Micheal Moore has not made a documentary in number of years, the last one was in “Capitalism a Love Story” in 2009. All of Moore’s films are admirable when you realize as you are watching them the amount of planning, time and work that were put into them. In all of his documentaries starting with his first “Roger and Me” in 1989 the absurdities, stupidity and injustice of the subject matter of each of his movies comes through in a big way every time. This new movie “Where to Invade Next” is no exception as Moore points out how absurd our country is in so many areas including the insanity of what we spend on our military (as much as 60% of all Federal Taxes), our education system, which is currently 29th in the world, our medical coverage’s, which is far from free as it is in so many other countries, paying for college and even what our kids eat for lunch in school. What he points out is of course these other countries pay more in taxes than we do, but we wind up paying much more than they do anyway, because of the incredible costs of so many services that we have to pay for out of pocket.
Of course Moore is right to point out these absurdities and in some cases he makes the solutions sound very simplistic but in some cases, like completely legalizing all drug use like they do in Portugal, the problems are too complicated to resolve with an easy simplistic solution that will completely fix a huge problem like they do in much smaller countries. For me there is one very simple solution to many of our financial solutions starting with our huge National debt and that is greatly reducing what we pay for the military every year which for a very long period of time has been insane. 60% of all Federal Taxes in this country go for the military and since 2001 after the Terrorist attacks these costs have skyrocketed because of 2 wars and greatly increased costs for the security of this country to prevent terrorism. Our Defense budget is more than the next 8 countries combined and this is an insanity that has to end and soon because we are 19 TRILLION dollars in debt and we simply cannot afford this anymore. This defense spending insanity is largely responsible for our 19 trillion dollar Federal Debt which has tripled since the year 2000. Now the challenge is to reduce our defense spending in a smart way where we politically do not look weak and while not losing too many defense related jobs along the way. This is the biggest challenge for the next President and this movie points out these obvious facts very well.
While in Italy Moore discovered that the Italians work far less than we do and yet their productivity is equal to ours. Their companies pays them for 13 months a year so that they will have more money to afford their many vacations. The companies believe that when their workers are relaxed and stress free than they will be able to accomplish more. At the end of this eye opening visit Moore announces that Italian people live on average 4 years longer than Americans.
One of the best countries Moore visited was Iceland, which during the 2008 financial crisis was the worst affected by the economic disaster and 85% of the country was financially ruined. The difference in Iceland was that that 70 or so criminal bankers responsible for this disaster were put in prison unlike here in this country, where none of the bastards that ruined the economy of the entire world even spent one day in jail. Moore also pointed out that one bank started by women was the only one to survive in Iceland and after the criminals were thrown in jail and these same women fixed the financial problems and now Iceland has recovered very well from the financial crisis, proving that when it comes to common sense investing, women have been proven to be more conservative and better at this than men are.
Another big part of the movie was how well Finland has done with Education when not too long ago there were tied with the United States in 29th place. Finland’s solution was less hours in school for their children and almost no homework. Most ironic, as Moore pointed out in this documentary, is that many of these great ideas to solve so many big problems in our country came originally as ideas from the United States.
It is definitely not as simple as Moore makes it seem in this movie, “why don’t we just follow what these other countries do?”, but we owe it to ourselves to look at these other countries and their solutions and start using some basic common sense. The tragedy here is staying on the same course of oblivion that has caused our country so many severe problems, the worst is our National Debt which was caused by stupidity, too many wars and spending so many trillions of dollars so we can kill more people. This is one of Michael Moore’s better documentaries and I highly recommend this movie.