Author Topic: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On  (Read 24589 times)

hownowbrowncow

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10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« on: May 08, 2016, 07:12:02 PM »
Another spot-on article detailing the wastefulness that's normal in the US.  Comments are of course filled with justifications and pouting over those mean Europeans!

http://thefinancialdiet.com/10-things-americans-waste-money-on-that-i-cant-understand/

bobechs

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2016, 07:47:15 PM »
Guy has cats.  'Nuff said.

accountingteacher

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2016, 07:53:31 PM »
Always good to try to see yourself through someone else's eyes.  Being Canadian (and knowing that Europeans don't distinguish between Canadians and Americans as much as we like to tell ourselves) I found myself justifying #5 (big home) #8 (cars) and #9 (gym) based on the fact that I don't like gong outside from Nov - Mar of each year.

Nederstash

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2016, 11:50:22 PM »
Guy has cats.  'Nuff said.
It's a girl.
As a fellow European I must disagree with the article. Fast fashion and technology, really? We're just as guilty of that as people across the pond. I guess it mostly varies per group of friends you hang out with.
But I must agree of McMansions, driving and airconditioning.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2016, 12:01:57 AM »
This article is incredibly supercilious, not to mention idiotic.
#1: Why don't Americans go to restaurants?
#10: Why do Americans go to restaurants all the time?

The cars and big houses, yes, but both are so often mentioned as to be cliches.

Quote
good, fresh food, simple surroundings, long walks or bikes as exercise, and hosting friends at one anotherís homes  . . . For many Americans, these things are rare

This is on a level with saying, " Europeans don't wash, all smoke, and are commies." What an ass.

Seppia

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10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2016, 12:11:50 AM »
Stereotypes exist for a reason.
Obviously not all Europeans smoke and don't wash often enough, but I can guarantee you Europeans smoke much more than Americans and do not wash as often.

The air conditioning thing is VERY real, for example, and so is the takeout thing.
I'm Italian, lived in Italy, France and Spain, spent the last 6 years in the USA so I'm not speculating.

There's also tons of data around that show that ON AVERAGE (which doesn't mean ALL), Americans are significantly more wasteful than Europeans and save much less.

Nederstash

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2016, 01:58:24 AM »
Stereotypes exist for a reason.
Obviously not all Europeans smoke and don't wash often enough, but I can guarantee you Europeans smoke much more than Americans and do not wash as often.

The air conditioning thing is VERY real, for example, and so is the takeout thing.
I'm Italian, lived in Italy, France and Spain, spent the last 6 years in the USA so I'm not speculating.

There's also tons of data around that show that ON AVERAGE (which doesn't mean ALL), Americans are significantly more wasteful than Europeans and save much less.

I still don't get where the not-washing stereotype comes from... I've heard it about France, but I've been there a lot of times and I never noticed anything. I'm from the Netherlands and everyone I know showers daily. Finland is saunaland and Hungary is famous for spas. Iceland (do we count Iceland?) has its hotsprings of course. The only days I don't shower, is when I bathe instead.


MandalayVA

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2016, 02:38:10 AM »
From the article:

Iím 25, going to be 26 very soon

Pretty much


It's not that I disagree with most of her points, although if she spent a summer in Richmond she would understand why you would have to pry air conditioning from me, it's that her millennial-smug tone irks me. 

Christof

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2016, 04:20:33 AM »
This article reads like someone is comparing their local group to the stereotype of an american. I know plenty of people here in Germany who buy the latest electronics, raise family on ready made meals, certainly like cars. Average size of apartments and houses has increased by 50% over the past 20 years.

Some things a different because of physical constraints. The USA is a lot more South then Europe. It simply is not in only hotter, but also more humid in the southern states leading to more air condition. European cities are larger then in the US. Hamburg would be the 5th biggest city, Berlin is comparable to Los Angeles in population, while being smaller spacewise, London has the population of New York. There aren't that many affordable huge places in Ney York. Why would I expect them in similar cities in Europe.

Seppia

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10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2016, 05:03:44 AM »
I still don't get where the not-washing stereotype comes from... I've heard it about France, but I've been there a lot of times and I never noticed anything. I'm from the Netherlands and everyone I know showers daily. Finland is saunaland and Hungary is famous for spas. Iceland (do we count Iceland?) has its hotsprings of course. The only days I don't shower, is when I bathe instead.

Take the subway at rush hour in the morning in Paris, then fly to NYC and do the same.
You will see (should I say smell?) what I'm talking about :)
For many Americans, showering twice per day is very common.

As for the smoking, there's stats out there.

Air conditioning: the issue is not in the diffusion of AC, but the temperatures.

oldtoyota

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2016, 07:29:04 AM »
"In the summer, they want to be wrapping up in a sweater in their freezing offices. In the winter, they want to be broiling under their bedsheets."

????

We *want* to wrap up in a sweater in the summer? No, we don't.

The culture of inviting people into our homes is disappearing? She's been in the US in only wealthy areas for a few months at most.

I can't take this article seriously. Seems like clickbait.

mm1970

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2016, 11:39:45 AM »
I think she has some really good points, but as others here (and there) have pointed out, the US has different challenges.

We work more hours, we are more spread out.  This makes public transport difficult in some areas.

Longer work hours make cooking at home and having dinner parties harder.  I mean, I love to host friends, but the thought of cleaning the house first?  Forget it.  So we do potluck in the park.

And the AC thing, I don't know much about Europe.  How does it compare to TX?  I'm stuck with the AC at work (and I wear a sweater at work).  But we have to keep regular temps and humidity for semiconductors.

Trudie

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2016, 11:57:56 AM »
I think she took inspiration from her cats -- Martin and Luther -- and just nailed this shit to a wall to see what would stick.  (Just a little Lutheran humor there from a Lutheran.  haha)

I'm always taken aback when people do cross-cultural comparisons (whether on the basis of economics, religion, social practices) and point out where "others" get it wrong.  I'm the last to defend McMansions, car habits, and constant take out... but on the other hand I learned a long time ago not to compare our worst to someone else's best, and vice versa.  She paints pretty broad brush strokes here based on a certain urban, middle class, and possibly young demographic. 

