Europeans spend more time enjoying life than USians

The NYTimes publishes yet another article (free registration required) about the European work and quality of life models. Nothing new, but still interesting to read an American article about this. Some excerpts:

" [...] Or as Joaqu?ɬ?n Almunia, European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, put it, for Europeans, economic growth is a tool, not an end in itself. "We are not in a race with the U.S.,'' he said. "Our goal is not to grow as fast as the U.S. or anybody else, but to do what we need to protect our economic and social model.'' [...] "Americans move from the 20,000 -square-feet house to the 30,000-square-feet house to the 40,000-square-feet house. It's a different mentality,'' said Kenneth S. Rogoff, an economist at Harvard University and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. [...] Giuseppe Roma, who conducts society studies at Censis in Rome, says European shoppers are increasingly rejecting status-quo purchases to buy quality-of-life products. The new attitude, he says is: "I care about the real quality of life. I may not buy Prada, but I will buy organic olive oil.'' [...] More significantly, measures of happiness in the America and Japan has been flat over the last 30 years, while they have been rising in most Western European countries."