Whether we like it or not, America is becoming more like Europe every day

Russell Finelsen, Staff Writer, Assistant Editor, Sports Editor

We think of the United States of America as an independent nation, because in actuality, we are one. We have our own pastimes (baseball, anyone?) and hobbies, and believe that we are like nobody else. However, when we look closely, we are traveling toward a thing unheard before: being like Europe.

With a handful of things, Americans’ lifestyles are becoming close to resembling lifestyles owned by the Europeans, even if it might seem hard to believe. With three simple things, every state in the U.S. will most likely bear a close resemblance to European countries.

1. Butcher Shops

Europe is known for its butcher shops. With the cutters yelling for business and constant banging of knives against wood, it is not hard to be persuaded to go in and buy a fresh cut of meet. However, you might think that you can only spot one of these in Europe. Well, not anymore.

There are many butchers in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area that serve fresh cuts of meats. Whether they are from the 1950s, like Tom Friday Market House on California Avenue in Brighton Heights, or came in just recently, like Crested Duck Charcuterie on Broadway Avenue near Dormont, the choice for a butcher is hard to make. Mainly, because there are so many. Even though it does not seem like the US is getting butchers like Europe, they are cutting fresh corned beef every minute (or, until they close for the night).

2. Diamond Interchanges

What do you mean, I drive on the left side of the road? That idea is ludicrous! We’re not in Europe; this is America! Well, US citizens, welcome the diamond interchange.

Diamond interchanges are the new thing of the country. Their purpose is to lessen traffic and accidents, so they are usually placed at exits from interstates or thruways onto a busy road. You start on the right side of the road, but at the first light, you switch sides of the road. You stay on the left side until the next light, when you switch back to the right side of the road. These interchanges are prevalent in Europe, and will become that soon in the US.

These diamond interchanges are sweeping around the country. Since the first one was implemented in Springfield, Missouri, in 2009, there have been 44 interchanges built in 20 states. This includes one in Henderson, Nevada, that was just finished and opened to traffic in January of this year. In addition, our home state of Pennsylvania is building a new diamond interchange where I-79 and I-70 meet US-19 in Washington, PA. Furthermore, Oregon, Illinois, and Mississippi are also constructing diamond interchanges, and ten other states are designing these interchanges, all according to the official website of the Divergent Diamond Interchange.

Even though it might seem foreign to us, the Europe born diamond interchange could soon have a rebirth in the United States.

3. Credit Card Chips

Credit card breaches are common in the United States. You might remember the huge Target one in 2013, when over 110 million credit cards were compromised. There was a list of other stores that were hit, which include Home Depot, and most recently, Anthem, a health care company, and Mandarin Oriental, a hotel group with seven locations in the United States. However, these breaches are more uncommon in Europe. You might ask why. Well, it is because of credit card chips, and they are going around America.

Chips are slowly being added to credit cards around America. These chips are proven to decrease credit card breaches because the chip cannot be easily hacked. The only thing holding back chips is the price. It would cost credit card companies millions of dollars to switch their cards. However, some companies have already promised to do this. With this addition, not only will breaches decrease, but it will prove that the US is adopting one more things from the Europeans.

Count it official: We are slowly becoming Europeans. From the old style butcher shops to the new and modern divergent diamond interchanges and credit card chips, each of these things started European, but are slowly being adopted by American citizens. Even if we dislike it, soon enough, the country we call home will soon become countries across the Atlantic Ocean.