The USA is one of the greatest places, but Americans all know there are many things America can do better. It should adopt these great ideas...
1. 50% Tax Breaks During The Christmas Season
Christmas costs a fortune, so the Norwegian Government halves income tax during the month of November. This gives tax payers extra money to spend in December and January.
2. Paid Maternity and Parental Leave
The US is the only developed country that does not guarantee paid maternity leave for workers. The Czech Republic is by far the most generous in this respect, with parents getting a minimum of 14 weeks to a maximum of 28 weeks maternity leave. Even better, new mothers and fathers can take up to 48 months of paid parental leave, paid by the state.
3. Paying Kids To Attend School
Sweden pays high school students the equivalent of $187 a month to have a perfect attendance rate. The program helps pay for school supplies and discourages kids from skipping class.
4. Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
The US is one of the only developed countries that does not guarantee paid sick leave for short or long term illnesses. In Europe, paid sick leave is enshrined in law to protect the health of citizens. Research showed that during the swine flu pandemic, 8 million Americans went to work sick, many with 'flu like' symptoms.
gettyimages | wikipedia
5. Reading to Reduce Prison Sentences
Prisoners in Brazil can reduce their sentence by reading books and writing reports. If deemed adequate, each report will take four days off a sentence, with a maximum of 48 days every year. The idea is to help people leave prison more enlightened, educated and less likely to commit crimes. And it seems to be working, with a 30% reduction in criminal relapse amongst those who take part.
6. Zero Criminal Penalties For Drug Possession
In 2010 alone, the ‘war on drugs’ cost the U.S. Government $500 every second. That's $15 billion, total! In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. While distribution is still illegal, those caught for personal possession are dealt with in a court made up of psychologists and social workers. Instead of locking kids away for a joint, they are referred to clinics. Since these moves, drug addiction has dropped 50% and drug use in Portugal is among the lowest in Europe.
businessinsider | drugsense
7. Speeding Ticket Lottery
In Stockholm, Sweden, a portion of the fines collected from speeding drivers is put into a lottery for safe drivers. Those without any driving offences are automatically entered in the lottery and have the chance of winning some cash for driving safely. Motorists have received checks of up to $3,000 and the lottery has encouraged road safety.
8. Income Based Criminal Fines
Dagsböter roughly translates to 'daily fine' and is a form of punishment for non-violent crimes in Finland and Sweden. For example, if you were fined 30 dagsböter, then all of your income for 30 days would be collected as a fine. This type of punishment is called 'financial jail' and deters people from crime no matter their wealth status. This system actually led to one Finnish man who earned $11 million a year being fined the equivalent of $200,000 for speeding.
rakna | aol
9. Pay-As-You-Go Garbage Collection
To combat overflowing landfills, German cities weigh the refuse you throw away and charge as much as $2 per pound of trash. This encouraged people to recycle or compost nearly everything, which is far cheaper and kinder for the environment.
10. Compulsory Voting
When it comes time for an election in Australia, everyone is required to vote. If you don't turn up then you get fined, resulting in 95% of Aussie voters attend polling. Compare that to the 36.6% in the 2014 US midterms. Those who don't wish to vote but also don't want to get fined usually void their paper by drawing phallic objects on it.
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