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Capitalism: A Love Story

Updated on April 23, 2015

Capitalism is the best economic system in the world...or is it?

Whether you love or hate Michael Moore, his films always have a way of reaching the masses. Michael Moore's newest documentary goes over the economic recession due to capitalism, and how the government has done little to nothing over the years to help the middle class citizens of America. At the beginning of the documentary, he makes a brief comparison of our society to the once great Rome, back in Julius Caesar's time, on how that government had fallen due to corruption. Like all of Moore's other films, this movie primarily serves his own political views and agendas, while ignoring certain facts that would make this movie, an otherwise unbiased documentary. "Capitalism: A Love Story" goes over various historical events from the Ronald Reagon era all the way to the ending presidential era of George W. Bush, and how the downward economy has affected so many industries and middle class citizens. Showing the catastrophic effects of the recession from a small personal level, where a family is evicted out of their home, to a bunch of employees getting laid off without any compensation, as they're forced to strike. Indeed, this is probably one of Moore's most detailed documentary, I've ever seen. As he not only goes over the corruption of capitalism, within the United States, he also talks about how the government has been corrupted, as they've been bought out by corporate America. Moore shows how they constantly find ways to screw over the working class. Using various tactics from "dead peasant insurance", to using religion to justify their acts. Although Michael Moore continues to make these documentaries in a rather controversial way, while never providing a clear answer to the problem itself, he always manages to ask the right questions. Sometimes, just asking the right questions might be all we need to find the right answers. From talking to various people, many find Moore's views rather controversial and unfounded due to his tactics. However, what I find amusing is that these same people are the ones giving him that power to be heard. Overall, "Capitalism: A Love Story" is one of the most detailed yet controversial documentaries ever made.

Like I said before, Michael Moore is an expert at getting his views across whether you love him or hate him. Even people who hate his films, see them just see what the guy will say. Personally, my thoughts are if you hate Michael Moore's style of documentary, then just ignore him. He's only as powerful and influential as the media and public will allow him to be. If the masses ignored him, then his popularity would deceased. However, people don't think logically as it seems. Indeed, Moore's ludicrous tactics can seem a bit extreme at times; often reminiscent of the annoying co-worker or family member, you're often forced to put up with. However, unlike those types of situations, the audience does have a choice. Yet, Moore is able to make his documentary so controversially perverse, that even people that strongly disagree with him rally to see what he's going to say. Is it fair play for Moore to use his tactics? Why shouldn't they? They do work as it would seem.

However, as for the review of Moore's film, I would have to say that I probably did a lot more research into his topics, than I normally do for documentaries. Moore is correct about his take on corporate America owning the government, as that's been wide public knowledge for years. Although he talks about the financial woos of the years during the Reagan Administration, George H. Bush, and George W. Bush, he never talks about the Bill Clinton Administration or the Jimmy Carter era. Sure, he shows Jimmy Carter making a speech to the public, on how American gases will have to be rationed due to hard times. Yet, he never goes over why President Carter said that. Instead, after that speech, he immediately shows Ronald Reagan, during his movie days, as he tries to tell the audience that corporations only wanted to hear what they wanted to us to believe, so that's why America elected an actor. Anyway, for those expecting a full accurate assessment of the economy woos of last year, then you'll be sadly mistaken as Moore only tells you part of the facts, but not the full story as one would hope.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is a bad documentary by any means, as Moore does make some valid points about how the upper class takes advantage of the lower and middle class citizens in America. Using such nefarious tactics like dead peasant insurance, where the employer puts out a life insurance policy on an employees life, without consulting them or their family about it. Such tactics are described as one of the many means companies tend to take advantage of their employees. Upon further research of this topic, Moore does bring up a valid point on "dead peasant insurance." During the documentary, Moore explores how some employers have been making money for years off their deceased employees, without paying so much as a penny to their families. When I first heard about this revelation, it was rather shocking to say the least. In the case of one family, where it talks about a man that was fired from a bank; his previous employers benefited from his death, for not only tax purposes, but a large financial sum. Such nefarious and devious tactics are one of the many means Moore uses to describe how corporate America; uses the the working class on a consistent basis.

Outlining religion as one of the methods used by corporations as a system, to control the masses. Moore goes on in his documentary to describe how many companies have used religion, to promote capitalism (i.e. quotes like, "In god we trust", on dollar bills).

Of course, "Capitalism: A Love Story" does go over the Chicago strike, that happened on Goose Island a while back. As it goes over how over two-hundred and fifty employees were laid off due to the recession, despite their employers receiving bail-out money from the government, so they could pay their employees. This was one of the causes that inevitably led to the strike, on Goose Island. That forced employers to cave in to their demands once public media became involved, so they could save face. This along with many other examples were used to illustrate just how deeply corporations were willing to screw over the working class, during the economic recession.

