This may be a anecdotal comment, so take it for what you will, but I have noticed that Asian buildings and infrastructure technology are so far ahead of us in the USA that it is really embarrassing if you go there and come back and compare.
If you've ever gone to Taipei 101 for example, the elevators move so quickly, and without any vibration as they go up/down that you almost cannot tell if they're moving. Go to Singapore or Hong Kong, and watch how smoothly, quietly, and punctually their subway systems run.
Or go to China and be surprised that in even small-sized cities, you didn't realize that *all* their motorcycles are now electric and they leap-frogged the smelly gasoline phase of motorbike technology.
You come back to the US, and wonder how we're still (maybe) #1, with our rickety buildings and public transport systems. It's embarrassing. And people will say, well, "Who needs quieter, smoother subways? What we have is fine." Said while yelling because you have to cover your ears to not go deaf on the F train in New York City. And as you have to hold your nose as you walk through the piss-soaked, dark and dingy subway/bus station concourses.
Sometimes I feel like we're witnessing the slow decline of American technology / investment when it comes to public infrastructure.