No country is perfect, but the United States often gets bad press. From gun control to healthcare and political division that seriously hampers positive change, there are a lot of issues the land of the brave is currently facing. But there are plenty of victories it can celebrate as well.
So let’s take a look at a recent Reddit post by user KyleB2131 that asked people: “What does America do better than most other countries?” More specifically, its 11,800 comments, where folks have been listing all the things they believe the US should be proud of.
I love the Interstate Rest Areas on road trips. I’m a Canadian from the west coast, and was always VERY impressed with the 24/7 rest areas. Clean washrooms, nice grassy areas for dogs, picnic tables, and a lot of times people selling crafts, or offering free coffee!
I’ve only driven through the western states, (WA,OR,CA,NV,UT,AZ) but yeah, those rest areas were always reliable. Always well marked signs when the next one was coming up. Just made everything about travelling easier! Thanks neighbours!
So, here’s the truth. America is, and does, a *lot* of things.
We have the world’s greatest athletes and most obese population. We have the best healthcare in the world, and 90% of our population can’t afford it. We’re leaders in creating new wealth and dead end service jobs. We were founded on a revolutionary promise of liberty and justice, by men who owned slaves.
If you really want my top four wins, though, here they are:
**The national parks system and Bureau of Land Management.**
We have hundreds of thousands of square miles of wilderness that is preserved, leased for commercial purposes, available for recreation, or simply held in trust for the people of the United States. And if you haven’t seen for yourself, I assure you, [it’s f*****g gorgeous](https://www.ourescapeclause.com/best-national-parks-in-usa/). We have wild ancient forests, coral reefs, stunning mountains, tundra, grasslands, deserts, and some of the most impressive and beautiful natural features on this planet. Huge portions are preserved and maintained where literally everyone can enjoy them.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration put a man on the moon, led the world in space exploration, and spurned developed literally [hundreds of incredible technologies we use every day](https://spinoff.nasa.gov/): Aside from the obvious aerospace advances, we have them to thank for GPS, memory foam mattresses, improved HVAC and insulation, LCD screens, LEDs, microcomputing, food preservation, water purification, solar panels, high capacity batteries, and dozens of different materials and processes. In addition, they’ve been the leading source of new information about our planet, climate change, and the universe.
**The Smithsonian Institution**
There are people who mistakenly think the Smithsonian is a museum. The Smithsonian is in fact a collection of over 20 museums, galleries, and zoo across three states, plus dozens of research and education centers, collections, affiliates around the globe. It is the single largest organization for science, culture, and history in the world, and it’s contributions to preserving history and to literally every scientific discipline are beyond measure. And to me, the greatest part is the heart of the organization in Washington DC: *THIS* is what we’ve chosen to surround the National Mall, the platonic ideal of our commons and center of our democracy- Dozens of living monuments to art, science, history, and culture. I’ve personally made at least 3 or 4 visits totaling more than two full weeks, and I’ve only made it halfway through.
The United States is the birthplace of Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Hip Hop, Punk, Bluegrass, Country-Western, Rap, and a half a dozen different forms of regional folk music. Nearly every culture in the world imitates our musical forms.
Chatting, I’m from an Asian country where most people will avoid talking to stranger. But you can literally talk to anyone you met in the street in the US and most of them are willing to talk
Serious answer? Logistics. We’re quite a large country and we’ve gotten very good at moving things around.
Handicap/wheelchair accessibility. Even in smaller towns, our family member in a wheelchair got in and out of restaurants and stores easily.
Wilderness/land conservation. Hands down. It still isn’t enough and it’s largely a product of the fact that this continent was industrialized/colonized so late in the game + its sheer vastness, but we have some of the best land conservation schemes on the planet. It might be the only thing where I prefer the US over much of Europe, and it’s a huge thing.
Geodiversity. We have nearly every biome on Earth available in the lower 48 alone. Adding Alaska and Hawaii just completes the set.
Question: Is there any biome that doesn’t exist in The US?
Good ethnically diverse food.
There’s a lot that Europe does better about food (for instance, care about quality of ingredients and preparation even at “everyday” priced restaurants).
But in most of the non-US world, you can get very good food of the place you are in, and maybe some mediocre Asian food. (England and Indian food being an exception.) If you are in Rome, for instance, the Italian food will be excellent, but you won’t find a great Spanish tapas bar, Mexican taqueria, or some great pho.
The fact that in most major US cities you can get excellent food that represents a dozen or more different food cultures is unique and awesome.
Sewage treatment. A lot of countries you’d consider modern and Western are only just now installing treatment plants so they aren’t just dumping their sewage directly into the ocean.
