Why does everyone insist on comparing America to Europe ?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by glocke12, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #1
    One recurring theme I have noticed in these forums is the tendency to compare America to Europe/GB, and use Europe/GB as an example of "how things should be", as if these countries are perfect, crime free, and have no problems.

    For example, with the latest school shooting everyone is quick to "jump on the gun" and bash America and its gun culture and bring up Europe/GB as an example of "how things should be", with guns being either banned or more tightly controlled.

    Same thing goes for health care, taxes, gas prices, etc...Many people here hold up Europe/GB as prime examples of how things "should be".

    Fact is, America is an entirely different country, is an entirely different society/culture, and has a completely different history than "that other part of the world".
     
  2. Squadleader macrumors regular

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    #2

    Envy.....
     
  3. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

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    #3
    Poor people in Norway have a better quality of life than Middle class America.

    Think about that. :rolleyes:
     
  4. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    Oh please..thats the best you can come up with? So your saying someone who lives at the poverty level in Norway has better quality of life than someone in America who is making ~50k a year (with 50k being the median income of what is defined as middle class in America).

    In Norway, who is paying for that persons quality of life?

    ----------

    Also, if that is the case why are people not risking their lives to go live in Norway like they do to come to the US, and why do so many other people try to come to our country either legally or illegally if things are so much better in Europe/GB ?
     
  5. MorphingDragon, Feb 29, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012

    MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    Everyone.

    Because Norway borders Europe, not the Americas.
     
  6. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    People are people, no matter what part of the world they're in. They want the same things, mainly the happiness that comes from a government that works with and for them, instead of one that works with and for Wall Street. And you see more of the former in Europe.

    So yeah, envy.
     
  7. throAU, Feb 29, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #7
    Probably because, given the typical state of geographical knowledge in the states, "Europe" is about the only "country" they know outside of the US, other than Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan (that they probably can't locate on a map).

    Europe encompasses a huge variety of countries, some similar to the US in terms of political leadership, and some completely and utterly different.

    It's like comparing, say, a tomato to "fruit". Or say, a Dodge Nitro to "a car".
     
  8. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #8
    Which European countries have you actually lived in for a considerable period of time OP?
     
  9. throAU macrumors 601

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    #9
    Because if you're in mexico, and don't have a boat, it's about the closest civilised nation?


    Plenty of people are refugees in european countries, australia, etc.

    Having people risking their lives to get into your country is not a problem unique to the USA. I mean, i know (some of) you guys seem to have some sort of irrational xenophobic hatred/fear of russia over there (more so in the past, and more so amongst particular demographics), but "even" Russia have refugees fleeing to their country:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...er-into-russia-to-escape-conflict-890287.html

    ----------


    Agree with this.

    Have worked in South Africa, Zambia, Mali, Kazakhstan; visited Dubai, France, Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa; live in Australia.

    People are more alike than many would have you believe.


    edit:
    speaking of russia, currently trying to get a visa to get in and have a look later this year. can't wait :D
     
  10. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #10
    Agreed.

    However, this argument is often used to defend policy that is stagnant, or worse regressive, and to shut down meaningful discussion (just like branding something "socialist"). Different does not mean better (or worse). To think the U.S. cannot examine other systems and learn from them to improve ourselves (like the "founding fathers" did in establishing our representative democracy) is the beginning of the end of the U.S. experiment. And as the U.S. was largely born from European roots, the comparison is a natural one.
     
  11. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    None....However I have family members that have spent a considerable amount of time (months and years ) living in other countries for work, but in any case this post is not about my experiences or theirs, it is about what I have seen time and time again in this forum from members who live elsewhere that repeatedly like to bring up Europe/GB as an example of how things should be with regards to everything from gun control to healthcare, gas prices and taxes.

    My point is that my country is unique and distinct from any of those countries, and that you simply can't use what goes on in Europe/GB as a model or comparison for the US. For example, with regards to firearms ownership we have a provision in our constitution that guarantees us the right to own a firearm, and was put there in large part to allow the citizens to defend themselves FROM the government. This right has been reaffirmed time and time again by our highest court. Whereas Europe/GB has a history dating back hundreds of years of denying the common man the right to wield a weapon.

    Along the same lines, my country cannot expect to go into another country and attempt establish democracy when that country has a long history of not knowing anything but authoritarian rule.
     
  12. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #12
    Lol.

    Now, this is going to be slightly OT, but the mention of democracy vs other in here makes me laugh.


    Don't get me wrong, the founding fathers has sound ideas, and the american constitution is very well thought out and should be upheld.


    However, today, it is twisted and manipulated by the powers that be to keep the population scared and malleable. Parts of the constitution that are inconvenient are being nullified or worked around by new laws to keep the population under control even though your government is screwing you.

