Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I generally hate using one line that could potentially be taken out of context, but I can't resist this little gem from Matt Taibbi in regards to Michael Moore's new movie, Capitalism: A Love Story:

In Capitalism: A Love Story we’re now talking about how the compensation for professional jobs we used to consider upper-middle class, like the job of airline pilot, have dropped below level. This is a portrait of a society steaming toward a feudal structure.

Really? The job of airline pilot has dropped below subsistence level? Really? Airline pilots don't make enough money to feed, cloth, and house themselves?

I'd love it if someone would tell me I'm taking that out of context because otherwise, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to react to that statement.


Anonymous rose said...

hahah good stuff.

The whole thing is incoherent. Since he alludes to Roger and Me, its worth thinking about what Moore's point was in Roger and Me. What policies was Moore advancing.

Basically he opposed outsourcing of jobs. This movie was released in 1989, so India and China were both on the verge of bringing massive numbers out of LEGIT subsistence living, largely due to outsourcing (oh and due to de-regulation and capitalism). Moore would've squashed that if possible.

Secondly, he opposed the closing of GM plants. I'm certain he would've opposed any cost-cutting policies that would've impacted employees as well.

Anyway, Taibibbi should be thrilled because my GF's education masters program class is going on a field trip to see Moore's new movie, so they'll be very well-equipped to explain to their 3rd graders how financial deregulation ruined the world.

1:11 PM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

Rose, check out this Reason post from Michael Moynihan, looking at at New York Times piece which questions whether "French capitalism is causing mass suicide."

And speaking of your GF's field trip, I haven't gotten all the details yet, but my sister-in-law in Florida who's in a masters program for Public Administration, supposedly has to go see it too. I know we didn;t have to do any of that nonsense in law school and I can't imagine engineers and chemists going for their PHD's have to either. What Michael Moore's popular (as opposed to intellectual) critiques of capitalism have to do with education or public administration is beyond me.

3:40 PM  
Blogger McMc said...

Michael Moore documentaries are treated as fact and I have a few theories why:

1) His movies always show him blindsiding the people he criticizes in the movie. He shows up, starts asking questions and naturally the people with the answers are not going to want to talk without their own legal representation around or because they have other things to do.

2) His movies are light-hearted at times and can even be funny. This makes them easier to watch and easier for people to like, which then makes them think they like everything he said.

3) He always shows the rich fat cats and then the poor. Always. It's really easy to sympathize with the underdog no matter what the story is and it's hard for people to understand why so and so is rich and why that nice family is so poor when all that is seen are short glimpses of each.

4) Michael Moore simply knows what people want to hear. I left work the other night and the security guards were talking about the movie and I heard one guy say "Yea, well he's saying what we're all thinking".

5) Moore's films always have a villain (the rich) and they always have heroes (the poor or normal people).

Moore is a good filmmaker and story teller but he clearly has his own agenda. People praise Moore and simultaneously bash Fox News, even though what Moore does is exactly what everyone claims Fox News is doing. Moore doesn't lie, but he doesn't exactly give a "fair and balanced" look at the issues his movies tackle.

When Moore stops senators on the steps of Congress or shows up at Charlton Heston's house and gets "answers", people eat it up. When Moore actually sits people down for a real interview, he presses the issue so much and asks such hostile questions you'd think it was Borat doing the interview when the guys get up and leave.

It's just sad that so many people take everything Moore says and does in films as fact.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous rose said...

LL, its very frustrating to learn that the people going into "public service" whether it be in education teaching our kids, or government are all having these views/values forced upon them. And they're having it happen to them when they're 18-24, right when you're forming the political views you're probably going to hold the rest of your life (unless you happen to be one of the few capable of independant thought).

Obama talks about the status quo. These people are the status quo. They're the ones with actual power over our lives and the uniformity of the opinions of people in the fields of education, public administration and to a slightly lesser extent the media, is disturbing.

Part of the problem is structural it seems (the teachers union is gonna support the party that supports them). But there's something else. Collectivists want to imprint their values on people and they go into fields where they can do that (government, media, education).

I dunno, but hearing this stuff from my GF and from my mom who is also a teacher, is really disappointing. The culture in education is getting more left, not less and the next generation after us is gonna be even more ignorant as to how the world actually works in reality, as opposed to the left's virtual reality.

mcmc: Dead on. I think more than anything is that you've got a bunch of young people who are idealistic by nature and have just gone through their college k-12 and college indoctrination process. They have no fuckin clue how capitalism actually works, they just don't like it. And then Moore comes along with a simple little explanation and the next thing you know you've got some 24-year old english major who adds "financial deregulation" to his vocabulary of "greed" and "halliburton".

4:37 PM  

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