Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Europe vs. USA - City Services

We live in Europe and love the life in Europe, but we also love the USA, and the following picture sequence from our recent trip to America is exemplary for the kinds of things which we often try to explain to Europeans as making America such a great place, but which many people, not just Europeans, have such a difficult time understanding.

This removal of cut greenery is part of the refuse service which inhabitants of the city of Greeneville, Tennessee obtain as part of their taxes. The citizens of the city pay nothing extra for this service and the people doing the work were extremely professional, friendly and courteous.

In Germany where we live, you have to pay extra money for ANY refuse that the city picks up, including the garbage cans, and removal of large cuttings of greenery is a major operation which must be done privately at extensive cost. Not even the Christmas trees are picked up any more after Christmas in the town where we live. Everyone has to figure out how to dispose of them on their own.

Here is the picture sequence from Greeneville, Tennessee, showing the Greeneville city service removing freshy cut greenery from a suburban front lawn. The lawn was even raked at the finish by the city employees.

That folks, is a side of America you almost never see in the news media, but it represents one side of America which no other nation in the world can match. Our hats are off to these city employees of Greeneville, Tennessee. We were impressed, no doubt about it. And let's be frank, dear readers, especially in Europe, if you were honest, would you also not like your communities to have these kinds of services? So why do they not have them? The taxes in Europe are much higher than in the US. So where does the money go?

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