America is broken, but so are most other countries

Freddie dunks on America again:

Americans want to think of themselves as very cool people who float above the fray, when in fact we tend to be obsessive about the world’s adulation and embarrassed about the ways our systems are worse, such as in healthcare, crime, and public transit.

As it’s said, there is the stated reason and the actual reason. The reason is not public transportation. Foreign policy? Yes. Embarrassed by poor public transportation? Likely not. You cannot complain about America or say it’s worse while making a very good living and enjoying a high standard of living in America, comparable to the top .1% worldwide, while choosing to live in America when one has the option to move elsewhere. (Well you can, but you kinda come off as a phony.) You can still collect Substack subscriptions and live abroad.

Or one can simply choose to live in the parts of America that does not have those problems, at least not as bad (pretty low crime in Atherton). Sure, America may have a shoplifting epidemic in San Francisco. And Chicago is the so-called murder capital of the world (it’s actually Fresnillo, a city in Mexico, but in as far as the US is concerned, the highest is St. Louis), but Europe has had a pickpocket problem and theft problem forever (as any tourist can attest to). Theft and other crime is absolutely rampant in those countries, owing to a culture and government that is largely indifferent to it, even more so than in San Francisco. Same for wokeness, which is worse too, such as people being arrested for making tweets which are deemed offensive by authorities. That is a good enough reason to live in America if you make a living writing controversial things.

America does seem to have a ‘culture of accountability’ more so than elsewhere, even in spite of alleged government corruption and congressional insider trading (problems which I think are overblown, and outrage over insider trading are just expressions of partisan anger). In the US, if doctors commit malpractice your odds of being compensated are a lot better than with the NHS. If someone dings your car or you get in an accident, you can expect the insurance company to pay out. There are well-established systems of remediating civil disputes and compensating wronged parties, that are often lacking outside the US.

Such systems exist in large part because Americans tend to be much wealthier compared to the rest of the would and thus have a lot of assets, which are protected by insurance. (Insurance largely exists to product upper-middle class and wealthy people, whereas poor people are what are known as judgment proof.) And such rules are enforced by a fairly responsive criminal and civil justice system. It’s harder to collect a judgment or to sue someone in the UK, not just because there is less money, but courts and police are not as diligent about enforcing the judgement (such as civil forfeiture), and the legal proceedings are much slower. So sure, you can take someone to court in the UK, but it will be excruciatingly slow, and even if you win, actually getting a payout will be hard, if not impossible.

As for healthcare, enjoy your long waits, lack of individualized care, and not getting the latest treatments. As many have noted, employer-sponsored healthcare is like form of universal healthcare, which is cheaper on an individual basis than having to pay high taxes.

Oh, and the taxes. Enjoy paying 40-50% of your income to fund that ‘free healthcare’ if you are in a top bracket, which Freddie presumably is, not the 30% here (more like 20% effective, which is pretty damn low relative to the rest of the world). People are always shocked at how low taxes really are in America, even conservatives.

Yes, America has a lot going wrong with it, such as its overly-interventionist foreign policy or Congress seemingly being out of touch, but the positives are good enough that people choose to stay anyway.