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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.

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Comments (150)

  • In reply to PetEng
    melvvvar's picture

    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.

  • tiger90's picture

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

  • melvvvar's picture

    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
    PetEng's picture

    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).

  • tiger90's picture

    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.

  • melvvvar's picture

    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.

  • PetEng's picture

    The Battle of Kursk section would be enlightening...

  • tiger90's picture

    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.

  • melvvvar's picture

    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
    melvvvar's picture

    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.

  • TNA's picture

    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.

  • tiger90's picture

    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*

  • tiger90's picture

    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
    melvvvar's picture

    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.

  • TNA's picture

    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.

  • tiger90's picture

    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
    melvvvar's picture

    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
    melvvvar's picture

    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
    tiger90's picture

    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 ;)

  • TNA's picture

    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.

  • melvvvar's picture

    "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.

  • TNA's picture

    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.

  • melvvvar's picture

    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.

  • tiger90's picture

    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.

  • TNA's picture

    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
    PetEng's picture

    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
    PetEng's picture

    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.

  • Anomanderis's picture

    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.

  • Baoch's picture

    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.

  • bloomburger's picture

    Does Australia count?

  • chabo11's picture

    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
    The.RealDeal's picture

    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. "

  • melvvvar's picture

    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
    TNA's picture

    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
    TNA's picture

    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
    N.R.G.'s picture

    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
    melvvvar's picture

    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.

  • TNA's picture

    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
    N.R.G.'s picture

    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.
    TNA's picture

    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.

  • adast027's picture

    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.

  • adast027's picture

    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
    TNA's picture

    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.

  • adast027's picture

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

  • In reply to adast027
    TNA's picture

    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
    dmackorth's picture

    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
    bulge_bracket's picture

    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
    Anomanderis's picture

    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
    anon56's picture

    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.

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