What Do Europeans Think About American Life? | NYT Opinion


The New York Times

Published on Oct 28, 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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