What Do Europeans Think About American Life? | NYT Opinion

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  • Published: 28 October 2019
  • We asked young, ordinary Europeans to take a look at U.S. policies on everything from food to guns. As they discover facts about America, they’re not impressed.

    Sometimes it’s useful to get an outside perspective. In the Video Op-Ed above, Europeans are shocked to learn that the American government does not guarantee social protections that citizens in other advanced economies take for granted.

    Their reactions reflect how European governments prioritize citizen welfare, offering national assurances like universal health care and affordable education. Americans have grown accustomed to the exorbitant costs of basic human services, the absence of parental leave protection and the unregulated presence of chemicals in food — things that would “cause riots” in Europe.

    It’s true that the United States grapples with a larger and more diverse population than that of any European country. But with the resources of the world’s largest economy and as keepers of the American dream, can’t policymakers find solutions?

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Comments • 4 412

  • Don't subscribe To me plzzz

    Literally my face this whole video ö (I'm American so I'm saying ö to what they are saying)

    • Angela Sicilia
      Angela Sicilia  12 hours back

      Last year I was thinking about going to study in America or doing a mayor there, but the more I learn the least I want to go there, I mean, that amount of money, health, guns, I would be scare and tense all the time.
      I want to keep exploring Europe.

      • Ona
        Ona  15 hours back

        2:09 1 year is the entirety of my medical school education, are you MAD

        • Miki’s Missing Marbles
          Miki’s Missing Marbles  18 hours back

          The British girl is stunning 😍😍😍

          • Lucalegend
            Lucalegend  21 hours back

            Us is a Joke

            • Marionette Puppet
              Marionette Puppet  24 hours back

              I was raised in Germany and my family didn't move to America till I was around 13. It was such a big change and yeah... Its horrible here. Nobody has the guts to over throw the government here when the government is everything wrong with society here. Its horrible. I'm 19 now and I'll have to go through the process of regaining citizenship again if I plan to go back. As well as worry about money to get there and stuff. So don't even bother telling me to go back to my own country, working on it.

              • Esther Segura
                Esther Segura  1 days back

                Well, first of all, they should get a proper name for their country. The one they have is kind of generic, I think.

                • Hannah Noel
                  Hannah Noel  1 days back

                  There’s three things right off the bat that are wrong with this:
                  1) There’s no such thing as free money. someone, somewhere is paying for that “free” healthcare. The only question is, who?
                  2) These shootings should not be happening. However, the answer may be not less guns, but more. I mean, would you even think about pulling a gun if you knew that the civilian majority were armed? The problem with criminals is that they’re CRIMINALS. Laws mean nothing to them. If we ban guns, good people are left defenseless from both the criminals and their own government. The founder’s intent was to make sure that the people had the power to protect themselves against harm, and we’re losing that.
                  3) Not once was the “American Dream” acknowledged. Sure, we have issues like every country to ever be. But, we are founded on Freedom, something hardly found anywhere else on the planet. We are founded on God. People sacrifice for this country. People give up everything that’s familiar to them, voluntarily, just to live in a free country. We may not have everything, but we have true freedom. And that wasn’t once mentioned.

                  • R8Zio
                    R8Zio  9 hours back

                    So just to make sure: once i have my degree and life together, i always think about moving to the US.
                    1. This is how the system works: everybody pays monthly a percentage of their wage. and big health insurences play for your medical bill. but that doesnt mean everything is covered. dental health is still very expensive for example. but you dont have to worry about having to pay the ambulance.


                    2. thats a "naive" approach i think because the examples for "less guns" are out there and they work. in germany its so hard to get a weapon. most of the time you will get caught while bying it. you really just have to at the criminal data and see that "less guns" means "less gun violence victims" and "less chance to be shot on the street" and the best part is "less schoolshootings" (and i know its "fewer").
                    everyone having a gun is really dangerous, because its not the crazy persons who matter here, its your average human who can lose control in an everday arguement but now theres a gun involved. incidents where people get shot in arguements are literally all over the place. if you make the first draw, your opponent having a gun doesnt really matter.
                    with more guns you lower the inhibition bar of actually using them, as we can already see in the US.
                    here in europe when you talk about america, every know and then people say "i could never go their because i would just get shot for nothing". everyone thinks walking the street in the US is like walking across a warzone. while that is not actually true, it speaks alot about it, cause prejudice doesnt come from nowhere.


                    3. This is actually the part i love about america. the good people really do care about their country and community. it feels like people are more connected with eachother than in the place where i live. ima not write another essay here but expect all the bad things, i really love the people in the US. everytime i visited, it was a really cool time. it wasnt for vacation, so i think i didnt get much of the "visitor" treatment after a few months and i still loved it. also you can have pitbulls, you literally can find them in the streets and rescuing one would be one of the first things i would do.
                    so if you read this far. sorry for the wall of text! thank you for reading" have a nice day ;)

                  • Hannah Noel
                    Hannah Noel  1 days back

                    Carla Martínez Mangas Well, yes, a crazy person wouldn’t be afraid, but they also wouldn’t get very far shooting up a public location if more people were armed (within reason. not everyone has to have a gun, but everyone should have the right to).

