the US, so did Italy and Germany. Until then there was very little support for going to war.

In reply to minimierno
4/20/12
minimierno:

I was born in the US and I've lived half my life in Europe and the other half in the US. This is what I think about this whole Europe/US thing:

1) The whole idea that Europe is "lazy" is just laughable. Just look at GDP per capita for the US and the Eurozone. They're essentially the same. Yes, sure, Europeans work less per week, but this is primarily because of cultural differences.

2) If you look at civil liberties between the two areas, in reality, they are the same. You may be able to carry guns in the US, but this matters little. I read previously in this thread that someone said that the 2011 London riots would have not been as serious had people owned guns. I think the prime example to show that this conclusion is faulty is the LA riots. The riots resulted in over 50 deaths. In the end, guns matter little when it comes to preventing crime.

3) The Eurozone has some huge fiscal problems, which cannot be denied by anyone. Luckily Europe has been having huge success in introducing austerity programs. There are still a lot of problems, especially with PIIGS, but it could be much much worse. European governments do have to cut spending, but many have been able to introduce deficit caps, which is something the US has yet to do.

Either way, as a side note, I find it erroneous to use the term "Europe" to denote primarily policies that Southern countries have. I lived for a couple of years in Poland, and compared even to the US, Poland has a very liberal economy.

As to those who claim that the US is "better" because of its minor role in WWII, your argumentative skills are that of a 7 year son-of-a-hick in a social studies class. Please, for christ's (and America's) sake, grow up.

Europeans work less hours, are less productive and less competitive than the US as well as other countries. High taxes, high regulation and massive entitlement programs.

And yes, austerity is being passed, thank god. Eventually you run out of other peoples money to spend. The problem is they are still not competitive on a global scale.

Oh, little history lesson, the US was a lot more than a minor role in World War II. I suggest you crack a book one of these days. I do wish you were correct though. Saddens me to think of how many brave Americans died when they should have been home, safe, protecting the US, not saving Europe's ass.

4/20/12

They are not less productive if GDP per capita is the same. Production is the definition of GDP. Hence, it is evident that Europe is not any less productive.

As for regulations, if you seriously understand business in both the US and Europe, you'll understand the amount of regulation in both countries is the same.

The US had a huge role in the pacific theater, which I admit I did not mention. However, in the European front, Russia was the most involved in the war, by far. (I've already read most of your previous posts arguing about this whole thing, so I suggest we both save time and drop this sub-point)

In reply to TNA
4/20/12
TNA:
minimierno:

I was born in the US and I've lived half my life in Europe and the other half in the US. This is what I think about this whole Europe/US thing:

1) The whole idea that Europe is "lazy" is just laughable. Just look at GDP per capita for the US and the Eurozone. They're essentially the same. Yes, sure, Europeans work less per week, but this is primarily because of cultural differences.

2) If you look at civil liberties between the two areas, in reality, they are the same. You may be able to carry guns in the US, but this matters little. I read previously in this thread that someone said that the 2011 London riots would have not been as serious had people owned guns. I think the prime example to show that this conclusion is faulty is the LA riots. The riots resulted in over 50 deaths. In the end, guns matter little when it comes to preventing crime.

3) The Eurozone has some huge fiscal problems, which cannot be denied by anyone. Luckily Europe has been having huge success in introducing austerity programs. There are still a lot of problems, especially with PIIGS, but it could be much much worse. European governments do have to cut spending, but many have been able to introduce deficit caps, which is something the US has yet to do.

Either way, as a side note, I find it erroneous to use the term "Europe" to denote primarily policies that Southern countries have. I lived for a couple of years in Poland, and compared even to the US, Poland has a very liberal economy.

As to those who claim that the US is "better" because of its minor role in WWII, your argumentative skills are that of a 7 year son-of-a-hick in a social studies class. Please, for christ's (and America's) sake, grow up.

Europeans work less hours, are less productive and less competitive than the US as well as other countries. High taxes, high regulation and massive entitlement programs.

And yes, austerity is being passed, thank god. Eventually you run out of other peoples money to spend. The problem is they are still not competitive on a global scale.

Oh, little history lesson, the US was a lot more than a minor role in World War II. I suggest you crack a book one of these days. I do wish you were correct though. Saddens me to think of how many brave Americans died when they should have been home, safe, protecting the US, not saving Europe's ass.

I think this statement is a large over-generalization. Big difference between Southern and Northern European ethics, economics and policies. Sweden has second most successful economy behind the US (in relative values, not absolute) and I actually live with a few kids from Sweden. They are very competitive and intelligent, and the social structure in Sweden promotes both competition and social responsibilities. There is a possible mix that can be successful as you can observe in these countries (Norway, Denmark, maybe Germany) as opposed to the other end of the spectrum (Italy, France, Greece). This needs to be taken into consideration in this post.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

In reply to streetwannabe
4/20/12
streetwannabe:
TNA:
minimierno:

I was born in the US and I've lived half my life in Europe and the other half in the US. This is what I think about this whole Europe/US thing:

1) The whole idea that Europe is "lazy" is just laughable. Just look at GDP per capita for the US and the Eurozone. They're essentially the same. Yes, sure, Europeans work less per week, but this is primarily because of cultural differences.

