Saturday, October 03, 2009

Capitalism: A Love Story - Something every capitalist needs to see

Today Diana and I spent two hours watching Michael Moore's new movie, Capitalism: A Love Story. While I believe in capitalism and this film is against it, most people like me will probably write it off.

DO NOT. Go see it.

What I took away from the movie:

1. The Political Donor class is in charge - this is the ultra wealthy who lobby government to the benefit of enriching themselves. Michael Moore cites FOA, "friends of Angelo", key political figures who got sweet loan deals from Countrywide. Special deals for special people. This is but one example and it touches some key political figures, the very people who were supposed to be watching out for the public.

2. Mortgage Fraud an insider's job - citing the FBI's 2005 report, "Based on existing investigations and mortgage fraud reporting, 80 percent of all reported fraud losses involve collaboration or collusion by industry insiders."

Beyond insiders committing fraud, nobody was really looking out for the borrowers. Sure it's America, buyer beware, but be reasonable, not everyone is financially savvy. I'm sure it's possible when a loan officer is looking at a couple thousand dollar commission on a loan, he/she might not be completely level with the borrower. Next thing you know their floating rate has lead to foreclosure.

3. Obama received a lot of money from the investment houses who were bailed out or benefited from the bailout; almost a million from Goldman Sachs alone.

4. Michael Moore makes the suggestion that the reason why Americans haven't revolted against the rich is because the general public is lulled into the thought that they too can be rich some day. Maybe that's so, or maybe they don't notice the money being siphoned off slow and steady.

He wants democracy to replace capitalism, I'd like to see democracy back to help change our cronyism back to capitalism.

We need to put the regulations back in place that can level the playing field. Much of the great wealth in this country has been generated by men and women who have leveraged people educated by the US educational system and our infrastructure.

Our system relies on taxes to fund grants and research - the same taxes many ultra-rich seek to avoid. It's fine to be successful and become rich, just make sure you are paying your fair share.

At least in this country you probably won't be kidnapped or have your company nationalized, at least not right now.