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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100+ comentarios:

give gloucester oath skin
give gloucester oath skin:
Americans be out here living like they got free healthcare
Allieee
Allieee:
“The younger generation in America has given me hope”

*laughs in tiktok*
Agent Smith
Agent Smith:
I remember dreaming about living in the US when I was a kid. Now as an adult I thank God I live in Europe
Fisher 33
Fisher 33:
"It's called the American dream, cause you gotta be sleeping to believe it."

-George Carlin
GlitchY3
GlitchY3:
When you look at the ingredients for cereal in the US:

*Sigh* pulls out periodic table
Nora R.N
Nora R.N:
the fact that all of them speak perfect English sends jsksjs monolingual Americans can’t relate
ally
ally:
Americans be eating like they have free healthcare. 😂
So NaKi
So NaKi:
I once heard: America is a third world country wearing a Gucci belt. And honestly it's kinda true
Connor Tan 4896
Connor Tan 4896:
I'm from Malaysia and my grandmother once said: "You study hard, go live in America, there have good future." Now she said: "Singapore is good enough."
AJ hOneyyy
AJ hOneyyy:
"We are the best country ever"
-America


Every other country: sure ;)
Obsidianflame
Obsidianflame:
"In Germany we dont wave flags." Yes, our european neighbours get nervous when we do that.
103589
103589:
4:30 "In Germany we don't wave flags" that made me laugh so hard as a German😂
Onkel Farmor
Onkel Farmor:
I feel like it has changed from the American dream to the European dream xD.
Mélissa-Anne Frigon
Mélissa-Anne Frigon:
Europe: *Has 50 countries*
Americans make videos about Europe: *Only talk about the UK and Germany*
sweather
sweather:
pre-teen me: omfg america is so glamorous, i wanna go to be an exchange student
me now: nvm, don't wanna get shot and then spend all my family's fortune so i can afford the hospital bills
Marc Schweiz
Marc Schweiz:
Funny thing is Americans still believe they are the greatest nation in the world. The education has been dumbed down and the propoganda machine has been strengthened...
Panna Johns
Panna Johns:
When my mom was pregnant with me, her, my dad and my two brothers wanted to move to Pennsylvania (specifically to Philadelphia) but my dad’s visa was not accepted even though it should have been so they weren’t allowed to board the plane, and so that was that and we stayed in Europe. Guys... I think I dodged a massive bullet there 😐😭✋
Luca Fabretti
Luca Fabretti:
My friend has his appendix removed, $150,000, I’m from Italy and I thought he said $1500, it’s crazy how expensive it is over here
Shayne Cytrynbaum
Shayne Cytrynbaum:
Europe: America is like that neighbor who has had their car alarm blaring for 50 years straight now
Me: Imagine what it’s like being stuck in the car
Rikki Slonce
Rikki Slonce:
I saw a homeless man today on the highway who had a sign that said he was homeless because of the cost of brain surgery. Just think about that...
Flames
Flames:
7 year old me: "when I grow up, I want to live in America!"

17 year old me: "hold on, lemme stay in Europe thanks. Auf Wiedersehen!"
Dregrite l
Dregrite l:
In Germany we don't wave flags. Last time that happened things got way out of hand.
ElementsMMA
ElementsMMA:
What American people genuinely do not realise about Europeans is that we appreciate their struggle. From our armchairs, when we occasionally sit on them. Other than that we have things in relative perspective. We certainly only envy their lives in an abstract way, we wouldn’t swap in reality in a million years.
Yup Yup
Yup Yup:
In Germany the right for Healthcare is in the Basic rights since the 60's When I had my arm broken the most expensive thing was the 2 hour parking lot ticket...
Igmantis
Igmantis:
Title:
"What do they think of american life? "
Content:
"see their reaction to all the bad stuff in america"
AP 113
AP 113:
*Almost* every European country offers low cost university tuition