2) If you look at civil liberties between the two areas, in reality, they are the same. You may be able to carry guns in the US, but this matters little. I read previously in this thread that someone said that the 2011 London riots would have not been as serious had people owned guns. I think the prime example to show that this conclusion is faulty is the LA riots. The riots resulted in over 50 deaths. In the end, guns matter little when it comes to preventing crime.

3) The Eurozone has some huge fiscal problems, which cannot be denied by anyone. Luckily Europe has been having huge success in introducing austerity programs. There are still a lot of problems, especially with PIIGS, but it could be much much worse. European governments do have to cut spending, but many have been able to introduce deficit caps, which is something the US has yet to do.

Either way, as a side note, I find it erroneous to use the term "Europe" to denote primarily policies that Southern countries have. I lived for a couple of years in Poland, and compared even to the US, Poland has a very liberal economy.

As to those who claim that the US is "better" because of its minor role in WWII, your argumentative skills are that of a 7 year son-of-a-hick in a social studies class. Please, for christ's (and America's) sake, grow up.

Europeans work less hours, are less productive and less competitive than the US as well as other countries. High taxes, high regulation and massive entitlement programs.

And yes, austerity is being passed, thank god. Eventually you run out of other peoples money to spend. The problem is they are still not competitive on a global scale.

Oh, little history lesson, the US was a lot more than a minor role in World War II. I suggest you crack a book one of these days. I do wish you were correct though. Saddens me to think of how many brave Americans died when they should have been home, safe, protecting the US, not saving Europe's ass.

I think this statement is a large over-generalization. Big difference between Southern and Northern European ethics, economics and policies. Sweden has second most successful economy behind the US (in relative values, not absolute) and I actually live with a few kids from Sweden. They are very competitive and intelligent, and the social structure in Sweden promotes both competition and social responsibilities. There is a possible mix that can be successful as you can observe in these countries (Norway, Denmark, maybe Germany) as opposed to the other end of the spectrum (Italy, France, Greece). This needs to be taken into consideration in this post.

Europe as a whole, not just cherry picked countries. Just as Northern US states tend to have higher incomes or a higher quality of life than say Alabama or Mississippi, so do Northern European countries to Southern European countries.

At a blended rate the US is actually educationally equal to Europe.

In reply to minimierno
4/20/12
minimierno:

They are not less productive if GDP per capita is the same. Production is the definition of GDP. Hence, it is evident that Europe is not any less productive.

As for regulations, if you seriously understand business in both the US and Europe, you'll understand the amount of regulation in both countries is the same.

The US had a huge role in the pacific theater, which I admit I did not mention. However, in the European front, Russia was the most involved in the war, by far. (I've already read most of your previous posts arguing about this whole thing, so I suggest we both save time and drop this sub-point)

Russia without a doubt had the largest engagement in WWII. With that said, had the US not been involved Germany would have beaten Russia. Stalin was pressing the US to open up a European front, which the Americans and Europeans tried to delay because a weak Russia was in everyone's favor.

Had the US not been involved Germany would have won and Europe would be very different today. Considering the way the Germans treated conquered citizens I don't think many Europeans would have appreciated it.

4/20/12

TNA you should read this book about World War II:
http://www.amazon.com/No-Simple-Victory-Europe-193...

It shows how insignificant the western front was.

4/20/12

TNA - Have you ever been to Australia? When I visited there, I found the people there showed more love for America than most Americans I know. A couple of people I talked to said that they will always stand by America no matter what: war, economics, etc. Perhaps it's a loyalty as a fellow ex-colony, but it gave me a lot of warmth. I think the problem with Europeans with their dismay of America is that they think of America as their child, and that although we have catered significant amounts of capital, time, and lives to their benefit (much more significantly than any of them for ours), they still can't get past the fact that we are their offspring.

For people who think Europe is more evolved/enlightened, where is the New World? The ECB keeps coming to Geitner to pump more money into the rescue fund, which has been stopped (American participation that is), but who from America went to the ECB to beg for help in our financial crisis? Socialistic countries with below average productivity die out over time. If you study history every country that grows in time to some immense power eventually begins squandering their resources (as a result of complacency) on things that offer very little/abstract returns. This has been clearly going on in Europe, if you look at the relative power of the individual European nations from 1900-2000, you'll see that they have began the descent (accelerated by WW2), which was the reason for the necessity of the European Union for them to be able to maintain economic power and relevance.

