Ein hundert Dinge, die in den Vereinigten Staaten besser bleiben

I think it is a trait common to many people that they are fascinated by how their country is viewed by others. The leftist Die Tageszeitung from Germany reacted to the result of the most recent U.S. presidential election with their list of one hundred things that are still better in the United States.

Those who cannot read German can use a translation provided by a Metafilter reader (which is where I found this article, if you haven't figured it out). But of course it's better to read something in its original language if you can.

Comments (22)
  1. Mark says:

    What’s Fidel Castro doing in there?!

  2. Inferis says:

    Weird list: "Fidel Castro", anyone?

  3. Nate says:

    Speed limits on the highways? I’ve always been amazed how Europeans were not so panzyish about speed limits; people drive at least 20+ MPH higher on roads MUCH MUCH more congested then the USA. People from England seem to be amazed by how slow people drive on our wide open roads.

  4. Cooney says:

    Out of hand deficit?

  5. Claus Brod says:

    This list is pretty much tongue-in-cheek, so don’t take it TOO seriously. It’s good fun, though.

    And contrary to what you might have been told, there are a lot of Germans who think that having general speed limits would be an excellent idea – myself included. So sue me. (Or call me a liberal .-)

  6. Uwe Keim says:

    Since the "TAZ" ("Die Tageszeitung") is very politically "left" (as you wrote), this is surely a list that is meant sarcastic…

  7. ATZ Man says:


    My dictionary says, in effect, "Außenhandelsdefizit" means "Foreign-trade deficit." They didn’t have to editorialize. And everything looks more Important when Capitalized.

  8. Cooney says:

    I didn’t notice any excess caps on that site. All nouns in German are capitalized.

  9. Andy says:

    It’s not all sarcastic.

    Free drink refills is a totally alien concept in Germany and you have to pay for water too.

    Much better here even though you pay $2.00 for a 10¢ drink. At least it’s a decent size. In DE, it’s about the same for a 250mL soda.

  10. Nate says:

    Claus – while I agree having no speed limit at all is a bit too far; driving the Queen Elizabeth Way in Canada taught me that, try coming over to the USA, and having driving 65 MPH (100 KPH) speed limits on wide open roads with very little traffic for hours on end, and cops ready to pull you over and fine you hundreds of dollars if you go 10 MPH/15 KPH above the speed limit.

  11. Nate says:

    Just to clarify: The QEW in Canada does have a speed limit, but when I was there, people were driving at about 160 KPH weaving in and out of traffic at rush hour.

  12. Miles Archer says:

    Loved the comment that it’s a redo of a column from 1933 about what’s to like about Poland.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hey Microsoft made the list. Way cool!

  14. Tim Goss says:

    The Queensway (highway 417) in Ottawa does indeed have a speed limit of 100kph and most people don’t stray too far above 120kph. There are the odd nuts that think they’re invulnerable who test the limits and drive 150+ but they’re the exception not the rule. It’s really nice when you catch up with them on the side of the road trying to whine their way out of a very large speeding ticket :)

    The 401 in Toronto and the autoroute through Montreal are completely different stories. If you’re not doing 150kph or better when you hit the outskirts of Toronto or Montreal you’re going to get crowded and honked at for going too slow. The natives drive like they have 9 lives and nothing to lose. It’s completely mad. If you’re a first time tourist passing through on your way east or west Montreal is a 60 minute white knuckle drive, and god help you if you pull off the highway, it may take you hours to find an on-ramp (they’re nowhere near the off-ramps). The fun never ends :)

  15. Thomas says:

    There is indeed no speed limit on german highways. A topmanager from Audi actually "drove" his Ferrari Enzo at 363KPH (227MPH) on an early sunday morning.

  16. Petr Kadlec says:

    But it should be said that it is rather an exception in Europe, and IIANM there is some debate about highway speed limits in Germany.

    But this list is funny.

  17. Chris says:

    Good grief, I know Montreal has a rep for insane drivers but that’s just an exageration Tim. Look on the bright side, they’re going to extend the 30 so you can go around Montreal.

    The general rule in Quebec for highways is speed limit +20 Kmh is still considered acceptable. The cops probably won’t stop you unless it’s quota time. If you drive in the left lane doing less than speed limit +20 Kmh then you are probably an Ontarian or an old man with a hat. In either case people will pass you on the right and give you a dirty look (which you deserve).

    As for the Montreal – Toroto corridor. That place is so bloody empty that I can completly understand doing 160 kmh. I just make sure I have a "pace car" doing the same speed as me. Makes for a nice cop detector.

    For the record: Doing 150 in traffic though is just dangerous.

  18. Nate says:

    As for the Montreal – Toroto corridor. That place is so bloody empty that I can completly understand doing 160 kmh

    Amen to that; and I wish we could go 160 kmh in correspondingly empty places in the states without f—king New York State troopers giving us tickets.

  19. Florian says:

    This is the third time I see this list mentioned in a non-German blog. Which is funny because I think it is certainly not easy to grasp the changing tone of it for non-Germans. One might feel tempted to understand the title "100 things that stay better" in only one way, while I feel it is used in a very broad sense, subsuming various different ways of interpretation for the different items of the list.

    The list is tounge-in-cheek, in parts. It is a little sarcastic, in parts. But it is also just as serious in other parts. I would imagine the difficult thing (for most non-Germand) is to know which part is which. Even more so as that is probably different for everyone reading it. While person A will go "Yeah! Absolutely! Hell no!", person B might think "Right! No! Well, yeah".

    So don’t take the title too literaly to exclusively mean "things that are better in the USofA than in the rest of the world" and don’t think the list is only serious or only tounge-in-cheek. It’s both.

    I think.

  20. Florian says:

    Oh, and for the record, there is no general speed limit on german Autobahnen, but that doesn’t mean there is none at all. On many Autobahnen, or sections thereof, you will find speed limits. There are even federal states that do have a general speed limit on the Autobahn (e.g. 130km/h).

  21. Nate says:

    There are even federal states that do have a general speed limit on the Autobahn (e.g. 130km/h).

    Which is still more than anything we have anywhere in the USA (even out in the great plains), in a country that is much more densly populated. Damn puritans writing the speed limit laws…

  22. foxyshadis says:

    Well, many areas of desolate Arizona and New Mexico have 75-80 mph speed limits, which is comparable. Lobby your state congress to have yours raised if it’s stupidly low where you drive.

    In California the only freeway speed limits are when you try to play NFS or the local CHP is in need of fundraising. I usually go 90+ mph in light traffic and 80 in moderate to heavy. Maybe it’s just that the state is so big you’d never get across it at less than 75. =p Most cars couldn’t take the punishment and low gas mileage of 100+ mph over 100-200 mile daily commutes, which a lot of people here have, though.

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