Where Should We Invade Next?

I saw Michael Moore’s movie, Where to Invade Next, over the weekend.   As always, Moore makes his point loud and clear that America has lost its way.

Look at Italy, they have weeks actually months of annual vacation and everyone is happy and healthy.  France, have you seen the amazing meals that the kids eat in elementary school.  They have an entire hour where they sit down, are served on china, share, talk and drink water not Coke and is it less expensive per child than the US.  Sexual education is also honest, open and healthy.  Look at Slovenia, free college for all!  Tunisia hails equality between men and women after the people shut down the Government and forced change.  Women also have access to free contraception and abortions.  Portugal has legalized all drugs.  Norway has open jails and the guards don’t even carry guns.  Let’s not forget Iceland.  The men who ran the banks in Iceland decided that they were going to run the country like a hedge fund and ran it into the ground over night.  All of those bankers went to jail.  Although there was only one bank that did not go under.  That was the one run by women.  They did not invest in things that they did not believe in.  Obviously smarter than everyone else.

Here is the kicker.  Everyone of those countries learned those lessons from us.  They didn’t come up with these things themselves.  So what happened to us?  Why are we tossing people into jail without a plan for returning healthy to society, why are we feeding disgusting over priced food to our kids for lunch, why are we cracking down on drugs when if you change the rules it changes everything, why are we not giving open free advice around contraception, sex education and abortion instead of pretending sex doesn’t exist and why did not every single banker that created the mortgage mess go to jail?

Of course Moore does not show all the downsides of each of these countries like their economies but what he does show is the social responsible side which is the heart of making people happy.  Happy people create happy environments, live longer, are healthier and are more productive.

The one thing that really sang out was how women on that side of the globe run the world.  There is a reason the social piece of society is more embracive and open.  The women CEO’s in Iceland are impressive.  The first democracy to elect a woman as President was Iceland.  Young women in this country haven’t experienced many of the issues people my age have in regards to discrimination, harassment, the rungless ladder at one point of corporate America and more.  Perhaps that is why the millennials aren’t getting behind Hillary in force.  They feel like the system is rigged and so does Bernie.

The movie is definitely leaning far left but it is worth seeing.  Makes you wonder about a lot about our policies and how and why we got to this place.

Comments (Archived):

  1. kirklove

    Do you feel Moore has become a bit of a cause célèbre though? A little too full of himself? Seems to detract from his message a bit sadly.Haven’t seen this yet. Plan to.I’m not a huge fan of comparing America to other countries. Especially when it’s like Norway (5MM vs 320MM). That’s not a fair side-by-side. All that said, our nation’s priorities (esp on spending) are utterly out of whack.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Totally agree on all points. Comparing us to these countries is absurd but pointing out different ways is worthy. He is who he is but his point is an interesting angle

    2. pointsnfigures

      I would call him a gas bag……not worth the price of admission. I took a film class in college where we discussed documentaries. Virtually all of them are produced with a point of view. Unfortunately, it’s up to the viewer to figure it out. Our example was Harlan County USA. Obviously pro-union and if you let your emotions rule your critical thinking, you got really mad at the employers. I really appreciate true debate, but we don’t have a lot of that in America today. Yesterday I watched a video of two Univ of Chicago profs debating gender gaps in pay. It was totally informative and you walked away knowing more about it.

      1. awaldstein

        Couldn’t disagree more.One sided surely. Making people think and creating change surely.

  2. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Have been so head-down working that I had zero awareness this film existed! Excited to see it.It’s true that Moore’s message always has to be taken with a grain of salt, but I think that’s by design. It could be argued that the extreme view has to be presented in the U.S. in order for the moderate view to be considered or adopted. (Then again, that’s probably the problem. But maybe one has to fight fire with fire.)I’m not sure where else we’re supposed to look for ideas for solutions to our problems, except other countries. Obviously we have to modify and tailor to account for our size and diversity. But, where else do ideas come from? This hubris, this exceptionalism, that nobody has better ideas or systems than we do needs to go.

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      Ha! I didn’t know about this film either due to the same head-down working. Really love what you said hubris. Of course, that may be because you’re a woman 🙂

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I just keep having these damn opinions 😉

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          How presumptuous of you!

