So New York, you are going to have to demolish the Chrysler building. We can give you a ten-story limit and that is that; no more differentiation.
Forget wholesale and learn to speak that ugly word “retail.” They do not have a discounter to be found. Also, forget being able to go to a store when you have time to go. Just like it was in the United States back in the pre-historic ‘60s, retailers are not open at night or on Sunday. Somehow you have to figure out how to shop and work at the same time. Of course, half of our workforce does that on the Internet now so we have become somewhat accustomed to it.
Wait until you see those retail prices. Clerks at 7-11 stores in Copenhagen make $25 an hour. So can you image what a bottle of water costs? Don’t get the idea that an hourly wage of $25 is such a big deal. After you pay 50% income taxes, the Value-Added Tax (VAT) and property taxes on your flat, you may not have enough left to buy that shiny new Schwinn.
On the other hand, everything is free –FREE. No medical costs, if you can get treatment, no expense for college -- what a life. Getting into college, however, is quite a different story. First one takes a test to see if going onto high school is permitted, of which 50% do and the other 50% become clerks at 7-11. After high school, another test is taken and 15% of those get to go to college. What a lovely system this is. The good thing is you know what you will be doing with the rest of your life by the age of 17.
If we may, let’s return to that bottle of water. Yes, there is no such thing as free water. If you go to a restaurant you can pay for water or buy a coke that is delivered in an easy-to-consume, three-sip bottle -- for a buck a sip. By the time you finish your meal, you are so thirsty or so broke you are in a semi-delusional state. The concept of a refill on a liquid is non-existent in Europe. They have never heard of ice tea. And to get ice is like a gift from God. What you get with that gift it is three lovely cubes -- all at once.
But don’t worry about being parched as this turns out to be beneficial. That is because they charge you to urinate. Not just at the train stations or in public places, but even at McDonald’s. You can stop anywhere in America, along any highway, get a Coke for a buck and relieve yourself. Not with our sophisticated Europeans friends – that will not do. Even when you pay to get into places like the Museum at Waterloo (no pun intended) where they charge you $15 for admittance, they still want a tariff to go to the potty. No wonder they have to provide universal health care; they all have urinary tract infections from not having the correct change.
You should not, however, be discouraged from travelling to Europe. There are some wonderful things to see. There are some very old buildings – you know the ones that they did not destroy in their various wars. There is some great artwork that they have stolen from each other and landed in state museums in former palaces of beheaded monarchs where they charge you an arm and a leg to see it. They do have one certainly redeemable idea. They plant beautiful flowers in their public parks, which we sadly do not do enough.
Mr. Obama, we are sure you may have missed some of these experiences as you were whisked along in your limo. I am sure Ms. Merkel did not charge you for your bottle of water. And she may have invited you to her spiffy new government building that actually does not look like every other one where they do not charge for potty trips.
Just in case you did miss the actual experiences of daily life in Europe, we thought you would like to know. America would be so much better with all these grand ideas. I think we should have red light districts in every city. Wouldn’t that be nifty? Think about it Mr. President.
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