Wednesday, March 6, 2019
CapitalismÃ¢â¬a Propaganda Story Essay
Michael Moore is the Leni Riefenstahl of our age. Or, perhaps he would be pause characterized as a Bizzaro World Leni Riefenstahl, because while she propped up with propaganda the semipolitical powers of her time, Moore uses the homogeneous techniques to bring down the powers of our time, be it GM (Roger and Me), the gun lobby (Bowling for Columbine), the politics (Fahrenheit 911), the health c ar industry (Sicko), or free enterprise (Capitalism A Love account).In this latest inst entirelyment in his continuing series of whats wrong with America, Michael Moore prepares aim at his biggest target to date, and the result is a disaster. The documentary is non nearly as funny as his former images, the music selections seem contrived and flat, and the edits and transitions are clumsy, wooden, and not nearly as effective as what weve come to expect from the premiere documentarian (Ken Burns notwithstanding) of our time. And, close to importantly, the films central thesis is so b ad that its not even wrong.First, let me confess that even though I collect disarapacity with most of Michael Moores politics and economicals throughout his career, I have thoroughly enjoyed his films as skilled and effective twists of fine art and propaganda, never lead astraying to laugh or be emotionally distraught at all the places audiences are cued to do so. My willing suspension of question that enables me to take so much pleasure from works of fiction, does not ever so serve me well when pulled into the narrative arc of a documentary. Thus it is that with his medieval films I have exited the theater infuriated at the same things Moore is until I rolled up my sleeves and did some fact checking of my own, at which point Moores theses unravel (with the possible howeverion of Bowling for Columbine, his finest work in my opinion). scarcely with Capitalism A Love Story, Moores propagandistic props are so transparent and contrived that I never was able to appropriate disbelief.What was especially infuriating about Capitalism A Love Story was the treatment of the people at the bottom end of the economic spectrum. The film is anchored on two eviction stories contrived to pull at the emotional state strings. One family shoot the eviction process themselves and sent the footage to Moore in hopes hed use it ( numerous are called, few are chosen), and the other was filmed by Moores crew. The message of both is delivered with a sledge invent Greedy Evil Soul-Sucking Bankers (think Li hotshotl Barry more than(prenominal)s villainous Mr. Potter in Its a Wonderful Life) are tossing out onto the streets of America poor exculpatory families who are victims of circumstances not of their making. Why? First, because this is what Greedy Evil Soul-Sucking Bankers do for fun on weekends.Two, because the economic crisis caused solely by said bankers has make it impossible for families to make the payments on those subprime gives they were tricked into takin g by those same bankers, who themselves were suckered into a Ponzi-like scheme cooked up by Alan Greenspan and his debate Street/Federal entertain buddies to take back the shells fully owned by (first) the elderly and ( because) the poor. In the fine print that the bankers carefully slipped past the elderly and the poor for these piece mortgages and subprime loans, the contracts said that the rates on variable rate loans could go up, and that the bear was verificatory for the loan such that if the loan payments are not do the office is subject to foreclosure and repossession by the bank (which is what the bankers are hoping happens).In Michael Moores world celestial horizon, a goodly portion of the Ameri potty people are ignorant, uneducated, clueless pinheads too stupid to realize the fundamental principle of a loan you have to have collateral to secure the loan No collateral, no loan. You say to the banker I would like to take out a loan. The banker says to you what do you have for collateral? What happened in the housing boom was that bankers relaxed their standards for what they would require for collateral (and income, assets, etc.) because (1) the government told them to do so and promised to cover their losses if it didnt work out, and (2) they wanted to make more money and borrowers wanted in on the cash cow that everyone was milking, from individual house flippers looking for a active buck, to ordinary families absentminded extra cash for remodeling, tuition, or whatever, to mortgage giants wanting corporate expansion. And all were driven by the same motive greedYes, greed. Those evicted families k refreshing perfectly well what they were doing when they freely chose to climb onto the housing bubble and take it for a ride. I have a much higher view of the American public than does Michael Moore. I dont think the American people are so stupid or uneducated that they didnt accredit what they were doing. This wasnt rocket science. It was even on television, the ne nonnegative ultra of pop culture I well remember observance