The answers are…enlightening. Actually, if you are an American reading this, the answers are super depressing. Judging by these answers, the only thing that’s good about the United States is the fact that we have garbage disposals.
Our healthcare system sucks. So does our political system. We are obese. We spend our entire lives working, and we can lose it all if we happen to fall ill.
But, hey! At least we’ve got college sports!
1. “Everything in stores being priced before taxes” – u/marbatico
In many countries, the tax amount is included in merchandise prices. This is not the case in the United States, where sales tax amount is dependent on location. (For example, there could be state, county, city sales taxes, as well as institutional taxes such as transport authority.)
2. “Huge gaps between toilet door and frame. I don’t need eye contact, thanks.” – u/MsEwa
Ok, there is literally NO REASON why United States bathroom stalls make eye-to-eye contact while pooping inevitable. The extensive research I’ve done on the matter (I clicked around Google for a few minutes) suggests that nobody else knows either, though some have suggested enormous bathroom stall gaps are cost-effective and/or designed to minimize undesirable activities.
3. “All the lawyer commercials, everybody must be suing everybody.” – u/iamhere2266
In the United States, everyone is, in fact, suing one another at all times.
4. u/collinsl02 agrees, adding that there is also an obscene amount of ads, generally.
“Like you watch 2 minutes of some TV program, then get 3 minutes of adverts for a hemorrhoid cream, some insurance product, cat food, then the same hemorrhoid cream again. Then 6 minutes of program and 5 minutes of ads, etc etc.”
5. “Time off work, whether it’s illness or holiday” – u/Way2Competitive
This one hits close to home. The United States is the only advanced world economy that doesn’t require employers to provide their workers paid vacation time, paid sick days, or paid maternity leave. Out of 134 nations, America is also the only one that does not set a maximum length for the work week. The numbers only get bleaker from here.
u/phscale recounts an applicable anecdote:
“Saved up all my vacation time from 2017 to take a trip in early 2018 for two weeks to New Zealand. When I told my American friends and colleagues about it, the response was usually “2 weeks? That’s so long!”. When I got to New Zealand, the response from all the locals and backpackers I was around was “2 weeks? That’s it?””
Oh, btw, in New Zealand they give you bereavement days for when your pet dies.
6. “Garbage disposal system that use the sink…. Never used one, but Americans say they’re great….” – u/jabela
They are! Stupid but fun, kinda!
7. “I’m an American, but I lived with a host family in Europe several years ago and they could not wrap their heads around not just college athletics, but the fanaticism surrounding it” – u/unremarkable_penguin
College sports are essentially non-existent in other countries — even Canada! In Europe and South America, it’s basically like club/intramural sports because kids who are really good just go pro right after high school.
8. “Those ‘Little Miss’ beauty pagents… they just look utterly bizarre to me” – the_third_sourcerer
They’re really bizarre to us, too. The only people who don’t find issue with them participate in them.
9. “Every “White people” meme that I see online seems to come from Americans and doesn’t apply to myself or anybody I know across a variety of European Countries.” – u/Dr_McKay
This makes sense for some reason.
10. “Having just two parties” –u/fedeb95
Yeah, this sucks. The U.S. political system is set up for only two major parties because Congress seats, as well as the presidency, function on a winner-take-all method, wherein candidates need only a plurality to cinch a win.
“Duverger’s law” states that third parties can’t compete because there is no prize for winning, for example, 15 or even 25 percent of the vote. According to the Washington Post, “This leads voters to choose candidates who are most likely to win, and it leads the parties to try to broaden their appeal to half of the electorate — and ideally more.”
11.”TV Commercials for drugs/medicine – the whole “Ask your doctor to prescribe you _____” Doesn’t happen in the UK, and it just seems crazy to me.” – u/Tallguygeorge
Big pharma is big in the United States.
12. “Going bankrupt to pay for a medical treatment.” – u/ResettisReplicas
Though, going bankrupt removes the need to pay for medical treatment. Oh, the U.S. healthcare system! A super sad story from u/AngryCanuck676 reinforces this disastrous way of doing things:
“I feel so bad about the constant posts that are like “I broke my leg and now I have to pay a $20k hospital bill, what do I do???”
The worst one I’ve seen is someone who owed something like $200k for chemo treatments that was sent to collections. They had to do another round of chemo and was considering going back to work while they were supposed to be recovering from freaking CANCER just to keep their head above water. That’s so fucking awful.”
13. “Somebody (of USA origin) in my study group today (in Australia) took out a jar of peanut butter and casually started slathering their whole banana with it and I 100% could not relate to that.” – u/ZhenHen
PB on bananas is fire, don’t @ me.
14. “Whatever is going on with kneeling at the national anthem. At this point I have absolutely no idea if this is extra respectful, or some sort of sign of disrespect.” – u/therealmyself
See: Having Just Two Parties, # 10.
15. “I am really surprised no one has said maternity leave isn’t mandatory. We are trying to have a baby and I have to take short term disability and a second insurance plan to cover myself while in the hospital. I have 6 weeks and then have to go back to work or not get paid.
Now there is FMLA (family medical leave act) that holds my job for 12 additional weeks but it is without pay.” –u/Jaci_D“
Yep, as aforementioned, there are no laws requiring employers to provide paid (or unpaid) maternity leave. In Denmark, new parents can take up to half a year off whereas in Estonia, parental leave (for both parents!) is up to 18 months. In Bulgaria it is two years, and you get to keep your job! In Italy and Germany, maternity leave is mandatory.
16. “Reading about women my height (5’9”, 1.75m) complaining about not being able to wear heels for fear of towering over everyone makes me giggle. Being Dutch, I sometimes feel my neck is stuck permanently tilted backwards from having to look up to everyone.” – u/kittenswithmittons
Being 5’9″ myself, I can confirm.
16. “The whole “if my boss doesn’t like my shirt, I can instantly lose my job and my health insurance” is just so alien to me. American employment law sounds like a hellish landscape to me.” – u/alphager
17. “To me it seems like Americans are way to obsessed with food, junk food in particular. People seem to discuss new burgers or other items, seasonal changes in the menus etc. Amongst the people I know, we usually make our own dinners at home, and fast food is more of a treat you get once, twice a month, tops.” – u/megalaks
The United States regularly tops the list as one of the most obese countries in the world, and certainly the most obese ranked by income. Nearly 78 million adults and 13 million children in the United States are currently obese, and the average adult is 26 pounds heavier now than in the 1950s.
18. “Anti-vaxxing. I know it was started by an English dude, but I think US took it to a new level” –u/EatMyChip
Please don’t believe most of us are that stupid, as opposed to a very loud, uneducated minority.