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How does Netherlands/Germany do it?

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Posted

No, you are wrong. The US does not spend 15% on defense, its about 4.4% in 2013. But, say, UK, France, Germany or Italy spend less than half of that (as a percentage). The delta in Europe goes to, as mentioned, overly generous social payments and infrastructure. Its all a matter of priorities. US wants to be the bully in the world, Europe wants to be the best retirement home in the world. I am not judging whether one is better than the other, i dont like either.

 

Now back on the topic. Think "relative terms" not absolute. If the US has the highest number of vehicles on the road, it also collects the highest amount of $ to support that infrastructure. Clearly, thats doesnt happen, so money is either 1) spend inefficiently 2)spend elswehere 3) 1 and 2

I think you need to recheck your sources.  To correct for my previous mistake, the US actually spends about 20% on defense:

Source: http://www.usfederalbudget.us/federal_budget_detail_fy13bs12014n

That percentage is shrinking pretty fast though.

 

Also, the US is not even in the top 50 countries in the world for personal income taxes, so you're wrong in saying we collect the most $ for funding.  You are right in that the money is spent elsewhere and inefficiently.  For one, we spend much much more money than we bring in.  And two, because of all the political BS, too much of the money gets wasted on crap that doesn't benefit the greater population.

 

Whether or not our infrastructure is fancy, it won't effect my bottom line.  I'd much rather have a tax cut than fancy roads and sidewalks.

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Posted

Well, I've always wondered why most houses in America are built with wood instead of brick/cement, especially in areas prone to weather phenomena like tornados and hurricanes. You'd think that it would fare better than a wooden house.

 

Probably because wood is so common place and inexpensive here in America. Safety be damned.

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Posted

Building codes were vastly overhauled after Hurricane Andrew so no wood homes at all in Florida.

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Posted

It is rich. Stone, tile roofs, brick are way way more expensive than timber houses and shingled roof. Concrete side walks are also way way cheaper than stone side walks. It why the USA uses these materials becaues the others are to dam expensive. I used to work in this industry.

It is all about local characteristics. In cities like Philadelphia it is very rare to see an all wood house, we are a brick and flat roof city, but that is what dominates our suburbs. If people want wooden houses then those are what will be built...

 

 

Yea the Amerians for new orelans after the hurricane had to bring in the Dutch to help re engineer their levys etc since American Army core of engineers had so many design failures lol.  Dutch and Germanys very good engineers.

I'm not going to generalize in the same manner you did... Primarily because Engineering is a very wide discipline and to say one nationality is better overall at the entire scope of engineering is disingenuous.

 

The US reached out to the Dutch not because they are better or worse engineers, but because they have more experience in this area. The entirety of The Netherlands is below sea level and is very prone to massive floods. The Dutch have far more experience dealing with the specific type of problem they were addressing.

 

That doesn't mean the Dutch would build the best airplanes...

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