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Some differences Europe/USA

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Whomp, May 29, 2008.

  1. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    I've always been curious why Europeans and Americans view things so differently. This historian has some views and let's discuss some of them. I'm wondering if you see it. Pick any one of these paragraphs to discuss or read the pdf and bring out another piece Bark writes about. Here are a two part of our differences I'd like some view on.

    http://media.hoover.org/documents/0-8179-4802-3_11.pdf

     
  2. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

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    Interesting article. You could also substitute "America" for "Australia", although the difference to European culture is more subtle, since Australia had much stronger ties with Europe and Britain than America IMHO.
     
  3. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    I actually found his discussion of the American flag, patronage and the difference in university systems very interesting too but felt it was too much to add.
     
  4. Gigaz

    Gigaz civoholic

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    I think it's . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. The US seem to have a strong aristocracy of moneymakers which effectively rule the country. I don't see how "anybody" can become president without 500 million$ for electoral purposes from his own bag or from a huge lobby of rich white men. Look at Bush: An idiot with a rich father.
    In Europe, differences between the social classes are smaller and children have higher chances to achieve a place in a wealthier class then their parents.
    The difference is that Americans, unlike Europeans, believe that they are free to become whatever they want. Europeans complain more.
    I'm not buying the "easy and relaxed camaraderie between social classes that exists in America" as well. People of different wealth usually don't live among each other in America as well as in Europe. Michael Moore wrote on the topic: Why is there no black actor in "Friends"?, that white middle class Americans rarely have black friends. I think he is right.

    Edit: Watch Pulp Fiction: John Travolta can explain the difference much better ;)
     
  5. Aramazd

    Aramazd Deity

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    Interesting article, I thought it came off a bit pro-US preachy though.

    Clinton was born poor
    You're not allowed to be whatever you want? Europe must suck.
    Why not? The fact that there is no black actor on friends is hardly a good reason.
     
  6. Fetus4188

    Fetus4188 Deity

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    Am I to believe that you are basing you opinion on whether or not Americans have camaraderie between social classes based on Pulp Fiction?

    Sorry, but my experiences are based on real life, and I say it does exist. I've seen poor Mexican immigrants getting a college education for themselves and having the ambition to make something of themselves, and I've seen the son of a brilliant mathematician choose for himself a blue collar career.
     
  7. dosed150

    dosed150 Emperor

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    its not just the usa where almost all the leaders are rich, most british prime ministers have come from fairly privileged backgrounds, the only exception in recent years would be john major, ironically a tory, although were lucky to have so far avoided dodgy political families like the kennedy's or bush's
     
  8. Fetus4188

    Fetus4188 Deity

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    I don't really see the justification in saying that American presidents come from big political families. Bush is an anomaly, not the norm.
     
  9. The End Is Nigh

    The End Is Nigh Repent!!!

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    That is a very strong claim to make. It was the wealthy that rose up to the English during the Revolution and the ruling elite in the South – whose authority was being challenged – that led to the civil war.

    That’s inaccurate. Indeed, civil servants in France make up 9.7% of the population, but in Germany it is only 6.5% and in the US it is actually 7.5%. The Bureaucracy has the same characteristics in every country and thus has the same influence in the US as it does in Europe.

    Oh boy, who is this guy writing this nonsense…

    Europeans don’t look to their governments to decide, control, etc… They DEMAND from their governments. And if their demands are not met, those governments know their fate.

    Is this why the American elite is not educated as such prestigious institutions such as Yale and Harvard?

    The United States has created mixed-salad relationships? Europe has gone along way to integrating different ethnic and religious groups compared to the US which is clearly lagging behind.

    Anybody can operate a business, earn respect, and succeed? True, provided that he is male, white-collar, middle class. As to anybody being able to send their kids to college, that is true in Europe where education is free – NOT in the US.

    Please, no more with this American dream nonsense. We have had more than our share of “anybodies” and – unfortunately – “nobodies” running our lives.

    Are these our differences with the Americans? I do not think so. We believe that education should be free whereas Americans don’t. We believe that every man, every woman, every child should have access to the best medical care available for free, whereas Americans don’t. We believe that it is the duty of the state to protect the vulnerable and needy, whereas Americans don’t.
     
  10. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    Not exactly a bad piece. It's a very American piece though. Any attempt to define a common European mind-set is by default going to be very much a sweeping generalisation (and the same its true for the US).

    For an interpretation with a very different tenor of how Sweden and the Swedes work for instance, especially what the strong welfare state means to them, try this:

    http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~scan/berggren.pdf

    You might be surprised...
     
  11. CaptainF

    CaptainF The Professional Poster

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    This article is clearly very pro-US.

    I can't really see the accuracy in the claims the author is making...
     
  12. Grisu

    Grisu Draghetto Retired Moderator

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    the article raises some good points, but it goes a bit overboard, I'm afraid. IMHO it overplays the importance of classes in europe. For example, poor born presidents of no 'high birth' and no high education are known here too..

    And though he highlights some of europe's problems he somehow fails to do the same for the US (mind you, I only read the two quoted paragraphs, I'll do the rest when I have more time:
     
  13. shortguy

    shortguy It's a working title

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    Successful? I'm not sure about that. I do think that Europeans--at least, the ones on this forum--tend to downplay the racial tensions in their own societies, but to say that American efforts to get rid of racial tension are "largely successful" seems to me to be far too generous.
     
  14. Sims2789

    Sims2789 Fool me once...

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    One in three people employed by the government? That's disgusting.
     
  15. Hehehe

    Hehehe Emperor

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    That article doesn't happen to be made by an american, does it?
     
  16. AceChilla

    AceChilla Goedheiligman

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    And yet the US has far less social mobility than most European nations.



    http://www.economicmobility.org/assets/pdfs/EMP_American_Dream.pdf

    It seems the author still thinks Europeans are living in the 1890's. He does a poor job at describing the current European mindset or culture.
     
  17. Richard Cribb

    Richard Cribb He does monologues

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    Just exactly, judging from what I am able to read (I am not able to open that bloody thing without crashes), which is only what is quoted in the OP.
    But this "historian" really gets a nice start:
    Umm, no. "America" was "built" by some European immigrants, who did not "eschew" certain "social, political and economical practices". They especially did not eschew the idea that a small class of property-owning males should rule the society. They still don't, neither there nor in Europe.

    Their purpose was to form a government from a small elite, why producing lofty rhetorics to give such an impression as in the quote above.

    I don't want to go into further detail on this, and it is my understanding that the corporate media of the USA is spawning this sort of "historians" all over the place, spreading those infantile myths that "America" is almost a classless paradise of justice and equality, only threatened by the evil government and those nasty and greedy unions. So I will hazard a guess that his piece is a good illustration of just this phenomena, and perhaps that the hoover in the link has some connection with the Hoover Institute.
    Finally, I don't think it would hurt neither the OP nor anybody else to reflect on what class really is.
    Finally, I think.
     
  18. Richard Cribb

    Richard Cribb He does monologues

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    That is, provided that this number is correct, one in three employed in public sector. And what is so disgusting about that?
     
  19. dutchfire

    dutchfire Deity Retired Moderator

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  20. Julian Delphiki

    Julian Delphiki Anton's key

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    It would be nice if it really would be like that. :yup:
     

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