UK: sweats nervously
Lucas Mancini
Lucas Mancini:
Greetings from Switzerland, definitely not going to live in the USA 😅 vacations flr sure but i don’t wanna go bankrupt just because im sick.
Lulu Nu
Lulu Nu:
The ending was the best..."In Germany we don't wave flags" 😂😂😂😂😂
Jakub Smetana
Jakub Smetana:
About maternity leave:
In Czech Republic we can have it 3 full years with option of making it shorter with more money monthly and paternity leave is also an option.
Claire Watters
Claire Watters:
I like how at the start they add the only positive bit to make it seem like they don't hate it so much as much 😂😂
Alphas Anime Kitchen
Alphas Anime Kitchen:
In Germany it would be illegal not to call an ambulance.
Higor Valeriano
Higor Valeriano:
Even us in the 3rd
We poor we know
But atleast most of us have free health-care
Mia von Kirchbach
Mia von Kirchbach:
„In Germany we don‘t wave flags“
I felt that so hard
anacleto
anacleto:
I got chills listening the ones about health and guns (my eyes actually started watering when they were talking about gun violence)
Jessica Lawrence
Jessica Lawrence:
Gee, thanks, YouTube. I think this is the 5th or 6th video you gave me this week that makes me want to live in the EU that much more. Brought me to tears out furiousness, again, again, again, again, and again.
Shamekia Walker
Shamekia Walker:
“Honestly, that’s disgusting for a first world nation.”
Chris Stevens
Chris Stevens:
Yeah dude I can say I was pretty hardcore about the business culture of America but now that I’m actually working it I’m just burnt out and I’m only 25 and most of my friends feel the same. Poor, stressed out, and lack enthusiasm about life in general.
Michael Davis
Michael Davis:
I would love to see a longer version of this
Sammi Jo Barlow
Sammi Jo Barlow:
We may be optimistic but we can only afford to be for so long.
When the girl said her dad is diabetic and is completely taken care of, that made me tear up. My fiance had type 1 diabetes for years and was diagnosed with Stage 5 Kidney Failure. His sugar lows would come on so fast and he wouldn't expect it and myself, friends, co-workers, and family found ourselves calling 911 once or twice a month. The glucagon shot ($500 per shot and expires fast) was useless with his lows. The lowest he has ever reached on record is ten...
Every time an ambulance showed up to our home it was $1,300. If they took him to a hospital (depending on which local one), ranged from $3,000 to $5,000.
It sucked to because he is a volunteer first responder and I get why they have the fees but it is just heartbreaking.
I am relieved to say that he received a kidney and pancreas transplant late 2019. We are lucky that we had met our deductible because with the surgery, post op stay, and post op appointments, the bill was over $900,000
Charles
Charles:
I mean the US has its good sides too, just like any other country. I wouldn't move there though, I enjoy living in France
Linus G
Linus G:
As someone from Finland, if I see an accident, I'm required by law to call an ambulance.
Jessica LT
Jessica LT:
I would love to get to know all these people and visit their homes. Hello from Columbus, Ohio.
Charles McConnell
Charles McConnell:
I’m having a Hard time accepting this and life, where I am sucks, where I’ll go is correlating to my current place in life and location, what we run from is exactly what we are chasing
People pleaser
People pleaser:
In Germany we don't wave flags...

Amen for that brother.
Lalalaii
Lalalaii:
as Finnish and Italian Im happy there was someone from both my countries :)
a t
a t:
No, Americans don't riot because they don't get free healthcare. Wanna know what they riot about?


Wearing masks lol
Alex Coop
Alex Coop:
The way she said u desentivize poor pple from having kids so truueeee
Тъжен помен рекърдс
Тъжен помен рекърдс:
mah bulgarian booooooooooooooooooy
Bonzo
Bonzo:
0:34 😂
Mike G
Mike G:
Me: I think they'll find it's a completely underrated addition to Madonna's discography

Me: *watches* *video* oh.
Don’t mind me
Don’t mind me:
US: Costs 3000$ to get an ambulance
EU: Its illegal to not call an ambulance
Mirna Bečević
Mirna Bečević:
When you live(d) in two most complicated European countries politically (🇧🇦 and 🇧🇪) and still are happy to not be living in 🇺🇸. 😅😅
Mojito Bevanda Nazionale
Mojito Bevanda Nazionale:
About the school. When I was young I was lucky, my family was financially well. If I saw me today Iwould call me stupid. I did not like school, when I arrived in front of the entrance door I thought about it for a while, then I went to take the bus and I went to the center of Florence ... exquisite food, girls who, like me, did not go to school and wonderful days. So my wealthy parents enrolled me in a school so called "Private", which is a school where you have to pay to take the courses. In Italy in this type of school you always manage to pass the exam, precisely because you pay, here it is normal. But when you are looking for a job and someone asks what school you attended, the public and (almost) free one is always considered better because no one gives discounts on what you need to know.
Cometome 819
Cometome 819:
Thank you for posting this video.
Maria Black
Maria Black:
“In Germany we don’t wave flags” I died but yes we don’t
Soton mush
Soton mush:
I want to see the reverse video - Americans' opinions of us Europeans.
Some random Person
Some random Person:
3:09 .....
Leonie Ska
Leonie Ska:
The German guy at the end being like "in Germany we don't wave flags" 😂👌🏼 Ahh it's so sad but undeniably true...
Kite Kiddo
Kite Kiddo:
I’m saving for two years so I may go and study under a student visa in Japan so I can become an English Teacher. And that dream is more attainable than wanting to be a coroner here in the U.S. it’s honestly sad. But hey- expensive habits equal expensive means for paying for them.
Alain Térieur
Alain Térieur:
2:40 Pretty common thing in Switzerland too! An ambulance ride can cost about that much, and mandated health insurance covers at most $500. You gotta pay the rest on your own
Ernst Rauska
Ernst Rauska:
"USA are actually a third world country wearing a gucci belt" - some guy on reddit
agreeable inkblots
agreeable inkblots:
“The younger generation in America has given me hope.”

