These issues include the gap between the rich and the poor, the power of corporations, and power-hungriness or greed. While the movie may downplay the benefits of capitalism, it proves that it is also the root cause of worsening social problems in the United States.
The film uses examples from real Americans’ lives to question the benefits of capitalism. While the film uses the late-2000s financial crisis and the recovery stimulus as a foundation, it also discusses the current detriments of the economic system in the United States. Moore begins with a portrayal of the mass foreclosures experienced by the American middle class, their cause and implications. He also addresses the nominal wages and benefits of many middle class workers at the expense of large salaries and benefits for the rich. He moves on to Wall Street’s role in the social issues caused by capitalism and the influence of corporations in political policy. The over-all tone of the movie shines a negative light on capitalism as it uncovers its negative consequences including extreme greed. Nevertheless, Moore does discuss the benefits felt by capitalism in years past and how the system began to decline (2009). Moore raises interestingly problems that question whether social justice can thrive in a capitalist society. Moyo notes that while capitalism may be great for the economy, it forgets that those living off the economy are human beings that deserve natural human rights. He proposes a new libertarian-based economic system that emphasizes the rights and freedoms of citizens in a true democracy (2010). Another theory suggests that global society has been conditioned to associate capitalism with power and wealth such that its negative aspects including worker alienation, class relationships, and class struggle are veiled (Streckieson 2009). Moore’s film is, ultimately, based on the thinking of the latter two authors and the issues with capitalism discussed in their papers are prominent throughout the film. A major issue explored in the film is the detriments of a large gap between the rich and the poor. A major difference between the salaries of the “haves” and the “have-nots” creates problems for the “have-nots” including poor health, substandard housing, homelessness, and unsatisfactory schooling (Macionis 2011). The film details the causes of these problems including the economic plan set up by Alan Greespan and the U.S. Treasury that led to the economic housing bubble, inflated housing prices, and, thus, increased foreclosures (Moore 2009). Under this new system, the middle class began to suffer and move closer to a state of poverty. Nevertheless, certain employees at wealthy companies such as Countrywide Financial used VIP programs to ensure already rich people, such as members of Congress and political figures, received favorable or discounted mortgage rates (Moore 2009). This causes rich personnel to be able to maintain their wealthy status. As components of capitalism employ systems for the free-market that ultimately are detrimental to the middle class, the class begins to disappear and the gap between the rich and the poor widens. Michael Moore also addresses the problems of overly powerful corporations in a capitalistic society. A capitalist system provides a foundation for businesses and corporations to get rich if they provide services that the majority of the population wants and will buy (Macionis 2011). However, the American system has intertwined the economics of their corporations