Michael Moore - Capitalism

Just watching Moores Capitalism movie
heres a HQ link for anyone interest: http://xtshare.com/toshare.php?Id=19922
It got me thinking, there isnt really any way to solve income inequality, there will always be people who are smarter/more endowed etc, who can accumulate the other peoples wealth.

For fellow econ nerds, no matter where you start off in the edgeworth box with initial endowments, it seems the natural process will always drive the equilibrium towards a corner point.

I dont see this due to an ypolicies or strucutres of society, it seems like its simply an evolutionary type process.

Rant over, enjoy the vid, always enjoy a Moore flick, whether i love or hate it.

Comments (87)

Apr 20, 2010

whatever the form of society, there will be 1% people who'll have all the power:

Capitalism: power = money
socialism: power = high political office

Apr 20, 2010

I watch Moore's movies bc they never fail to disappoint. His standard recipe is:

  1. make a semi-valid point, then poison it with his liberal bias.
  2. leave out or ignore key informational details in his examples.
  3. interview the dumbest/craziest people he can find.

Just a few quick points. When he has the guy explaining what a derivative is and the guy uses the textbook definitiion..it makes it sound complicated, but it's finance lingo and any sophomore business student can tell you what an option is. I don't know anything about cars and if a person starts using more detailed words than engine bloc or fuel line I would have no idea what he was talking about either, does that mean a car is impossibly complicated........no.

Capitalism is an economic system, Democracy is a political system....There is a difference, Moore is a dumbass.

Anyone who says that Capitalism is evil and should be completely destroyed needs a history lesson, but of course Moore is a big supporter of dictators and socialists like Chavez and Castro....I'm amazed Cuba and Venezuela are such dominate world powers and not third world shit holes (no offense to people trying to leave those countries or overthrow the government.....you have my support in both endeavors.)

OP: I agree with your conclusion, but Moore/a Liberal will never agree with you...just as long as they are the ones who say what everyone gets.

Apr 20, 2010
Gekko21:

I watch Moore's movies bc they never fail to disappoint. His standard recipe is:

  1. make a semi-valid point, then poison it with his liberal bias.
  2. leave out or ignore key informational details in his examples.
  3. interview the dumbest/craziest people he can find.

Just a few quick points. When he has the guy explaining what a derivative is and the guy uses the textbook definitiion..it makes it sound complicated, but it's finance lingo and any sophomore business student can tell you what an option is. I don't know anything about cars and if a person starts using more detailed words than engine bloc or fuel line I would have no idea what he was talking about either, does that mean a car is impossibly complicated........no.

Capitalism is an economic system, Democracy is a political system....There is a difference, Moore is a dumbass.

Anyone who says that Capitalism is evil and should be completely destroyed needs a history lesson, but of course Moore is a big supporter of dictators and socialists like Chavez and Castro....I'm amazed Cuba and Venezuela are such dominate world powers and not third world shit holes (no offense to people trying to leave those countries or overthrow the government.....you have my support in both endeavors.)

OP: I agree with your conclusion, but Moore/a Liberal will never agree with you...just as long as they are the ones who say what everyone gets.

Yes any business sophomore can tell you, but the average person on the street wont so you do have to keep that in mind, altho that Lehman guy was shockingly bad at explaining what they are (probs done for the effect).

The extremist nature of the US, whether it be the idiots at FOX/Republicans, or extremely liberal people, is one of the reason I am happy in Europe. In the US, no side will ever adopt an idea from the other even if its a good idea, simply because they cannot stray from those core beliefs.

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Apr 20, 2010
Apr 20, 2010
Convert Your Bond:

For fellow econ nerds, no matter where you start off in the edgeworth box with initial endowments, it seems the natural process will always drive the equilibrium towards a corner point.

I like the Edgeworth box reference. But where's the evidence that we always wide up towards the corner?

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Apr 20, 2010
econ:
Convert Your Bond:

For fellow econ nerds, no matter where you start off in the edgeworth box with initial endowments, it seems the natural process will always drive the equilibrium towards a corner point.

I like the Edgeworth box reference. But where's the evidence that we always wide up towards the corner?

I meant it in terms of a thought process. If two people are in the box and one is more intelligent/greedier then through time and exchanges you will shift towards the corner.

Also if you look at societies throughout time, societies with a normal distribution of wealth arent the norm, the norm is a much more skewed distribution of wealth which you could take as analogous to a more corner point in the edgeworth box.

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Apr 20, 2010

While societies will always have varying levels of relative inequality, the main consideration is the way in which this skewness occurs. Is resource accumulation the result of government-sanctioned extortion (a zero-sum game), or benefits from trade (value added)? Historically, the former has been more prevalent, but one bright point was the set of ideas that emerged from the age of enlightenment.

