I usually don’t do movie reviews here but I just saw Michael Moore’s latest documentary titled “Where To Invade Next” and it was full of surprises. I will say this right up front that I give this documentary a five-star rating out of five. Read in to see why…
Okay full disclosure here… I am a fan of Michael Moore’s documentaries but I view them more as entertainment than hard core reporting. The guy definitely has a point of view and his documentaries push that point of view even if what he shows may not be the complete story.
In “Where To Invade Next” Moore is the star as usual as he starts out by making the point that since World War 2 America has been spending a lot of money invading countries and lost all these wars while bringing nothing back to the USA. So Moore has decided to invade a few countries himself and see what he can bring back.
This plus size guy coming ashore with his American flag and camera crew could be enough to scare any country into surrendering but you will be surprised by the reception he gets and what he learns as he invades a series of European and one African country.
I will list a few of the things he planned to bring back to the USA:
- Italy – Italians get two-hour lunches, 22 paid vacations days and 13 paid holidays every year. And most people receive an extra month of pay so they have enough money to enjoy all that vacation time. Italians were appalled when they were told Americans had thirty minute lunch breaks and people who did have paid vacation usually received only ten days a year.
- France – The school lunch program costs less per student than in the USA but the kids eat very healthy multi-course meals. The lunch room “chef” claims that he has only served French Fries twice in the last three years. When you see the food these kids are eating and how it compares to what our kids eat you will be appalled.
- France #2 – By law your French paycheck is required to show exactly where your tax dollars are going. The point made was that if US workers saw where their tax dollars went they would see over 60% going to the defense budget. How would they feel about that?
- Norway – Prisons in Norway look more like summer camps were all the inmates (even murders) pitch in to get the chores done. They each get a small homey bedroom to live in and guards who don’t carry guns treat them with “dignity”. While the USA see over 80% of released inmates return to prison, Norway sees something under 10% return.
- Slovenia – In Slovenia all university education is free. Can you imagine if it was like this in the USA? That mountain of college debt that is changing the way young people live wild not be there. They would have money to buy homes and live better. The American dream. Interestingly not only is University education free for Slovenians… Any Americans who go to Slovenia can attend their universities for free and many classes are taught in English. A few years back the Slovenian government tried to charge fees for college classes. The students took to the street and toppled the government. The result was a new government and no fees. What happens in the USA when a state university increases tuition? Nothing… People just pay it.
Tunisia and Iceland – Both these countries have some pretty strict laws to protect women. Between their right to decide about their own bodies and requirements for women participation on company and government boards these countries go a long way to show us all how things could be better.
The big insight he had in each country was that all these ideas started in the USA but things have changed and we are no longer the leaders in these areas.
How did we lose our way?
Why can’t we have better school lunches for our kids, full/transparent disclosure on where our tax money goes, better prisons that actually reform people, free university education, and totally equal rights for women?
Can someone please answer this question?