    When you have a choice between a few candidates that can only get an entry to the race on the back of backing by big business, and can only get media coverage if they are aligned with big business is no democracy at all.

    You don't have democracy over there, you have a corporate dictatorship.

    Which is not to say that democracy everywhere else is any good... but to complain about other systems of government being corrupt etc is throwing stones in a glass house...
     
  13. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #13
    See the problem is that all these countries are on one big bit of rock (earth) which makes comparison inevitable. People will always search for a better way of life. Besides, the US sticks its nose in everyone's business - it's repugnant to not ask for its own internal affairs to warrant comparison or examination, especially with something as shocking as your gun deaths or religious nutjobs running around in politics.
     
  14. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

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    #14
    The UK doesn't stick its nose into everyones business? Or are you some of the few people that aren't scared about being recorded on the street. :rolleyes:
     
  15. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Fair enough...

    But I would counter that argument by saying that in a "free" society, you will inevitably have those issues..

    Also, you cant talk about gun deaths without putting it into perspective...there are at least 50x more deaths by vehicle here than there are deaths by guns.
     
  16. niuniu macrumors 68020

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    #16
    We do stick our noses where it's not wanted. But I don't go around saying 'don't look at the UK, we're unique so don't compare us'.

    I say the opposite to you. The UK has serious issues and we should be looking overseas for solutions and better working models for our society.

    I also think that hiding behind the ideas of people who haven't even lived in contemporary society is a meaningless concept. Social ideas from generations past should only last so long as they are relevant and continue to fit a progressive society.
     
  17. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    Disappointed it took 14 posts before someone brought up a "flaw" that exists with a country other than the US.

    Also, just to be clear, I am not saying we (the US) is perfect...We are not, but neither are any of these other countries that are portrayed on this forum as being a paradise of equality and human rights.
     
  18. niuniu macrumors 68020

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    #18
    Come on mate, don't do that. Don't be the guy who justifies something by looking at something worse. :(
     
  19. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #19
    So you think freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from unreasonable searches/seizures, the right to a fair and speed trial, the right for people to not harbor troops in their homes, the right for people to keep firearms,etc.. are antiquated ideas that need to re-examined?

    On the one hand you criticize your gov't, yet on the other hand you indicate that the very freedoms that allow you to criticize your gov't, and possibly correct that situation need to be reexamined?

    You cant have it both ways, meaning you can't be critical of your gov't while at the same time say that the rights that allow you to be critical are no longer relevant.

    ----------

    Im not justifying anything at all. I am merely putting things into perspective. I am as appalled as anyone by the senseless deaths, (by senseless I mean gun deaths involving non-criminals only), but there needs to be perspective when these discussions occur.
     
  20. garybUK Guest

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    I agree, the grass isn't aways greener, I have worked and been to the USA and I have witnessed how a lack of National Free Health impacts on a person, on the flip I have witnessed how a National Free Health System and, to be honest, I'd take our NHS any day of the week.

    Plus points and negative points, no country is ever going to be perfect.

    I think as said before because we all share similar ancestry then comparisons will be made.

    I know which side my bread is buttered
     
  21. niuniu macrumors 68020

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    Where any of those are causing a lot deaths then of course!

    Freedoms and rights always need to be re-examined. The UK for example had its equitable principles (legal principles of fairness) very well established via case law and statute law. That didn't stop us from legislating the Human Rights Act in very recent history. That made life better in many ways and we didn't lose freedoms with it - we gained more. Some would argue too many people gained too many freedoms with it.

    The good things you take with you into the future, those that cause death and pain you leave behind.
     
  22. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

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    garybUK, until reforms to NHS were made in the last decade, everyone thought NHS was a bit of a joke--no wonder why many British citizens were leaving the UK for surgery (when my late mom was hospitalized in 2003 and 2004 I saw a number of UK citizens at the hospital getting ready for heart surgery).

    I do think NHS is now a lot better nowadays, though.
     
  23. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    The problem is, you could make an argument as to how any of these could cause alot of deaths...

    Are you really willing to give up rights/freedoms and liberty for some perceived notion of safety where "the state" essentially has all the power and the people have no say or ability to do anything about it ?
     
  24. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #24
    And yet if you use a firearm to defend yourself from the government, you're going to be spending a long, long time in prison. So what's the point of that second amendment again?
     
  25. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #25
    Median income in the U.S. is about $27,000 a year, $45,000 for households.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

    Edit: My mistake, $28,500:

    http://pubdb3.census.gov/macro/032006/perinc/new05_001.htm

    As for comparing the U.S. to Europe, without something to compare the U.S. to, it's difficult to have meaningful conversations about how things could be improved. By using actual comparative data, hopefully we can have more useful discussions.
     

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