Monday, August 24, 2009

THE GREEN, GREEN GAS OF HOME. Seemingly out of nowhere, Bryan Caplan tells his readers Europe's not all that. Tourists who think so don't realize that they couldn't afford the best neighborhoods. Also, you would have to use subways and bikes, which everyone knows are terrible. Plus the suburbs aren't so nice, and as an American you would naturally prefer to live in a suburb.

Tyler Cowen jumps in, says Americans are impressed by Europe's fancy old buildings: "in reality most Americans would think of Europe as some kind of dump." Megan McArdle finds this "spot on": look at the dreary buildings in that great European capital, Toronto. She knows a liberal who doesn't like it!

There's no recent poll or anything like that I can find that might have animated this discussion of how bad Europe/Canada really is despite what Americans might think -- though a June Economist report finds all of the world's top ten livable cities outside the U.S., and a recent study confirms the well-known fact that Americans work far longer hours and have much less free time than Europeans.

Maybe the chat was inspired by the present consideration of a socialistic health-care program that would make us a little more like the Eurnadians. I could see how that would make them feel a little insecure.

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