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Does America enjoy a better standard of living than Europe?

Does America enjoy a better standard of living than Europe?

The Wall Street Journal comments on a Swedish report that seems to effectively conclude that America’s poor are better off than Europe’s poor (defined as having an annual income less than US$25,000), since apparently “72.8% have a car and almost 77% have air conditioning”.

This is apparently very very bad news for Europe and its welfare system. But the Wall Street Journal forgets one fairly major flaw in this opinion. There’s simply much less need for a car in Europe, because by and large public transportation is much better. It is possible to get from A to B without waiting two sodding hours for a bus in Europe, unlike America.

By the same token, the climate isn’t necessarily as bad in Northern Europe either. Less pollution etc. tends to mean that the air doesn’t get trapped in heat, so you don’t need to use a/c just to remain cool, which further exacerbates the air conditioning problem.

I’d still much rather live in America than Europe. But that’s just because the babes dig my accent, daddio.


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  • Wha…? I can't understand what you said 😉

    What a dumb conclusion, I agree. So we're
    supposed to be less poor, when we have
    shitty car payments + outrageous gas prices
    and insurance?! Insanity.

    By the way, gas here is way over $2.00 already.
    Cranky's car got totalled by a drunk driver this
    weekend, and he's especially upset as he had
    just bought a full tank of !@#$ expensive gas…
    it's moronic that we don't have better public transportation.

  • Haha!

    I've always tried to point out to my European friends that the reason Americans seem so unwashed and unsophisticated to them is that our poor, uneducated slobs can actually afford to travel to Europe, unlike the other way around, where generally speaking the only Europeans taking trips to the US tend to be educated, well paid and cultured.

    I try to make that point to my American friends who looooooove to wail about how the US treats its poor.

    Visit another country, I say, any country. Then complain to me.

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