Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
Most Americans (most, not *you* of course, whoever *you* may be ) that deride Europeans for their six weeks of vacation and their two-hour, cafe lunches have never been across the pond to witness the quality of life that's possible in a culture where people work to live, rather than live to work...who put time with family ahead of having three large cars and a half-dozen televisions...and who haven't let themselves become slaves to corporations that have propogandized their workers to be proud of a mythical "AMERICAN work ethic." I finally made the trip and I didn't feel derisive when I left Europe. I felt unconsolably envious.

Most Americans that dutifully accept all the "greatest country on earth" stuff have *nothing* to compare it to.

I love my country. I'm a patriot. That's why I'm always thinking about how we can make America better.
Amen! Fortunately there's still at least one place in America where a similar concern for quality of life over quantity of money still prevails, though for how much longer is anyone's guess---Maine. Despite being a hugely different place than Paris in most respects, the concern for quality of life (emphasis on fresh, locally-grown foods, artisanal cheeses, lots of outdoor activities, village-community cohesion) drew us here. There are signs that the Disneyfication of Exurbia are on their way here too, but for awhile at least, it beats everywhere else in this country that I've been.