The laws of each country are different and deeply rooted in culture. Due to this, there are several freedoms available in other countries that people in the US do not enjoy.
Did you know that you could go fishing in Korea without a license? Or that in Scotland, you can go absolutely anywhere you like including private properties? Well, every country has its own set of rules and traditions, which give birth to some freedoms and liberties you may or may not have. Whether the differences are rooted in a lack of knowledge or differences in culture, it's always a fun thing to know how your country is different from those surrounding you. This is why, when u/munzter posted the question "What are freedoms many countries in the world have that the United States does not have?" people were eager to respond. Right from not being able to drink in public to having to pay taxes without living in the country, the differences are endless. So here are some of the best responses we've gotten for you to read about!
I live in Indonesia. I could cook some food, load it in my car, park it on the side of a street, and sell the food from my car. Even the police would buy it. u/Lyaxe Aussie who has lived in Indo for the last 12 years. If Indo isn’t the land of opportunity I don’t know what is. I’ve seen so many people pull themselves out of generational poverty in the last 12 years it’s insane. And the gov seems to give a shit about its people, more than the Aus gov does anyway. I honestly have more hope for Indo than I do for Australia these days. u/littleday
As far as I know, America is one of the few countries that taxes its citizens even if they're living and working in another country. u/Ribbitor123 Yes and no. But technically, yes. Americans do have a tax liability on their worldwide income. However, they can claim a credit for taxes paid or owed to foreign countries. So, if they are in a high-tax country (compared to the US), the foreign tax credit essentially wipes out their IS tax liability. If they are in a low-tax country, the foreign tax credit reduces their US liability, and they have to pay the remaining difference to the US. A very simple example would be if their US tax is $20 and their foreign tax is $18, then the credit will reduce their US tax by $18 and they will only owe $2 to the US. If the US is $20 and the foreign is $22, then the credit will reduce their tax by $20, and they'll owe $0 to the US. u/slingdzz
Fun fact, in Australia, not only is prostitution pretty much legal, but Courts have upheld that people with disabilities who are covered by our national insurance scheme have the right to request such services be covered as part of their disability management plans. In other words, not only is it legal here, but provided certain criteria are met, the government will actually subsidize the service for you. u/pecky5 Completely legal in Australia also, including brothels, advertising publicly, and the ability to write ‘sex worker’ on your tax return. Private sex work is allowed but it is recommended to be a sole contractor at a brothel for safety and hygiene reasons. u/leopard_eater
Healthcare is not tied to employment. u/Hancock02 For every two dollars my employer pays me, my employer pays a dollar for just the monthly premium for health insurance. Essentially, they could give me a 50% raise if the US went universal health care, they’d still be paying the same amount. And even if my taxes went up an additional 33% of my total income (to all the taxes I’m paying), I’d still end up with more money as I wouldn’t have to pay my monthly premiums & deductibles. It’s insane that in the US we’re paying more in healthcare just b/c of the greedy private health insurance companies (and healthcare execs who find how they can be as profitable as possible). u/beefwarrior
Proper maternity leave. u/lthtalwaytz The legal minimum paid maternity leave in the US is none. You may think of FMLA, which entitles some US workers to 6 weeks of unpaid leave after giving birth. However, many workers are ineligible, because only medium to large employers are required to follow the law, and the worker has to work 1200 hours per year at the same job in order to qualify. The job I had for 8 years including the time when I was pregnant and postpartum had a very strict policy that no employee was to exceed 1000 hours per year, so we all had 2nd jobs and side hustles. I always wondered if that was why. u/nonbinary_parent
The right to roam. In many countries, you can go practically wherever you want, except for people's courtyards and secure areas, and nobody can accuse you of trespass. Edit to avoid answering the same comments over and over again: The right to roam means that you are legally granted harmless passage through and limited harmless non-commercial use of all open land and natural areas without asking for the landowner's permission. Exactly what you can and can't do on other people's private (as well as public) land varies by country. u/7elevenses
Canadian Healthcare isn't the best, and there's lots to complain about. But man, the differences between our system and the US are like comparing ice cream to horse manure. Also, women have bodily autonomy in all parts of Canada. u/andrewisgood America's healthcare system is a shitshow because of excessive costs and at-our-whim insurance, but the quality of care is actually really good. Like, some of our hospitals are considered the best in the world, and our medical schools are also considered to be among the best. u/whatafuckinusername
Laws that prevent child marriage. There are other countries that still have this issue, but it was a shock to me when I learned that the US was on this list. u/the_greek_italian Marriage laws are primarily based on state laws, not federal. Most states have laws against it. Only 5 states have no age floor as long as there's parental and judicial approval — California, Washington, Oklahoma, Mississippi and New Mexico. (And those 5 states should do something about that.) u/BootyDoodles Aside from a number of states that don't allow people under 18 to be married under any circumstances, states that do allow a marriage involving a party under 18 require parental consent and judicial approval. For states that still allow an under-18 involved marriage, the usual legal age floor is 16 and requires parental and judicial approval. For those five states previously mentioned, while they require parental and judicial approval, there is no statutory age floor—pretty abhorrent. u/BootyDoodles
Drinking is more relaxed in other countries, drinking in public spaces is legal, drinking in your car, bars open till 4 a.m. or later, liquor stores are privately owned and the drinking age is 18. At least in Latin America. u/Bear_necessities96 Drinking alcohol freely in public places rather than designated places. u/hermansu you can drink in public in Germany from the age of 16 and drive as fast as you want on the autobahn (as long as you're not drunk and have a license). u/74389654
I visited the US for the first time in 2001. Even by the standards of the era their mobile phone technology was utterly archaic compared to Europe. Most phones weren't even capable of text messaging and I remember an animated billboard in New York showing off SMS like it was something new and exciting. Needless to say, it was already old news in Europe. Anyone who had a capable device, they were often charged just for receiving a message. The phones I remember out there were either the Motorola StarTAC (which was basically a must-have fashion accessory and you'd be bullied without it) or various ugly carrier-locked house bricks that ran on CDMA and thus had no SIM card. None of the slick European Nokia models in vogue at that time were on sale. We had to buy a phone for the duration of our extended trip - it was more expensive than the UK equivalent and the RadioShack salesman wanted to know where we were planning to visit so he could sell us the best network that actually had coverage in those areas. Some entire states had no service on Verizon, while in another state Fartsburg only had Cingular when Boringville 10 miles away was Sprint only. It was insane. u/EquivalentIsopod7717