                  • Carla Martínez Mangas
                    Carla Martínez Mangas  1 days back

                    More guns? Means more crazy people armed. Maybe normal people would be afraid, but crazy people aren't. And believe, there's plenty of those in every country.

                • Kaz
                  Kaz  2 days back

                  America is a failing nation.

                  • Isabelle Lightwood
                    Isabelle Lightwood  2 days back

                    How long was the maternity leave in the US they never actually said it... So weird

                    • Insert Username here
                      Insert Username here  2 days back

                      "In Germany we don't wave flags."

                      • J V S T
                        J V S T  2 days back

                        The American dream aka not wanting to see the reality of things

                        • R8Zio
                          R8Zio  9 hours back

                          yeah i mean thats like the literal description of a "dream"

                      • DragoonZell
                        DragoonZell  2 days back

                        Yeah stuff cost more here but guess what we aren't giving away 50% of our paychecks every other week.....yes if you want free college or health care you will need to pay 50% or more of your paycheck regardless if you are rich or poor it doesnt matter if you are in college or not.

                        • R8Zio
                          R8Zio  9 hours back

                          yeah its this thing called "socialism" where you pay so the poor can have access to basic needs like healthcare or pension.
                          in america its basically: "you cant handle money? money wont handle you!" and im indesive what is better. im living in europe and its great but you really make less money and you wont be able to buy a house with an average job.
                          but i really do not like how americas government treats their veterans. in no situation ever should a soldier end up poor or on the streets.

                      • dastinks
                        dastinks  2 days back

                        I'd like to see these things presented in a way that doesn't entice a certain reaction

                      • Giovana Laurence
                        Giovana Laurence  2 days back

                        Okay so, basically, if you’re American and you don’t have the money to pay for a treatment for a disease, you die?

                        • R8Zio
                          R8Zio  9 hours back

                          nah you will get the treatment in an emergency but your bankaccount will be dead after it. its a bit more difficult about diseases like cancer, that actually could cost you your life.

                      • Sleepy Merl
                        Sleepy Merl  3 days back

                        Is it possible for me to go to graduate school for art therapy in Europe?? 😭😭😭 I'm graduating with my BA in psychology spring 2020 and have $5,000 in student loans to pay back (which i understand isn't a lot, but it is for someone who doesn't make enough money to pay it off in 6 months).

                        • R8Zio
                          R8Zio  9 hours back

                          probably, thing is: you would have to pay something most of the times cause you dont live in our healthsystem and wont provide anything to it ;)
                          its not so free to outsiders because healthcare, education, etc, are covered with taxes and insurances.

                      • mini1711
                        mini1711  3 days back

                        I don't know why me, an Indian is watching this video at all lol.

                        • Hamster Fetus
                          Hamster Fetus  3 days back

                          If y’all think America is so bad and Europe is so cool leave and stop complaining

                          • Hamster Fetus
                            Hamster Fetus  3 days back

                            At least you won’t be punished for saying the wrong thing in America

                            • Hamster Fetus
                              Hamster Fetus  3 days back

                              It’s funny how everyone loves to judge America but Europe it totally fine Europe has its problems too nobody’s perfect

                              • Katherine MacIntyre
                                Katherine MacIntyre  3 days back

                                as an american i absolutely hate our country. i’m disgusted on a day to day basis

                                • Ashlee Carrero
                                  Ashlee Carrero  3 days back

                                  Makes us sound like a third world country tbh

                                  • Colton Barta
                                    Colton Barta  4 days back

                                    When it comes to education Americans school are way too costly but most of the best colleges in the world are in the US so I think they should’ve mentioned that along with the prices.

                                  • owen andrews
                                    owen andrews  4 days back

                                    In America laws are created by a select group of generally wealthy people, all regular citizens can do is hope they listen to us.

                                    • maya elsherbini
                                      maya elsherbini  4 days back

                                      Me in a 3rd world country :
                                      Wow America what's wrong with you

                                      • Focksy Rickson
                                        Focksy Rickson  4 days back

                                        Europ, scandinavia, sweden.

                                        We don't pay for school or school suplise. We don't pay madicul bills, untill your 18+ you have to pay for medecin but birth control is free intill your 26+. You get bayd when a baby(s) is born.

                                        • Aubrey B
                                          Aubrey B  4 days back

                                          As an American, I appreciate when people from other nations realize the actual problems we have rather than criticizing the stigmas surround us.

                                          Stand by the people not by their system.