  3. Ella Dyer

    Well written; we saw this just before coming to France for a long stay (as we do a few times a year). I almost wept while watching how these incredible ideas came from the US. You are again right that women must be part of the decisions that affect the world; when will the US catch up with our own great ideas?

  4. panterosa,

    When you list all the countries who are doing open things, the common thread is trust – the trust in people to do good things. The US doesn’t trust it’s people, so it treats them accordingly, with disregard.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen


      1. panterosa,

        The thing is Kirsten, it breaks the whole system down. They don’t trust me, I don’t trust them. So now what?I feel the US is at the pinnace of this moment – could we swing any further into it? I hope not. Globally, we’re not the only ones doing this either of course, but I’m talking about our internal politics vs other nations external politics. And I’m quite apolitical….but I vote.Today’s NYT article on building good teams all boiled down to “psychological safety” to participate and communicate. Duh! Great Google spends 3 years studying this to find the magic to make better teams, but they could have read Crucial Confrontations book and known this by page 50.Trust is based in knowledge. The average modern western human is often too self-centered to know others. Knowledge is not just abstract power, it’s the power to see what people need by empathy, and the wisdom and kindness to give it to them by generosity and paying it forward.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Trust seems to be the theme of the week.I think, too, that much of U.S. cultural mythology and narrative has “trust no one” as a major theme. Heroes and winners trust no one. And of course, no continuum between trust and distrust exists in our narrative.It often feels like, at the end of the day, we’re in two camps here. Those who believe people are inherently good, and those who believe people are inherently criminal.However! I do think the generations coming up the line have improved upon the situation. I have great faith in the future.

          1. panterosa,

            Have faith and am an optimist that the generation who Bernie appeals to march to a different accountability drummer. Maybe it was all that therapy (which I’m for) that healed family accountability so they could look for it in community and beyond.

          2. Gotham Gal

            i have faith in the future too.

          3. laurie kalmanson

            the future: which version? this has been floating around lately

  5. pointsnfigures

    You might want to go see 13 hours on Benghazi.

  6. laurie kalmanson

    always money for war …

    1. Gotham Gal

      Exactly. Almost 60% of our taxes go to defense. I believe that was the number quoted in the film

      1. laurie kalmanson

        Halloween party, University of Chicago: Guns and Butter. After you. No, after you. No, after you …

      2. Matt Kruza

        Ugh.. that is terrible then. Total government spending is 5-6 trilion a year.. defense spending is about 600billion.. so 10%. If you just go federal spending then 3.8 trillon or about 18%. All these off the top of my head (but right). So.. if this is the crap that the rest of the film is then people do well to ignore. If you misquoted it that is one thing, but if he really said 60% then it is usual bs movie from moore

        1. sdso234

          Total discretionary spending is about $1T, Mandatory spending is about $2.5T. and the rest is interest on the debt. Mandatory spending includes things like social security and medicare, and discretionary includes things like education, veterans benefits. Military spending is part of discretionary spending. By those #s, it is about 60% of the total discretionary. But Moore does mislead by excluding the mandatory #.

          1. Matt Kruza

            Yes, but that is not really relevant at all. it is 18% of federal govt. 10% of total govt spending. the 60% is grossly distorted. If he added the discretionary line in the statement then fine, otherwise its his usual liberal, bs, disgraceful lies. I have not seen the movie, just responding to the 100% dishonest 60% of govt. spending claim. I would be shocked if he presented it fairly, but i will definitely pay him to watch it 🙂

          2. Gotham Gal

            I’m sure it’s distorted.

      3. Matt Kruza

        And i didn’t want to jump in and be the buzz kill of rationality here, but if he is off on that figure by so much it is fully a propoganda piece, and its disappointing that he could dupe someone as educated, sophisticated, and with a pretty influential voice as yourself

  7. jason wright

    things may change if the rise of AI and the predicted decimation of millions of jobs comes to pass.an implosion is more likely than another invasion.

  8. LE

    All of those countries don’t have an economy where they have to pay for things that the US has to pay for (“world” defense and world benefiting medical research as only two examples). Yet they get to enjoy all of the benefits, with little to none of the costs that we have. Nothing all of those drugs and discoveries used all over the world are all paid for by our high costs at home.