Putting people on the moon & putting cheese like substances in spray cans. Nobody else comes close.
The ability of the American farmer to produce food. It is really staggering the amount of food that is grown here.
Convenience. In other countries I’ve lived in, many shops and businesses close relatively early and you can’t easily get food or groceries delivered to your door.
I’m from London and have lived in the US for 15 years. People here overall are very open to talking to strangers
Women’s sports are really wells supported here – so are female athletes.
Despite many memes americans might say about it – if you go to other countries female athletics is really almost non-existent.
While we have a LONG way to go, the USA is comparatively better than a lot of places regarding supporting people with disabilities.
Interstate highway system that stays relatively consistent across the entire country, national park system (well-maintained, affordable, open to anyone). If you’re in a major city you have access to almost any cuisine in the world. If you want to be an entrepreneur it’s encouraged (tax incentives support this and there isn’t a lot of red tape). Finally, freedom of speech (this is very much subject to debate), but compared to much of the rest of the world and how citizens in other countries feel about openly stating their opinion, Americans are much less concerned about legal/government ramifications.
General aviation. There are few countries in the world where you can hop into a light airplane and just go. No flight plan required, no extra taxes and fees, just freedom. There are over 5000 public use airports in the US and more than 10000 private use. I’m not talking about millionaires and billionaires flying their gulfstreams around, but the middle class American putzing around in a Cessna on a weekend. Yes, it is an expensive hobby but can be much more attainable than a lot of people think.
National Parks, Entertainment in general…the US is where you can find the best entertainment in the world probably, including movies.
Many of our restaurants offer free bread, or chips and salsa at the Hispanic restaurants. Very few places I’ve been in the world offer a free food item to snack on while waiting for your food to arrive.
I’m sure some people will disagree with me on this, but I would say accepting/intermingling with people of other races/religions/lifestyles…. I mean this entire country was built from the ground up like that. (hence the “great melting pot” moniker)
I know it’s no where near perfect of course, but given how other countries in the world that have homogeneous populations or are ruled by outdated religious beliefs are dealing with the world becoming more intermingled/progressive in general. I feel like the US is way ahead of a lot of the world.
Diversity. We are not one race or culture and for the most part respect each other with some notable exceptions. This is the driving force that helped develop so many industries.
Export cultural things, move things globally (specifically military things) and being [charitable](https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/most-charitable-countries)
Self defense. Most other country have very pitiful self defense rules.
When I lived in Chile I had a neighbor who was being attacked in his own home. The invader attacked him with a knife. He took the knife and killed the invader with it. He had to serve the maximum sentence in jail time because of it. Apparently they could prove that he killed the attacker, but he couldn’t prove he was being attacked or something like that.
As an European, thank you for repeatedly taking care of what we should have done.
Also technology. You played huge part in making life as easy as it is now
I might get flack for this but Racial tollerance. America is a true melting pot and I belive that it has one of the most tollerant populations on the planet. Virtually all of the 300 million + of the population gets along with each other and many many of us are not the same.
Yes there is small pockets of people who are racists, but it has grown much smaller since say the 1960’s.
Just look at the problems many White European countries have with non-white immigrants to see what I am talking about.
Business. Hands down. It’s their biggest advantage in my opinion. Deals with Americans just get done easier. Compared to other countries American businesses are more open minded to new things, don’t try to f**k you over, want a win for both sides, want simpler agreements, negotiate fairly, hold up their end of the bargain, etc.
If you have even done business internationally you really see what a strong advantage it is. Other countries everyone is f*****g everyone over, or are close minded, slow as snails, and obsessed with bureaucracy. Commerce just flows better there.
In some ways I feel like we are accepting of immigrants and immigration more than other countries. It might not be that way everywhere in the country, but I still feel comforted.
A few things come to mind:
We develop around half of all New Medical Entities which includes new medicines, treatments, and quipment
We have a very high median income, beat out by only a few very small countries compared to us
We have the most noncommercial cultural exports on the planet, people call us uncultured but our art, movies, music, and books almost always make more money internationally than they do domestically
Our speech protections are much more powerful than other countries, you can’t be convicted of anything for criticising the government or making controversial comments that are offensive to the public like you can in a lot of other countries
When we see racism here we generally dislike it and consider it wrong unlike a lot of other countries in Europe that pretend like it isn’t an issue there
Our food safety evaluation process. Rates of foodborne illness and intoxication is far lower here than even in other first world countries. The U.S. is still one of the only countries that doesn’t have washing produce bought at a market as a common practice in households.