“Capitalism: A Love
Michael Moore is at it again.
He’s taking his 60-Minutes-style expose’, and this time turning his
camera on the corporate giants (Citibank, etc.) who got us in a financial
crisis and took the billions of government bailout to finance executive
bonuses. Or so Mr. Moore would
have us believe.
It is extremely difficult to comment
upon such an explosively political “documentary” without the commentator
betraying some political point of view, as well.
Michael Moore, without question, enjoys being abrasive to the “fat
cats” whom he thinks are ruining us all.
And yet he is also a populist at heart.
At the end, he regales us with an extensive quote from FDR, who in 1944
was proposing a “Second Bill of Rights” that would include basic
life-needs like owning a home, working at a decent wage, having health care
coverage, looking forward to at least a modest pension, being able to send
children to college: a veritable
short list of middle class goals. (And
this commentator resides squarely within that group.)
takes pains to point out all the union-busting tactics of corporate
, and gleefully reminds us that a Manager at Taco Bell makes more than a pilot
for American Eagle.
Of course, it would be extraordinarily
easy to point out inequities in compensation in our vast capitalistic system
(sports stars vs. teachers, for example).
It’s also easy to point out instances where greed has overcome good
judgment (a judge sends truant juveniles to a private institution which in
turn gives kickbacks to the judge). Mr.
Moore gives extensive coverage to some workers at a factory who held a
“sit-in” strike until the company paid them in full before handing them
their pink slips. But that one
redress doesn’t really solve the problem of the vanishing middle class,
either. Mr. Moore seems to imply
that returning to the 90% tax of the rich in the 1950’s would be a good
start toward distributing the pieces of the pie more evenly.
Naturally, he defends the almost-automatic accusation of
“socialism” with his rebuttal that he merely wants to restore
“democracy” (read: re-distributing
the wealth more evenly) to the
in place of “capitalism” (read: the
rich get richer and poor get thrown out in the street).
True, one could argue that those whose
homes are being foreclosed have some personal responsibility to bear for their
difficulties, as well. But there
is something wrong, systemically, when a person can get a good education, then
be in enormous debt for it, then be unable to find a job with a living wage.
That’s a scenario set up for failure.
And it happens every day in
No matter where you happen to fall in
the economic or political spectrum, there are part of this movie that will
“get a rise” out of you. And
that is exactly what Mr. Moore is trying to achieve.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace