As a European, I've spend quite a long time in the United States. Over the years, I've realized that Americans are afraid of socialism and somehow (falsely) equate Europe with socialism. In reality, though, many European countries, like Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, France are social democracies. This has nothing to do with socialism. It simply means that the government takes care of ALL its citizens, which I think should be the primary role of government besides providing national safety and infrastructure. These so called Social-Democratic countries generally offer: - universal healthcare - universal retirement plans - free university educations - free kindergarten/preschool - years of maternity leave - 4-6 weeks of vacation (minimum) - unlimited sick leave - great public infrastructure - public transportation - higher rankings on quality of life indexes - happier people on happiness indexes Is it that Americans really don't know these things or do they actually don't want to live such lives? I'm not trying to be rude here! I realize there are different customs, traditions, ideologies, beliefs, etc... I'm just saying that I personally think this is a better system than the entirely deregulated free-market capitalism antigovernment ideology in the United States. What do you guys think?