2022-01-10 翻译熊 7444

Are Europeans shocked when they first come to the United States?


Master Jinn
There are 139,000 km/86,000 miles of roads in the Netherlands.
There are 4.18 million miles/6.73 million km of roads in the US.
That’s about 50 miles of road in the US for every mile of road in the Netherlands.
I’d say it’s entirely reasonable that lesser used roads aren’t kept in tip top shape here.


Paul Irving
Indeed, as shown by the fact that only 63% of that 6.73 million km are paved. So let’s set aside the unpaved ones, shall we? Suddenly, the ratio changes considerably. Then, shall we look at the types of roads? The Netherlands has a much higher percentage of motorways, so it has more road in relation to length than the USA. And what about usage? Vehicles driving on roads wear them out - & the Netherlands has more vehicle-km per km of road.
I have no idea what the result of a comparison taking into account all these factors, & any other relevant ones, would be, but it’s bloody obvious that saying “the USA has more roads so it’s reasonable for them to be in worse condition” isn’t really valid. It ain’t that simple.

那么,我们来看看道路的类型? 荷兰的高速公路比例要高得多,所以它的公路长度比美国要长。那么使用情况呢? 在道路上行驶的车辆会磨损它们——荷兰每公里道路的车辆公里数更多。

Bill Paul
As a Canadian, I’m not really familiar with the roads in Australia, or with the extent of the road damage across the U.S. That said, I don’t believe Australia has the kind of cold winters that Much of Canada and the Northern U.S. experience. In the Spring, daytime plus temperatures melt the snow, and the water runs into any cracks in the pavement. As the temperature drops overnight, the water freezes, expands, and breaks up the asphalt causing potholes.
It’s a widespread problem on all city roads and highways, and very hard (and expensive) to keep up with. Not as much of a problem in warmer climates, which may be why Australians and U.S. Southerners may not be aware of it. On the other hand, if road conditions are similar in the South, that may actually be due to a lack of maintenance - again I really can’t say, as all my trips to Southern areas were by plane or ship and I didn’t do too much driving. It has also been quite a few years since my last trip, and maybe the situation has changed since.


Paul Irving
I was just pointing out that the issue of scale applies more to Australia (& Canada, of course) than the USA.
BTW, five mainland European countries (not counting Russia) have lower population density than the USA.


Eric Pederson
Americans are always so defensive when their precious country gets taken down a few notches. It amuses me…as an American who prefers what Europe has compared to this failed social experiment. I can admit America sucks, why cna't you?


Kat Mona
The only thing that truly sucks about America are people with your attitude. Speaking as a dual German-US citizen who has lived in both countries.


Eric Pederson
I’m done with America as it is now. Break it up. This can’t work anymore.


John Spike
Sure. But the US also has a wee bit more people, than the Netherlands do. And as such has also a wee bit more tax income. So how about sometimes using those taxes to fix the roads. Instead of, you know, giving it to the military, because you “need” to be able to invade the whole world 6 times over instead of just 5 times. But I assume, that that won’t happen. Because soon you will “need” to be able to invade the world 7 times over, right?


Holly Russell
Ronald was asked a question which he answered. Don’t like the answer then leave Quora. If the USA spent less on health and the military they could probably pave every road with gold.

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Dave Haitch
If they spent less on health they could have universal healthcare for half the cost, like the Civilised World.


Peter McKenna
the maintenance may cost a bit more but the US has 20 times as many people to spread the cost around.


Jim Shepherd
It's a matter of scale, kind of like small country small populations, large countries large populations. Taxes work out relatively the same. Maintaining roads is allotted money depending upon the importance placed by the relative authority.


Brian Mead
It’s because we love to drive that our roads get so cracked and potholed. We do repairs every single year, and within a few months, they’re used so heavily that more repairs are already necessary. It’s almost like things that actually get used need to be fixed.


Charlotte Neumann
Actually, the Dutch roads get used more, on average, than American roads will. The number of cars per km of road is crazy in the Netherlands. It’s a small country just filled with roads. But yes, we spend the money to do the upkeep - it’s a simple matter of willingness.
Some decades ago, the Belgians weren’t willing to spend that money. The moment you got into Belgium you’d be on lousy roads, lousy signposting, etc. The Belgians have changed that and now have excellent roads. Just a matter of willingness to spend the money. Same for health care. America could be a wonderful country, if it didn’t have so much meanness.


Glenn Rivington
The US has the best quality medical care in the world. The problem is the cost. This is due to the fact that Insurance and Medical companies play a game of who can make the most money. Hospitals and clinics charge insurance companies exorbitant prices then the insurance companies say no, we will only pay this much. This causes insurance prices to go through the roof. Emergency rooms may charge $10,000 for a visit but insurance companies say we will only pay $1,000 for the visit. If one doesn't have insurance they are screwed. I agree costs need to come way down. However, the quality needs to stay the same.


Charlotte Neumann
The US has some top medical centres. Overall it does certainly not have the best quality medical care in the world. I always wonder where such ideas come from. Maybe from the old adage that America is “the greatest country in the world”?
And from the notion that other countries must be backward?
Similarly, Bryan in the above assumed that Dutch roads must surely be less used than American ones. Where does he get that idea? Why would someone assume that?


Norbert Korzus
Not really. The US is just not spending enough on its infrastructe. Even US agencies are sounding the alarm there are huge infrastucture issues. I dont get why americans have this need to pretend their country is perfect (With the exception of voters of the other party they don’t like)

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Jane Heather Kokoszko
I went to New York for a week's holiday and was so appalled at the state of the roads that l took photos of them. I couldn't believe that a country who always professed to be the greatest could have such a dreadful infrastructure. And that was before I saw the huge dumps of black plastic bags on every street at the end of the day.