I have limited scope of teens across America, but here’s my experience. You talk about American optimism, positivity for the future, but it often feels like we are the generation here without hope.

When we were kids, they asked us what our greatest dream in life was, and we said astronauts, teachers, vets, doctors. Recently, my teacher asked my class what our greatest dream would be—and most of our answers were, “a small house/apartment and a stable job”. When we talked about the American dream in class, we laugh because it’s fake as can be. As much as we hold the obligation to have patriotism, we look at America and can’t help but feel despair.

We used to walk out of class and sit on the field as a way of protesting gun violence in school. Also had shooting drills every month. This was middle school. I’m wagering a wild guess, but most Europeans probably don’t consider that... normal?
Yvonne Etienne
Yvonne Etienne:
“In germany we dont wave flags”
LMAO so hard cant deal with this dry humor🤣🤣🤣🤣
halxy444
halxy444:
Dude in school I hear a popping noise and send the copy and pasted “goodbye mom” text😂
Ethan Coyne
Ethan Coyne:
I could get my Irish masters degree and become a chartered engineer twice and get a third bachelors on top for the cost of one semester in America.
Gamèlyzed
Gamèlyzed:
The funny thing is when Americans talk about how amazing their country is they compare it to third world countries, when Europeans talk about how great their country is they compare it to other first world countries XD
Yasse The Wall
Yasse The Wall:
1:18 sanji?
btetschner
btetschner:
Thank you for the video.
IMANE The
IMANE The:
I love the 2 black women because they're not holding themselves back, be it facial expressions or comments, they're saying the truth 😂
Private Man
Private Man:
That's good to know!
Snezana
Snezana:
i dont get why healthcare is like that in america, in the netherlands is illegal to not have healthcare
Esteban Miranda
Esteban Miranda:
I’ve just lost all hope in my health
Lol I’m incredibly pessimistic after watching this now I hate it here
SCP-096 REDACTED
SCP-096 REDACTED:
I always wanted to move to America when you was younger
I want to move to Germany to get away from the tax dump known as Ireland.
Potter Pinguin
Potter Pinguin:
Some of my teachers in Germany got a baby and returned to school after 8 years... But I think that's the maximum. 😅
Adrian
Adrian:
Healthcare is not free in Europe. We pay high monthly contributions often with deductibles. It's universal healthcare not free healthcare.
reddead2067
reddead2067:
Why should you be charged for healthcare? It’s not like you choose to be sick. That’s terrible
The Geopolitical
The Geopolitical:
This is the kind of news I would like to read in the U.S. (Greetings from Italy🇮🇹, the child's family paid 0€ for this) : A seven-year-old child successfully operated at the Regina Margherita hospital of the City of Health in Turin waited for the transplant for 525 days in hospital, connected to an artificial heart. A real record with a happy ending after a year and a half lived thanks to an artificial heart Berlin Heart, the longest implantation time among the little 'heroes' of pediatric cardiac surgery at the Turin children's hospital.
He waited for the transplant for 525 days in the hospital, connected to an artificial heart, a seven-year-old child successfully operated at the Regina Margherita hospital of the City of Health in Turin. A real record with a happy ending after a year and a half lived thanks to an artificial heart Berlin Heart, the longest implantation time among the little 'heroes' of pediatric cardiac surgery at the Turin children's hospital.
The baby is fine and has already been discharged.

