Capitalism: A Love Story

18 09 2009

See video clip here hinting at how capitalism broke our hearts and unceremoniously dumped us.

Yep, that explains my fury at Big Insurance. I am a woman scorned.

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21 09 2009
JJ

Arianna Huffington has seen it, see her take here:

The film also turns the spotlight on some underreported gems: an internal Citibank report happily declaring America a “plutonomy,” with 1 percent of the population controlling 95 percent of the wealth; an expose of “dead peasant” insurance policies that have companies cashing in on the untimely deaths of their employees; and amazing footage of FDR, found buried in a film archive and not seen in decades, calling for a Second Bill of Rights that would guarantee all Americans a useful job, a decent home, adequate health care, and a good education.

. . .While taking no prisoners, and directing equal doses of ire at Republicans and Democrats alike, the film also features a number of heroes . . .

Michael describes capitalism as evil. I disagree. I don’t think capitalism is evil. I think what we have right now is not capitalism.

In capitalism as envisioned by its leading lights, including Adam Smith and Alfred Marshall, you need a moral foundation in order for free markets to work. And when a company fails, it fails. It doesn’t get bailed out using trillions of dollars of taxpayer money.

What we have right now is Corporatism. It’s welfare for the rich. It’s the government picking winners and losers. It’s Wall Street having their taxpayer-funded cake and eating it too. It’s socialized losses and privatized gains.

Which is why — although you can bet many will try — Capitalism: A Love Story can’t be dismissed as a left-wing tirade. Its condemnation of the status quo is too grounded in real stories and real suffering, its targets too evenly spread across the political spectrum.

Indeed, Jay Leno, America’s designated Everyman, was so moved by the film he insisted that Moore appear on the second night of his new show, and told his audience that the film was “completely nonpartisan… I was stunned by it, and I think it is the most fair film” Moore has done.

Don’t throw your rotten vegetables at the messenger this time. Target the real villains and don’t call it a tea party either. Maybe a tarring and feathering would be more appropriate for the rebels we fancy ourselves.

22 09 2009
JJ

Jon Hamm and Will Ferrell in Funny or Die political video: protect insurance company profits!

7 10 2009
JJ

WaPo’s business columnist Steven Pearlstein: “The Economic System No Longer Works For The Majority Of Americans”:

For me, the most powerful moments in the movie weren’t the interviews with displaced homeowners, laid-off workers or grieving widows, but those with a trio of Catholic clergymen who minced no words in declaring the moral bankruptcy of modern American capitalism. It was clear they had come to their conclusions not from any radical ideology or deep understanding of economics but from the inequity and insensitivity they observed in their parishes.

As it happens, their outrage is shared by their boss, Pope Benedict XVI.

“Profit is useful if it serves as a means toward an end,” declared the pope in an encyclical issued by the Vatican this summer. “Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.”

. . .What’s going on here is not simply the moralizing of clerics and filmmakers. Nor, I think, is it merely a reflection of the difficult economy. After nearly two decades of booms and busts that have yielded little in the way of economic gain for the typical household, Americans have developed a profound distrust of the markets, financiers, big business and the capitalist ethos.

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