Moore even goes on to describe how some salaries are grossly under paid, due the economic recession; namely airline pilots. Making an outrageous claim that airline pilots make about the same salary range as a person working at McDonald's, or less in some cases. Naturally, I found this news to be a bit far fetched, to say the least. Therefore, I took it upon myself to research the average salaries of McDonald's employees and Airline pilots. According to various sources, it's true that some managerial positions, at McDonald's, tend to make around the same or more than a lot of first year airline pilots. However, a lot of it depends on which airline we're referring to, as some companies like Southwest Airlines, tend to start their pilots on a salary around $49,572 a year. Needless to say, that's surprisingly low for an airline pilot; none the less. However, it's still higher than most of their managerial positions, with the exception of McDonald's Operations Supervisor whom makes $56,120 a year. When I first heard of this claim by Michael Moore, I was very surprised to hear this; as one would think that pilots would make significantly more than a McDonald's employee. Moore does bring up a valid point about our society with this piece of information, as it seems many of the economy's important positions like pilots, law enforcement, teaching, and others are vastly under paid.

Moore even describes the differences between capitalism and socialism, and points out some of the benefits; that our republic could gain from a socialist society. Although, I can't say I completely agree, but he does bring up a lot of valid points throughout the comparison, on how socialism encourages more emphasis on the middle class. Whereas capitalism, typically favors the upper class of our society.

Indeed, Moore goes over many of the hypocrisies about our society, and how capitalism has constantly put the lower and middle class down for decades. Although he does bring up a lot of valid points throughout the film, he only displays the negative economic developments during the republican presidency ranging from Ronald Reagon to George W. Bush. While conveniently ignoring how much of an impact, Jimmy Carter made on our economy as well. Since the economic recession at the time, played a huge part in Jimmy Carter losing in his campaign for re-election to Ronald Reagan. I won't go into details about it, since this article is simply to review Moore's documentary. However, it does seem odd Moore would conveniently just go over the economic woos and blunders of the republican party for the past few decades, while ignoring the impact of the democratic party as well. Even in the film, most of the politicians he interviews are democrats; rarely speaking to a republican politician. This is sadly the only flaw that "Capitalism: A Love Story" has, as it fails to be unbiased.

Don't get me wrong, I loved this film as I felt that Michael Moore touched on a lot of important issues that America is currently facing. Depicting an accurate portrait of how hypocritical our society has become. Although like most of his other documentaries, Moore doesn't necessarily provide direct answers to why our economy is this way, but he does feed the viewer enough information, to ask a lot of the right questions. Sometimes, just asking the right questions, can often lead to the right answers.

"Capitalism: A Love Story" is definitely one of the best documentaries of the year. Providing a lot of information, that will make the audience question the structure of our society. Invoking many unique questions that will keep viewers intrigued throughout the movie. Although the film is biased, it's still worth watching. "Capitalism: A Love Story" is one of the deepest and most informative documentary, I've ever seen.

Definitions of Socialism and Capitalism

Capitalism-An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by a private decision, prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.

Socialism-1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done


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    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Are you serious? Wow, that is mighty cheap. I had no idea they got paid that low for southwest airlines. I appreciate you sharing that with us, as I think it's a crying shame.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      As an airline pilot, I can say that Michael Moore was not exaggerating on wage. Southwest is widely regarded as the best job in aviation due to its high wages. A first year pilot at all regional airlines and most legacy carriers make less than 30k, with many earning less than 20k.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks, I appreciate the compliment. yeah, you won't believe how much research went into this review, as I had fact check a lot of Moore's claims. Lol. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the rest of my work.

    • Sembj profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks - I enjoyed a thorough and fair review. I will enjoy following what you say in future.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      I'm terribly sorry to hear that happened to you. That's horrible. I think that's another downside to capitalism unfortunately, as it means in order for us to stay on top, we have to exploit and profit off third world countries in trades. Anyway, I apologize to hear that you had to go through all that, and I wish you and your family well. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      just I know something capitalism is a shit and I´m saying because I live in a country where all our natural resources have been stolen by the big companies which have taken all profits and benefits leaving the employers poor and meanwhile they earn more and more .

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Oh okay. sure, i'll be sure to check out your blog the first chance I get. Thanks for stopping by.

    • DowntroddenInDC profile image


      9 years ago from Houston, TX

      I'm trying to put together an 'essential' reading list of economics related books. Check it out and help me with selections!

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago bring up a very valid point there evan. I'll definitely have to check out your hub sometime. thanks you for the input.

    • Evan G Rogers profile image

      Evan G Rogers 

      10 years ago from Dublin, Ohio

      Michael Moore, unfortunately, confused Mercantilism and Corporatism with Capitalism, and then made a whole entire movie without realizing the mistake he made.

      Also, throughout the movie, he made numerous errors in his statements - they generally occur when he seems to be painting a picture of how things are. He said something to the effect of 'for the past 45 years, workers have been more productive, but they haven't earned any more money' which is just simply inaccurate - a 30 second google search shows that wages have increased by about 33% over the time period.

      Anyway, Capitalism is not the enemy, government is. Michael Moore even agrees: many of his statements are about how governments and corporations employ the same people, and lobbyists have too much say in the government.

      I wrote an article, and am putting up a series of articles about this. Check em' out!

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Thanks Niteriter. Glad you liked the review. Yeah, I agree with you there. I'm not exactly a huge fan of socialism either, but I do agree that capitalism usually favors the upper class while keeping the middle and lower class people like us down.

    • Niteriter profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      This is a good review, Steven; "fair and balanced" comes to mind often while reading through.

      While I can't swallow the ideals of socialism as promoted by the World Socialist Movement, I do believe capitalism has little to offer the average citizen anywhere it is allowed full reign.


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