Progressive Scandinavian Policies to Remind You That You Live in America

This Norwegian town has eliminated pollution by incentivizing bike riding. The town flag has a big bicycle on it, and the mayor is actually married to a bicycle. This makes more sense when you learn that the mayor is also a bicycle. Bicycles are allowed in the United States, of course, but they’re considered target practice for cars and are ineligible for public office or marriage.

A Swedish village has eliminated all currency in favor of tiny pieces of chocolate. The chocolate is simply a little treat, as all things and services in the village are free, and there is actually no need for income at all. The evolution of Swedish genes and the quality of the country’s chocolate allow for optimal metabolization, even of a chocolate-only diet. In America, all chocolate must legally be labelled “chocolate product,” owing to its forty-per-cent plastic content.

The citizens of this Finnish province eliminated crime by giving all the criminals jobs operating local windmills. The jobs are relaxing and provide the operators with a sense of calm and fulfillment that they have rarely felt since they were children. Windmill operation is showing great promise as an alternative fuel source slash stress treatment and is catching on all over the world, except for in America, where all the wind is used to extinguish the dreams of the poor.

This Dutch province has ended depression by holding a citywide meditation each morning, led by local cheesemongers who’ve been trained by Buddhist monks. Its participants spend their days serene and full of cheese. Attempts at this life-style hack have been made in pockets of the U.S., where would-be practitioners unwrap an entire brick of Kraft Singles, lie down, and place the rubbery orange sheets all over their naked bodies while listening to whale sounds. The jury is still out on whether this is as effective as the Dutch method, but let’s just say that, so far, most attempts end with the would-be meditators losing their shit while fumbling to open the third Kraft Single.

A Norwegian village ended car-accident fatalities by wrapping all vehicles in oversized infinity scarves knitted by the physically infirm. The scarves are beautiful and perfect for buffering high-impact collisions, and, much like America’s addiction to petroleum, they have no beginning and no end.

This Icelandic town has abolished its police force in response to its exceptionally low crime rates. It also has no municipality—its only citizen is a woman rumored to be more than two hundred years old who lives in a shed. One puffin in a nearby flock regularly steals fish from the other puffins, but the other puffins knock him down in retribution, as puffins are a self-governing bird species. In the U.S., there are no puffins except for the ones we’ve stolen from nature and locked in little jails so that we can look at them. American puffin enthusiasts often get mugged leaving the Arctic-bird exhibit.

In a Swedish village that has an avid hunting culture, all guns are left locked up at the range. As a result, gun-related accidents are nonexistent there. Approximately five hundred Americans are accidentally shot by their own dogs each year. The dogs always say that they were aiming at something else, but still—why do we make it so easy for them?

One town in the Netherlands has converted its garbage into algae that is then used to harvest positive thoughts, which are sent out to the rest of the world. These positive Dutch-algae thoughts are all that currently prevent humankind from spiralling into violent extinction. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has been toying with the idea of sending our trash into outer space since we’ve run out of landfills.

The people of this quiet Scandinavian town have learned the secret to eternal youth. The secret is well guarded, but it involves meatballs, spears, and hygge. As punishment for investigating the Scandinavian secret for the purposes of this article, our reporter was brought before a judge who was in his eighties but looked amazing. After being sentenced to Scandinavian jail, which does not exist in the physical sense, our reporter was given five years of pondering existence in front of a fireplace. They’re currently about three kilometres into knitting an infinity scarf and receiving free, topnotch health care. Whoops—looks like you were just dropped by your H.M.O. for having skin, a newly recognized preëxisting condition. ♦

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