Even though Michael Moore’s new documentary ‘Where to invade next?’ is centered on America and the need to adopt better government policies, the core message of the film is one that each of the 195 countries in the world can take something away from, and it is this – We have figured out the answers individually. It is now time to piece it all together.

From Pole to Pole

Mr. Moore travels the world in his lightest and brightest documentary thus far, pretending to “invade” a host of countries and “steal” their best ideas.

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He begins this documentary in Italy, a country that offers eight weeks of paid vacations to its employees, five months of maternity leaves, 15 days to go on a Honeymoon, and a salary for a ‘13th month’ at the end of each year. The message here was simple. Stress can be a real killer – and the Italians are clearly not stressed out, which is why they live four years longer than the average American.

We are then introduced to France’s incredible policy of feeding their children a five-course gourmet meal (with at least one type of cheese in each meal), one that is planned meticulously by the school chef, city officials and a dietician.

Eating is considered an important subject in France and children are taught to eat nutritiously from a young age with an hour allotted each day for lunch. The French also pay slightly higher taxes than Americans but receive huge benefits from the state such as daycare, health care, funding for art, college education and a lot more.

Moore spends a lot more time in Europe exploring Finland, Slovenia, Germany and Norway, and “stealing” their best ideas. Finland is the world leader in education, a position they achieved by eliminating homework from the lives of their children.

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They also don’t have multiple choice questions or standardized tests, because each of their schools are at par with one another. Slovenia offers free college education to all its students, and when the government tried to start charging tuition, they revolted and brought their leaders down.

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Germany has the best working culture out of all the countries in the world, with employees expected to work only 36 hours a week. They even have a policy that ensures that at least half of every board in every organization includes workers, in order to ensure that their needs are always taken care of.

The country has also taken massive steps in order to own the tragedy of the Holocaust, ensuring that all their students are taught about the events that occurred during the Second World War every day, just so that they never forget their tarnished history.

Norway has a brilliant prison system that only punishes their prisoners by taking away their freedom, but not their dignity, which is why they have one of the lowest recidivism and murder rates in the world.

Portugal decided to stop their war on drugs and decriminalize the use of all illegal substances, a policy that immediately lowered their drug-related crimes.

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Iceland became the first country to elect a female President democratically in the 70’s and had ensured that all companies must feature at least three women on their board of directors. Even Tunisia has free government funded women’s health clinics and abortion clinics, an issue that is heavily debated in the states.

When we observe the collective good that each of these policies have done around the world, it is tempting to wonder why all governments haven’t focused on these successful measures and implemented them in their own way. Perhaps the governments have no interest in creating the best environment for their people because it is clear that the answers to all our problems have been right in front of us the whole time.

In the words of Michael Moore – Hammer. Chisel. Down.