What Do Europeans Think About American Life? | NYT Opinion

What Do Europeans Think About American Life? | NYT Opinion

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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50 Comments

  1. Fany Hu on November 1, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    “Americans are incredibly friendly and hospitable”



  2. Icky Vicky on November 1, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    They really didn’t have opinions. They where stating facts..😳😂😂😂



  3. Caleb S on November 1, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    At least in America I can pass a driver’s test and have a license without paying thousands of Euros like you have to in Germany.



  4. Lil Ahj on November 1, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    What did Bernie sanders write the script for this video? LOL😂😂😭😭



  5. NightlyHigh on November 1, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    The way how this was edited is just chaotic. I got lost on who and when was the one from US and country differences across EU countries would have been nice to hear, not just one country per subject.



  6. لل ا on November 1, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Of course they had to make point about guns



  7. Tyrell Mayo on November 1, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    In America we are not one we are divided some people hide there true nature



  8. Heinrich the White on November 1, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Yes lemmings, here in America we will trade your false sense of security for actual Freedom.



  9. og skinny on November 1, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    When traveling you can always make out the americans, they’re literally three times bigger than asians and europeans and have no class at all



  10. savethepenguins on November 1, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    I’m actually proud of this generation because of how aware they are to things. It gives me hope for the future ❤️



  11. Kal Fisher on November 1, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Hmm. Let’s compare immigration or speech or – there’s a lot of false equivalence happening in this. As a us citizen who did their undergrad in London – I can cite many ways in which the European nations could be arguably less progressive and more oppressive than the United States. Speech comes to mind. Nationalism and populism and xenophobia come to mind. The national front (marie la penn I can’t spell her name but the far right candidate who’s dad was also national front in France candidate) nearly won the highest seat in France, they’re self identifying white nationalists! So I mean blah blah Americans have bigger sodas. At least we are aspiring towards a more perfect union. Oof



  12. BlackGT1999 on November 1, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Denmark doesn’t have MIT… lol



  13. 0riginal _Panda_Child on November 1, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Europe is basically bankrupt so…



  14. Me&You on November 1, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Of course Europe is better than the rest of the world



  15. LoneBerseker on November 1, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    4:30 you’re welcome 😀
    Because “literally hitler”..



  16. Ron Villejo on November 1, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    These differences between Europeans and Americans aren’t just funny and silly but also sad and tragic 🤭



  17. delete urselef on November 1, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    America is still number 1 in my eyes. 🇺🇸



  18. Vierka Vojcikova on November 1, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    Nothing in Europe is for free. What about 50% of all of money going to some sort of tax and insurance obligated by law to pay to all EU governments. If people would be able to keep their money and choose which university and healthcare insurance they want to pay for. And how they want to invest in their retirement as well. In Slovakia where I am from they are just legally stealing citizens money, giving nothing back (level of universities is so low, healtcare is collapsed, people just diying in hospitals with so trivial causes, and retirement payment is just laught to old people faces).
    At least Americans have freedom to choose or create their choice.



  19. MrTrainerGuy1 on November 1, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    Oh no GUNS!! grow up NYT first off here in Europe most places have super liberal gun laws these idiots don’t know anything about them like most people, Guns are a huge thing in Europe again most of these people know nothing about them, never seen them etc… place all over Europe are massive hunting destination’s , also the fact a lot of these guns are available here in Europe (of course each country has their own laws on it but most are pretty liberal.



  20. Mike Khlebas on November 1, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    "COMMON SENSE TO BAN GUNS" oh yeah sweetie, it will definitely stop shootings, always worked lmao



  21. Killian Crausaz on November 1, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Guns are not the problem, people are. I live in one of the most armed countries in the world Switzelrand and they aren’t any horrors like in the us. Furthermore, this does not count soldiers who keep their rifles at home like me when we are off duty. Granted some get stolen from time to time and they end up who knows where but there is a strong education about guns in Switzerland that prevents this kind of horrors from happening.



  22. Mar T on November 1, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Wow America we look like fools



  23. d safari on November 1, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    Bulgaria IS NOT the poorest country in EU! Check ur sources before speaking up.



