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View Poll Results: EU vs NA
European Union 91 46.67%
North America 104 53.33%
Voters: 195. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-24-2012, 04:20 AM
 
355 posts, read 514,890 times
Reputation: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by yowps3 View Post
You obviously have not been to EU.. because in Europe laws may seem less strict on paper, but in reality it is worse then USA, in EU you will be asked for you identification by just walking in the streets, at any time you will be asked for ID for no reason.. Totally evokes any sense of freedom..

Stuff like that do not happen in NA.


Where is that?

 
Old 05-24-2012, 05:00 AM
 
2,368 posts, read 1,988,048 times
Reputation: 1559
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenk893 View Post
I've been to Europe and trust me, Europe will never have anything on North America as a whole.
Wow, you are such a globetrotter
 
Old 05-24-2012, 05:29 AM
 
1,736 posts, read 813,950 times
Reputation: 1114
Quote:
Originally Posted by yowps3 View Post
You obviously have not been to EU.. because in Europe laws may seem less strict on paper, but in reality it is worse then USA, in EU you will be asked for you identification by just walking in the streets, at any time you will be asked for ID for no reason.. Totally evokes any sense of freedom..
Stuff like that do not happen in NA.
Um, where in the EU is that? I've never encountered or heard about anything like it, and from the comments here, neither have anyone else. Are you sure you did not get the EU confused with Latin America when traveling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djmanu View Post
It depends ... you have more financial freedom in the US.
I'm not so sure of that...a person of working age needs to keep their health insurance going, especially if they have kids. That means that you can't do stuff like saving a bit and take a year off, or similar that is much easier in the EU. It is a fairly strict financial curb on your freedom.
 
Old 05-24-2012, 10:46 AM
 
256 posts, read 327,208 times
Reputation: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by GioLM View Post
This can be argued as well, being that in the US there are plenty of ways that keeps it's population financially enslaved to the government...so curious as to how you believe there is more financial freedom in the US?
I'm from Belgium and i paid around 50% income tax and they are taxing everything at a high level, I don't call that freedom ...
Thats probably one of the main reason why I moved to NA, I'm financially wayyy better off here, at least here I can have the car I want (and not pay outrageous tax if I like big cars), the house I want (and not pay outragous tax if I like to change house often), the vacation house, the boat ... I want.
EU is nice if you like to be like everyone else, if you like differents things, be prepared to pay a lot, thats not what I call FREEDOM but socialism.
Thats the kind of things that are reflected in the people attitude as well, Europeans hate everyone that think and is differents, that certainly the reason why they hate Americans and why they have so many problems with their minorities.
I suspect that most of people that say life is better in Europe have never lived there and in NA for a long period.

Last edited by djmanu; 05-24-2012 at 10:55 AM..
 
Old 05-24-2012, 01:00 PM
 
248 posts, read 235,650 times
Reputation: 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmanu View Post
I'm from Belgium and i paid around 50% income tax and they are taxing everything at a high level, I don't call that freedom ...
Thats probably one of the main reason why I moved to NA, I'm financially wayyy better off here, at least here I can have the car I want (and not pay outrageous tax if I like big cars), the house I want (and not pay outragous tax if I like to change house often), the vacation house, the boat ... I want.
EU is nice if you like to be like everyone else, if you like differents things, be prepared to pay a lot, thats not what I call FREEDOM but socialism.
Thats the kind of things that are reflected in the people attitude as well, Europeans hate everyone that think and is differents, that certainly the reason why they hate Americans and why they have so many problems with their minorities.
I suspect that most of people that say life is better in Europe have never lived there and in NA for a long period.
I have lived in both for long periods of time. I was born/raised in California, raised by my American parents but also heavily by my Italian family on my mothers side. I have grown up with a very international circle of friends and family, mostly from Europe. I have lived and worked in Italy, the UK, and the NL...and I have spent extensive time in both Greece and Sweden. I personally find the system in the EU to be much more progressive and free than anything I have experienced in my life growing up in the states. I do see where you are coming from as far as lifestyle is concerned...you obviously have found something in US culture and lifestyle that fits you, but the reality is not that there is more financial freedom in the US just because you and maybe your peers have found some kind of success. The vast majority of Americans end up paying for the things that the taxes do not cover and then some. It is a fact that the US on average has less disposable income after taking care of basic needs than the average EU citizen. Considering the insurances required, the property taxes, the auto expenses (bc for most americans public transport is non existent), education fees if one chooses or can even dream of going to school, and then all the credit schemes and debt issues, most Americans I know are slaves to their finances...so they do not travel, they rarely enjoy themselves, and miss out so much on the good life, this is generally not so in Europe...although of course there are exceptions for both. I would rather pay 50% taxes (i am currently paying bout 33% here in the US) and live in a productive country that uses those taxes to take care of the development and progression of the country and its citizens, than live in the US which still favours a select few and force feeds it's population with words liek "freedom" and "opportunity" until they believe it, and then lives off of their labour and loyalty.
 
