OK, so Americans have an inflated view of their country’s greatness. What’s the harm?
One danger is that this myopic belief makes it harder to adopt other countries’ successful policies that could help fix some of the problems that statistics show America faces. The management scholars David Antons and Frank Piller, for instance, argue that organizations may reject a good idea that comes from outside the organization because it’s “not invented here” and adopting it may challenge the organization’s self-image.
That might explain one reason why the United States proves so resistant to learning from other countries. Using terms that officials since have echoed repeatedly, then-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright described the United States and its role by saying, “We are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall, and we see further than other countries into the future.
The statistics, of course, suggest that there’s much the tall-standing, further-seeing nation could learn from others. And at times Americans do make these comparisons. As R. Daniel Kelemen, a Rutgers University professor of political science and law, put it in an interview, two major debates in the United States routinely employ international comparisons of policy: health care and gun control.
But these comparisons often get sidetracked by Americans’ domestic divisions, Kelemen observed. “For conservatives, the success of social democratic countries and their political-economic model is profoundly threatening to the core of their ideology,” he said, which helps explain why they are unwilling to learn from those models.
Even on the left, where “the discussion is a bit more informed,” Kelemen said, “there is a bit of a tendency to have rose-tinted glasses,” with left-leaning Americans harboring “a tendency or desire to view some of these countries as kind of social democratic utopias—‘If only we could be like Sweden!’”—while ignoring “the problematic sides of these models.”
Wholehearted rejection on the right and cherry-picking on the left may explain why international comparisons have had so little influence in shifting on those two hot-button issues—in addition, of course, to the major obstacles any policy changes in those domains would face. Still, Kelemen, who teaches a course on what Americans can learn from other countries’ public policies, thinks that there is immense benefit in learning from other countries.”
https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/08/15/am ... e-mediocre
This is an interesting article. The world has benefited a lot from the many things from the US. Not just products, or inventions, but also ideas and policies. It seems that the reverse is less so. We can all learn from each other.