What ever happened to American know-how?

I can remember a time when Americans took it for granted that everything worked better in the USA than in foreign countries.  We were thankful we did not have to deal with British plumbing, French telephone service or customer service in Russian department stores.

There was a joke back then about an American tourist in Moscow arguing with the Intourist guide about the relative merits of the New York and Moscow subway systems, which ends with the Intourist guide blurting out, “Well, what about lynchings in the South?”

Thankfully we no longer have lynchings in the South (although we do have a certain number of unarmed black people shot by white people standing their ground).

At the same time we have lost our claim to the superiority of American know-how.   Public transportation, medical services and Internet connections all work better in other industrial countries than in the USA.

Like people in the old USSR, all we have to fall back on is our faith in the superiority of our ideology.


Airlines In America Are Now As Terrible As Airlines In Russia by Sean Paul Kelley for The Agonist

Why Does U.S. Cell Phone Service Stink? by Barry Ritholtz for Bloomberg View.


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