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Capitalism: a Love Story by Michael Moore

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Cancer can be defined as “…a malignant growth or tumor of cells, resulting from the destruction and stripping of other cells”. Today, the promotion of capitalism can be defined very similarly. A country that promotes capitalism ultimately is promoting businesses to gain profit at the expense of the consumer, stripping them of everything they own. Corporations, large businesses, and organizations are literally draining money from consumers, with the sole purpose of growing their profits – this greed is driven by free enterprise, the profit motive, and competition. Filmmaker Michael Moore proves the point, promoting capitalism will destroy an economy by making people suffer financially, through the film Capitalism: A Love Story. Capitalism has divided America into two economic classes, the people that have nothing and the people that have it all, there is no in-between. Michael Moore explains that capitalism is a system of taking and giving – shifting desires of a happy life to the desire to take advantage of others. Moore warns his audience that the promotion of capitalism will destroy the economy because of financial sacrifices made by society whereas democracy will redeem it by allowing all social classes to live the luxuries of the rich.

Through interviews and archived videos, Moore creates a sense of satisfaction towards democracy – making it look like a much more efficient system. For example, Moore interviewed a bishop and priests who stated that capitalism is wrong because it doesn’t provide for everyone. The bishop went further and stated that it goes against the “Christian way”. [1] After the interview, Moore provided an animation of Jesus demonstrating capitalism, where Jesus doesn’t help an injured man unless he pays “out of pocket”. The bishop and priests’ negative views of capitalism created an unrighteous impression of it, ultimately making it seem immoral because it goes against Christianity. In this film, Capitalism is shown to be something that Jesus wouldn’t follow, making the audience feel like it is wrong to follow. Jesus was demanding money from the injured man to define the “profit motive” – charging people in need of help so they would go out and borrow money to afford it, creating financial debt. As more people get robbed by capitalism their fortunes are leaving them with insufficient funds to survive and piles of debt. Through these victims being robbed, Moore successfully created a sense of sympathy and anger towards the capitalist system.

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Capitalism no longer provides people with the long-term sustainability, needed to support themselves and their families. Michael Moore eagerly points this out by speaking about his hometown of Flint, Michigan, and the General Motors (GM) plant. When the GM plant suddenly shut down, the workers lost their jobs – having nowhere to turn for money. Moore blamed the top CEOs for this shut down because they were trying to make more profit, disregarding the welfare of their employees. [2] As a result of this shutdown, Flint became an abandoned city, and many families lost their homes. If there was any regard for their employees, why didn’t GM put any effort into retraining employees with skills needed for other jobs? Capitalism simply doesn’t care about the average person because it is a system where CEOs compete for higher profit margins – so the rich can live richer and the poor can live poorer. In reality, CEOs of large corporations lobby and influence government policy to promote tax cuts in exchange for corporate favors and benefits. Thus, Wall Street and government officials help fill one another’s bank accounts. [3] 

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