Although I am buoyed to see a trend toward new "urbanist" communities that are walkable and bikeable or traversable by public transport I do feel that many Europeans don't grasp the sheer amount of land mass we have in the United States and what it takes to get from Point A to Point B.  I live in the upper midwest and my job (in a rural area) requires me to drive 30 miles in each direction.  It's not that I like driving.  This is a difficult concept for us to communicate to our Scandinavian Cousins who have easy access to trains, ferries, and cheap short hop airfares.  The transportation system here is different and stuff is not very close.  I'm envious of what they have, but it doesn't change the reality.

JustTrying

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2016, 12:05:39 PM »
I'm American, and I assumed that all 10 would be things that I'm not guilty of. But she got me with the big houses and the heat. I've lived outside the US and I recall wearing a winter jacket in the house 90% of the time because my American body couldn't handle it.

That being said, I thought the dinner party thing was funny, just because it doesn't seem accurate. I'm wondering if she didn't get invited to dinner parties because she was not well-liked by the Americans she seems to turn her nose up at! We regularly host and are invited to dinner, and rarely are we invited out to restaurants/bars. Though admittedly for much of my early adult life I lived in tiny apartments where hosting really wasn't an option, and during those periods of life I did go out to restaurants to socialize.

serpentstooth

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2016, 12:10:34 PM »
Guy has cats.  'Nuff said.
It's a girl.
As a fellow European I must disagree with the article. Fast fashion and technology, really? We're just as guilty of that as people across the pond. I guess it mostly varies per group of friends you hang out with.
But I must agree of McMansions, driving and airconditioning.

Aren't the big fast fashion brands (H+M, Zara, Mango) all European companies, anyway?

SimplyMarvie

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2016, 10:55:57 AM »
This chica has clearly never been to Eastern Europe. It's ALL about the Fast Fashion here, and my house here is about twice the size (literally, at 3200 square feet v. 1800 square feet) of the one we lived in at home in the States....and in the grand scheme of houses here's it's pretty modest. We've got a Costco clone here, people are crazy about their electronics especially cellphones (to the point that I get teased about my perfectly serviceable MotoX being my dinosaur phone) and the men here are, general, way more into cars than any but the most gear-headed American teens.

Maybe that's why I love it so much? ;)

BlueHouse

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2016, 01:54:47 PM »
I still don't get where the not-washing stereotype comes from... I've heard it about France, but I've been there a lot of times and I never noticed anything. I'm from the Netherlands and everyone I know showers daily. Finland is saunaland and Hungary is famous for spas. Iceland (do we count Iceland?) has its hotsprings of course. The only days I don't shower, is when I bathe instead.

Take the subway at rush hour in the morning in Paris, then fly to NYC and do the same.
You will see (should I say smell?) what I'm talking about :)
For many Americans, showering twice per day is very common.

I don't think it's about washing.  Americans have artificial scents everywhere.  Laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, face cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, soap, Anti-perspirant, deodorant, lotion, perfume, the air itself!  We don't know what people are supposed to smell like.  Europeans don't use as much scented shit on themselves and are used to natural body odors. 

FrugalShrew

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2016, 05:02:52 PM »
I'm surprised to see so much pushback against this article.

I'm sure not all Europeans are better on all counts, but none of the ten things she listed should be controversial as unnecessary "luxuries" that are commonplace in the U.S. (and many of these phenomena have a neutral effect on quality of life at best).

I was nodding my head along in agreement that all 10 are problems with the U.S.

Magilla

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2016, 02:09:50 PM »
I'm surprised to see so much pushback against this article.

I'm sure not all Europeans are better on all counts, but none of the ten things she listed should be controversial as unnecessary "luxuries" that are commonplace in the U.S. (and many of these phenomena have a neutral effect on quality of life at best).

I was nodding my head along in agreement that all 10 are problems with the U.S.

There is pushback because the write obviously knows nothing (or very little).  It's like reading an article about top 10 software coding mistakes written by someone whose "coding" experience consists of building minecraft "circuits" (or top 10 construction mistakes by a someone that can barely assemble Ikea furniture). 

I think for some Europeans it seems incredibly hard to wrap their mind around just how big the US is and how diverse in culture, habits, weather, etc.  Take takeout/restaurants.  If you live in NYC vs Johnstown PA it's going to be night and day difference in habits.  Same with AC and living in Colorado vs Georgia.

lemanfan

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2016, 02:37:12 PM »
Aren't the big fast fashion brands (H+M, Zara, Mango) all European companies, anyway?

H&M is Swedish.  Biggets individual stock in my portfolio.  Annual dividend pays for my vacation. Thank you H&M shoppers.

Mango and Zara are Spanish, apparantly.

Please, when talking about scandinavia - do note that only Denmark, the southern parts of Sweden and parts of just around the big cities have that ease of commute that you talk about. 

Large parts of Sweden, Finland and Norway are very comparable to northern, rural USA.  In some cases even worse, since the roads are narrower and curvier meaning longer commute times.  And twice the price of gasoline thanks to our tax systems.

I grew up with a 45 minute highway non-traffic commute was the norm. 


NoraLenderbee

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2016, 02:38:58 PM »
I'm surprised to see so much pushback against this article.

The "pushback" is because it's an offensive and terribly written article. Some of her criticisms of the US are quite valid, and there are more that could be made. However, she sounds like a snotty 14-year-old who thinks she's oh-so-clever.

Quote
I was nodding my head along in agreement that all 10 are problems with the U.S.

Really? You agree with both 1 and 10?

#1: Why don't Americans go to restaurants?
#10: Why do Americans go to restaurants all the time?

Basenji

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2016, 02:42:31 PM »
LOL, if it were written by an American Mustachian we'd probably agree with 1 to 9 on the snotty, little list (although I don't know what she means by # 10 no one gives dinner parties, that's not right, but I'm an old married lady--I guess the kids probably don't pull out grandma's china that often). But as soon as a Brit starts in with "Those Yanks," I get all, "You'll pull my air conditioning remote and take out menus from my cold, dead hands."
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 02:47:02 PM by Basenji »

SimplyMarvie

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2016, 09:34:36 AM »
LOL, if it were written by an American Mustachian we'd probably agree with 1 to 9 on the snotty, little list (although I don't know what she means by # 10 no one gives dinner parties, that's not right, but I'm an old married lady--I guess the kids probably don't pull out grandma's china that often). But as soon as a Brit starts in with "Those Yanks," I get all, "You'll pull my air conditioning remote and take out menus from my cold, dead hands."