EDIT: The productivity section was not intended to be a GDP thing, but about labor involvement.

In reply to minimierno
4/20/12
minimierno:

TNA you should read this book about World War II:
http://www.amazon.com/No-Simple-Victory-Europe-193...

It shows how insignificant the western front was.

I'll book mark it. Just bought Stalingrad. Honestly, I tend to read a lot about the Italian aspect of the war.

With that said, you need to look at it holistically. Germany lost because of lack of resources and attacking their industrial capacity. They were far superior militarily to the Russians and to the USA until maybe 43-44. The Axis powers lost 500,000 troops in North Africa. The Germans had a lot of troops tied up in Italy when Mussolini fell. Rommel was tied up fortifying France.

Had Montgomery failed at El Alamein the Germans would have had access to the much needed oil fields in the ME (which had a lot of pro German tendencies). If North Africa was secured, Mussolini would have stayed in power and those 500,000 Axis forces could have been deployed towards the Eastern Front.

With no Operation Torch, the US would not have been a match for the Germans. When the US first got involved they sucked ass. It took North Africa and then Sicily for the US forces to gain experience. Without those proving grounds the Normandy invasion would not have happened.

Russia fought bravely and lost a ton of people, but it took 3 fronts and destruction of Germany's manufacturing capabilities for the Germans to lose. Furthermore, the USA supplied the UK and Russia with munitions and financing. This was important also.

Yes, the US was "minor" compared to Germany and Russia, but without the US getting involved Germany would have won.

-----------

To the other poster, no, have not been to AUS yet. Would love to go. I've been overseas and really don't encounter any US hatred. Europeans just have a different way of doing things. Unfortunately, the world isn't about 6 weeks off and cradle to grave entitlements. China, India, etc are aggressively competing against the US and Europe.

Look at it like this. The US has a massive budget issue. We could end all the wars, increase taxes across the board and cut defense spending by 50% and poof, no budget issue. We also feed the world with a massive country and only 330MM people.

Europe on the other hand has expensive and encompassing entitlement programs that people will not give up. They have extremely high tax rates and pro labor laws making it hard to hire or fire employees. Europe is not competitive compares to the US or China, a good thing for workers who are taken care of and a bad thing for companies trying to stay in business. Europe has little defense spending which is easy to cut (as compared to social programs).

So what are they going to do?

No defense to cut

Taxes are already high

Can't really grow your way out because of pro labor laws

Social programs that require a lot of revenue and are difficult to cut

In reply to TNA
4/20/12
TNA:
streetwannabe:
TNA:
minimierno:

I was born in the US and I've lived half my life in Europe and the other half in the US. This is what I think about this whole Europe/US thing:

1) The whole idea that Europe is "lazy" is just laughable. Just look at GDP per capita for the US and the Eurozone. They're essentially the same. Yes, sure, Europeans work less per week, but this is primarily because of cultural differences.

2) If you look at civil liberties between the two areas, in reality, they are the same. You may be able to carry guns in the US, but this matters little. I read previously in this thread that someone said that the 2011 London riots would have not been as serious had people owned guns. I think the prime example to show that this conclusion is faulty is the LA riots. The riots resulted in over 50 deaths. In the end, guns matter little when it comes to preventing crime.

3) The Eurozone has some huge fiscal problems, which cannot be denied by anyone. Luckily Europe has been having huge success in introducing austerity programs. There are still a lot of problems, especially with PIIGS, but it could be much much worse. European governments do have to cut spending, but many have been able to introduce deficit caps, which is something the US has yet to do.

Either way, as a side note, I find it erroneous to use the term "Europe" to denote primarily policies that Southern countries have. I lived for a couple of years in Poland, and compared even to the US, Poland has a very liberal economy.

As to those who claim that the US is "better" because of its minor role in WWII, your argumentative skills are that of a 7 year son-of-a-hick in a social studies class. Please, for christ's (and America's) sake, grow up.

Europeans work less hours, are less productive and less competitive than the US as well as other countries. High taxes, high regulation and massive entitlement programs.

And yes, austerity is being passed, thank god. Eventually you run out of other peoples money to spend. The problem is they are still not competitive on a global scale.

Oh, little history lesson, the US was a lot more than a minor role in World War II. I suggest you crack a book one of these days. I do wish you were correct though. Saddens me to think of how many brave Americans died when they should have been home, safe, protecting the US, not saving Europe's ass.

I think this statement is a large over-generalization. Big difference between Southern and Northern European ethics, economics and policies. Sweden has second most successful economy behind the US (in relative values, not absolute) and I actually live with a few kids from Sweden. They are very competitive and intelligent, and the social structure in Sweden promotes both competition and social responsibilities. There is a possible mix that can be successful as you can observe in these countries (Norway, Denmark, maybe Germany) as opposed to the other end of the spectrum (Italy, France, Greece). This needs to be taken into consideration in this post.

