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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009 12 years ago

'Capitalism: A Love Story'


You either really like Michael Moore's films or you hate them. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground on the issue. What I find curious is that many of those who fall into the latter category never actually see his movies. Hopefully, that won't be the case regarding his latest film, "Capitalism: A Love Story," because it's a shocking lesson in contemporary U.S. history.

Moore's premise in the film is that capitalism is a system, which supposedly rewards free enterprise, when, in essence, it simply promotes greed. Democracy has been corrupted by the banks, Wall Street and insurance companies. We've given them a license to steal. In an era of unprecedented change, Moore wants Americans to take action, be angry as hell and not take it anymore.

The ammunition he provides to provoke such action is in the form of statistics and stories which serve to anger even the meekest of viewers. Moore puts out there that the richest 1% of Americans have more money than the bottom 95% combined. Bankruptcy is filed once every seven-and-a-half seconds. One in eight homes is in foreclosure. Companies (i.e. Walmart) actually take out life-insurance policies ("dead peasant insurance") so they can collect the benefits upon their demise. Commercial airline pilot's salaries have deteriorated so astronomically that they're forced to take second jobs and collect food stamps. But when middle class working families are seen being evicted from their homes because of corrupt banking policies, it doesn't look too good for the richest country on Earth.

Shame on us for allowing the corporate and financial institutions to exploit Americans, is what Moore seems to be saying. Dissolution of federal banking regulations under Reagan and Clinton led to the wide-scale gambling of the public's money. And when they lost, we rewarded them by bailing them out.
Whether you agree with Moore's take on the state of capitalism or not, you have to admit this is not what our forefathers had in mind for this country.

Moore offers up hope for change but not via the usual suspect, pointing out that Barack Obama received $994,795.00 in campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs employees. Instead, he looks toward members of Congress who speak the voice of reason, one of who being that of Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).
Although Moore is accused of pandering emotional logic, at heart his films demonstrate that he's a proud American. He truly believes that we are a great nation. That inspiration is the foundation upon which he constructs his documentaries, believe it or not — you be the judge.

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