I don't know, I think with all the hipsterism and the return to hand-crafted cocktails and local food, that dinner parties are making a comeback... mine are just usually on the back deck in front of the grill, because we're lazy schmoes (and Grandma's china is in storage.) That's just me, though.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2016, 06:59:14 PM »
LOL, if it were written by an American Mustachian we'd probably agree with 1 to 9 on the snotty, little list (although I don't know what she means by # 10 no one gives dinner parties, that's not right, but I'm an old married lady--I guess the kids probably don't pull out grandma's china that often). But as soon as a Brit starts in with "Those Yanks," I get all, "You'll pull my air conditioning remote and take out menus from my cold, dead hands."

I don't know, I think with all the hipsterism and the return to hand-crafted cocktails and local food, that dinner parties are making a comeback... mine are just usually on the back deck in front of the grill, because we're lazy schmoes (and Grandma's china is in storage.) That's just me, though.

I for one have almost completely given up on hosting Americans at dinner parties. It's because I don't like being treated poorly. There's too many cases where people:

1) Refuse to tell you whether or not they can make it: they will say "maybe" literally up to the last moment. This keeps you from getting an accurate head count and knowing how much food to buy and prepare.

2) Simply don't bother to show up.

3) Blow up your phone after the party has started and everyone is seated, thinking that for some reason you're going to jump up from the table and answer a text message.

4) Spend the entire dinner glued to their phones, refusing to talk to anybody because they're too busy making a bunch of personal phone calls or snapping pictures of their food and posting it to social media.

5) Demanding to light up a joint or use illegal drugs even though they know you run a drug free house, because that's how they like to "party" (for some reason they think it's a verb)

6) Refuse to eat anything on the table because it's not "healthy" enough for them despite being cooked from scratch from ingredients selected to match their religious, gluten-free, vegan, Atkins diet, fad-of-the-week dietary restrictions plus what they've told you about their personal likes and dislikes. This is despite the fact that you saw them chow down on greasy take-out the day before.

7) Bring a bunch of uninvited guests of their own.

8) Show up three hours late after most people have finished eating, and ask for their dinners packaged up and wrapped "to go".

9) Insist on "helping" to wash up the dishes despite repeated requests to just leave it alone, and breaking something expensive and irreplaceable in the process because they just don't grok that wood-handled knives can't be put in the dishwasher or that thin stemmed crystal is fragile, or that china can't be dropped on a tile floor the way plastic can.

10) Not leaving when the party is over, and wanting to hang about after I've cleaned up and gone to bed.

11) Getting so staggeringly drunk, as a designated driver, that they are not only unable to drive themselves but the people who relied on them for a ride are also stranded and need to be driven home by someone else, and

12) Never reciprocating in any way with an invitation to come out and have fun somewhere else.

These are people who are completely normal and OK in a work situation, or if we're going together to an outing of some kind like a movie or a restaurant. They're capable of civilized behavior then, just not in somebody's home.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 07:12:10 PM by TheGrimSqueaker »

Cyaphas

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2016, 08:28:51 PM »
I don't even think most Americans realize how big our country is. Canada suffers from the same plight. Both countries are multiples larger than Europe. It really doesn't sink in until you fly over the midwest, rockies and desert during the daytime.

Food, we produce some much food at such a huge discount. Our portions are much larger because they can be. Fuel, Natural resources, we have again a hell of a lot more than Europe.

I think this article is extremely narrow minded from someone who has a lot less experience than they think they do with the USA. I can think of lots of places in the US that counter her 'argument.'

I will agree on the dinner party thing. I've given up on friendships before because I was just sick of people bailing at the last minute multiple times.

Mac_MacGyver

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2016, 05:13:48 AM »
LOL, if it were written by an American Mustachian we'd probably agree with 1 to 9 on the snotty, little list (although I don't know what she means by # 10 no one gives dinner parties, that's not right, but I'm an old married lady--I guess the kids probably don't pull out grandma's china that often). But as soon as a Brit starts in with "Those Yanks," I get all, "You'll pull my air conditioning remote and take out menus from my cold, dead hands."

I don't know, I think with all the hipsterism and the return to hand-crafted cocktails and local food, that dinner parties are making a comeback... mine are just usually on the back deck in front of the grill, because we're lazy schmoes (and Grandma's china is in storage.) That's just me, though.

I for one have almost completely given up on hosting Americans at dinner parties. It's because I don't like being treated poorly. There's too many cases where people:

1) Refuse to tell you whether or not they can make it: they will say "maybe" literally up to the last moment. This keeps you from getting an accurate head count and knowing how much food to buy and prepare.

2) Simply don't bother to show up.

3) Blow up your phone after the party has started and everyone is seated, thinking that for some reason you're going to jump up from the table and answer a text message.

4) Spend the entire dinner glued to their phones, refusing to talk to anybody because they're too busy making a bunch of personal phone calls or snapping pictures of their food and posting it to social media.

5) Demanding to light up a joint or use illegal drugs even though they know you run a drug free house, because that's how they like to "party" (for some reason they think it's a verb)

6) Refuse to eat anything on the table because it's not "healthy" enough for them despite being cooked from scratch from ingredients selected to match their religious, gluten-free, vegan, Atkins diet, fad-of-the-week dietary restrictions plus what they've told you about their personal likes and dislikes. This is despite the fact that you saw them chow down on greasy take-out the day before.

7) Bring a bunch of uninvited guests of their own.

8) Show up three hours late after most people have finished eating, and ask for their dinners packaged up and wrapped "to go".

9) Insist on "helping" to wash up the dishes despite repeated requests to just leave it alone, and breaking something expensive and irreplaceable in the process because they just don't grok that wood-handled knives can't be put in the dishwasher or that thin stemmed crystal is fragile, or that china can't be dropped on a tile floor the way plastic can.

10) Not leaving when the party is over, and wanting to hang about after I've cleaned up and gone to bed.

11) Getting so staggeringly drunk, as a designated driver, that they are not only unable to drive themselves but the people who relied on them for a ride are also stranded and need to be driven home by someone else, and

12) Never reciprocating in any way with an invitation to come out and have fun somewhere else.

These are people who are completely normal and OK in a work situation, or if we're going together to an outing of some kind like a movie or a restaurant. They're capable of civilized behavior then, just not in somebody's home.