Old 05-24-2012, 10:42 PM
 
132 posts, read 87,674 times
Reputation: 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmanu View Post
I'm from Belgium and i paid around 50% income tax and they are taxing everything at a high level, I don't call that freedom ...
Thats probably one of the main reason why I moved to NA, I'm financially wayyy better off here, at least here I can have the car I want (and not pay outrageous tax if I like big cars), the house I want (and not pay outragous tax if I like to change house often), the vacation house, the boat ... I want.
EU is nice if you like to be like everyone else, if you like differents things, be prepared to pay a lot, thats not what I call FREEDOM but socialism.
Thats the kind of things that are reflected in the people attitude as well, Europeans hate everyone that think and is differents, that certainly the reason why they hate Americans and why they have so many problems with their minorities.
I suspect that most of people that say life is better in Europe have never lived there and in NA for a long period.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GioLM View Post
I have lived in both for long periods of time. I was born/raised in California, raised by my American parents but also heavily by my Italian family on my mothers side. I have grown up with a very international circle of friends and family, mostly from Europe. I have lived and worked in Italy, the UK, and the NL...and I have spent extensive time in both Greece and Sweden. I personally find the system in the EU to be much more progressive and free than anything I have experienced in my life growing up in the states. I do see where you are coming from as far as lifestyle is concerned...you obviously have found something in US culture and lifestyle that fits you, but the reality is not that there is more financial freedom in the US just because you and maybe your peers have found some kind of success. The vast majority of Americans end up paying for the things that the taxes do not cover and then some. It is a fact that the US on average has less disposable income after taking care of basic needs than the average EU citizen. Considering the insurances required, the property taxes, the auto expenses (bc for most americans public transport is non existent), education fees if one chooses or can even dream of going to school, and then all the credit schemes and debt issues, most Americans I know are slaves to their finances...so they do not travel, they rarely enjoy themselves, and miss out so much on the good life, this is generally not so in Europe...although of course there are exceptions for both. I would rather pay 50% taxes (i am currently paying bout 33% here in the US) and live in a productive country that uses those taxes to take care of the development and progression of the country and its citizens, than live in the US which still favours a select few and force feeds it's population with words liek "freedom" and "opportunity" until they believe it, and then lives off of their labour and loyalty.


Compare the MEDIAN equivalized disposable household income (PPP) $ of the US to Italy:

USA - $26,672
Italy - $14,689

Nearly DOUBLE the MEDIAN household disposable income of Italy.

And of the 27 EU countries 13 are even poorer than Italy!


You don't like the USA - reading a few of your posts that is OBVIOUS - but when you start asserting opinions as FACTS you'd better back them up with some actual FACTS!
 
Old 05-25-2012, 01:35 AM
 
248 posts, read 235,650 times
Reputation: 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevike View Post
Compare the MEDIAN equivalized disposable household income (PPP) $ of the US to Italy:

USA - $26,672
Italy - $14,689

Nearly DOUBLE the MEDIAN household disposable income of Italy.

And of the 27 EU countries 13 are even poorer than Italy!


You don't like the USA - reading a few of your posts that is OBVIOUS - but when you start asserting opinions as FACTS you'd better back them up with some actual FACTS!
indeed you are correct that it should not have been stated as a fact, and usually i wouldn't speak so assertively, i try to avoid talking out of my ass. however, equally your statistics do not solidify any facts either. I will retract what I said as a fact, and say that it is based on personal experience ( i have seen other statistics that show something completely different than yours however). what i was alluding to was that income and taxes aside, the average american covers many living costs that the average european would not have to endure, which is why in my personal experience my european peers are able to do more with there money, at the end of the day.
 
