I was a little reluctant to watch this documentary, as I entertained the confused belief that it was yet another documentary on our endless wars. However, I did finally watch it the other night, and was pleasantly surprised that my previous ideas were indeed wrong. The “invasions” that Mr. Moore was undertaking were in the name of finding good ideas, with the intent to hopefully bring them back to the U.S. and implement them here.
So, where did the esteemed Mr. Moore invade? Italy, France, Portugal, Finland, Slovenia, Norway, Germany, Tunisia and Iceland are the countries that had so many aspects of social welfare to offer the U.S. So quick examples include: state paid family leave; state paid health (in Germany you can have your doctor write you a prescription for a three week stay at a spa, completely paid by the state).
Other ideas include eight weeks paid vacation, (Italy) workers can live on their salaries and go for a vacation. When drugs are legal there is suddenly money available to fund social welfare concerns (Portugal). In France lunch is a class with four course meals, manners are taught and nutritious food is consumed. They also teach sex education that includes respecting your partner. Slovenia has free education for all, including foreigners.
Germany workers enjoy a reduced work week, but are still paid for forty hours. They also spend time teaching about the Holocaust with the idea that if they talk about it such a thing won’t happen again. In Norway prisoners are treated with respect and rehabilitated in the actual meaning of that word.
Tunisian woman are afforded extremely good health care, including family planning and abortions. In Finland they have overhauled their education system in a manner that to me looked a lot like the Montessori Method. They have also cut the school day down to 3 or 4 hours a day, including a lot of music and art, and have no homework. They are also rated number one in education in the world.
And last, but not least, Iceland has given women incredible opportunities. Any board of directors must, by law, have a 40/60 percent mix of men and women on it. As an explanation, when the infamous crash of 2008 occurred, there were four banks in Iceland. Three of them failed. Men were in charge of the failed banks, and 80 of those bankers went to jail. The bank that did not fail, or lose any money, was run by women. These laws are the result of that.
So, if these countries can have the social welfare programs that work so wonderfully for their citizens, the question that remains is, why can’t we? As a side note, they do have taxes that are indeed higher than ours, but once we pay for all the items that are state-paid there, we actually do pay a lot more. Do yourself a favor, give this documentary a watch and let me know what you think.