Michael Moor’s interpretation of capitalism sets the negative undertone and direction the film is going to take right from the beginning. “Giving and taking, but mostly taking” is Michael Moor’s interpretation of capitalism. He implies that capitalism is a process in which someone will take advantage of someone else. Moore then Interviewed a “condo vulture”, where he explains how he takes advantage of others misfortunes to make a profit. Wood also expresses this pollen In his article. “Capitalism is increasingly likely to bring dispossession and destruction without material benefits, at least for the vast majority’ (Wood 1998).
This is a perfect example of how Wood and Michael Moore share the same belief on capitalism. The “condo vulture” buys foreclosed homes and then sells them to make a profit. The dispossession of a home and the misfortune of someone to be evicted from their home Is what the “condo vultures” feed on. This Is an example of how Michael Moor’s and Wood’s belief on capitalism has come to life. Capitalizing on the misfortunes of others for a personal gain. The film introduces a Juvenile detention centre in Pittston Township, Pennsylvania.
It was a public corporation that ran off of the tax payer’s money. A man named Robert Powell bought the detention centre in 2003. He changed it to a private corporation and renamed It “PA Child Care”. After nine months of running his new business, he was caught paying Judges Michael coachman and Mark Collateral 2. 6 million dollars to decide that no matter what the severity of the case is, they had to find all the juveniles guilty. They would then keep the Juveniles in detention longer then they should, so they can get more tax payers money to fund the corporation.
This example In the film exemplified a theory that we have read in the Sorter reading. Corporations have emerged as the dominate Governance Institutions on the planet. Increasingly It Is the corporate Interests more than the human Interests that define the policy agendas of states” (Sorter 1995). PA Child care again took advantage of the American people. As Sorter has said, the corporate interest was greater than the human interest. Robert Powell was focused on profit and didn’t care about how his actions were illegal or that he was taking advantage of people.
And this scandal happened The film laid the blame on the Reagan Administration for the legal changes made that gave great power to corporations. Michael Moore shows how Reagan gave power to these corporations through new laws he passed while in office. He started by having the owner of Merrill Lynch as his treasury. This was an example of how corporations started to politically influence laws. He got rid of the auto industry and laid off workers. Reagan hated unions, wages didn’t increase and the corporate tax rates were cut in half.
We now start to see a shift to a more Neo- Liberalism’s ways. These changes are similar to what Mace had pointed out in his article. “Ronald Reagan as president in 1980 ushered in a concerted and highly successful effort to roll back the lock on the social and economic reforms that had created the broadly based prosperity that made America the new of the world and to create a global economy that was more responsive to U. S. Corporate interests (Mace 2003)”. The Reagan administration shifted the Anti- Trust policy. This now allows corporations to merge or buy each other out.
Courts developed doctrines that allowed corporations to block state laws and taxes. Environmental labor rules weakened. All of these laws being lifted have helped corporations to be as powerful and politically influential as they are today. Both Michael Moore and Mace blame the Reagan administration for the rise of corporate dominance. The new laws that the Reagan administration introduced the beginning of companies merging together to create massive companies,therefore profits. One of our first readings in this course was “Global Shift” by Peter Dickens.
In the reading, Dickens talks about Transnational Corporations or “Tan’s”. He describes Tan’s as “capitalist enterprises with a drive for profit” (Dickens). Dickens describes corporations as having a motivation to engage in TNT operations. He gives two separate motivations, one Ewing market orientation. Market orientation is “obvious attractions to a specific market due to the size” (Dickens). Corporations makes specific decisions based on market size because if the market is large enough there is a higher chance to generate profit.
This idea brought up by Dickens resembles a part in the film when Michael Moore discusses the merger between Citron and Travelers Group, creating Citreous. Both Citron and Travelers Group were giants in the financial services market. Each had massive share of the market and made large amounts of profit based on their market share. The merger between these two giants shows that Dickens’ theory about a corporation’s motivation for market orientation occurs in real life. These two corporations recognized the potential for if they combined their market share.
Combining market share could potentially create somewhat of a monopoly for Citreous, eliminating competition and giving Citreous large amounts of power and influence in the financial services market. Michael Moore was trying to show this through his film by mentioning this merger. He believes corporations are being given too much power and control. Citreous, being close to a monopoly, has the power and influence to make decisions in the financial services market that would cater to their needs and neglect the needs of other brought up by Sorter.
Sorter discusses the merger of J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. Both Morgan and Rockefeller realized that the competitive battles between them were reducing their profits. Both decided to merge and consolidate their power to gain larger market share which in turn eliminated competition. “J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller Joined forces in 1901 to amalgamate 112 corporate aristocrats, combining $22. 2 billion in assets under the Northern Securities Corporation of New Jersey’ (Sorter).
Sorter describes the result of this merger as “the heart of the American economy had been put under one roof, from banking and steel to railroads, urban transit, communications, the merchant marine, insurance, electric utilities, rubber, paper, sugar refining, copper, and assorted other mainstays of the industrial infrastructure” (Sorter, D. 1995). Capitalism gives these corporations a platform to engage in actions like market orientation and formations of monopolies which allows corporations to gain far too much power and influence.
The problem with monopolies is that they set the market price. This would be ineffectual to society as we would be taken advantage of and not have much individual say on how policies should be changed. Both Moore and Sorter used mergers as an example to show how powerful these corporations can be. In conclusion, I found that the examples Moore brought up in the film were directly relevant to the readings we have read in class. The readings gave a theory on the dangers of corporations, and the film showed real life examples of these theories.
I believe that there should be more regulations put in place to prevent these events from happening. It can only get worse in the future once corporations become larger and continue to buy out competition. Society doesn’t benefit from corporations laying off workers Just to gain more profit. Corporate interest is slowly becoming greater than human interest and will only get worse in the future. What helped me come to a conclusion was what I have learned from course came to life in Michael Moor’s documentary. It was a real eye opener and policies need to be changed.
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