USA=Many States, Europe=Many Countries

John Robb just happens to be writing about housing in the U.S. on his weblog. I followed the link over from Scripting News. In it he says, among other things:

"Unlike the UK and much of Europe, individuals own homes in the US. They profit exclusively from the gains."

This just happens to be after I wrote that dissertation earlier about life here in Spain with facts about housing in the U.S... I responded with this on his comments board:

The part about Europeans not owning their homes is wrong. Check out this recent Economist article about exactly this topic. I have a problem with HOW you said this too, like the U.S. is the only place on Earth where people own homes. Time to get a 21st century view of Europe I think.

Ireland, Spain, Italy and Britain all have a higher percentage of people owning their own homes than Americans with Belgium and Sweden not far behind.

(This is probably a bit harsher than I meant to sound, but it's posted now. Sorry John. ;-) )

I'm just amazed at how many Americans will make statements about "Europe" in general without realizing that Europe is still made up of a variety of countries. Spain and Germany are not alike at all except for road-signs and, and, well gosh that's about it. I encounter this type of thought most in the business world when they are talking about "marketing to Europeans" or "launching a European presence" (translation: We just got a tiny office in London). Ask Yahoo or Amazon if there's one Europe. There's not, which is why you have, and but not (oh how I wish!).

I have to explain the reverse to Europeans too (well, mostly the Spanish, but other nationalities have gotten my speech too): Americans are not all alike. If you're from California you're a very different person than if you're from Georgia (thank god). These are completley different states and have different laws, customs, etc. We may speak the same language and vote for the same president (well, not really, but you get the idea) but they are different in almost all other respects.


< Previous         Next >