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Some people worry that the media is too busy running partisan hit pieces to investigate substantive stories and uncover real news. And while that’s absolutely true, it isn’t a problem.
Documentarians are the new investigative journalists in our society, and they are doing a darn good job.
“Requiem for the American Dream” is an exploration of big money and politics and how the two should not mix.
The wonderful thing about the movie is how dated it seems already. Thanks to documentaries like this one, thinking people already know to be suspicious of politicians who represent big money interests.
Think back to 2008. Obama roundly defeated John McCain. We figured it was just because Obama was likable and McCain was a grisly hateful warmonger. We had no idea which candidate had more Super Pac money and we didn’t care.
It turns out that candidate Obama raised vastly more money than McCain. 2/3 of his campaign war chest came from big donors and corporations. And Wall Street got what it paid for: a financial crisis response plan that focused on saving banks rather than home owners and a health care bill written by insurance companies.
People say that capitalism is an unfair economic system. Noam Chomsky doesn’t argue that, actually. He understands that we don’t have a capitalist economy at all. We have a Crony Capitalist system, where the largest companies collude with government to get larger and expect bailouts from the government when they make mistakes.
Noam Chomsky explains that this was the result of a well-planned society that both parties worked diligently to create starting in the early 1970s.
Mr. Chomsky looks back longingly to the 60s, when the American underclass fought successfully to democratize society. He describes Richard Nixon as the last Progressive president. Nixon created the EPA, ended the draft, and took us off the gold standard.
Before Mr. Nixon was forced out of the White House, though, the big money interests had already begun instituting a grand two-part plan to transform our economy.
Part one was to de-industrialize the economy so that the US no longer made things. The money and power shifted from labor-intensive blue-collar industries to white-collar businesses like banking, insurance, and investment.
Part two was to globalize the economy so that US workers no longer had bargaining power.
Chomsky says that the two ways out of this mess are democracy and solidarity. The main tool that the Establishment uses to fight solidarity is consumerism. The 1%’s perfect fantasy is for each of us to be totally isolated – just you and your favorite shopping website.
Fortunately, we are making huge progress when it comes to fighting money in politics. Voters rejected Wall Street Pete Buttigieg. And they ignored Michael Bloomberg even though he spent the most money on his campaign.
If Big Bank Biden wins the nomination, it will only because the DNC pulled out all the stops to rig the primary against Bernie. And Biden’s ugly history of passing laws that help Delaware credit card companies makes him a long shot to win the general election.
Noam Chomsky predicted that national elections will just keep getting more expensive. But 2016 flatly disproved this. Just six years after Citizens United, Donald Trump won the presidency spending half of what Hillary Clinton spent and less than half of what Barack Obama did in 2012.
Even more remarkably, candidate Trump won with less than $80 million in Super Pac money, compared to more than $200 million for Clinton.
Concentration of money and power is still a huge problem, obviously. But we are making progress. Now most voters on the Left and the Right are suspicious of Wall Street influence over politicians. It all started with awareness. We didn’t get this awareness from college or the mainstream news. We just turned on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and watched some documentaries.