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Jason Hartman's PropertyCast

Oct 7, 2019

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Every time I venture across the Atlantic to visit Europe, I’m left with the same question: Why do so many Americans look to the countries on that

continent as role models for our nation’s future? This summer’s trip was no exception. I came home even more firmly convinced that U.S. real estate is the best in the world, thanks in part to the wonders of capitalism.

My impression after
a recent 10-day Scandinavian cruise was that, although the scenery was beautiful and the locales were exotic, every stop provided a window into the disastrous impact of European socialism. There’s no doubt that

the standard of living in the U.S. is higher than it is in Europe. According to a 2017 Pew Research Center study, the median disposable income of middle-classhouseholds in 11 Western European countries trails well behind the U.S. median, reported to be $60,884.

Norway comes closest to the American standard with $56,960, but Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland, the U.K., Spain, and Italy fall farther and farther behind in that order, with Italian middle-class households pulling in just $35,608 per year. By extension, the economies of Europe and its attendant

real estate market are very inactive. Excessive government regulation stifles growth, and everything moves slower because Europeans have been conditionedfor the mindset of scarcity rather than abundance.

Frankly, every time I visit Europe, I’m reminded of why I love the U.S. Here, the mindset for everyone from businessmen to
blue collar workers is abundance. Creativity and innovation abound, and more lenient government regulations encourage

investment and risk. It’s no wonder investors from around the world love buying U.S. real estate.

That said, I did thoroughly enjoy my trip through Scandinavian waters. The cruise ship made stops in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Poland, Russia, and Sweden. I’d visited them all before, but some were new for my dog, who has now left her pawprint on 16 nations. This was my third trip to Russia, and I found it the most fascinating stop of them all. After struggling under communism for seven decades, the country is still trying to rebuild from that disaster, but it’s home to incredible sights, like the stunning buildings of St. Petersburg.