Watch Saving Capitalism
- 1 hr 13 min
Saving Capitalism is a documentary film released in 2017, directed by Jacob Kornbluth and Sari Gilman. The film features economist, professor, and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, who seeks to explain the flaws in the current economic system and proposes solutions to save capitalism from its own destruction. The film begins by establishing a clear distinction between two types of capitalist systems: democratic capitalism and market fundamentalism. Democratic capitalism, which was prevalent in the United States in the mid-twentieth century, promises equal opportunity, shared prosperity, and a strong middle class. Market fundamentalism, on the other hand, favors the interests of the wealthy and powerful and leads to income inequality, political corruption, and social unrest. Saving Capitalism argues that the latter system is currently dominant in the United States. Robert Reich takes the viewer on a personal journey through various different communities, including unemployed factory workers in Ohio, small business owners in California, and minimum wage workers in Seattle. Through conversations with these individuals, Reich highlights the ways in which market fundamentalism and corporate America have negatively impacted their lives in profound and tangible ways, such as stagnant wages, lack of healthcare, and a lack of job security. The film then explores the various policies and practices that have contributed to the rise of market fundamentalism, including de-regulation, tax cuts for the wealthy, and corporate campaign finance. Reich makes the case that these policies have created an imbalance of power in favor of the wealthy, which has allowed them to shape public policy in their own interests, further entrenching the system of market fundamentalism. But Reich doesn't stop at simply pointing out the problems. He also proposes solutions to the problems he identifies. Some of the solutions proposed in the film include a progressive tax system, campaign finance reform, stronger labor protections, and investment in education and infrastructure. Reich notes that these are not radical solutions, but rather policies that have been successful in the past and could be again if implemented properly. Throughout the film, Reich emphasizes that saving capitalism is not only possible but necessary. He argues that capitalism is not inherently bad, but rather it has been hijacked by those seeking to serve their own interests at the expense of the common good. By making simple policy changes and working toward a more equitable system, Reich believes that we can save capitalism from its current trajectory and restore the promise of democratic capitalism. The documentary includes interviews with a wide range of individuals, including recollections from playwright-activist Arthur Miller, who first coined the term "American Dream," and several successful business owners who argue that a thriving middle class is essential to a healthy economy. However, the most compelling interviews come directly from the individuals whose lives have been most affected by the current economic system. Reich's conversations with these individuals are a stark reminder of the cost of our current system and the urgent need for change. Overall, Saving Capitalism is an engaging and informative film that offers a persuasive argument for why we need to make changes to our current economic system. The film is well-paced, and the use of interviews, archival footage, and animation keeps the viewer engaged. The opinions and insights that Reich offers are both intelligent and accessible, making this film a must-see for anyone interested in the current state of the American economy. Ultimately, Saving Capitalism is not only relevant to our current political moment but also offers hope that change is possible. It is a call to action that cannot be ignored.