Europe as a whole, not just cherry picked countries. Just as Northern US states tend to have higher incomes or a higher quality of life than say Alabama or Mississippi, so do Northern European countries to Southern European countries.

At a blended rate the US is actually educationally equal to Europe.

You are talking about the different geographies in a country compared to different countries within a continent is all I'm pointing out. Of course people would rather live in the best part(s) of a nation, but just another side comparison; would you rather have to live in Alabama/Mississippi, or Spain/Italy/Greece?

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

4/20/12

The US is far better than Europe. The moral decay here is frightening and it's almost completely due to welfare (not immigrant Muslims as many allege) and the lack of economic liberty

4/20/12

Since the US is states rights focused there are large differences in how each state is run. See Massachusetts (state wide healthcare) vs. Mississippi or something. I think it is only fair to compare the US to Europe as a whole.

I would rather life in Alabama. I have no interest in a hand out or large government. People should be free to fail or succeed on their own. Spain/Italy/Greece are all beautiful museums, but other than that they are has been nations.

In reply to Gladstone
4/20/12
TNN:

The US is far better than Europe. The moral decay here is frightening and it's almost completely due to welfare (not immigrant Muslims as many allege) and the lack of economic liberty

I like your screen name.

In reply to TNA
4/20/12
TNA:

Since the US is states rights focused there are large differences in how each state is run. See Massachusetts (state wide healthcare) vs. Mississippi or something. I think it is only fair to compare the US to Europe as a whole.

I would rather life in Alabama. I have no interest in a hand out or large government. People should be free to fail or succeed on their own. Spain/Italy/Greece are all beautiful museums, but other than that they are has been nations.

I guess it depends on your station in society as well. You'd rather be low income individ in Alabama than Spain?

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

In reply to streetwannabe
4/20/12
streetwannabe:
TNA:

Since the US is states rights focused there are large differences in how each state is run. See Massachusetts (state wide healthcare) vs. Mississippi or something. I think it is only fair to compare the US to Europe as a whole.

I would rather life in Alabama. I have no interest in a hand out or large government. People should be free to fail or succeed on their own. Spain/Italy/Greece are all beautiful museums, but other than that they are has been nations.

I guess it depends on your station in society as well. You'd rather be low income individ in Alabama than Spain?

Absolutely.

Everyone has free public education in the US. State Universities are low cost the student loans are provided by all. I am free to travel throughout this nation. If I work hard and study I can easily become middle class. If I choose not to I deserve to suffer whatever I might suffer.

In reply to TNA
4/20/12
TNA:
anon56:
TNA:
adast027:

Yes, 1942 for a conflict that started in 1939 and this was only after a direct attack.

The war was actually going on before this, but whatever.

Russia was not invaded until 1941. Americans began conflict against a nation that never harmed the US shortly there after.

But hey, facts are not important here.

You are aware that a) Italy and Germany declared war on the USA before the USA replied with their own declaration and b) As early as 1928 Hitler made pretty clear that a war with the United States was a key aim of the national socialist movement.? (Although the immediacy of this aim is contestable)

Also, as you will probably try and be pedantic about your definition of harm; before the United States and Germany went to war there was a not-insignificant series of naval confrontations in the Atlantic which resulted in the sinking of numerous American ships.

Your presentation of Hitler having some benign relationship to the US is un-supported by the vast majority of the historiography. Your arguments only really stack up in the world of WSO.

The USA was very much against going to war in WWII. The Pact of Steel and subsequent Japanese bombing brought the US in. Once Japan declared war against the US, so did Italy and Germany. Until then there was very little support for going to war.

"Americans began conflict against a nation that never harmed the US shortly there after. " - so you acknowledge this is incorrect? That is my point, I am not sure what yours is.

4/20/12

Let me tell you idiots something.. United States has stealth airplanes.. got it? good. PCE

4/20/12

And, I would rather live in N. Korea

In reply to anon56
4/20/12
anon56:
TNA:
anon56:
TNA:
adast027:

Yes, 1942 for a conflict that started in 1939 and this was only after a direct attack.

The war was actually going on before this, but whatever.

Russia was not invaded until 1941. Americans began conflict against a nation that never harmed the US shortly there after.

But hey, facts are not important here.

You are aware that a) Italy and Germany declared war on the USA before the USA replied with their own declaration and b) As early as 1928 Hitler made pretty clear that a war with the United States was a key aim of the national socialist movement.? (Although the immediacy of this aim is contestable)

Also, as you will probably try and be pedantic about your definition of harm; before the United States and Germany went to war there was a not-insignificant series of naval confrontations in the Atlantic which resulted in the sinking of numerous American ships.

