Thursday, August 10, 2023

Happy in America

A Brit who has lived in the US for several years is baffled that Americans aren't "capable of making a decent cup of tea," but finds seven "things that America does rather well." Three of them:
Customer service
It is striking how enthusiastic ordinary Americans are about the jobs they do, and nowhere more so than when it comes to customer service. Perhaps it has something to do with the prevalence of tipping, which incentivises that can-do service culture. ....

Health care
In Britain, where the National Health Service has become a kind of national religion, it is deemed sacrilegious to imply that any other country might have better health care. To suggest that Americans might have better health outcomes puts you beyond the pale.

But the facts speak for themselves. If you are going to fall seriously ill, you would be better off being ill on the US side of the Atlantic. According to the World Population Review, you would be nearly twice as likely to survive lung cancer in America (18.7 per cent survival rate) as in the UK (9.6 per cent survival). If you get breast cancer, you have an almost nine in ten chance of surviving in America. In Britain, it’s only 81 per cent. Some 97 per cent of prostate cancer patients survive in the US: in the UK, it’s only 83 percent.

There’s more to it than survival rates: a friend of mine was recently admitted to hospital for a minor operation. When I asked about the ward he was on, no one understood what I was talking about since every patient had their own room.

Americans tend to have remarkably good manners. It’s not just the polite way in which they greet strangers: Americans, especially in the South, have an old fashioned etiquette that we Brits once had but seem to have lost along the way.

I am constantly impressed with the good manners of young Americans in particular. ....
Douglas Carswel, "As a Brit who has lived in the USA for years, here are seven things they do better," The Telegraph, August 9, 2023.

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