Old 05-25-2012, 02:01 AM
 
Location: In the heights
11,186 posts, read 9,638,803 times
Reputation: 4784
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevike View Post
Compare the MEDIAN equivalized disposable household income (PPP) $ of the US to Italy:

USA - $26,672
Italy - $14,689

Nearly DOUBLE the MEDIAN household disposable income of Italy.

And of the 27 EU countries 13 are even poorer than Italy!


You don't like the USA - reading a few of your posts that is OBVIOUS - but when you start asserting opinions as FACTS you'd better back them up with some actual FACTS!
True. I would like to ask how this fares when we start doing per capita bits and start including all of North America in this including Canada (which does quite well) and Mexico (which does significantly less well). I think the OP requested the Caribbean and Central America get left out, so it's just the NAFTA countries. Given that Mexico would constitute about a quarter of the population of the OP's definition of North America, this could change the results quite a bit.

Also, is there a good stat for the average life expectancy of NAFTA in comparison to the EU? Literacy as well? Or how about HDI overall especially as adjusted for inequality?

It's also worthwhile to mention that every country with lower median disposable income than Italy is also far smaller in population with the only ones that are noticeably comparable are Poland and to some extent Romania. The rest are fairly tiny. This would of course drastically change if the Ukraine or Turkey were admitted.

Also keep in mind that the median disposable income in the US is disposable as in you will pay for your own health insurance, you will have to save up quite a bit for your kids to go to a reputable college and/or avoid a terrible public school system (which can be enough to wipe out several years of that disposable income completely), a generally far less extensive transit system (so you will in most cases have to own a car and pay for its expenses), a far more crime heavy environment (pay for your own security as well as any medical and property damage costs or insurance costs and/or pay a premium for security in terms of actual security investments, more expensive housing costs or gas cost to get to work from further out) and a generally far less extensive social safety net in case not everything goes to plan (which does happen occasionally I've heard, though I've been good about socking away some money since my teens and I'm sure everyone else has, right?). The income might be disposable, but the more prudent of us will invest a large share of that income in things that are pretty worth investing in even though it would wreck havoc on our wonderfully large disposable income. You can also be all wishy washy and invest in stuff like non heavily processed and/or healthful foods for the family as well as exercise and activities that stop people from getting all fat, obese and generally unhealthful (but some people like fatties as a wonderful sexual experience so I'm not really against it because I would love to have a real live piggy bank where I can store things for later within their magnificent folds).

There's also the much looser concept of free time as in how much time is given to NAFTA workers (I remember recently reading that Mexican workers are the hardest working of the OECD bunch) and how much is given to EU workers. Is there an appreciable difference in either direction? Are there a lot more hobbyists in either direction given to pursuing what they're really interested in? I know that the Arduino microcontroller, hobbyist projects, hackerspaces, and a lot of other like things have come out of the EU in recent times for people to explore, but it's a very closeted microcosm that I'm familiar with, so there might be a lot of other stuff to measure. I'm surrounded with very anecdotal evidence exclusive to my surroundings, so I got the impression that people who are really into so-and-so/this-or-that and have a passion for ___(blank)___ from the EU either have government support or work a regular job while those who are like that in the US are often working full-time and have incredible passions where they forcibly make time and make it their primary form of "relaxing" or work incredibly terrible part-time-ish jobs to pursue such things (and/or are layabouts with incredible amounts of funding from mostly familial sources). It's funny, because a lot of the people I know who do interesting works from the EU working in New York are from a pretty wide spectrum of socioeconomic class while those doing the same raised in the US were generally from a privileged background.

Which brings to mind another good question (and I'm not asking a priori of knowing the answers): how do the rates of personal savings, government-enforced savings, and personal debt stack up between EU and NAFTA countries?

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 05-25-2012 at 02:55 AM..
 
