Saw a great flick this weekend that you all should check out. Michael Moore's "Where to Invade Next" ... and yes, I am a left-wing, liberal pinko commie (just wanted to save you time when you send me comments) ... anywho, it is totally not what I expected. Danny wanted to see it. It is a long documentary so take snacks.
So I basically felt really bad about America after watching this. And at one point I wanted to ask Michael Moore WHY DON'T YOU MOVE TO EUROPE IF YOU HATE AMERICA SO MUCH? (Which is totally not me and I couldn't figure out why I was thinking such a right wing-ish type of thought???? .... ) BUT, I continued watching. And I learned quite a bit.
Years ago I read an amazing book called "All God's Children" by Fox Butterfield. It is an incredible true story about a young black kid who grows up to become a violent killer and is eventually sent to prison forever. The writer became interested in the idea of whether or not violence is inherited. He basically traced the main characters family back to slave times and what you learn is that America has always been a very violent country. Before, during and after slavery. It is an extremely interesting book and a worthwhile read if you want to check it out.
But I digress. Back to Michael Moore's movie.
Michael basically traveled to several countries to "invade" and "steal" some of their best ideas for implementation here in America. And amazingly, most of the countries in Europe have very humane societies deeply rooted in social justice and fairness for all. It is not COMMUNISM BAD it is SOCIALISM GOOD.
Granted, I've never lived anywhere but here, but it is no secret to anyone that the America is going to hell. We are driven by a greedy corporate culture beholden to shareholder interests ONLY with no regard for the common working citizen who pays the bulk of taxes and who are getting the shaft more and more every day.
We have a bunch of buffoons running for President whose behavior is imbecilic and adolescent at best and basically, an embarrassment.
I've often said I wouldn't care how much I paid in taxes if I knew what I was paying for. My paycheck stub reflects FDIC, social security, 401(k) and insurance. NOTHING ELSE. In Italy you get a complete total, I'm talking dollar amount and where it goes listed on every working person's paycheck. Yeah yeah. Personally, I've always wondered how much of my tax dollars go to fund wars, purchase arms, and all other negative things that I would not want to be a party to.
In Italy, they get 80 days of vacation a year. You can literally take two months off and go somewhere fab to relax and rejuvenate. It's normal and expected. They feel that happy/rested employees make good employees all the way around. I agree. The Italians get so much time off I would consider moving there .... if I were 30.
Finland has the best educational system IN. THE. WORLD. And why is this? Because they were once rated the lowest. They completely revamped their educational system and came up with some brilliant results. Finnish children do not start school until they are 7. School is only 4 hours a day. These kids get NO HOMEWORK and are encouraged to play/learn music/play sports, etc., et al. Most Finnish students know AT LEAST three languages and sometimes more. And just listening to these kids speak it is apparent that they are knowledgeable and articulate. Talk to an average high school kid where I went to school and you'd slit your wrists. I don't mean to be a hater, I really don't, but it is SO OBVIOUS that Finland is doing something right and we are NOT.
Here, you can pay for a great private school, or live in a ritzy area and get a reasonably good education. If you are born in the hood or some less than desirable area, you will not have access to the BEST education possible. In Finland, ALL students learn the EXACT SAME CURRICULUM and it doesn't matter where you live! Incredible. Educating your citizens to be contributing human beings who are educated, well spoken, without private interests making as much money as they can themselves .... amazing. This is a country that does not have homeless population because, in the worlds of one female CEO, "I don't know how you Americans can go to bed at night when you know there is someone who is hungry and has no home. I don't know how you can have yours and not care about your neighbor. It's wrong." YES. IT IS WRONG.
Next we went to Sweden. Their prison system is not to be believed. In fact, it is mind-blowing. But without giving away everything in the movie, I would really encourage you to see it. The main message of this film is that if other countries are capable of looking at those things that can improve and better their society, why can't we? It's because America is totally beholden to, and run by super rich CEO's, banks and Wall Street. There is no democracy or sense of social justice. These very powerful institutions have no moral compass, are corrupt and greedy ... all about money, money, money and who can I screw next.
I'll stop now. I don't want to give too much away. See the movie and then send me your thoughts. And please, try to do so with an open mind.