Saturday, September 4, 2010

Is the US a third world country?

Of course it is not. But for a European who sets foot on the continent for the first time, several observations would lead to this conclusion:

  1. Urban ghettos, homeless people, trailer parks are certainly not a showcase of an advanced and rich civilization.
  2. High criminality and violence.
  3. Rampant corruption, which is even legal. Politicians can be bought openly, and few people see a problem with that.
  4. Crumbling infrastructure. Roads are full of potholes, in particular urban highways.
  5. Telephone and electricity are still supplied through overhead cables that are high in maintenance.
  6. Cellphones cannot be used to pay in stores.
  7. Credit cards do not have chips.
  8. No sidewalks in many places.
  9. A quarter of all homes still use septic tanks.
  10. Idle police officers watching every construction site on roads.


David Stern said...

Baggers in grocery stores shows cheap surplus labor. Though I think that phenomenon is declining.

Not sure how true the others all are by comparison with other developed countries. Murder rate is high in the US but other forms of crime may actually be lower than in Britain say.

Vilfredo said...

The high number of hours worked, the lack of vacations, the high proportion of people with several jobs, and the many retirees still working are all signs of a developing economy.

Charles said...

Vilfredo, these are signs of a a less generous welfare state. Do you think that developed economies should have generous welfare states (normatively speaking)?

Vilfredo said...

They certainly can afford them more than developing ones. Whether they choose to take more care of their citizens is indeed another question.

Anonymous said...

Stop reading my mind, Econ. Logician!

The poor is the US are a lot poorer than you'd get from the data because there's a lot less public services and of lower quality, e.g. bad/limited public transit.

Also, don't get me started on cellphones... paying for BOTH incoming and outgoing calls AND texts? 80-100$/month for unlimited service?

Anonymous said...

you are an ignorant fool.

we have countless illegals in my country courtesy of the liberal uneducated scum like you. this is a big country and living in a flat, drinking and fighting over a football game is not our idea of a diverse or advance culture


Kansan said...

^ You are greatly overstating the influence of illegals. They are certainly not dragging the country down. They could have, for example, dug ditches for cables like in Europe, but for some reason this is not done in the US.

When I go to Europe, I am at a distinct disadvantage with my credit card. Why can we not have credit cards with proper security features so that they are truly accepted everywhere, and so that they are less abused?