Apr 20, 2010
Convert Your Bond][quote=econ:

I meant it in terms of a thought process. If two people are in the box and one is more intelligent/greedier then through time and exchanges you will shift towards the corner.

If you literally solve these problems out using general/competitive/Walrasian equilibrium (which is what the Edgeworth box is based-off), I don't think you get those results. I'm pretty sure the equilibrium is independent of greed and intelligence. Unless you're saying people are endowed with intelligence, which is not what that model talks about. It's a model where there's no production, and people are just born with endowments of certain goods. I'm just rambling now, but what I'm really trying to say, is there's nothing that comes out of the Edgeworth box analysis which says we should generally wind up towards the corner.

Apr 20, 2010

I don't think trade, free markets, capitalism leads to inequality. It may seem that smarter or prettier people will always game the less fortunate. But consider Ricardos comparative advantage of free trade - even though one party dominates in every area, both parties prosper and no wealth transfer happens. I think the only reason for getting to the corner of the box is some sort of violent redistribution occuring, be it private or public in nature.

Apr 20, 2010

***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************THAT VIDEO HAS A VIRUS

Apr 20, 2010

Why is inequality wrong? If one works harder and produces more, then why shouldn't they have the right to the fruits of their labor, which may very well exceed those of another individual? In fact, I believe it is morally wrong for those that don't produce or contribute to society to take from those that do (i.e., progressive taxation) based on some arbitrary definition of their "need." We all know there is some disagreement over the value bankers provide to society, so I'll use a doctor as an example. Why should a doctor who's spent 10 years in the hardest schooling imaginable and worked his/her ass off afterward have to help a poor person upgrade his dinner from ramen to chicken or his 13" TV to a 27" TV? Why is that the doctor's responsibility to have his wealth taken from him simply because somebody else believes they have a "need" despite having made no meaningful contributions to society and working only 35 hours per week, instead of the doctor who works 60?

If you truly believe in equality, then we should be sending money to Zimbabwe until its income level is equivalent to ours. What purpose would that solve, other than to make people in the U.S. less productive and teach the Zimbabweans that they don't ever need to work because the U.S. will always help out?

Why would someone bother learn to fish if someone else were to simply give them a fish for free everyday? Why would the fishermen exert the effort to fish beyond their own needs if they weren't able to enjoy the fruits of their labor?

Apr 20, 2010

No one is saying inequality is wrong, just making the assertion how its the natural process.

But you also bring up another point: what constitutes working hard? I wouldnt argue that someone working 60 should be taken away from to provide for the 35 hr a week worker. But what happens when a mother is working 2/3 jobs and still not putting enough food on the table for her family? WOuld you argue she is not working as hard as a banker or doctor?

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Apr 20, 2010

To what extent does intelligence or a good work ethic make you go further in life. Since capitalism has no fixed start date, those who are born first have a greater advantage, since they can raise the barriers to entry for those who come along later. For example, John Rockefeller came along and built up an enormous oil company. Its possible, and highly likely, that someone on this planet today could have built that company to be even more successful than the one that Mr. Rockefeller built. However, because that company already exists today, the barriers to entry are such that nobody today could build an enormous oil company, even if they had greater skills than the original creator.

Of course, our society today is so far from theoretical capitalism it would be a stretch to even call our system capitalism. First, capitalism has the most ridiculous assumption, that of perfect information. Perfect information is absurd. In theory, perfect information means we can estimate the amount of money, time, and expected utility, from every possible decision we have to make. This assumption is so far from reality (although the internet brings us much closer to realizing it) that to have an entire economic system grounded in it means that system will fail from the get go. Secondly, the very existence of corporations are antithesis to free-market capitalism. Free market capitalism assumes individuals and firms act with voluntary cooperation in order to compete for scarce resources. Proprietorships and partnerships are created in this manner. Corporations, on the other hand, must get a charter from the state in order to be founded. A charter basically means "The State deems this corporation the right to exist as an independent entity, and any individual who disagrees will face the threat of physical violence". Basically, corporations are created through force, not through voluntary cooperation. (authors note: I love corporations and capitalism. These are just some things that I've started to question about our system recently)

Apr 20, 2010

Go back to taking econ classes, boys. "I don't think free trade leads to inequality". Specific factors model, anyone? Jones, 1971. Distortions in Factor Markets and the General Equilibrium Model of Production.

As for whether inequality is wrong, I don't know, but I know that John Rawls is the milestone in political philosophy.

