In England, there are fewer stop signs per intersection than in the USA. I wish America would follow the UK in this area.
If you see no drivers coming, it saves time for you and the people behind you if you slow down, rather than coming to a complete stop. Slowing down also saves fuel, compared to completely stopping and then speeding back up.
Maybe it boils down to trust. The driving test in England is much harder than in the US. Drivers in the UK are required to be more qualified to be behind the wheel. (There are 2–3 times fewer traffic fatalities per capita in the UK compared to the US.) When I took the driving test in England, it was much harder.
The only downside to having fewer stop signs would be the loss of revenue from traffic tickets. Perhaps local governments could come up with a less predatory way to raise funds.