America v Europe: A comparison of riches leaves both sides red-faced

When david hockney’s mother visited the British artist in Los Angeles she made an observation that points to the difficulties with transatlantic economic comparisons. “Strange,” she said, after a couple of days in the sun, “all this lovely weather and you never see any washing out.”

Listen to this story. Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS or Android.

Your browser does not support the

Save time by listening to our audio articles as you multitask


It is an observation many European visitors have echoed. American travellers to Europe, meanwhile, often despair at washer-dryer machines that leave clothes damp. Indeed, for some American writers the lack of standalone dryers is symbolic of the continent’s backwardness. While economic statistics should solve such debates—by allowing for apples-to-apples comparisons—they are not immune to the problems posed by cultural differences. Is it that Europeans cannot afford proper tumble dryers? Or are they simply getting…

Continue Reading →

This article was written by and originally published on