Apr 20, 2010

Something that I have thought about recently is the collateral damage involved in economics and capitalism. Its very easy to make policy based off numbers and charts; if the human element was taken into consideration it might not be as easy. So much of the developing world is worse off today than it was 50-100 years ago. Countries are unable to feed themselves. A lot of this has to do with economics, capitalism and free trade. While you can study commodities and pricing and say that it is a good thing that prices are being driven down, what has happens to the nations that have relied on self sustaining agriculture to nourish their people. They have become poorer. These people work harder than investment bankers or doctors, they slave in their fields often with rudimentary tools, and yet can still barely provide for their families. No matter how intelligent or hardworking they are they are born into life destined to fail. If I was still in school I would ask my economics professors to explain this phenom and defend why it is a good system. After living and working in a developing country for the past year I'm beginning to disagree.

Apr 20, 2010
ke18sb:

Something that I have thought about recently is the collateral damage involved in economics and capitalism. Its very easy to make policy based off numbers and charts; if the human element was taken into consideration it might not be as easy. So much of the developing world is worse off today than it was 50-100 years ago. Countries are unable to feed themselves. A lot of this has to do with economics, capitalism and free trade. While you can study commodities and pricing and say that it is a good thing that prices are being driven down, what has happens to the nations that have relied on self sustaining agriculture to nourish their people. They have become poorer. These people work harder than investment bankers or doctors, they slave in their fields often with rudimentary tools, and yet can still barely provide for their families. No matter how intelligent or hardworking they are they are born into life destined to fail. If I was still in school I would ask my economics professors to explain this phenom and defend why it is a good system. After living and working in a developing country for the past year I'm beginning to disagree.

The fact that developed countries can't feed themselves has nothing to do with the existence of free trade. In fact, because there is not free trade and there are massive food subsidies is a primary reason why developing agricultural nations can't sustain themselves/repay their debt with cash craps. In a purely free system, the poorest nations would be producing all of the food for the more advanced nations.

Comparative Advantage is a basic economic concept that invalidates your concerns.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage

Apr 20, 2010

Touche. Although, what I was referring to was the current system rather than the underlying theory. When I was speaking to capitalism and free trade, I was directing my thoughts at whats in place not whats in textbooks. America and other western governments want their cake and eat it too. We provide massive subsidies to our farmers yet we promote capitalism and free trade, thus messing up the whole system.

