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The government handed broadcasting on a plate to commercial interests right after WWI, and that's why it's mostly been a vast wasteland. There aren't any record stores anywhere any more, but travelling in Europe in the 1980s I heard Billie Holiday from the ceiling in a French hypermarket (as opposed to the noisy trash in your nearest shopping mall), and in every hilltop town in Tuscany there was a mom-and-pop record shop that had the popcrock, both Italian and English-language, but also decent selections of jazz and classical, because kids in those countries grow up hearing it on their national radio stations, whereas most people in the USA never hear any of either. 

And speaking of 'national', the biggest American problem may be that we are not a nation at all, but a loose union of 50 squabbling little countries, so that the corporations can walk all over us.

Donald Clarke