Capitalism: A Love Story

Capitalism: A Love Story

Last weekend I went to see Michael Moore’s new movie, Capitalism: A Love Story, one of his best (that I’ve seen). Detailing the troubling effects of the “system of giving and taking—mostly taking” in the United States, Michael Moore delivers a must-see documentary that lays bare the major problems with U.S. capitalism for everyone to see.

Highlights (spoiler alert! I highly recommend just going to see it yourself):

  • Unbelievable corporate “dead peasant” insurance policies. Basically, these huge national companies take out huge life insurance policies on their employees, often without their knowledge, so then they make money when that employee dies. (And do they use it to help the family with funeral and living costs after the death of their family member? I’ll let you guess the answer.)
  • Scary Citibank plutonomy memos.
  • Christian religious leaders explaining why capitalism isn’t what Jesus would do.
  • Examples of workplaces that function as democracies, like Isthmus Engineering & Manufacturing, a worker-owned cooperative in Michigan.
  • The awesome workers at Republic Windows and Doors.
  • Moore trying to figure out what derivatives are, and where has all that bailout money gone. PS. Elizabeth Warren rocks! and so does Ohio representative Marcy Kaptur.
  • FDR’s Second Bill of Rights.
  • Footage of President Jimmy Carter warning the country: “Too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.”

Moore says, “I refuse to live in a country like this. And I’m not leaving.” And I totally agree. He says we need to replace it with a system that is good for all people, with true democracy, not capitalism-driven democracy. Which I think is a pretty great idea, too. But I’m not totally sure what that completely means or what it needs to look like or how we go about doing that. Thoughts?

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