                                          • D D
                                            D D  5 days back

                                            Wow no agenda to see here lol. As an AMERICAN living in Spain I can't wait to return to the land of the free and home of the brave. Can't believe this garbage is being pedaled like this. EUROPEANS if you have any brains you won't believe any of this nonsense.

                                            • cati almond
                                              cati almond  5 days back

                                              healthcare in Canada is great.

                                              • Mark Carrasca
                                                Mark Carrasca  5 days back

                                                "I pay 18 Euros per semester" WHAT!

                                                • aeri' icecream
                                                  aeri' icecream  12 hours back

                                                  that's $83 reais (Brasil) and I pay $2340 ;-;

                                                • Yon
                                                  Yon  2 days back

                                                  I pay 21€ for a Semester lmao

                                              • Fistandantilus
                                                Fistandantilus  5 days back

                                                wow 51´000 would be a dream a year my parents pay way more than this ( btw. Switzerland)

                                                • Fistandantilus
                                                  Fistandantilus  3 days back

                                                  PinkCupcake Thats probably the thing

                                                • PinkCupcake
                                                  PinkCupcake  3 days back

                                                  Where are you going then? A year in a non-private uni is max 1000

                                              • Emilio
                                                Emilio  5 days back

                                                We still have better music artists

                                                • Butty Object
                                                  Butty Object  6 days back

                                                  They talk about American dream after the mass shootings...

                                                  • Hedgy Verona
                                                    Hedgy Verona  6 days back

                                                    “In Germany we don’t wave flags” yeah well for obvious reasons

                                                    • Weird kid on the block

                                                      I remember watching "Courage the cowardly dog" where there is a scene in a museum in france, when Eustace did something accidentaly the french guard would say "stupid americans" back then I didn't really get it but now I do.

                                                      • Xaverian
                                                        Xaverian  1 weeks back

                                                        Yeah but America is larger and more DIVERSE than most of these mostly white countries. They dont understand what it means because they've always been in good condition. Growing up poor is very common in the states man and why should college be free If i work and my kids have to pay but the some kids dont pay because they have low income but the difference is barely enough to affect their daily lives. But one thing that EU does much better is school lunch. One thing America does better subconsciously is we diverse asf. EU is sometimes a much more racist place to be than the US. Like all these youtube videos show EU is so superior but my parents always told me they judge very much on how you look and if you arent white that immediately decreases relations.

                                                        • InshalMusic
                                                          InshalMusic  2 days back

                                                          Canada is large and diverse too.

                                                        • SpaceAGram
                                                          SpaceAGram  6 days back

                                                          Mmm *_Capitalism_*

                                                        • shiri peled
                                                          shiri peled  6 days back

                                                          Xaverian White countries what do u even mean, why u pulling the race card, it have nothing to do with this video, and college should be free or at least not that expensive coz then like u said only rich ppl will be able to have good education and the poor one will stay with nothing, same on the ambulances

                                                      • Manuela
                                                        Manuela  1 weeks back

                                                        “ In Germany we don’t wave flags “ I DIED 😂😂😂

                                                        • paola martinez
                                                          paola martinez  1 weeks back

                                                          “what english people think about america”

                                                        • cheyenne edwards
                                                          cheyenne edwards  1 weeks back

                                                          “americans are always happy” *oh honey*

                                                          • What what
                                                            What what  1 weeks back

                                                            I love the EU.

                                                            • sarah.
                                                              sarah.  1 weeks back

                                                              1:49 ROMANIAN ENGLISH THO

                                                              • Miguel Alonso
                                                                Miguel Alonso  1 weeks back

                                                                Conclusion: Europe is better than the disgusting and horrible America. And we are not arrogant and selfish like most of them.

                                                                • Mary Smith
                                                                  Mary Smith  1 weeks back

                                                                  You know what?
                                                                  We were all born on this planet, we will all die on this planet. I had no idea that treating your fellow human beings like garbage was a way of life. How sad this planet is.

                                                                  • Aliah Abdullah
                                                                    Aliah Abdullah  1 weeks back

                                                                    0:33 why large cup of drinks considered disgusting?????

                                                                    • Dabber Mcgee
                                                                      Dabber Mcgee  1 weeks back

                                                                      Aliah Abdullah because it’s a sign of morbid obesity

                                                                  • Zara Samuels
                                                                    Zara Samuels  1 weeks back

                                                                    I feel like the usa is lessons on the dangers of being to optimistic rather than pragmatically looking at problems so you can fix them.

                                                                    • Ann Marie Martinou
                                                                      Ann Marie Martinou  1 weeks back

                                                                      mmmmmmm CANCER BROWNIES

                                                                      • Isabella Coelho
                                                                        Isabella Coelho  1 weeks back

                                                                        I was just thinking... that coke is like... a full bottle, for a family.

                                                                        • coconutman 134
                                                                          coconutman 134  1 weeks back

                                                                          "I lauv American optimism." Goes on to show the most pessimistic video ever.