Think this is more the people you associate with and has less to do with "Americans".

ender

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2016, 08:32:04 AM »
It's a girl.
As a fellow European I must disagree with the article. Fast fashion and technology, really? We're just as guilty of that as people across the pond. I guess it mostly varies per group of friends you hang out with.
But I must agree of McMansions, driving and airconditioning.

Keep in mind that most of Europe (especially Western Europe) is much milder than much of the USA.

The Netherlands (where I assume you live based on your username) is further North than nearly the entire continental USA. The below is a chart any Europeans feeling smug about how they don't use AC and Americans are wasteful with it should take some time to analyze. Many European cities are further north than the entire continental USA. It's not surprising they do not need AC.




Think this is more the people you associate with and has less to do with "Americans".

Yeah, I can't think of a single time that I have dealt with anything on that list having hosted many, many Americans.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2016, 09:25:46 AM »

Think this is more the people you associate with and has less to do with "Americans".

Not based on the numbers, and I do keep track. To throw a good dinner party I have to keep notes on my guests' work schedules, dietary needs, personalities, and interests. It's part of intelligent hosting and it makes me better able to choose a successful menu and schedule. My mother did a lot of corporate and industrial diplomatic entertaining, and I learned from her. So, there's a science to group entertaining and statistics plays a part. Demographics can be relevant.

I'd estimate my statistical sampling size at well over 250 households each of which might represent an individual, a couple, or a family. The people I invite over are educators, local business owners, adult grad students, people in the skilled trades, various kinds of professionals mostly of the medical, legal, or nerdy persuasion, former military, co-workers, neighbors, business associates, and people I know from sports or from various charitable volunteer activities. I try to avoid politicians and direct marketers due to the odor. The age range is from about 25 to about 60 although some bring their kids. All of them are people I've known for a while, and none are spur-of-the-moment invitations. Some of the parties I throw are for birthdays or wedding showers.

Of the people I've invite over, I'd say roughly 80% of them are born and raised in the USA. The other 20% are half foreign nationals (on a work, student, or visitor's visa) and half are US citizens who were either born or raised in a country besides the USA. If rudeness were distributed uniformly, then if it were simply a question of interacting with the wrong class of people, I'd expect to get about 1/5 of the rude behavior from the people not raised in the USA. But that's far from the truth, even when I compare people of similar socioeconomic background.

Over the nearly 18 years I've been entertaining under my own roof, I have only ever had three special food requests from people raised outside the USA. One related to a food allergy, and two related to religious food prohibitions that I was already aware of and that I planned around. When I entertain Americans, I can expect special food requests from more than half the people I entertain. Some relate to allergies but the vast majority are fad diet related. The same goes for deciding whether to attend the party at all, or texting or playing with gadgets during the meal. (Before or after the meal is OK, in fact being able to look up a fact during an argument is vital). So far 100% of the substance abuse related behavior has been from my fellow Americans. Because of the sampling I'd expect only about 80%. I'm not saying that not one of my guests with significant other-than-American cultural exposure ever abuses substances. I'm saying they don't do it while they're guests in my home.

I'm not saying the rudeness from people of non-US culture is zero. It's not true. Lateness, for example, is a thing in some cultures, and I've had guests who like to live the stereotype. But overall the rudeness is substantially less than the expected value assuming a uniform distribution of rude behavior. My conclusion so far is that the distribution isn't uniform.

Speaking of "uniform", I very seldom have trouble getting people raised in US military families to RSVP or show up on time. That is a very pleasant statistical outlier.

Here's another unexpected statistical oddity: kids. I don't have a huge number of kids, babies, or teens dining with me, but the ones who do have been uniformly American raised. They are nearly always as well behaved as their parents, and far better behaved than many of the adults regardless of national origin. They are seldom anywhere near as picky as the adults.

Making Cookies

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2016, 11:05:00 AM »
Think this is more the people you associate with and has less to do with "Americans".

I don't know - that "MAYBE" problem is pretty widespread. We don't host often for a similar set of reasons except for select few friends. People that "maybe" will come, bail at the last second or show up late and leave early...

Don't know if that is an American problem or a just the times we live in problem.

Hanging out with friends ought to be fun and laid back but sometimes it feels like too much effort.

Throw in a dose of political discussion and someone always wants to parrot or pontificate about their favorite candidate - usually without enough understanding of it to support their positions or painting with a very wide brush. Could we have some informed nuanced discussion at this party or move on to less controversial topics - please?  ;)

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2016, 11:51:28 AM »
Think this is more the people you associate with and has less to do with "Americans".

I don't know - that "MAYBE" problem is pretty widespread. We don't host often for a similar set of reasons except for select few friends. People that "maybe" will come, bail at the last second or show up late and leave early...

Don't know if that is an American problem or a just the times we live in problem.

Hanging out with friends ought to be fun and laid back but sometimes it feels like too much effort.

Throw in a dose of political discussion and someone always wants to parrot or pontificate about their favorite candidate - usually without enough understanding of it to support their positions or painting with a very wide brush. Could we have some informed nuanced discussion at this party or move on to less controversial topics - please?  ;)

One neat change these last 20 years has been the impact of cell phones. I still do my best to keep them off the table during the meal, because they really do ruin the talking-and-eating bit. But I've completely changed my position on whether they belong at parties at all. During a cocktail hour or the after-dinner conversation these new "smart" phones are fantastic. They really improve the conversation and allow introverted or socially anxious people to hold their own in a discussion about something they know well. It's much easier to draw somebody out of his or her shell when he or she doesn't feel put on the spot and can use an easy fingertip reference to help illustrate a point, thereby shifting attention away from the speaker. People are using phones to look up facts to support an argument they're making, to assist in citing a historical reference, to find a word or phrase to get around a language barrier because not everyone is a polyglot or shares a common language, or to settle an argument or debate before it gets ugly. In fact, since people no longer need to carry references around in their heads, the quality of the conversation at my parties has gone through the roof.

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2016, 11:59:26 AM »
Here's another unexpected statistical oddity: kids. I don't have a huge number of kids, babies, or teens dining with me, but the ones who do have been uniformly American raised. They are nearly always as well behaved as their parents, and far better behaved than many of the adults regardless of national origin. They are seldom anywhere near as picky as the adults.

