Things I like about America (1)

As I go about my daily life here in America, I notice things that I really like about this country.

Here are some:

  • You can get a proper healthy breakfast almost anywhere here.  There must be a profitable business to be made opening a decent breakfast venue in London – selling fruit, porridge, pancakes, omlettes etc.
  • Access for disabled people is taken much more seriously.  Offices, shops, transport and other services provide access; and as a result you see many more disabled people around who are able to live independent lives.
  • You get a glass of iced water when you sit down in a restaurant – without being asked or charged.  And they don’t make a fuss if you want tap water with your meal rather than bottled water.
  • Americans care about freedom and rights. They talk about them and they are prepared to stand up to their government to protect them.  (They are somewhat less vigilant about the rights of foreigners.)
  • American dentistry is better than in England. (I’ve changed my mind about this in the light of experience of both.)

11 thoughts on “Things I like about America (1)”

  1. The Economist Hack

    But you can already purchase the aforementioned breakfast items (fruit, pancakes, porridge and eggs) at your local high street MacDonalds…

  2. Generalising about a country is never going to be that accurate. I mean what part of the US are you comparing with which part of the UK? What sort of dental cover do you have and how much does it cost?
    Points 1,3,4 are not MY experience of the UK. Point 2 might be true in parts of US compared to London where space is a premium and car travel is much more problematic as a result. Point 5 is only true if you can afford to pay for it.
    According to the WHO report, the US spends the most per capita but is in 37th place in terms of health performance (measured over a range of indicators). The UK is 26th on per capita spend but 18th in terms of health performance. France was 4th on per capita spend but 1st in terms of health performance. Maybe we should look to France if we want to improve our healthcare, that means spending more on health and increasing taxation to pay for it.

  3. I was, as I hope you realize, making just such a light statement. But for Neil Harding.Moving to the French system would mean markets in health care. Private, for profit providers, charitable or not for profit ones, a mix and match approach, very little of it directly owned or run by the central government. Patients would choose which provider they wished, for profit or not, with the state insurance scheme paying for it. There would also be substantial deductibles on almost all treatment. Very rarely does the state insurance system cover more than 80% of treatment costs (cancers are one exception). Almost everyone has further private health insurance to cover those deductibles.Health care is most decidedly not free at the point of consumption. I’d be all for it of course, be better than the NHS, but that’s not something I’d have expected a Labour Party supporter to put forward. Isn’t the NHS the wonder of the world?

  4. All I was pointing out was that France spends considerably more than us on health. In fact there are a lot of reasons why the French system is more inefficient than ours. If you look at what we spend and our health outcomes, the efficiency of the NHS looks good. If we spent on the NHS what the French spend on health, we would probably have better results than them.

  5. But Neil, the point about the French system is that a large amount of the money spent does not go through the tax system. Nor is it free at the point of use.That could be why it works.

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