Re: Its a uniquely American weakness -- or is it?
In the UK - unlike certain parts of the Land of the Free - you can do quite a lot of electrical work yourself in your own home e.g. move/add/replace sockets and switches, replace sections of cables, add spurs etc as long as it's not near water - basically the stuff that's "Part P" exempt. (For viewers at home please don't try this unless you know what you're doing. 240v hurts at the best of times)
If you want to add entire new rings or install an electric shower or run power out to your shed you can still do the work yourself but you need to get it certified by a competent person before you switch the circuits back on. The tricky bit is finding a sparky willing to sign off on somebody else's work for less than paying the sparky to do it all themselves.
There was a call many years ago to ban it all and require annual "safety" checks on private homes too but that got dropped as too big brother and would only have created a nice little payday for the cowboys and drive the real sparks out of business. And possibly the realisation there wasn't enough certified people to actually do a PAT test on every item in every home every year...