Huh, that's interesting. I've gotten a LOT of snark from Americans for including my toddler in 'nice' dinners, celebrations, etc; I would have assumed based on that that more American kids would be left at home with babysitters.

(Disclaimer: I have a well-behaved toddler we actively parent when out. She does not disturb people's meals, can sit at the table for a half-hour and then colour quietly and NOT run aroung the table or scream, and eats whatever we eat, and generally doesn't shriek, fuss, or be a nuissance. I also don't take her to schmancy restaurants, or to places where people are drinking heavily, or anywhere what's actively inappropriate for a child OR where she'd be likely to actively disturb other diners - 4-hour dinners are NOT the place for toddlers, for example. I'm just a bit bewildered by the common thread of 'kids should stay home until they are old enough to behave' - like, how is a 10-year-old supposed to know how to behave in circumstances that they've never been in? Teach the behavior, slowly, while being aware that you may need to whisk your kid out to stop them from being a public nuissance, and you'll get a 10-year-old who knows how to behave WITHOUT having a video game in hand every second. How else are kids supposed to learn? Osmosis?)

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2016, 01:01:17 PM »
Guy has cats.  'Nuff said.

The writer is female.

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2016, 01:19:15 PM »
I don't even think most Americans realize how big our country is. Canada suffers from the same plight. Both countries are multiples larger than Europe. It really doesn't sink in until you fly over the midwest, rockies and desert during the daytime.

Food, we produce some much food at such a huge discount. Our portions are much larger because they can be. Fuel, Natural resources, we have again a hell of a lot more than Europe.

I think this article is extremely narrow minded from someone who has a lot less experience than they think they do with the USA. I can think of lots of places in the US that counter her 'argument.'

I will agree on the dinner party thing. I've given up on friendships before because I was just sick of people bailing at the last minute multiple times.
Have you misunderstood where Europe is and which countries it includes? There are more seas, but that doesn't really make it easier to travel. The non EU countries of Greenland, Norway Ukraina, and the European part of Russia alone are huge. In total, North America has a larger land mass, and is slightly larger in geographical distance, but "multiples larger" is plain wrong. Ander's map shows approximately the same thing.


As to your "natural resources" claim: please show the facts to prove your statement. A short google search showed that EU and Norways fisheries alone (excluding important fisheries nations like Greenland and Russia) are larger than the US, and that the meat production in the US+Canada is of equal size to Europe if you exclude the European parts of Russia and North Atlantic whaling.

The article is stupid. Europe is incredibly diverse; half the points are wrong in Denmark, the other half are wrong in Cyprus. And 80 % are wrong in Finland, but you'll never know since they probably won't talk to you.

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2016, 01:37:07 PM »
Some of the stuff seems pretty uncontroversial, like the A/C bit.

I've noticed that most people around me in set the temperature warmer in their buildings in the winter and cooler in the summer.  Bit like waaaaay too much.  In my office I'm unable to wear long sleeve winter weight shirts during the winter because I'd be sweating all day long.  In the summer I can't wear short sleeved summer weight shirts because it's freezing cold.  That's silly.

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2016, 01:39:43 PM »
I find European snobbishness about Americans' finances really hilarious. Like Europe knows anything about handling money. Here's how Europe gives everyone a retirement: Take lots of money from rich people and give to everyone else so they can retire when they are 55 from their 35 hour a week job with eight weeks of paid vacation every year. How do Europeans afford to do this? They charge a 20% sales tax on everything (VAT) and don't spend any money on their militaries. Why should they? The United States will always bail them out if they ever end up in any real military trouble. The European House of Cards is starting to fall, though, as you can see in the examples of countries like Greece, Spain, and Italy. There's only so much blood you can squeeze from a 1% stone. They are rioting in France right now because the government wants to cut back on the freebies for the freeloaders.

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2016, 02:11:00 PM »

As to your "natural resources" claim: please show the facts to prove your statement. A short google search showed that EU and Norways fisheries alone (excluding important fisheries nations like Greenland and Russia) are larger than the US, and that the meat production in the US+Canada is of equal size to Europe if you exclude the European parts of Russia and North Atlantic whaling.

The article is stupid. Europe is incredibly diverse; half the points are wrong in Denmark, the other half are wrong in Cyprus. And 80 % are wrong in Finland, but you'll never know since they probably won't talk to you.

Cool map bro....

"How big is the United States compared to Europe?
The area of the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) is 9,161,923 km2, while the area of Europe is 3,788,027 km2. The United States is almost two and a half times the size of the European Union. France is slightly smaller than the state of Texas."

Canada is 9.09 million sq km.


I know math is hard for visual people like you so, let me explain something else, most world maps are distorted. Alaska, Canada and Greenland are far large than appears on most world maps.

As for natural resources, most of the land in Europe has been settled/farmed/used for thousands of years. The US and Canada have massive swathes of land that for the most part are still virgin, and protected when compared to Europe. We have trees older than human civilization.

Oil reserves:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves

Lumber:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/countries-with-most-timber-producing-countries.html

Food:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_producing_countries_of_agricultural_commodities

(WTF is a gooseberry?)



Way to play into the stereotype. The one company I work for hauls enough grain in one year, just my company, to feed the US 8 times over. 365 million people... 8 times over. We're not even the largest company in our transportation class. The scale of the US and Canada is a hell of a lot larger than most people think. These numbers are even skewed by the massive amount of  environmental regulations imposed on us that prevent us from harvesting a lot of lumber, oil and food. A lot of the other countries you see on those lists have little to no regulations and we STILL beat them out.


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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2016, 02:15:26 PM »
Here's another unexpected statistical oddity: kids. I don't have a huge number of kids, babies, or teens dining with me, but the ones who do have been uniformly American raised. They are nearly always as well behaved as their parents, and far better behaved than many of the adults regardless of national origin. They are seldom anywhere near as picky as the adults.

Huh, that's interesting. I've gotten a LOT of snark from Americans for including my toddler in 'nice' dinners, celebrations, etc; I would have assumed based on that that more American kids would be left at home with babysitters.


I suspect that one of the reasons why I'm running into so many poorly socialized humans is because they were raised by parents who did exactly that, and who either didn't entertain at home themselves or didn't involve the kids in the process. Those poor kiddos never got to practice.

