Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Capitalism: A Love Story Reviewed

One of this blog's most loyal readers (and commenters) recently saw Michael Moore's new movie and I thought I would post his review for comment. The real question is whether Moore addressed the irony (and/or hypocrisy) of charging money to see a movie that bashes capitalism.

"I went to see Capitalism: A Love Story yesterday. It did keep my
attention, though little new information was provided. The entertainment value
was most clear when Michael Moore visited the bailed out banks & AGI in an
attempt to make a citizen’s arrest and lock up their CEOs for thievery. Loved
that part.

Good: Glad to see the balance, however delayed, between
Democrats and Republicans. We’re all spiraling south until we vote out those

Bad: Moore missed a fantastic oppty to market this film by
focusing on the bailouts – people are mad, really mad about this. I saw a poll
today that said Maryland voters want big changes in campaign finance reform. But
also, the subject could have been better delivered by showing the early benes of
Capitalism and then hit more squarely and thematically on the undermining of
Democracy that morphed Capitalism into the beast we have today. It’s not that
Cap is evil, but the people exploiting Cap have changed it. You can’t even call
what we have today Capitalism, it’s simply control of our gov’t by those with
massive amounts of money. That is not Capitalism.

Learned: Wow. The part
about one-income families paying off mortgages in 5-6 years during the 1950-60’s
really brought home how far we’ve fallen. Now it takes 2 income families 30-40
years to pay off the roof over their heads. My father paid off our family home
in 6 years but the contrast didn’t occur to me until I heard it stated this way.

Over-the-top: Realizing this is Michael Moore’s style, making fun of
Bush was a bit much considering the gravity of the subject. But maybe that’s
what it took to keep my 17 yo son interested. And he was."

I have not seen the movie, but I did listen to an interesting interview on the radio over the weekend. The guest was suggesting that part of the reason we have such horrifying stories of people being churned in the grinder of a harsh market is the end result of continuously telling the consumer that "everything will be ok" and that their government will take care of them. My father grew up in an age where you never trusted someone that offered you something for nothing and if it looked too good to be true, it was. You saved more than you spent and you went out to eat only on special occassions. Now everyone believes that they are entitled to what their neighbor has. When I worked in the government, we revoked security clearances for people with bad credit who were spending beyond their means. The one constant was that they never thought they were spending extravagantly. One man I remember vividly took his entire family on a cruise because "we had worked hard and deserved it" despite being over $100,000 in debt with credit cards.

But here's the thing about both markets (such as the market Michael Moore is playing to) and democracies: The Ayes Have It. We are a decision maker by plurality, not correctness. Therefore blaming the masses serves no purpose. Obama realized this. McCain didn't. Hell, Barney Frank has made a career out of always changing his position so as to always be on the side of the plurality.

Thank you Anonymous. I know this is an issue that you and I don't see eye to eye on, but your review was fair and, dare I say, balanced? Ha ha.


  1. Oh come on. Go to the movies, write what you perceive. Some of us out here are holding our breath to hear what a true conservative would say.

  2. Looks like it'll be a nice rainy night. A good night for, say, a movie!