Michael Moore, Capitalism’s Little Tramp

“Slacker Uprising” (Michael Moore)

Despite his films’ faults, I still enjoy Michael Moore’s movies. Am looking forward to seeing his latest.

Bruce Headlam pens a back-handed review, full of constructions like:

In the United States Mr. Moore’s conservative critics may decry his popularity, but his films and best-selling books are far more popular outside the country, especially in Britain, elsewhere in Europe and in Japan. In such places Mr. Moore has become a kind of anti-cultural ambassador — the prism through which a large part of the world views the United States.

But a film that flatly concludes that capitalism is evil is certain to put him at odds with most of the left wing in his own country, and even with President Obama, who gave a speech the next day on Wall Street on the need to reregulate, not replace the financial industry.

[Click to continue reading Film – Michael Moore, Capitalism’s Little Tramp – NYTimes.com]

Really? Most of the left wing is on the side of the bankers? And your evidence is? Have you ever actually talked to someone who calls themselves a Liberal, outside of your normal circles?

Anyway, the Liberal typing up this blog concurs with Mr. Moore: Capitalism unchecked is a beast that destroys us and our planet. Of course it also enables us to have a luxurious lifestyle, but criticism of an ideology is not the same as a hatred. Just ask the workers of the Republic Window company who held a sit-in not too long ago.

There are fewer of the trademark Moore stunts in “Capitalism,” a sprawling 126-minute film that tries to connect data points across the economy, including the bailout, financial deregulation, privatized juvenile detention centers, the collapse of the American auto business (again), “dead peasant” insurance policies, Goldman Sachs’s influence in Washington, the crash of a commuter jet in Buffalo, the Florida condo market and an old-fashioned sit-in at a Chicago door-and-window factory.

In part the stunts are harder to pull off for a famous, rabble-rousing filmmaker. But at the movie’s heart is the original footage Mr. Moore’s shooters made of workers inside the occupied factory in Chicago (his was the only crew let in during the five-day strike) and of homeowners being evicted. Mr. Moore retains an ear for ordinary speech that is uninflected by the exigencies of morning talk shows or “SportsCenter” clichés.

because, as the Chicago Tribune noted, unchecked capitalism encourages greed, and theft:

After Republic Windows and Doors abruptly shuttered its North Side plant last winter, some of the 200 union workers who lost their jobs peacefully refused to leave for several days, demanding wages they’d earned and becoming a national symbol of the economic crisis.

On Thursday Cook County prosecutors made a startling allegation: The sudden plant closing was all part of a monthslong plot by the head of Republic Windows to loot the business, steal key manufacturing equipment and set up a new operation in Iowa.

After a judge hit former chief executive officer Richard Gillman with a whopping $10 million bail, he was led away to Cook County Jail while wearing a pin-striped suit, white collared-shirt and a dazed expression.

Prosecutors laid out their case in an unusually detailed 56-page filing. Gillman and two other undisclosed executives abandoned Republic Windows’ crushing debt, stole its assets and secretly trucked the equipment from the plant to the new operation in Red Oak, Iowa, the charges alleged.

But that operation failed, too, just a month and a half after it started, leaving hundreds of employees from both Chicago and Iowa out of work and devastated.

All told, Gillman and the others defrauded company creditors who were owed at least $10 million and stole more than $200,000 cash from Republic Windows, prosecutors alleged.

[Click to continue reading Republic Windows CEO charged in plot to loot the company — chicagotribune.com]

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