Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I watched a great film last night

Please pass this message along if you find it helpfully informative.  Thank you.

The film is called "Inequality for All" and is a documentary in which Robert Reich describes what has happened in our country over the lifetime of someone like me, who was born in the middle of the Great Depression.  In the film, Reich explains clearly why the middle class is flat-lining today and is fast on the way to disappearing. 

Recently, Bill Moyers interviewed Reich, who was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton presidency and who also served in 2 other presidential administrations. You can see that interview at:   In the film Reich presents facts that can't be refuted. He explains that if the middle class doesn't have enough money or benefits, they can't buy what is being produced. If most of the money and benefits are going to the people at the top, where the money is being saved and not spent, our country can't expand. This leads to more and more people losing their jobs, as CEOs cut the labor force in order to show gains to their investors.  With the disappearance of unions, labor rights have eroded. The wealthy take advantage of tax loopholes which they have paid the politicians to deliver for their own gain. The rule-making machine for our country has been bought and is now churning out benefits for the rich, while decreasing benefits to the poor.  What the engineers of this scheme seem to have forgotten is that everything is connected.  Everything relates to everything else. If one part is hurt in favor of another part, the structure becomes unstable.  It is evident to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence that, because of the unrestrained and unregulated greed and power that has taken over our country, America's underlying structure is collapsing. 

The rules by which our country is now running are lopsided in favor of the wealthy who can now buy the politicians who are going to grant them whatever they want. This is leading to a tipping point that threatens to collapse our country.  Much of the middle class have lost their jobs or are restricted to a flat-lined salary, as costs are ever increasing. They can't save, they have borrowed against their homes and they no longer have the purchasing power to keep the country stable.  Most Americans are losing their faith in our democracy, which clearly favors the top 1 percent.  The parallels between what happened in 1928 and what is happening now are unavoidable to see.  And we all know what happened in 1929.

We need to mobilize and change the no-longer-equitable rules, which have been turned against us, putting a stop to the upward mobility of the people. Reich has many ideas as to how to make the system more equitable and workable for all. One of them is to effect the return of unions, in order to empower the employees.  Reich doesn't want to get rid of capitalism, which he thinks is the best system in the world, but he says we have to make sure it is working. It needs to be saved from the excesses of greed and power that it has fallen into.  Our democracy has been corrupted by big money in politics. 
The typical middle class family makes less now than it did in 1989 -- the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening.  And the rich don't seem to be willing to look at the inequality and see the damage it is doing to our entire economy and country.  They see themselves as impervious to the ramifications their own greed-driven actions are taking us.  In their greed and power-driven excesses, they have blinded themselves and don't realize they, too, will suffer major consequences.  Their fates are connected to the fates of the whole. When the ship of state goes down, all on board will go down with it.

Although necessary change may seem hopeless because so much of the power is in the hands of the rich, Reich is optimistic and says eventually there will be a tipping point where a progressive movement can and will happen.  We can only hope and pray he is right, but for certain it will take mobilization on a grass-roots level.  Today the Supreme Court doubled down on the Citizens United horror that makes it possible for the wealthiest among us to purchase and control their own political candidates and make sure they are elected. (See:    We have come to a very dangerous place in our history.  If we don't make an effort to return to true democratic principles, we will ALL pay the terrible price of losing our democracy, which is daily being replaced by a plutocracy.  (For more info. re. a plutocracy, go to:

Watch Reich's enlightening interview by Bill Moyers at:

And then please watch the documentary Inequality for All.  It is now on streaming Netflix and can be ordered by disk from Netflix.  It's an eye-opener!  Please pass this message along if you find it helpfully informative.  Thank you.