Born in Morocco, in the summer of 2019 the boy began to suffer from symptoms of heart failure. With his mother he joins his father in Liguria and, after a short period of hospitalization in another pediatric hospital, he is transferred by helicopter to the Regina Margherita. Not even the time to enter the cardiac surgery ICU, directed by Dr. Sergio Michele Grassitelli, that his heart stops.
Reanimated and subjected to Ecmo, the extra-corporeal circulation, a few days later an artificial Berlin Heart is implanted which keeps him alive and allows him to recover. The child begins to appreciate Italian cuisine, grows up, learns our language, under the watchful eyes of his father and mother, who in the meantime gives birth to a little brother.
All this for 525 long days, all in hospital, some spent in the premises of Margaret Island, the space for the long-term care of patients of the Oncohematology directed by Professor Franca Fagioli. Then the heart transplant by the team of pediatric cardiac surgeons, headed by Dr. Carlo Pace Napoleone. A very fast recovery, the amazement of waking up without the artificial ventricle lying on the abdomen, connected to a control console that kept him alive but limited him in all actions. A few days of hospitalization among the pediatric cardiologists and the nurses of Dr. Gabriella Agnoletti, followed closely by Enrico Aidala, heart surgeon in charge of the Transplant Program, and in recent days the discharge.
Msing8
Msing8:
I'm from Indonesia and even I was shocked to learn that US don't provide maternity leave. Double shock to learn about student loan, the medical expenses, and the gun law. Finally realized that US is just like that person who looks all rich and edgy on social media while actually lives poorly.
John Deydier
John Deydier:
Recovering from anything in life is generally not easy be it wounded tissues, broken born, or even broken marriage or relationship but the first step is acceptance then you can work through it, the same goes with losing’s personal property or belongings to scammers you need to accept that it has been stolen then you can work towards getting it back.You need to probably confide in someone and it's not something to be ashamed of as it could happen to anyone then seeks a solution.

As for internet scams, we have lots of recovery companies out there but knowing which one can recover what you've lost is a paramount task that you have to face.

contact me at [email protected] I can assist you in recovering your lost money.
Jäger 2
Jäger 2:
2:08 bruh i pay 150€ per Semester studying medicine. And in that 150€ there is a Ticket for Bus and ttain included. Also i get 750€ per month from the government for studying.
Abdelaziz Al moutaouakil
Abdelaziz Al moutaouakil:
in my country of Morocco there is no fee of health care it’s free but there is no hospitals and even if you find one u will not find the doctor and even if you found a doctor he will not give you enough time to your situation and every doctor in Morocco tell you something entirely different than he other doctor says so it make you confuse so be appreciated to tour countries
Thomas Koch
Thomas Koch:
Houses in the USA are made out of paper!

-Every european
Marcus Carana
Marcus Carana:
*Kansa Browniesssss*
Sandy López
Sandy López:
Me who lives in America: *sighing intensifies*




Honestly tho: Now I’m planning going to college or university somewhere else
Andreas W
Andreas W:
As a german, the part where he was like "in Germany we don't wave flags" hit hard
Princess James
Princess James:
Alhamdulillah I Am Born Raised And Lives In #INDONESIA....

When I Remember The American Dreams Then I Go Watch George Carlin's Videos....
Nathan H
Nathan H:
I live in America, and while there were details that were exaggerated in this video, a lot of it is true. Ambulances are ridiculously expensive, our food portions are very large, and student debt is huge here.
kurkkupastillit ja lämmin tee
kurkkupastillit ja lämmin tee:
I would've liked to see the guests talk more. I really like the concept and I am European myself so I find a lot these things about the US shocking as well, but yeah, I would've liked to have more of them.
mats smaling
mats smaling:
Europe is like America's older brother who got his life a bit together
Akemi Sen
Akemi Sen:
Everyone is America seems so depressed now days. I don’t know a single person that says they are actually more happy than stressed and overwhelmed.
Colin Carr
Colin Carr:
We make fun of ourselves for most of these things too. Our country is run by the dumbest people goin.
Alba C.
Alba C.:
1:35 that let me literally speachless... I already know about healthcare and education but I had no idea about that.
smallblueangel
smallblueangel:
omg the thing with the women and the train platform made me cry. thats so horrible.
poke frosch
poke frosch:
When the guy in the end says: "In Germany we don´t wave flags."

Thats the most german thing ever.
August Hartridge
August Hartridge:
2:18
Kirri Collection
Kirri Collection:
18 euros ??!! Per semester??? 😩 that’s $21.83 I am sad now 😭😭😭
Jen Forbush
Jen Forbush:
I'm pretty sure I was supposed to be born and raised there. But instead, I was born and raised in Idaho, I love it here. But maybe one day I will go to Europe, and I do have Europe in me just don't speak it.
:(
Juste Moi
Juste Moi:
I’m so lucky that I live in Europe. I pay 4€ when I go to the doctor 😄
May04bwu
May04bwu:
Americans: Hate Obamacare and want it to be cancelled
Also Americans: Why can't I afford health insurance
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh:
Yeah we work work work, and short trip to the hospital is a death sentence financially.