Peeyush Nandwana
I am always amazed when I read an answer from someone from the EU on the topic and it makes me think about how important perspective is. I moved to the US from India in 2009 and my observations were
how awesome and well maintained the roads were, even in rural areas
ow courteous the border control and police officers were
Of course, none of this is intended to say that improvements shouldn’t be made where they can be or to disparage any country but just wanted to point out as to how “where we come from” shapes our perspective on the same observation. After being here for as long as I have been and being exposed to answers such as yours on Quora, makes me wonder what an extended stay in the EU would be like. I have visited Germany and Iceland and was amazed by the places but then there is only so much you can see in a week or two.

1. 即使是在农村地区,这些公路也保养得很好!
2. 边境管理人员和警察是多么的有礼貌!

Norbert Korzus
Perspective is important but have in mind the GDP per capita in the US is much closer to EU countries than India. So US has to be better in many ways than India. It also should kinda be comparable to Europe and very often it isn’t even though the country has many upsides.


Daniel Methner
It's funny you say that about Germany, because as a German, the main complaint we have about our own country is how bad our infrastructure is.


Dave Mccrudden
Coming from the UK and having lived in Germany for 7 years I have never understood why Germans say that. From my perspective the infrastructure is Immaculate, in fact the more annoying aspect is the continuous maintenance, meaning roadworks and diversions.


Daniel Methner
The many maintenance works aren't a sign of a good infrastructure but many times (not always) one of corruption or incompetence of politicians. By using cheap (or outright wrong) materials for the roads, they ensure that the government will have to pay for a replacement a few years down the road.
Especially in the area of my hometown that's an open secret, and roads sometimes need replacement after just 5 years, despite the environmental conditions not causing this.


Dave Mccrudden
Shitty fast road repairs in the UK look like this. Maintenance in Germany is thorough and to very high standards. German infrastructure is immaculate.


Daniel Methner
Impressive photo, which could have been taken in Germany just as well. Maybe not so much in big cities like Hamburg, but move from any city more than 30 minutes and you'll see lots of roads like that and worse, since the road in the photo provides actually decent coverage for driving.


Dave Mccrudden
After 7 years I have never seen a road repaired like that in Germany. Its commonplace in the UK. Roads here are incredibly well maintained.
Unless Bavaria is an anomaly there is no doubt in my mind how superior german roads are to those in the UK.
Instead of creating a rash of potholes the general approach here is to remove a section of the road to greater depth and replace the lot.


Daniel Methner
Bavaria is indeed an anomaly, as the state is way richer than the rest of the country. Come to East Germany, or the Ruhr area/ most agglomerations north of Bavaria and you'll see a different picture.
How I know? I grew up there :D


Edward Miessner
That looks like the typical shitty fast road repairs in the US. A lot of US counties, cities, towns, and even states are notorious for them!


Nicholas Stanway
I love Germans but you guys do love to complain about everything. I would guess that is why stuff works better there, people are not shy about complaining haha


Vishnu Sundar
Couple of decades back I undertook my first journey from India to the US, of course everything looked amazing, very nice, clean infrastructure, even the police appeared friendly, amazing weekend drives, huge shops. However, after I lived longer in western Europe and travelled back to the US I felt I am in a nation which is not developed. The airports were extremely chaotic and badly maintained compared to most of the major Asian and European airports (incl. Delhi, MUM, AMS, BRU, FRF and BLR). The food was hopelessly bad, people in uniform were unnecessarily rude, I felt I was treated like a kid rather than an adult (as I am used to in Europe). All in all, IMO the negative shock of arriving in the US completely depends on where you come from. If you come from other industrialized nations the shock is apparent.
Having said that I really like travelling to the US to experience the difference it offers compared to Europe, it's still a wonderful country to visit and the people are very friendly.


Sean Martin
These are good observations. It’s pretty incredible. I’m American but living overseas and when I return I always find myself shaking my head in wonder. How can the US have so much wealth and be so poor in it’s infrastructure and so petty in some aspects of it’s policing and governance. For instance, it seems like it would be easy to send the management of TSA to airports in Canada, the UK, Australia, Germany, Singapore etc and see how other countries do airport security more effectively and much more respectfully.


Marcelo Besser
It’s an authoritarian country, since the Pilgrims came to be free to oppress others. Whenever you hear too much about “freedom” you know it’s compensation, just like homophobes sounding hypermacho.


Susan Herndon
In the U.S. it’s all about priorities. The Republikkan Party prioritizes wealth over people. Tax cuts for the rich. Explode the national debt. Universal health care? Oh hell no, That’s a “radical liberal left Socialist measure designed to ruin this country.” Oh and roads and bridges? We can’t afford to pay for roads and bridges but we can put money into the defense budget because that money’s going to contractors who line someone’s pocket—-and they can’t tell you where it goes or how it is spent. When people in the U.S. get sick and tired of being sick and tired, they will vote out these alt-right fascists and vote into office people who will work for the people, and not the uber-rich or corporations.

在美国,一切都与优先顺序有关。共和党将财富置于人民之上,为富人减税、引爆国家债务。全民医保? “噢,该死的不,这是一个“激进的自由左翼社会主义措施,旨在毁灭这个国家。”
哦,那道路和桥梁呢? “我们负担不起道路和桥梁的费用,但我们可以把钱投入国防预算,因为这些钱会流入承包商的腰包。“他们不能告诉你钱去了哪里,怎么花的。

Edward Miessner
Don't count on the alt-right fascists being voted out. They are passing laws at the state level allowing themselves to overturn a popular vote if it doesn't go their way. Their obxtive is to make the United States into a single party state, in essence, to turn our constitutional republic into their own private kingdom.