More on Capitalism A Love Story

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Joseph Childers thinks Michael Moore blew a huge opportunity to get some truth and real debate out there.

Michael Moore has wasted not just millions of dollars and two hours of my time. He’s wasted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity We are at an unprecedented moment in history right now: where the corrupt and immoral economic superstructure we live under is actually up for debate; a time when people are finally questioning why their toil and time should be subordinated to the whims of what appears to be little more than a crooked casino. He could have used the near-universal revulsion at the Wall Street bailouts to preach to someone other than a now-bored choir.

But, while Moore does take the Democrats in Congress to task, he gives an unforgivable pass to the Dem presidents, and thus, completely loses any claim to intellectual integrity.

Indeed, Clinton repealed the Glass-Seagall Act, which deregulated banks and unquestionably led to the current financial crisis. Obama has let Goldman Sachs and the rest of the investment banks do just about whatever they want. Look, I like a lot of what Obama is doing but as Congressman Kucinich said in Sept. 2008 during the bailout debate “Is this the US Congress or the Board of Directors of Goldman Sachs?” This has gotten worse not better under Obama. Moore’s huge flaw is he can not see that Democrats hold just as much responsibility and culpability as Republicans. The problem is not one party or the other but a corrupt system with a revolving door between high paying private sector jobs and government ‘service,’ awash in a flood of thinly disguised bribes pretending to be campaign contributions along with a lack of ethics and concern for the nation at large.

Matt Taibbi responds to Childers saying yeah, the movie is flawed, definitely odd in spots but give the guy credit for what he’s done.

But let’s give Michael Moore credit. Most of the movie isn’t about Michael Moore. It’s about what’s happened to this country, how far it’s fallen, in the age of financial deregulation.

Even just looking at the historical context provided by Moore’s own movies, the progression is kind of scary. Back when Moore made Roger and Me, he was describing how blue-collar workers could no longer could find jobs to support themselves. In Bowling for Columbine he talked about the workfare programs we cooked up to keep those ex-employed blue collar workers alive, how brutal and inhumane those programs can be.

In Capitalism: A Love Story we’re now talking about how the compensation for professional jobs we used to consider upper-middle class, like the job of airline pilot, have dropped below subsistence level. This is a portrait of a society steaming toward a feudal structure.

At least Michael Moore is getting us talking about the right topics.

It’s a good first step. But maybe he could have spent fifteen minutes on detailing how European socialist / capitalist systems work so people would know that genuine alternatives already exist (with decent health care.) Not that those system are perfect, not hardly. But most Americans don’t even know they exist or that the American system – based on what “The father of capitalism” Adam Smith envisioned it as – could scarcely still be considered capitalism anymore. It’s really just government-sanctioned organized theft by the few from the many. That is what Moore is talking about, right? But unless you delve into the economic systems deeper, you’ll see the movie and be left rudderless as to solutions.

And why is it titled Capitalism. A Love Story. Does he think capitalism is currently flawed but redeemable? Is he trying to be ironic? You tell me.


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