Here's a fabulous piece on why Europeans are misinformed about us - they're socialist sheep, generally - and why we should be happy happy happy to live in the land of the free. Author Bruce Bawer has lived in Europe and can vouch for the surprising lack of halos and nuanced wisdom over there. (Note: Bawer seems to be pro-war and anti-gay marriage, etc.... Still worth reading for libertarians!)
I've excerpted the part reviewing NPR commentator Mark Hertsgaard's In The Eagle's Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World:
Hertsgaard compares America unfavorably not only with Europe but--incredibly--with Africa. If "many Europeans speak two if not three languages," he rhapsodizes, "in Africa, multilingualism is even more common." So, one might add, are poverty, starvation, rape, AIDS infection, state tyranny and corruption, and such human-rights abominations as slavery, female genital mutilation, and the use of children as soldiers and prostitutes.
. . .
Though at one point (apropos of American medicine and science) he concedes, with breathtaking dismissiveness, that "We Americans are a clever bunch," he usually talks about his fellow countrymen as if they're buffoons who have mysteriously and unjustly lucked into living in the world's richest country, while most of the rest of the species, though far brighter and more deserving, somehow ended up in grinding poverty.
Heh. The best part is his comparison of European and American mindsets. So follow the link and read the whole thing.