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2016, 02:39:45 PM »

As to your "natural resources" claim: please show the facts to prove your statement. A short google search showed that EU and Norways fisheries alone (excluding important fisheries nations like Greenland and Russia) are larger than the US, and that the meat production in the US+Canada is of equal size to Europe if you exclude the European parts of Russia and North Atlantic whaling.

The article is stupid. Europe is incredibly diverse; half the points are wrong in Denmark, the other half are wrong in Cyprus. And 80 % are wrong in Finland, but you'll never know since they probably won't talk to you.

Cool map bro....

"How big is the United States compared to Europe?
The area of the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) is 9,161,923 km2, while the area of Europe is 3,788,027 km2. The United States is almost two and a half times the size of the European Union. France is slightly smaller than the state of Texas."

Canada is 9.09 million sq km.


I know math is hard for visual people like you so, let me explain something else, most world maps are distorted. Alaska, Canada and Greenland are far large than appears on most world maps.

As for natural resources, most of the land in Europe has been settled/farmed/used for thousands of years. The US and Canada have massive swathes of land that for the most part are still virgin, and protected when compared to Europe. We have trees older than human civilization.

Oil reserves:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves

Lumber:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/countries-with-most-timber-producing-countries.html

Food:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_producing_countries_of_agricultural_commodities

(WTF is a gooseberry?)



Way to play into the stereotype. The one company I work for hauls enough grain in one year, just my company, to feed the US 8 times over. 365 million people... 8 times over. We're not even the largest company in our transportation class. The scale of the US and Canada is a hell of a lot larger than most people think. These numbers are even skewed by the massive amount of  environmental regulations imposed on us that prevent us from harvesting a lot of lumber, oil and food. A lot of the other countries you see on those lists have little to no regulations and we STILL beat them out.

Again: EU is not the same as Europe. If you want to compare Continents you need to include ALL of Europe; including Ukraine, European part of Russia, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Switzerland, European part of Turkey, etc.

If you want to think you are the biggest boy in school; no problem, I won't stop you. I really couldn't care less. I just object to being a) excluded from Europe and b) included in the EU.

FINate

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2016, 02:48:31 PM »

Think this is more the people you associate with and has less to do with "Americans".

Not based on the numbers, and I do keep track. To throw a good dinner party I have to keep notes on my guests' work schedules, dietary needs, personalities, and interests. It's part of intelligent hosting and it makes me better able to choose a successful menu and schedule. My mother did a lot of corporate and industrial diplomatic entertaining, and I learned from her. So, there's a science to group entertaining and statistics plays a part. Demographics can be relevant.

I'd estimate my statistical sampling size at well over 250 households each of which might represent an individual, a couple, or a family. The people I invite over are educators, local business owners, adult grad students, people in the skilled trades, various kinds of professionals mostly of the medical, legal, or nerdy persuasion, former military, co-workers, neighbors, business associates, and people I know from sports or from various charitable volunteer activities. I try to avoid politicians and direct marketers due to the odor. The age range is from about 25 to about 60 although some bring their kids. All of them are people I've known for a while, and none are spur-of-the-moment invitations. Some of the parties I throw are for birthdays or wedding showers.

Of the people I've invite over, I'd say roughly 80% of them are born and raised in the USA. The other 20% are half foreign nationals (on a work, student, or visitor's visa) and half are US citizens who were either born or raised in a country besides the USA. If rudeness were distributed uniformly, then if it were simply a question of interacting with the wrong class of people, I'd expect to get about 1/5 of the rude behavior from the people not raised in the USA. But that's far from the truth, even when I compare people of similar socioeconomic background.

Over the nearly 18 years I've been entertaining under my own roof, I have only ever had three special food requests from people raised outside the USA. One related to a food allergy, and two related to religious food prohibitions that I was already aware of and that I planned around. When I entertain Americans, I can expect special food requests from more than half the people I entertain. Some relate to allergies but the vast majority are fad diet related. The same goes for deciding whether to attend the party at all, or texting or playing with gadgets during the meal. (Before or after the meal is OK, in fact being able to look up a fact during an argument is vital). So far 100% of the substance abuse related behavior has been from my fellow Americans. Because of the sampling I'd expect only about 80%. I'm not saying that not one of my guests with significant other-than-American cultural exposure ever abuses substances. I'm saying they don't do it while they're guests in my home.

I'm not saying the rudeness from people of non-US culture is zero. It's not true. Lateness, for example, is a thing in some cultures, and I've had guests who like to live the stereotype. But overall the rudeness is substantially less than the expected value assuming a uniform distribution of rude behavior. My conclusion so far is that the distribution isn't uniform.

Speaking of "uniform", I very seldom have trouble getting people raised in US military families to RSVP or show up on time. That is a very pleasant statistical outlier.

Here's another unexpected statistical oddity: kids. I don't have a huge number of kids, babies, or teens dining with me, but the ones who do have been uniformly American raised. They are nearly always as well behaved as their parents, and far better behaved than many of the adults regardless of national origin. They are seldom anywhere near as picky as the adults.

I agree with Mac_MacGyver. We've been hosting dinners at our house for 15 years now and haven't had any of the problems listed. Occasionally someone has a little too much to drink, but it has never been over the top or a big problem. No issues with illegal drugs of any type. We don't really care if people use phones or whatever, our dinners are an informal affair where everyone brings a dish and people eat when/where they want, and generally the kids are running around having fun. It's a casual social event, with groups constantly forming and disbanding, usually with a bunch of guys congregated around the BBQ. If someone wants to be alone with their phone then this introvert isn't going to get bent out of shape about it. Then again, we are in California so perhaps things are more casual out here than other places in the US. We certainly don't sit down for dinner around a big table, and being 15-30 minutes late is somewhat expected.

The only complaint I have about my fellow Americans is that they are too 'nice' and by that I mean they are afraid to say 'no' because they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. The 'maybe' responses, and people showing up 3 hours late, etc. are all indicators that people didn't want to attend but felt bad about declining outright.

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2016, 03:05:24 PM »

Think this is more the people you associate with and has less to do with "Americans".

Not based on the numbers, and I do keep track. To throw a good dinner party I have to keep notes on my guests' work schedules, dietary needs, personalities, and interests. It's part of intelligent hosting and it makes me better able to choose a successful menu and schedule. My mother did a lot of corporate and industrial diplomatic entertaining, and I learned from her. So, there's a science to group entertaining and statistics plays a part. Demographics can be relevant.

