I'll take American optimism any day over European negativity and envy
I find Europeans on the whole are unimaginative (I've met thousands thanks to the work I do, so my sampling is not small) and dealt with many different nationalities. Just a thing to consider. Europe is split culturally in 3 parts, which are all very different from each other:
Southern Europe - "Mediterranean lifestyle", lazy and informal
Northern Europe - much closer to the anglo-saxon world, more formal and work is a central piece of life
Eastern Europe - poor, corrupt, kind of mafia vibe
The most you could aspired to in Italy, if not very well-connected, is maybe work at some small company owned by a family and working very long hours in exchange for crap pay. Even in Scandinavia there is a similar lack of imagination and blandness. Things are so regulated by the massive euro nanny state governments that people become very uncreative and cookie cutter. All of the stores tend to have the same limited selection and no variety in any particular item like pastas or shampoo or whatever.
The US has its downsides but I can imagine how long term life in Europe would suck. People just dont have the can-do attitude and don't value quick efficient transactions. We have so much more of an optimistic and individualist cowboy mentality. I wouldn't mind owning a home in europe but I don't think I could live there permanently.
If you are intelligent you can really game the system in Europe because it is so absurd and rigid and the workers have no imagination in the public service that it goes from being tempting to just being an obligation to game them. That's one thing I will definitely miss about Spain: you can get away with A LOT if you're smart and creative about it.
My take on Europe is this: the rich very much like their positions in society and so to avoid anyone trampling them they sedate the masses with excessive welfare, free healthcare, and long vacations. Added with excessive regulations, it's any wonder that businesses continue to operate there at all.
This is great if you have no aspirations to anything which it seems to be an infliction in most of the west.
At least Americans have drive and self determination. Europe as a whole is a floundering mess held together and dominated by the English, Germans, and to a lesser extent the French.
If you are looking to work your ass off and climb up the career ladder, southern Europe must be one of the worst places in the world. It's a great place to live, but a terrible place to work.
No other place like America when it comes to opportunities, can do attitude, and let's face it, overall "awesomeness" and interesting people. Europe is bland, boring, unimaginative and their best brains EMIGRATE the hell out and go to the US or Canada.
It's basically a continent of haves and have nots...and the have nots are peasants thinking they've got it good just because they are appeased with longer vacations and mediocre "free" (so they think) healthcare for lower pay. Rich Europeans most certainly don't spend their entire year living in Europe and many operate their headquarters from business friendlier places.
The fact of the matter is that if you know where to look, the US has a niche for everyone, for any interest really and that is a simple fact. Just look at the sort of people it produces.
I've lived in three different European countries and traveled around most of Europe. You may speak more languages, but all in all, Europe is dull, has mediocre universities (much more so than the top ones in the US) and yes, Americans in Europe are generally the "best of the bunch" but I've also met many more interesting people in the US
It's the constant closed mindedness of so many people, the fact that there is a very real ceiling, just the whole Euro vibe is so negative. Europe is a good place to spend time, spend money if you have it, travel around easily and comfortably...but for living like a true alpha? NO NO NO. Even the the ex-King of Spain sent his son the current king to study at GEORGETOWN, not some lame ass Spanish university.
Most people dont enjoy their work as most people work menial jobs or mind numbing xl spreadsheet corp jobs. This is why European style paid leave and workers rights are so important
the entire populace of every major western European country has been convinced by their elites that having mediocre public healthcare, subsidized schooling, over priced and small (but Organic!) food, long vacation days, public transportation, postage stamp housing, are all good things!
Necessity is the mother of invention and Europe's entrepreneurial spirit has been mightily extinguished by their elite's efforts through an odd mixture socialism and open markets. Obviously entrepreneurs still exist (we have a few here on the forum), but most won't even try. Why bother improving your lot if you're eking out a marginally comfortable existence already? The rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.
The ironic part that got me the most is when you meet a European of means, they sound almost American. They've got their big house, private health care, car, and love to tell you about their various trips to America.
Europe to a large extent is a has been continent stuck in the glory of their days gone by. If I ever have another job assignment there again, I'll only go if they're paying me the appropriate cost of living comparison. No way am I living in a sub 600 sq ft apartment again.