Your presentation of Hitler having some benign relationship to the US is un-supported by the vast majority of the historiography. Your arguments only really stack up in the world of WSO.

The USA was very much against going to war in WWII. The Pact of Steel and subsequent Japanese bombing brought the US in. Once Japan declared war against the US, so did Italy and Germany. Until then there was very little support for going to war.

"Americans began conflict against a nation that never harmed the US shortly there after. " - so you acknowledge this is incorrect? That is my point, I am not sure what yours is.

What is your point? I am not seeing it in this series of responses.

My point is that a declaration of war was simply technical because of the Pact of Steel. Japan attacked us and lead us into the war. Germany and Italy were not a threat and we should never have been at war. The Germans couldn't attack the UK across a channel, there were not going to have a cross oceanic amphibious landing.

Look at the cold war. It isn't as if defeating Germany led to some peaceful utopia. The Russian's were our mutual enemy.

4/20/12

It's wrong to believe that Europe is just Germany, GB, Norway, or France. There are many other countries which have totally different middle class status, for example the ex communist countries. There are big differences in social statuses even for the countries in the EU.
Germans are really an exception, they have great working discipline, high tech nation, they save a lot, not like Greeks, and know how to protect their economy - when NOKIA closed down their factory, a survey was made and most of the Germans declared that they won't buy NOKIA phone any more.
But there are countries in Eastern Europe when middle class is so small that can't be counted and deffinatly you will have wealthier life in the USA than in these countries...Believe me or not there are many professionals in these countries that can but haven't left yet and are struggling to improve the economy and the lifestyle of everybody.
If somebody asks me if I believe I was born in the wrong country and would I rather live in USA, I would probably say that living in USA is maybe easier, but you will always be a foreigner. There is no better place than home, so if you don't like it, WORK for making it better.

P.S. I haven't been in Germany or Canada, but don't you think their systems look alike?

In reply to TNA
4/20/12
TNA:
anon56:
TNA:
anon56:
TNA:
adast027:

Yes, 1942 for a conflict that started in 1939 and this was only after a direct attack.

The war was actually going on before this, but whatever.

Russia was not invaded until 1941. Americans began conflict against a nation that never harmed the US shortly there after.

But hey, facts are not important here.

You are aware that a) Italy and Germany declared war on the USA before the USA replied with their own declaration and b) As early as 1928 Hitler made pretty clear that a war with the United States was a key aim of the national socialist movement.? (Although the immediacy of this aim is contestable)

Also, as you will probably try and be pedantic about your definition of harm; before the United States and Germany went to war there was a not-insignificant series of naval confrontations in the Atlantic which resulted in the sinking of numerous American ships.

Your presentation of Hitler having some benign relationship to the US is un-supported by the vast majority of the historiography. Your arguments only really stack up in the world of WSO.

The USA was very much against going to war in WWII. The Pact of Steel and subsequent Japanese bombing brought the US in. Once Japan declared war against the US, so did Italy and Germany. Until then there was very little support for going to war.

"Americans began conflict against a nation that never harmed the US shortly there after. " - so you acknowledge this is incorrect? That is my point, I am not sure what yours is.

What is your point? I am not seeing it in this series of responses.

My point is that a declaration of war was simply technical because of the Pact of Steel. Japan attacked us and lead us into the war. Germany and Italy were not a threat and we should never have been at war. The Germans couldn't attack the UK across a channel, there were not going to have a cross oceanic amphibious landing.

Look at the cold war. It isn't as if defeating Germany led to some peaceful utopia. The Russian's were our mutual enemy.

Yes but that's the point, Germany declared war on US after WE declared war on Japan because they were allies. So if another country delcares war on you, you should probably think a little about declaring war back on them.

4/20/12

the US was spoiling to get into the war long before Pearl Harbor.

Don't need to look much further than War Plan Orange, the American Volunteer Group, etc. I'm too lazy to educate the "my country right or wrong" crowd today. I know it is hard to deal with reality, but try.

And for a indubitably trusted source, read Herbert Hoover's private comments about Pearl Harbor. I suppose they'll brush Hoover off as an American hater too.

4/20/12

Thanks bulge_bracket, exactly the point I am making.

TNA, you were portraying the situation as if Germany and the USA were on good terms, and then the USA suddenly just decided to declare war to bail out Europe. - "Americans began conflict against a nation that never harmed the US". That is not correct, as we have discussed. While the USA's involvement may, as you have argued, have been to an extent due to a desire to save Europe - the way you have tried to make this point is factually incorrect.

That is significant because a) it undermines the basis of a lot of what you have been saying vis a vis the USA getting involved in a war that had nothing to do with them and b) it undermines you more generally as it would suggest that this 'fact' is indicative of the wider accuracy of your posts.

