Michael Moore, Goldman Sachs: Loving Capitalism

I made my way Saturday to see Michael Moore’s new flick, Capitalism: A Love Story. And it was enjoyable but uneven at best. But hey. Eating popcorn and downing a cold brew in the confines of a nearly empty theater beats sitting at home watching the Ohio State debacle with Purdue.

OK.  I’ll admit it. I enjoy Moore’s films. I like the fact that he is willing to take a poke at the rich and powerful — in government, business and elsewhere.  And the movie has its moments, particularly when he calls people out with a bullhorn, backs a Brink’s truck up to the entrance of some of the big hitters on Wall Street to demand they return our money and so on. It’s his now familiar shtick — but it helps him convey some messages that resonate with me (and I expect many others) on important issues. And the movie isn’t all laughs — unless you get your jollies watching families being evicted from their homes and so on.

Saying that, the movie is slow going at points — especially during long periods of background about the history and shortcomings of capitalism. Maybe that’s why so many students dislike courses in economics and business. I digress.

And as I mentioned in a previous post, you’ll enjoy or dislike the movie to the extent that you accept his thesis that in effect the rich and powerful — including government leaders on both sides of the aisle — have corrupted capitalism and basically created a nation of really haves and really have nots.

It’s also impossible to completely dismiss his main points. For instance, here’s a sampling of recent stories about Goldman Sachs — a company that Moore jabs with his video pitchfork — and for some good reason no matter how you look at things these days.

Frank Rich, NYT, “Goldman Can You Spare a Dime.”

Graham Bowley, NYT, “Bonuses Put Goldman in Public Relations Bind.”

Jenna Staul, The Huffington Post, “Goldman Sachs Rebounds With PR, Lobbying Campaign.”

Not too hard to understand why the guys and gals at Goldman love capitalism these days.

And then there is Government Motors. Why won’t GM execs talk to Moore? He’s been trying for two decades or so. But every time he shows up a security guard is dispatched to block the doors and put a hand over the filmmaker’s camera.

Why not invite Moore into the inner sanctum? Film the interview — and use it to demonstrate the “new GM.”

It might even help sell a few cars.

In that case: Capitalism — you gotta love it.

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