Old 05-25-2012, 04:43 AM
 
1,736 posts, read 813,950 times
Reputation: 1114
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevike View Post
Compare the MEDIAN equivalized disposable household income (PPP) $ of the US to Italy:

USA - $26,672
Italy - $14,689

Nearly DOUBLE the MEDIAN household disposable income of Italy.
Indeed this starkly illustrates how much better off people in the EU are than people in America. And how "the US on average has less disposable income after taking care of basic needs than the average EU citizen."

Median income in the US is 26,672 $. Median income in Italy is 14,689 $. Average cost of health care for one US household is 12,000 $. Subtract that one expense, and the US is lagging Italy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Also keep in mind that the median disposable income in the US is disposable as in you will pay for your own health insurance, you will have to save up quite a bit for your kids to go to a reputable college and/or avoid a terrible public school system (which can be enough to wipe out several years of that disposable income completely), a generally far less extensive transit system (so you will in most cases have to own a car and pay for its expenses), a far more crime heavy environment (pay for your own security as well as any medical and property damage costs or insurance costs and/or pay a premium for security in terms of actual security investments, more expensive housing costs or gas cost to get to work from further out) and a generally far less extensive social safety net in case not everything goes to plan (which does happen occasionally I've heard, though I've been good about socking away some money since my teens and I'm sure everyone else has, right?). The income might be disposable, but the more prudent of us will invest a large share of that income in things that are pretty worth investing in even though it would wreck havoc on our wonderfully large disposable income.
 
Old 05-25-2012, 05:09 AM
 
1,736 posts, read 813,950 times
Reputation: 1114
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmanu View Post
I'm from Belgium and i paid around 50% income tax and they are taxing everything at a high level, I don't call that freedom ...
Thats probably one of the main reason why I moved to NA, I'm financially wayyy better off here, at least here I can have the car I want (and not pay outrageous tax if I like big cars), the house I want (and not pay outragous tax if I like to change house often), the vacation house, the boat ... I want.
EU is nice if you like to be like everyone else, if you like differents things, be prepared to pay a lot, thats not what I call FREEDOM but socialism.
Thats the kind of things that are reflected in the people attitude as well, Europeans hate everyone that think and is differents, that certainly the reason why they hate Americans and why they have so many problems with their minorities.
I suspect that most of people that say life is better in Europe have never lived there and in NA for a long period.
I have lived in Europe and America for a considerable time. I have no doubt that I've enjoyed far more freedom in Europe.

In America, you may find people who link their tax rates up to their concept of freedom, but most people realize that it is not the percentage number on your wage slip that matters, but how much money you got left when you've paid your taxes and the necessities.

If I and my partner decide we want to have a child, we can do that when its right for us as a family, without considering how it'd impact our financial situation. Neither one of us will have to give up a career. Or we can save up a bit of money, rent out the house and take a year off to travel or study. If I believe I can make it work, I can start my own business. In neither case do i have to worry about healthcare for me or my family.

That is freedom. It is freedom to such a degree that it is hard to comprehend for the median American household.

And if I want to be different? If I was gay and wanted to marry my partner, an atheist who wanted a political career. If I wanted to smoke a joint without worrying about the police. If I was black and wanted to drive a car without being stopped by the police every so often. Europe all the way, man.
There are areas where America measures up to or exceeds Europe, but the freedom to be different sure isn't one of them. America is still trying to refight battles of social freedoms from 50 years ago!

Oh, and dimanu?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djmanu View Post
I'm from Belgium and i paid around 50% income tax and they are taxing everything at a high level, I don't call that freedom ...thats not what I call FREEDOM but socialism.
...Europeans hate everyone that think and is differents, that certainly the reason why they hate Americans and why they have so many problems with their minorities.
The confusing taxes with freedom -thats an American thing. I've heard it blamed on the frontier age, when you could actually be independent of everyone else. Europeans have had to cooperate for a long time. In my 5 decades, I've never heard an European with that particular short-circuit.

The socialism is incompatible with freedom thing? Most Europeans know what socialism is.

The notion that Europeans hate Americans? That Europeans have bigger problems with minorites than Americans?

All these are fairly prevalent superstitions among Americans who have never been outside America. They don't survive contact with reality. You should try actually living in Europe or at least visiting.
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