  24. J Mary on November 1, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Healthcare isn‘t „free“ in most european countries.. we pay high taxes to finance this. But it‘s a good thing anyways..



  25. LD on November 1, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Lol id love to see how fast the opinion of them gun hating folks change when someome shoots there best friend in the face and tries to rob them, then your gonna hear them saying “i wish i had something to defend our lives with”



  26. Yousuf Kamal on November 1, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    You only showed the bad side. There are good stuff in US. Let me see any European country produce an university like MIT



  27. 3506Dodge on November 1, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    What do Europeans think about America spending many billions of dollars to defend Europe?



  28. Jeremy Siegel on November 1, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Your normal ordinary American understands that our country is undeniably a shithole unless you’re born into money or connections. I feel like the only thing being born in amd living here has done for me is hold my life back. I’d leave but almost no country wants a normal American.



  29. DiMaggio on November 1, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    How tf is shooting people americas pastime



  30. Mohd Haffiez Mohmad Nazri on November 1, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    LMAO cancer brownies!



  31. BlackGT1999 on November 1, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    Chick in the green with the toy gun has no trigger discipline.



  32. Marcus Doherty on November 1, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    18 euros… per semester…. what???



  33. jerry mro on November 1, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    usa is nothing for free they have chip labur emigrants many people they cant pay funeral they take loan beacause they cant able to pay insurance to high many citizen they are homles



  34. MegF on November 1, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    They all speak English! Speaking more than one language is less common in the USA. — None of those "free" things are really "free". — "In Germany we don’t wave flags". Maybe because Germany started 2 World Wars in Europe in the last hundred years with death of tens of millions! — Major difference is our US Constitution. Yes, we are very glad to have the 2nd Amendment & freedom of speech. EU even wants to monitor memes on the internet. — Lots more regulations in Europe. Tariffs & protectionism. Less ability to make a dream or innovation because of all the rules & bureaucracy. — Should have mentioned hours worked, paid vacation differences enforced by government.



  35. Taty Work on November 1, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    and yet, so many young europeans are crazy about the us life and in love with ny and la..



  36. GodXela on November 1, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Republican propaganda is to blame for America’s downfall



  37. Adam G on November 1, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Please don’t go down this road NYT…. there is enough garbage clickbait websites who specialize in this kinda stuff out there.



  38. John on November 1, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Well this Buzzfeed video took a turn.



  39. Tabbiya on November 1, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    It’s hard to riot against something when you’re used to it..



  40. Lindsey Carter on November 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    When he said that the US de-incentivize people to have children like yeeeeeees! The US is home to the eugenics movement and so many believe in population control. “If you can’t afford kids on one income you are poor and shouldn’t have them” is the attitude of the elite. The system is like this on purpose.



  41. Joe Barbaro on November 1, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    I’m 100% against ""free"" higher education. If I choose not to go to school why should I pay for someone else’s?



  42. 3506Dodge on November 1, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    And yet Americans have more babies on average than Europeans.



  43. Platinum on November 1, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    This video: Talks about the basic needs of life and staying alive

    Americans: They only pointed out the negatives!



  44. Alara Koknar on November 1, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    They’re so obnoxious



  45. Alex Drones on November 1, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    There isn’t one black European just like there isn’t one white African.



  46. Sammu bb on November 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Wtf that’s so sad



  47. Jack García on November 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    I’m european and I can say this video looks stupid. It makes me roll my eyes. Most of this issues have context, not to mention that the US has a higher fertility rate that most european contries. Please, stop using using Europe for virtue signaling, it becomes really uncomfortable.



  48. Jerry Reding on November 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Every country has its positives and negatives. We don’t all have to be the same. I don’t want to be the EU. If I wanted it that bad, I would move there.



  49. That one guy in the comments Who's going to 100k w on November 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Me British guy

    Me: decides to watch American TV show aka nick

    Nick: shows you how to Milly rock even thought it’s dead and they did it wrong
    Plus it was just some kids who tried to dress cool

    But will like america



  50. kingkoda1992 on November 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    My mom went back to work three days after I was born. She worked at a gas station. Single mother of 4.