A & Es television series Flip This House, and indicant all those magazine articles and get-rich-quick books on how to make a fortune in the real estate market, and thinking wow, everyones getting rich except me how can I get in on the action?What I felt is, Im sure, what lots of people felt. I looked into securing a aid mortgage on my internal in order to mannikin a second home on an undeveloped portion of my hillside property, and then selling it to turn a tidy lettuce. Everyone was doing it. What could go wrong? Well, for starters I thought, what if it takes longer to build the home than I projected? We all know how slow construction projects can be. Could I make the payments on the second mortgage for an additional six months to a year? And what if I couldnt sell that second home? Could I make the payments on the new loan indefinitely? What if my income decreased instead of increased, like it was at the time (and, subsequently, did dramatically). And what would happen if I couldnt make the payments? The answer was obvious, and it wasnt in the fine print I could lose my primary home. stuff that Making a profit on a second home would be nice, but losing my first home would hurt well more than twice as much as making a profit on the second home would feel good. Thats a rudimentary principle of risk aversion losses hurt twice as much as gains feel good. Now, Im not in reality a risk-averse guy (I gave up a secure career as a college professor for an insecure career as a generator and publisher), but even I could see the inherent risks involved when the home you live in could be taken away. My hillside remains sagebrush and unfounded grass.What about the people on the other end of the economic spectrum the bankers and Wall Street moguls? Why arent they being evicted. Now, given that Im a libertarian, you might expect me to come to the defense of Corporate America. non so. Here I am in complete agreement with Michael Moore that, as Ive been saying since the day it was first pronounced, too big to fail is the great myth of our time. None of these giant corporations GM, AIG, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, et al. should have been bailed out. In fact, they should have been allowed to fail, their stocks go into the toilet, their employees tossed out on to the gilded streets of lower Manhattan, and their CEOs disperse to work as greeting clerks at Walmart.They gambled and lost on all those securities, bundled securities, derivatives, credit default swaps, and other financial tools that Ill bet not one in a hundred Wall Street experts very understands. If you really believe in free enterprise, you must accept the freedom to lose everything on such gambles. These CEOs and their corporate lackeys are nothing more than welfare queens who adhere to the motto in profits were capitalists, in losses were socialists. Sorry guys, you cant have it both ways without corrupting your morals, which you have, along with the politicians youve bribed, cajoled and otherwise coerced to your bidding.The solution? I have some suggestions of my own, but Michael Moores solution is beyond bizarre replace capitalism with democracy. Uh? Replace an economic system with a political system? Even the ber liberal Bill Maher was baffled by that one when he hosted Moore on his HBO show. How does a democracy produce automobiles and computers and search engines? It doesnt. It cant.Capitalism A Love Story, ends with a remarkable film cut that Moore discovered of President Franklin Roosevelt reading from his never proposed second Bill of Rights (he died dead subsequently and the document died with him). Included in the list areThe refine to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation The right to earn enough to provide becoming food and clothing and recreation The right of every farmer to promote and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a mighty living The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad The right of every family to a decent homeThe right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to fulfil and enjoy good health The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment The right to a good education.Thats nice. To this list I would add a computer in every home with radio Internet access. Im sure we could all think of many more things under which a new basis of security and successfulness can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed, in Roosevelts words. But there is one question left unstated Who is going to pay for it? If there is no capitalism, from where will the wealth be generated to pay for all these wonderful things? How much does a decent home costs these old a ge, anyway?Do you see the inherent contradiction? Of crinkle you do. So does Michael Moore, who elsewhere in the film longs for the good old days when the rich were taxed 90% of their earnings. So did Willie Sutton, who answered a similar question after being nabbed by the FBI during the Great Depression and asked by a newsperson why he robs banks Because thats where the money is.