I'd estimate my statistical sampling size at well over 250 households each of which might represent an individual, a couple, or a family. The people I invite over are educators, local business owners, adult grad students, people in the skilled trades, various kinds of professionals mostly of the medical, legal, or nerdy persuasion, former military, co-workers, neighbors, business associates, and people I know from sports or from various charitable volunteer activities. I try to avoid politicians and direct marketers due to the odor. The age range is from about 25 to about 60 although some bring their kids. All of them are people I've known for a while, and none are spur-of-the-moment invitations. Some of the parties I throw are for birthdays or wedding showers.

Of the people I've invite over, I'd say roughly 80% of them are born and raised in the USA. The other 20% are half foreign nationals (on a work, student, or visitor's visa) and half are US citizens who were either born or raised in a country besides the USA. If rudeness were distributed uniformly, then if it were simply a question of interacting with the wrong class of people, I'd expect to get about 1/5 of the rude behavior from the people not raised in the USA. But that's far from the truth, even when I compare people of similar socioeconomic background.

Over the nearly 18 years I've been entertaining under my own roof, I have only ever had three special food requests from people raised outside the USA. One related to a food allergy, and two related to religious food prohibitions that I was already aware of and that I planned around. When I entertain Americans, I can expect special food requests from more than half the people I entertain. Some relate to allergies but the vast majority are fad diet related. The same goes for deciding whether to attend the party at all, or texting or playing with gadgets during the meal. (Before or after the meal is OK, in fact being able to look up a fact during an argument is vital). So far 100% of the substance abuse related behavior has been from my fellow Americans. Because of the sampling I'd expect only about 80%. I'm not saying that not one of my guests with significant other-than-American cultural exposure ever abuses substances. I'm saying they don't do it while they're guests in my home.

I'm not saying the rudeness from people of non-US culture is zero. It's not true. Lateness, for example, is a thing in some cultures, and I've had guests who like to live the stereotype. But overall the rudeness is substantially less than the expected value assuming a uniform distribution of rude behavior. My conclusion so far is that the distribution isn't uniform.

Speaking of "uniform", I very seldom have trouble getting people raised in US military families to RSVP or show up on time. That is a very pleasant statistical outlier.

Here's another unexpected statistical oddity: kids. I don't have a huge number of kids, babies, or teens dining with me, but the ones who do have been uniformly American raised. They are nearly always as well behaved as their parents, and far better behaved than many of the adults regardless of national origin. They are seldom anywhere near as picky as the adults.

I agree with Mac_MacGyver. We've been hosting dinners at our house for 15 years now and haven't had any of the problems listed. Occasionally someone has a little too much to drink, but it has never been over the top or a big problem. No issues with illegal drugs of any type. We don't really care if people use phones or whatever, our dinners are an informal affair where everyone brings a dish and people eat when/where they want, and generally the kids are running around having fun. It's a casual social event, with groups constantly forming and disbanding, usually with a bunch of guys congregated around the BBQ. If someone wants to be alone with their phone then this introvert isn't going to get bent out of shape about it. Then again, we are in California so perhaps things are more casual out here than other places in the US. We certainly don't sit down for dinner around a big table, and being 15-30 minutes late is somewhat expected.

The only complaint I have about my fellow Americans is that they are too 'nice' and by that I mean they are afraid to say 'no' because they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. The 'maybe' responses, and people showing up 3 hours late, etc. are all indicators that people didn't want to attend but felt bad about declining outright.

Possibly. I don't do pot luck or barbecue, so whether or not my guests show up, get a seat at the table, or feel comfortable is relevant to me. I notice and care if one of my guests isn't there or is having an allergic reaction to something I served them.

Edited to add: I've attended some pot lucks and barbecues, and frankly it's not my idea of a good time unless it's some kind of family reunion where there's really no host and people are just kind of getting together. If nobody notices or cares whether I'm there or not, I'd rather not bother. However, if I do accept the invitation, I show up on time and participate fully in the event. That means I bring a dish, participate in the conversation, and enjoy whatever the host has going.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 03:14:08 PM by TheGrimSqueaker »

FINate

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2016, 03:30:44 PM »
Possibly. I don't do pot luck or barbecue, so whether or not my guests show up, get a seat at the table, or feel comfortable is relevant to me. I notice and care if one of my guests isn't there or is having an allergic reaction to something I served them.

Edited to add: I've attended some pot lucks and barbecues, and frankly it's not my idea of a good time unless it's some kind of family reunion where there's really no host and people are just kind of getting together. If nobody notices or cares whether I'm there or not, I'd rather not bother. However, if I do accept the invitation, I show up on time and participate fully in the event. That means I bring a dish, participate in the conversation, and enjoy whatever the host has going.

We know of two people in our social groups with real allergies. Everyone is aware of these and does their part to avoid the allergen or at least make it known if it's in a dish. As for silly fad diets, that's part of the logic behind bringing a dish to share, it means people can bring whatever is in fashion.

The only sit down type dinner we do is a Seder meal once a year, and we keep this amongst a few friends who we know enjoy it. Other than this, we just don't enjoy a formal dinner parties, nor does anyone we know. To each his own, I guess.

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2016, 06:13:44 PM »
Possibly. I don't do pot luck or barbecue, so whether or not my guests show up, get a seat at the table, or feel comfortable is relevant to me. I notice and care if one of my guests isn't there or is having an allergic reaction to something I served them.

Edited to add: I've attended some pot lucks and barbecues, and frankly it's not my idea of a good time unless it's some kind of family reunion where there's really no host and people are just kind of getting together. If nobody notices or cares whether I'm there or not, I'd rather not bother. However, if I do accept the invitation, I show up on time and participate fully in the event. That means I bring a dish, participate in the conversation, and enjoy whatever the host has going.

We know of two people in our social groups with real allergies. Everyone is aware of these and does their part to avoid the allergen or at least make it known if it's in a dish. As for silly fad diets, that's part of the logic behind bringing a dish to share, it means people can bring whatever is in fashion.

The only sit down type dinner we do is a Seder meal once a year, and we keep this amongst a few friends who we know enjoy it. Other than this, we just don't enjoy a formal dinner parties, nor does anyone we know. To each his own, I guess.

