Capitalism: Friend or Foe?
The American consumer thinks little of the source of the ingredients, the workers involved or the board of shareholders that all play a part in bringing us every product, from cable television to cheap clothes from mass retailres. Through the months that have slayed us all, put some out of jobs and homes, many of us have felt helpless, wondering how to pick up the pieces and start over, often many rungs below where we were. For some, it has humbled us, for some, there has been no change and hence no introspection.
But, for those of us that have always questioned capitalism and democracy in America, where we have to pay for healthcare and education, where many college graduates make less than $50,000 but have double that in loans, we embrace Michael Moore‘s grassroots documentaries that question big boxes and corporations. Most understand that any public company is under pressure to answer to shareholders first, then customers, then workers. But, what many of us question is: why are the governments of the developed world placing a bigger value on banks and car companies than social causes, such as education and news outlets.
Every time a new potential merger streams across my monitor, I wonder “what happened to anti-monopoly laws? How can Comcast buy a majority (51%) stake in NBC Universal? General Electric shareholders might benefit but what about the rest of us when the programming we watch is run mainly by a handful of companies, namely Comcast, Viacom, CBS, Disney and Time Warner?
Moore’s critics say he is a bleeding heart liberal that observes what many others have noted, but offers little in the way of solutions. We say, this may be true. We may not come away from this documentary with a solution, but we may learn something, we might be empowered to read more and act more, we may trust our leaders a bit less and those of us with jobs, homes and healthcare may put the petty aside and appreciate the basics. Furthermore, what Moore has done is to help stimulate an engine of celebrity- and media-driven critics and philanthropists that might collectively be able to inspire change.
If you are on a tight budget, rest assured, Moore is offering free screenings tonight in the following cities: Miami, Madison, San Francisco, Grass Valley (CA), and Chicago. Click here for the details.