4/20/12

Anybody who says they would rather live in Alabama then Germany, Spain, Sweden, or Italy is just not someone who is anything like me. I dont believe that giant welfare states lead to better outcomes but this is a cultural issue not an economic one...I really cant abide the anti-intellectualism that is the norm in the South and having spent time there I can say with certainty that i feel very out of place. BTW its a purely personal thing...if you like the culture in Alabama then more power to you have a blast.

Also, I live in NYC and have spent much time in many countries of Europe and Scnadinavia. I feel no difference in "freedom" here vs there. There is nothing that I can think of that is illegal there that isnt here (even the gun laws where I live are just as draconian) and actually I am pretty sure that the laws about privacy are much worse here then most of these countries. The "hate speech" laws in many of these countries are absurd, but so is our Patriot Act.

On the WW2 thing, I dont think anyone knows what would have happened if the US hadnt entered but I find it very hard to believe Europe would be "speaking german". Let us not forget that all of these countries and cultures and languages were around for a long long time before the mighty USA showed up and they have fought many wars amongst themselves and empires have come and gone over the centuries. Pointing to specific battles where the US helped in one particular war is kind of getting lost in the trees vs seeing the very large forest.

In reply to Bondarb
4/20/12
Bondarb:

Anybody who says they would rather live in Alabama then Germany, Spain, Sweden, or Italy is just not someone who is anything like me. I dont believe that giant welfare states lead to better outcomes but this is a cultural issue not an economic one...I really cant abide the anti-intellectualism that is the norm in the South and having spent time there I can say with certainty that i feel very out of place. BTW its a purely personal thing...if you like the culture in Alabama then more power to you have a blast.

Also, I live in NYC and have spent much time in many countries of Europe and Scnadinavia. I feel no difference in "freedom" here vs there. There is nothing that I can think of that is illegal there that isnt here (even the gun laws where I live are just as draconian) and actually I am pretty sure that the laws about privacy are much worse here then most of these countries. The "hate speech" laws in many of these countries are absurd, but so is our Patriot Act.

On the WW2 thing, I dont think anyone knows what would have happened if the US hadnt entered but I find it very hard to believe Europe would be "speaking german". Let us not forget that all of these countries and cultures and languages were around for a long long time before the mighty USA showed up and they have fought many wars amongst themselves and empires have come and gone over the centuries. Pointing to specific battles where the US helped in one particular war is kind of getting lost in the trees vs seeing the very large forest.

this.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

4/21/12

TNA strikes me as one of those guys who is 1. so emotionally invested in his opinions that his judgement is clouded 2. thinks he knows a lot more than he actually does.

4/21/12

a true patriot

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

In reply to Bondarb
4/21/12
Bondarb:

Anybody who says they would rather live in Alabama then Germany, Spain, Sweden, or Italy is just not someone who is anything like me.

Spain? That's a stretch.

In reply to Bondarb
4/21/12
Bondarb:

Anybody who says they would rather live in Alabama then Germany, Spain, Sweden, or Italy is just not someone who is anything like me. I dont believe that giant welfare states lead to better outcomes but this is a cultural issue not an economic one...I really cant abide the anti-intellectualism that is the norm in the South and having spent time there I can say with certainty that i feel very out of place. BTW its a purely personal thing...if you like the culture in Alabama then more power to you have a blast.

Also, I live in NYC and have spent much time in many countries of Europe and Scnadinavia. I feel no difference in "freedom" here vs there. There is nothing that I can think of that is illegal there that isnt here (even the gun laws where I live are just as draconian) and actually I am pretty sure that the laws about privacy are much worse here then most of these countries. The "hate speech" laws in many of these countries are absurd, but so is our Patriot Act.

On the WW2 thing, I dont think anyone knows what would have happened if the US hadnt entered but I find it very hard to believe Europe would be "speaking german". Let us not forget that all of these countries and cultures and languages were around for a long long time before the mighty USA showed up and they have fought many wars amongst themselves and empires have come and gone over the centuries. Pointing to specific battles where the US helped in one particular war is kind of getting lost in the trees vs seeing the very large forest.

1) There are just as many ignorant bigots in Europe as there are in the south

2) The question was not posed to say would you rather live in bum fuck Alabama or Rome/Paris/Madrid.

Obviously anyone would rather enjoy the beauty, culture and history of Spain over deliverance country. The issue was framed around being poor and would you rather be poor in the US with limited entitlements vs. being poor in Europe. My stance is I would rather take the shittiest state in the US than Europe with their entitlements. With education, hard work and the freedoms that the US provide you can easily become middle class. If you cannot achieve this I believe you reap what you sow.

In reply to JDawg
4/21/12
JDawg:

TNA strikes me as one of those guys who is 1. so emotionally invested in his opinions that his judgement is clouded 2. thinks he knows a lot more than he actually does.

