Europeans on Europeans. Reader's Digest dispatched researchers to 38 towns in 19 countries across Europe, from the UK to Russia, inviting nearly 4,000 respondents to comment on any country but their own. Italians finished as "most liked," Germans as "least liked," Belgians as the "least sexy," and Paris triumphed as "favorite European city." The full results can be seen here. (PDF)
Europe versus America (PDF) is a report by a Swedish public policy institute comparing the two economies, concluding that "If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of states." The WSJ has read the report, and highlights that "Most Americans have a standard of living which the majority of Europeans will never come anywhere near [...]. in the U.S. a large 45.9% of the 'poor' own their homes, 72.8% have a car and almost 77% have air conditioning, which remains a luxury in most of Western Europe. The average living space for poor American households is 1,200 square feet. In Europe, the average space for all households, not just the poor, is 1,000 square feet.". With a looming demographic crisis in Europe to boot, will the EU be able to implement much-needed reforms to save their welfare-state system before it is too late?
Why Europeans And Arabs Hate America And Israel: In this brash, provocative essay for The Weekly Standard, good old David Brooks blames what he calls bourgeoisophobia. He may have gone too far in his desire to make his point, but there's something in what he says. Is it envy? Is it anti-semitism? Is it hypocrisy pure and simple? There's definitely a ressurgence of the pushy, garish, ostentatious and arrogant "ugly American" stereotype after September 11. Apart from the conservative Daily Telegraph and Spectator, it's becoming more and more difficult for Atlanticists such as myself to avoid ritual America-bashing in the European mainstream press. What in the hell is going on? My feeling is that Americans themselves are going out of their way to reaffirm their way of life and reinforce those prejudices. It's as if you vont to be alone. Or is it, as I suspect, just us? [More inside]