The United States has a great image of democracy in the world. Every social or political issue becomes a matter of a global discussion, and thus, the world is aware of the changes and improvements of policies in the US. However, there are still social and political policies successfully implemented around the globe that could improve the living standards of Americans. In this article, we collected the most interesting results of an investigation by Michael Moore, an independent journalist, who visited countries on three continents and learned how people live there in his project Where to Invade Next.
Labor rights in Italy
Michael Moore visited one of textile and fashion factories in Italy and checked the working conditions in a typical enterprise in this country. It turns out that business owners build the productivity of their manufacturers on the work and life satisfaction of their employees. Thus, they introduce such benefits as two-hour lunch breaks, paid parental leave, and a thirteenth monthly payment for each year.
The executives there believe that the efficiency of manufacturing lies in the energy that the employees approach their work with, which is why a day with fewer working hours may be more productive if people enjoy their working conditions. Such benefits as a thirteenth monthly payment and paid parental leaves solidify the employees’ loyalty to their work and improve their living standards. Such an attitude of executives shows their genuine concern about the quality of performance through the positive motivation of their staff.
Educational standards in France
French educational standards lobby for not only gaining essential knowledge but also teaching students healthy nutritional habits and sexual education. Thus, a typical primary school in France has a canteen with professional cooks, who prepare healthy meals for students. Food in a typical canteen is not oversaturated with sugar, contains all the essential nutrients, and most importantly, is diverse and tasty every day.
Remarkably, even primary school students are neither acquainted with nor interested in fast food and soft drinks. For example, children who are introduced to Coca-Cola show little excitement about it, even though in the United States, sugary drinks and products with added sugar are the favorite beverages among children.
Students in France start sex education lessons at an early age, which also shapes healthy habits in growing a generation of adults and preventing sexually related social problems, such as STDs and unwanted pregnancy, and subsequently, abortions.
In contrast, in the US, there is an extensive variety of educational options and most universities are well adjusted to international students. Thus, it is easy to socialize and even find a cultural essay writing service such as CustomWritings, which can allow you to save some time for yourself.
Prison system in Norway
The prison system in Norway focuses on the humane attitude towards inmates and aims at the corrective function of the institution. Contrasted with American prisons that focus on the punishment function of the penitentiary, the Norwegian system creates decent conditions for prisoners, where they can improve and even gain skills during their sentence, regardless of the crime they have committed.
Thus, a Norwegian penitentiary is situated in a distant but pleasant area with a forest and a lake. The very facility resembles a health retreat. The inmates have enough space to move and take up activities of interest. They walk, have access to the internet, and cook (the availability of sharp objects does not increase crime). In fact, the security system is rather symbolic. Nonetheless, the prisoners do not attempt a jailbreak or injure people around. The humane prison system based on dignity and an importance to society, as a result, ensures low crime rates in Norway and low statistics for repeat offenses.
Gender equality in Iceland
One of the main factors for a healthy atmosphere in Iceland turns out to be gender equality in government and labor. The interview with the first democratically elected female president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir reveals the evident and subtle benefits of this event for the country, politics, and society. It turns out, apart from the wide social problem of the wage gap, the model of gender equality practiced in Iceland proves to impact other realms of life positively. Thus, it is reflected in the psychological health of the citizens regarding the matters of identity, as a purely internal one, and workload as an external factor of the citizens’ existence. Also, the equality in the significance of voices in power allows them to understand the needs of citizens better and to establish an atmosphere of trust, which impacts living standards as well.
The best practices of the improvement of the living standards of citizens in the mentioned countries prove that they have something in common. These ideas are united by the focus on the humanity of the policies and preventive nature of the practices. Thus, the measures that may seem extravagant turn out to be working to avoid social problems much more effectively than crisis measures.