The United States is one of only 3 countries that has not adopted a metric system of measurement. The SI (international system of units) is the most popular standard: Meter, Kilogram, Second, Ampere, Kelvin, Candela, Mole.
Given that SI is a standard system of measurement in science, and that U.S. is one of the leading nations in scientific and technological innovation, it’s a constant source of confusion for me why U.S. has not yet adopted the metric system.
There have been many attempts by the federal government to encourage the use of the metric system, such as the 1975 Metric Conversion Act. However, the private sector has simply refused to change, and so progress has been slow.
One are where the metric system has successful “infiltrated” in America is the Nutrition Facts label on most products. Though my libertarian friends may collapse in horror, I think these are the types of government-enforced overhauls that are required for complete adoption of the metric system. For example, we could replace all speed limit and road signs to include both miles and kilometers and then declare that in 2020 we will switch completely to kilometers.
Then again, few politicians could effectively argue that the enormous cost of such a program justifies the long-term benefits. It’s a tough sell to average Joe who takes a chug of his 22 ounce beer bottle every time his favorite running back runs for a gain of a couple yards.