Here are two articles I came across today (what a coincidence…) that offer a quite surprising perspective on Europe by some rather well known US writers:
I wonder what Americans would think if every single one of them could travel to Paris or London, go through the airport and ride the public transportation system, and spend a week seeing how well some public institutions (though of course not all) actually work. I somehow suspect a lot of them would come home and ask themselves why Americans don’t have the same thing. This effect would be compounded if they all re-entered the United States at Logan Airport or La Guardia.
Europe is often held up as a cautionary tale, a demonstration that if you try to make the economy less brutal, to take better care of your fellow citizens when they’re down on their luck, you end up killing economic progress. But what European experience actually demonstrates is the opposite: social justice and progress can go hand in hand.