If you’re looking for a good laugh and want to see what the quality of life for an average person is like in other countries, see Michael Moore’s new film: “Where to Invade Next?”
Slovenia, Tunisia, Finland and Portugal are some of the countries he visits. Once you see what’s normal for them, you realize just how crazy our lives in the U.S. really are.
How come an average worker in Italy gets over seven weeks of paid vacation per year while the U.S. does not even guarantee its workers any paid vacation? Italian workers also get two-hour lunch breaks while a lot of us in the U.S. get the half hour mad dash for fast food, scarf it down and then run back to work. Italian workers also get five months paid maternity leave, and a bonus pay of one whole month for their holidays. And we’re the richest country in the world?
Moore’s movie busts many of the myths about the superiority of the U.S. Finland’s youth are among the world’s leaders in reading and math, but their schools have no standardized tests and almost no homework. All schooling, including universities, is paid for by the state.
If we legalized drugs everyone would be an addict, right? Portugal has decriminalized all drug use since 2001, and drug use has decreased. Prisoners need strict discipline and punishment if they’re going to return to society, right? In Norway the quality of life for prisoners looks better than life for many working people here. Norway’s prisoners are treated with respect, there’s no death penalty, and a life sentence is 21 years.
Moore shows that people in these countries got together and fought to make their lives better, and we could do the same. And just imagine if we got rid of capitalism and its exploitation completely – a ten-hour work week anyone? What a great world it could be.