14
Oct
13

Inequality for All | A documentary film about income inequality, public policy, and economics and features professor Robert Reich.

Inequality for All | A documentary film about income inequality, public policy, and economics and features professor Robert Reich..

“Inequality for All”, featuring former Clinton Secretary of Labor and University of California, Berkeley Professor in Economics, Robert Reich is a great film.

I had written previously on this blog on the same subject in “How Did We Get To Here”, Parts I, II and III, which covered the deterioration of the US economy since 1980. This film covers many of these same points. However, there is nothing easier  and more entertaining than seeing a film that explains these complex things – how we as a great nation went from a manufacturing powerhouse in 1980 to a service country where everybody- men and women, both, have to work two jobs and still barely break the poverty line. This film expertly explains this phenomenon without getting preachy. It only makes perfect sense that the millions of middle class citizens are actually the economic powerhouses of this economy, so why do we keep doing things that keep our middle class down? We need to enhance the “middle out” and not from the “top-on-down” (Trickle-down) form of economics.

There are some interesting statistics raised by the film like the top 400 income earners in the United States makes as much as the lowest one-half of all Americans. That translates to 400 = 158 million people. Another interesting stat (not in this film) says the top 1% own 46% of all global assets. The most surprising fact to me was about the iPhone. As to which country profits most from the iPhone, it wasn’t China that made the most profit (even though the Iphone is assembled there), China only makes 3.6% of the profit. The most profit comes from the component maker-countries: Japan and Germany. Japan makes 28% of the profits for each iPhone sale, Germany a little less.

Robert Reich in "Inequality for All"

Robert Reich in “Inequality for All”

This film indirectly acknowledges outsourcing as a major problem as this is where our manufacturing went. And, also, indirectly, the film says we need to keep jobs within the United States, but boldly states that the United States should keep up with manufacturing like Germany, who have kept up with the advancements in technology by developing trade schools specifically for these newer technologies. Germany has built a recession proof economy and it continues to manufacture 30% of all what its home country needs, compared to the United States which only makes 5% of what our country needs. The United States has thus become totally dependent on China for what it needs.

“Inequality For All” started as a project on Kickstarter, see link. See the movie “inequality For All” at select theaters near you. On the top link which sends you to inequalityforall.com – there is a section on the bottom of the front page that says there will be a Live Twitter Chat on October 15, 2013 10:30 am PT/1:30pm ET and a Google Hangout with Robert Reich on October 16, 2013 6 pm PT/ 9 pm ET. If I get the chance to get on one of these “Chats”, my question to Mr. Reich would be” NAFTA – what did you forsee as the benefit to this treaty? And did you forsee outsourcing of American jobs as a potential problem?

I highly recommend everybody see the film: “Inequality For All”.

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