Considering the fact that I was going to be a history major in UG, with a focus on WWII/European military history and when I look up from my laptop I see over a dozen WWII books (and that is just what I have with me, not counting what is at my parents house) I think I have enough knowledge to discuss this.

My opinions are mine. I have formed them over a long time and a lot of reading and studying on the subject. Others have debated me about the US involvement in WWII and that is fine. There are books stating that we had a useless impact and others stating that we were the most important impact.

How about you actually form an opinion and argument instead of making it sound like I have no understanding of the argument and things are black and white, which they clearly are not.

I disagree with a lot of people in this thread and site as a whole, but at least they have an opinion, much more than I can say about your snarky posts.

In reply to Bondarb
4/21/12
Bondarb:

Anybody who says they would rather live in Alabama then Germany, Spain, Sweden, or Italy is just not someone who is anything like me. I dont believe that giant welfare states lead to better outcomes but this is a cultural issue not an economic one...I really cant abide the anti-intellectualism that is the norm in the South and having spent time there I can say with certainty that i feel very out of place. BTW its a purely personal thing...if you like the culture in Alabama then more power to you have a blast.

Also, I live in NYC and have spent much time in many countries of Europe and Scnadinavia. I feel no difference in "freedom" here vs there. There is nothing that I can think of that is illegal there that isnt here (even the gun laws where I live are just as draconian) and actually I am pretty sure that the laws about privacy are much worse here then most of these countries. The "hate speech" laws in many of these countries are absurd, but so is our Patriot Act.

On the WW2 thing, I dont think anyone knows what would have happened if the US hadnt entered but I find it very hard to believe Europe would be "speaking german". Let us not forget that all of these countries and cultures and languages were around for a long long time before the mighty USA showed up and they have fought many wars amongst themselves and empires have come and gone over the centuries. Pointing to specific battles where the US helped in one particular war is kind of getting lost in the trees vs seeing the very large forest.

Disagree with you on one point - this wasn't a normal war, it was different in that the axis was literally trying to wipe out the polish culture, language, etc along with the Jews, other Slavs, etc. They were waging a campaign for germanization. So it's not quite the traditional war.

4/21/12

Norman Davies, "No Simple Victory: WWII in Europe, 1939-1945"

In reply to TNA
4/23/12
TNA:
Bondarb:

Anybody who says they would rather live in Alabama then Germany, Spain, Sweden, or Italy is just not someone who is anything like me. I dont believe that giant welfare states lead to better outcomes but this is a cultural issue not an economic one...I really cant abide the anti-intellectualism that is the norm in the South and having spent time there I can say with certainty that i feel very out of place. BTW its a purely personal thing...if you like the culture in Alabama then more power to you have a blast.

Also, I live in NYC and have spent much time in many countries of Europe and Scnadinavia. I feel no difference in "freedom" here vs there. There is nothing that I can think of that is illegal there that isnt here (even the gun laws where I live are just as draconian) and actually I am pretty sure that the laws about privacy are much worse here then most of these countries. The "hate speech" laws in many of these countries are absurd, but so is our Patriot Act.

On the WW2 thing, I dont think anyone knows what would have happened if the US hadnt entered but I find it very hard to believe Europe would be "speaking german". Let us not forget that all of these countries and cultures and languages were around for a long long time before the mighty USA showed up and they have fought many wars amongst themselves and empires have come and gone over the centuries. Pointing to specific battles where the US helped in one particular war is kind of getting lost in the trees vs seeing the very large forest.

1) There are just as many ignorant bigots in Europe as there are in the south

2) The question was not posed to say would you rather live in bum fuck Alabama or Rome/Paris/Madrid.

Obviously anyone would rather enjoy the beauty, culture and history of Spain over deliverance country. The issue was framed around being poor and would you rather be poor in the US with limited entitlements vs. being poor in Europe. My stance is I would rather take the shittiest state in the US than Europe with their entitlements. With education, hard work and the freedoms that the US provide you can easily become middle class. If you cannot achieve this I believe you reap what you sow.

Actually, this isn't true. If you're born in the wrong part of the US, you're doomed. You'd live in the wrong neighborhood, you wouldn't get good education, and your life would pretty much be screwed from there. It is easier to get decent education in Europe than it is in the US.

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

And Rhaegar died.

In reply to Anomanderis
4/23/12
Anomanderis:
TNA:
Bondarb:

Anybody who says they would rather live in Alabama then Germany, Spain, Sweden, or Italy is just not someone who is anything like me. I dont believe that giant welfare states lead to better outcomes but this is a cultural issue not an economic one...I really cant abide the anti-intellectualism that is the norm in the South and having spent time there I can say with certainty that i feel very out of place. BTW its a purely personal thing...if you like the culture in Alabama then more power to you have a blast.