Hmm. The way I see it, the style of entertaining is irrelevant so long as everybody involved feels valued, respected, safe, and appreciated. Including the host.

I know very few people who actually entertain potluck or barbecue style, unless they're camping as a group or attending an event where there's no host, such as a family reunion or a powwow. Those are nice events although a person is not a "guest" so much as a co-contributor.

To me there's nothing quite as relaxing as sharing a nice meal with a handful of friends who need to get to know each other better. Everything's so orderly, predictable, and comforting. There aren't any crawling insects or random things happening, nobody's getting grabbed or hit, nothing depends on the weather, the food is extremely well presented, and the drinks and side dishes harmonize with the main course. Best of all, everybody gets to have a good time and feel good about themselves.

Christof

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2016, 04:34:49 PM »
while the area of Europe is 3,788,027 km2. The United States is almost two and a half times the size of the European Union. France is slightly smaller than the state of Texas."

The EU is 4.3 mio km2, which doesn't include Norway nor Russia... The US is larger, but certainly not twice as large. We do have significantly more inhabitants, though. Europe and the US have the same distances, though. Lisboa to Moscow is the same distance as Los Angeles to New York (roughly 3900 km).

What we do not have is widely uninhabited areas. Europe is like Phoenix is next to Chicago. You can't drive for a few hours without hitting a major city here. In the US we drive for two days and only see diners and small towns.

gaja

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2016, 05:44:42 PM »
while the area of Europe is 3,788,027 km2. The United States is almost two and a half times the size of the European Union. France is slightly smaller than the state of Texas."

The EU is 4.3 mio km2, which doesn't include Norway nor Russia... The US is larger, but certainly not twice as large. We do have significantly more inhabitants, though. Europe and the US have the same distances, though. Lisboa to Moscow is the same distance as Los Angeles to New York (roughly 3900 km).

What we do not have is widely uninhabited areas. Europe is like Phoenix is next to Chicago. You can't drive for a few hours without hitting a major city here. In the US we drive for two days and only see diners and small towns.

The last part is true for EU, but not all of Europe. You can drive for a long time in northern Scandinavia and only see trees, mountains and animals. Unless you count TromsÝ, with 73k people, as a major city, there is only wilderness and villages between Trondheim and the North cape (63-71 deg North).In Sweden, nothing is worth mentioning north of Stockholm (59 deg north), and the civilized section of Finland stops at Oulu (65 deg North).

warmastoast

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2016, 05:59:34 PM »
The author has never lived in the USA.

Total clickbait article and probably cribbed from somewhere else. Let's hope she made a bit of cash from us all visiting her page.


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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2016, 06:24:58 PM »
This article is incredibly supercilious

and sharp to the point of asperity?

The air conditioning thing is VERY real

It's real, but I've never met anyone who actually liked it.  I mean, I enjoy appropriate air conditioning (bring the temperature down to 80 if it's 100 outside) but every woman I have ever gone anywhere with in the summer has complained that restaurants/retail are TOO COLD
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 06:27:39 PM by dragoncar »

big_owl

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2016, 06:57:36 PM »
Americans have also spent a lot of money saving Europeans from their own mass murderers.  Hey anyone remember the great heatwave in France about 15 years ago when the Frenchies without their AC were dropping dead like flies from the heat?  It reached like 105F in France boo hoo.  Poor babies didn't know they had to drink water when it was hot.  Thank goodness it doesn't get THAT HOT anywhere in the US once every 500 years.  What with our unnecessary use of AC and all...

And why the hell would I want to go to dinner parties all the time?  It seems like all Europeans do all day is eat dinner anyway.  I got other shit to do, like drive around on my Italian motorcycle. 

Stereotypes are fun.  Especially when they're coming from overprivvied eurotrash millennials.

aschmidt2930

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2016, 07:35:16 PM »
Americans have also spent a lot of money saving Europeans from their own mass murderers.  Hey anyone remember the great heatwave in France about 15 years ago when the Frenchies without their AC were dropping dead like flies from the heat?  It reached like 105F in France boo hoo.  Poor babies didn't know they had to drink water when it was hot.  Thank goodness it doesn't get THAT HOT anywhere in the US once every 500 years.  What with our unnecessary use of AC and all...

And why the hell would I want to go to dinner parties all the time?  It seems like all Europeans do all day is eat dinner anyway.  I got other shit to do, like drive around on my Italian motorcycle. 

Stereotypes are fun.  Especially when they're coming from overprivvied eurotrash millennials.

Woah.  Sure, there were some ridiculous eye rollers in there, but this seems like a bit of an overreaction.

dragoncar

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2016, 08:40:34 PM »
Americans have also spent a lot of money saving Europeans from their own mass murderers.  Hey anyone remember the great heatwave in France about 15 years ago when the Frenchies without their AC were dropping dead like flies from the heat?  It reached like 105F in France boo hoo.  Poor babies didn't know they had to drink water when it was hot.  Thank goodness it doesn't get THAT HOT anywhere in the US once every 500 years.  What with our unnecessary use of AC and all...

And why the hell would I want to go to dinner parties all the time?  It seems like all Europeans do all day is eat dinner anyway.  I got other shit to do, like drive around on my Italian motorcycle. 

Stereotypes are fun.  Especially when they're coming from overprivvied eurotrash millennials.

Woah.  Sure, there were some ridiculous eye rollers in there, but this seems like a bit of an overreaction.

Lets be generous and call it a caricature

jzb11

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Re: 10 Things Americans Waste Money On
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2016, 05:39:31 AM »
What all of these foreigners who complain about how Americans consume don't understand is that consumption is a function of cost and availability.

Americans consume more, live in bigger homes, upgrade their electronics more often, etc because it is much more inexpensive to do so here than in Germany, Spain, etc.

We drive big sedans, SUVs, trucks, and sports cars because in the USA because they're more affordable than in the UK/EU. The money you pay here for a sports car gets you a Fiesta or a Focus overseas.

The money you pay for a 2,500 square foot home in the suburbs here gives you  a 2 bedroom 1,000 square foot apartment in Europe.

The point isn't that the USA is better or worse or that Americans consume too much or too little. The point is that consumption is tied to cost and availability. If the cost were higher, we'd consume less, it's that simple.

If the costs were lower in EU, they'd consume more, hands down.

Now whether or not we consume too much, that's up to each individual to decide.