Is Michael Moore Lying to You in His New Film?

  • I went to the movie theater...

    Yesterday my MainStreet overlords dispatched me to the liberal, artsy Angelika Film Center in New York to see Michael Moore's latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story. (If this is Moore's idea of a love story, perhaps he should be seeing someone else.) The crowd in the packed theater mostly seemed to enjoy the film; laughter and a series of head nods made me feel as if Moore was preaching to the choir. Despite what you may think of his controversial message (that capitalism is evil, and against Christian values), some see a number of his film's assertions as inaccurate. Here are the most glaring potential errors in the film. The truth is out there, comrades!   Photo Credit: daquellamanera   Join MainStreet on Facebook (you'll like it)
    Assertion: Wall Street Robbed Taxpayers
  • Assertion: Wall Street Robbed Taxpayers

    So at one point in the film, Moore commandeers an empty armored truck and backs it up onto the headquarters of Goldman Sachs (Stock Quote: GS), demanding the investment bank return taxpayers' money -- Moore suggests they put the cash in a bag with a dollar sign emblazoned on it. OK, because that will work.THE FACTS: According to the AP, three months after that scene was shot, Goldman Sachs was one of 10 large banks that repaid in June some $68 billion they received from the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program. Since then, other large financial companies have repaid funds, too, including Chrysler Financial and American Express Co. (Stock Quote: AXP) Still, many large banks haven't repaid the TARP money. Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. each received $45 billion and have yet to repay those funds. Not all of the $700 billion in TARP funds have been disbursed. The total peaked at $425 billion. MOORE'S RESPONSE: "Let's be clear on this. We're not talking about the majority of people who took the money ... not even 10% of the $700 billion has been returned." Photo Credit: Brave New Films   Follow our Twitter feed! (srsly, do it)
    Assertion: Jesus Hates Capitalism
  • Assertion: Jesus Hates Capitalism

    There's a humorous scene where an actor portraying Jesus is about to heal someone, then declines to do so because he doesn't heal those with "pre-existing conditions," he explains. Jesus then tells his followers to go forth and make a profit. THE FACTS: Although Moore interviews a few clergymen, this is hardly damning "proof" that capitalism in all forms is somehow at odds with Christianity. As in other moments of the film, Moore aims to shock and provoke rather than elaborate with details. Photo Credit: striatic
    Assertion: Companies Want Their Workers Dead
  • Assertion: Companies Want Their Workers Dead

    The film claims that many large American corporations take out sleazy life insurance policies on their own employees. If you die earlier than expected, the company makes a load of cash, and your family members get none of it. THE FACTS: According to the AP, Moore highlights an ugly truth about insurance policies that benefit companies, not the employees, when workers die. Wal-Mart (Stock Quote: WMT) is scathed for its use of such "dead peasant" policies. Moore notes how the sudden death of a 26-year-old former Wal-Mart worker resulted in a $81,000 life insurance payout to the retailer. But it's never mentioned in the body of the film that in 2000 the world's largest retailer canceled all 350,000 of these policies it took out on employees between 1993 and 1995. MOORE'S RESPONSE: No misrepresentation here, he says: Wal-Mart's termination of the insurance policies is included in a seven-minute-long presentation of facts and quotes on different issues relating to the movie shown in the closing credits.   Photo Credit: GettysGirl
    Assertion: Money Makes People Do Bad, Bad Things
  • Assertion: Money Makes People Do Bad, Bad Things

    Capitalism: A Love Story opens with security camera footage of various bank heists... I guess the audience is supposed to draw the conclusion that money turns all of us into violent, amoral thieves. This is, of course, manipulative filmmaking at its finest. Moore could have just as easily opened with footage of Bill Gates signing a massive check to a charitable organization... but this would go against his simplistic message that all wealth is bad, scary, and to be avoided by "moral" Americans. Photo Credit: calliope
    Assertion: Capitalism Isn't in the Constitution
  • Assertion: Capitalism Isn't in the Constitution

    There's a scene in the film where Michael Moore visits the original U.S. Constitution and asks a security guard (as if he is a constitutional law expert) where in the document capitalism is mentioned as the appropriate motivation for our great American society. Another manipulative ploy. The Constitution also doesn't say anything about government-funded spaceflight, but we went to the Moon anyway. It doesn't condone the use of mobile phones, yet we have them. To say that something is wrong or un-American simply because it is not written in the Constitution is just childish. Photo Credit: Thorne Enterprises
    Millionaires Who Loved This Movie
  • Millionaires Who Loved This Movie

    Aside from the fact that Michael Moore, a millionaire himself, made this movie, there are a few super-rich people out there who can't stop raving about the film. One prominent millionaire who loved Capitalism: A Love Story is Arianna Huffington, who wrote an interesting post about it. It's ironic, however, that she's built a business with a model that relies on free labor.   Charity starts at home. If capitalism is so evil in its present form, maybe you could be that trailblazer who shows us how an enlightened media company could work?   Photo Credit: cliff1066   Follow our Twitter feed! (srsly, do it)
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