Also, I live in NYC and have spent much time in many countries of Europe and Scnadinavia. I feel no difference in "freedom" here vs there. There is nothing that I can think of that is illegal there that isnt here (even the gun laws where I live are just as draconian) and actually I am pretty sure that the laws about privacy are much worse here then most of these countries. The "hate speech" laws in many of these countries are absurd, but so is our Patriot Act.

On the WW2 thing, I dont think anyone knows what would have happened if the US hadnt entered but I find it very hard to believe Europe would be "speaking german". Let us not forget that all of these countries and cultures and languages were around for a long long time before the mighty USA showed up and they have fought many wars amongst themselves and empires have come and gone over the centuries. Pointing to specific battles where the US helped in one particular war is kind of getting lost in the trees vs seeing the very large forest.

1) There are just as many ignorant bigots in Europe as there are in the south

2) The question was not posed to say would you rather live in bum fuck Alabama or Rome/Paris/Madrid.

Obviously anyone would rather enjoy the beauty, culture and history of Spain over deliverance country. The issue was framed around being poor and would you rather be poor in the US with limited entitlements vs. being poor in Europe. My stance is I would rather take the shittiest state in the US than Europe with their entitlements. With education, hard work and the freedoms that the US provide you can easily become middle class. If you cannot achieve this I believe you reap what you sow.

Actually, this isn't true. If you're born in the wrong part of the US, you're doomed. You'd live in the wrong neighborhood, you wouldn't get good education, and your life would pretty much be screwed from there. It is easier to get decent education in Europe than it is in the US.

I agree with this. I am from MT and am trying to break in to finance in NY. I was never even exposed to the Wall Street/ finance culture till college and am having an extremely tough time breaking in. Granted, I am actually one of the few who "get out" of MT and was relatively successful in my high school, I am still behind the curve in relevance to many kids brought up in other areas.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

In reply to TNA
4/23/12
TNA:
Panic:
TNA:

Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

Epic.

Let me qualify that by saying the land mass would exist, but if not for the US everyone would be speaking German or Russian.

Let me qualify that by saying the land mass would exist (US), but if not for the Spanish/Europeans everyone would be speaking Native American (if that's even a language).

The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.
In reply to jacksooon999
4/24/12
4/24/12

Korea pays for its own American occupation, which is why 2/3 of SOUTH koreans have a negative opinion of the US. Meanwhile the typical American fatass jingo thinks that the US is doing that country a FAVOR and picking up the tab. The antennas used for sigint in West Germany have since 1991 been used for industrial espionage against German firms. Kind of par for the course for Ugly Americanism which again the ignoramus couch potato set in Peoria doesn't grasp.

The whole European thesis of his is really, really rich. America collected its mercenary's wages at Bretton Woods, and anyone dense enough not to know that -- how are they able to work in finance?

In reply to jacksooon999
4/24/12
rpcas:

ANT, you've made some completely nonsensical comments in this thread.

Your " I wish we had never risked lives for such an ungrateful continent in WWII..." comment is ignorant. If you haven't figured it out yet, the United States is always happy to risk lives for little gain, as the Vietnam, Korean,Gulf, Afghan and Iraqi wars have shown. So don't pull this "Europe's ungrateful" shit as if the United States soldier's lives are so inherently valuable. The country kills its own soldiers for little, if any, gain.

Oh, and please don't bring up this "we have to police the world so can't afford a safety net like the Europeans" bullshit. Nobody forces America to keep many thousands of troops stationed in Japan, Korea, Europe, so on and so forth, doing absolutely nothing. Nobody forces the United States to maintain more nukes than every other country (besides Russia) combined. The United States makes it own bed to lay in.

Furthermore, America might be more "competitive" than Europe in terms of labour costs, labour flexibility and so on, but who gives a fuck? China and India are both significantly more "competitive" than America, but the majority of Chinese and Indians are poor and both countries are shit-holes to live in. Go figure. In the scheme of things, "competitiveness", whatever it's defined as, doesn't really matter. Economically, what does matter is GDP, which is by definition a measure of productivity. The statistics show that Western Europe's GDP per capita is not far behind the United States, and when you account for the fact that a greater proportion of the United States GDP is generated by a few absurdly wealthy individuals, Europe and America are closer than you might think.

For gods sake though Ant, don't be so single minded. For every individual thing America is great at or has going for it, there is another which America is just terrible at. Don't think freedom is one thing America has that many other countries don't, because quite frankly, in terms of freedom America is many places down the list.

Personally, given the choice between Europe and America it's hard to say. I'd prefer Switzerland, Norway and Sweden over anywhere in America, but living in Manhattan > any European city other than Geneva or Zurich. Apart from that, its a tough choice between California or Germany, Boston or say Paris, Chicago or say Amsterdam...

Awesome post.

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

And Rhaegar died.

In reply to jacksooon999
4/24/12

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4/25/12

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

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5/4/12

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

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