Apr 21, 2010

Ugh. He can't be serious. Sometimes people just need to call it quits.

~~~~~~~~~~~
CompBanker

Apr 21, 2010

I can't stop staring at the chin(s).

I wonder how much Moore's N/W is after making a few pretty big films, I am willing to be he is'nt at all in the same socioeconomic bracket as his "target audience."

IIRC his N/W is $50 Million +, a bit much to be trying to argue for the average joe.

Apr 21, 2010

Is this video messing up the WSO home page for anyone else?

Apr 20, 2010
spinner:

Is this video messing up the WSO home page for anyone else?

For some reason, I can't adjust the size of the video. I'll keep trying.

The WSO Guide to Understanding TARP

Apr 21, 2010

Edmundo, I'd say our hatred of Moore is one of the few things we can agree on....although I'm uneasy about TARP, I don't have faith in Michael Moore to make an economically sound arguement. That guy is a dishonest populist idiot.

Probably just a lot of one-sided, manipulative bullshit that suggests we give more governments handouts to individuals who haven't the sense to manage it nor the ability to pay it back; my prediction is interviews with a lot of people who've run out of unemployment benefits, a lot of people bitching about the 'work' component of welfare-to-work, maybe some college grads who can't find jobs, approaching financial types on the spot and asking them inane one-sided questions (eg - Maxine Waters' grilling of bank CEOs at previous congressional hearings), and of course, idiot subprime borrowers who've been foreclosed on.

Just out of curiosity - I'd really like to see Moore's investment portfolio and how he finances his films.

Apr 21, 2010

Just b/c he's rich doesn't mean he's not sincere. Rich people can be genuine populists (or socialists), and poor people can and do embrace the ideas undergirding plutocracy. Is there sometimes demagoguery by the wealthy, and false consciousness on the part of the poor? Sure, but absent specific evidence that one or the other is happening, just focus on the ideas. And there's plenty to critique with Moore. I think some of his films are compelling (the health care one was surprisingly good, imho), even if he adds too much pseudo-argument and innuendo to them. I have the same problem with Jon Stewart, though to a lesser extent. I'm generally left-center, I'd just like all people (especially people with whom I feel some ideological sympathy) to make responsible arguments, and Moore often weakens his own case, if not destroys it. But I think he's quite sincere, current wealth notwithstanding. To the extent that he's sincere and still comes across dishonest, I think of him as more of a fool than a liar/demagogue. As a sometimes-fool talking about national politics, he's got plenty of company.

Apr 20, 2010

It's fixed. It shouldn't mess up the home page any more. Sorry.

The WSO Guide to Understanding TARP

Apr 21, 2010

That is the bottom line. We are about to go back to the time when financial types were despised by the general population. Michael Moore will contribute to that trend.

I personally couldn't care less about the general public's opinion, but what bothers me is the unfairness of the hole thing. It's like, the dude who bought a house he couldn't afford and walked out is never mentioned.... oh but he votes, right?

Apr 21, 2010

Here is a question for smart people.

Let's pretend the US Government would not help/bail our/assist any corporation. Bear Stearns, AIG, LB, ML, Citi, GM all go down. What would've happen with the world economy? How low would Dow be?

P.S.: Edmundo, I expect an answer from you :)

Apr 21, 2010
PussInBoots:

Here is a question for smart people.

Let's pretend the US Government would not help/bail our/assist any corporation. Bear Stearns, AIG, LB, ML, Citi, GM all go down. What would've happen with the world economy? How low would Dow be?

P.S.: Edmundo, I expect an answer from you :)

MS would probably have gone down aswell

Apr 21, 2010

I hate that man with all my heart. If someone wants to make an argument that opposes what I believe, that's fine... as long as it is an educated argument with at least a little logic.

Moore is a disgusting human being who attempts to manipulate public opinion through scare tactics and pathetic emotional satire.

And you can bet your ass this movie won't be about the Obama administrations ridiculous spending (they'll still go after Bush) or the people who took out $500,000 loans while making $30,000 a year. It will be about the evil people who work hard and have made a lot of money.

Apr 21, 2010
ARD45:

I hate that man with all my heart. If someone wants to make an argument that opposes what I believe, that's fine... as long as it is an educated argument with at least a little logic.

Moore is a disgusting human being who attempts to manipulate public opinion through scare tactics and pathetic emotional satire.

And you can bet your ass this movie won't be about the Obama administrations ridiculous spending (they'll still go after Bush) or the people who took out $500,000 loans while making $30,000 a year. It will be about the evil people who work hard and have made a lot of money.

There are plenty of people who made a lot of money by essentially being loan sharks, not from "hard work" and ingenuity. Look, people who took loans that they couldn't afford are definitely at fault, but so as the idiot institutions that sold them on the loans and gave loans to people without so much as proof of income.

Moore can certainly be a dumbass and has used some awfully misleading tactics in the past, but to simply put down his new film because you disagree with the side he's taking. Also, he's not necessarily calling the bankers/CEOs evil, but let's be real here...a lot of VERY stupid and VERY greedy things were done. People were blinded by greed on every level, by a feeling of invincibility, and that brought us to this point.

Apr 21, 2010
PussInBoots:

Here is a question for smart people.

Let's pretend the US Government would not help/bail our/assist any corporation. Bear Stearns, AIG, LB, ML, Citi, GM all go down. What would've happen with the world economy? How low would Dow be?

The U.S and major economies would be hit with a severe recession( more severe than this one) where indices would set new lows. However, it will only last for a year or a bit more and the system would be clensed and people would start over. What's happening is only prolonging the recession.

Apr 21, 2010

how is our current situation different than Japan 1990-present? The Japanese people are very well educated, hard working and save a lot. But the banks got wrecked by lending a lot to industrial companies that couldn't pay them back- so you had massive financial institutions (Japanese banks were the largest in the world) with hundreds of billions (USD) of NPLs on the books. And instead of recognizing the problems, and charging off loans, the banks appealed to the government which gave them hundreds of billions to prop them up.

The parallels are eery, and I'm by no means an expert on Japan so someone more knowledgable, please help me out.

And say what you will about Michael Moore, his films are certainly among the most compelling of our times. And I say this as a life long GOPer.

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Apr 21, 2010

I support forcibly taking all of his wealth and re-distributing it.

I am the 99%

Apr 21, 2010

That guys is such a clown. It's unbelievable people listen to him.

Apr 21, 2010

Could anyone be more full of crap than him...?

Apr 21, 2010

It's not even enough for him to join the 'we are the 1% and we support the 99%' movement but he has to even deny his status within the 1%. What a fraud, all-around fraud.

Apr 21, 2010

This is huge news.

Apr 21, 2010

He is just big boneded

Apr 21, 2010

What an insufferable lard.

Regards

Apr 21, 2010

what an asshole

Apr 21, 2010

packaging the anger of the little people and selling it back to them

that's a smart racket. you're all jealous, admit it!

Apr 21, 2010
ivoteforthatguy:

packaging the anger of the little people and selling it back to them

that's a smart racket. you're all jealous, admit it!

He's just a white Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson.

Regards

Apr 21, 2010

CPH dropping knowledge, as usual. Thanks bro!

Apr 21, 2010

Michael Moore is a misguided sh*tbag. I say misguided because he seems to believe (in some twisted manner) that he really has moral superiority, and he is not doing this cynically for the money. He SEEMS, not saying he is.

And I say this as a "moderate".

Apr 21, 2010

Sheila Jackson Lee is insane.

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

Apr 21, 2010

I actually like him. Liked all of his films

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.

Apr 21, 2010

If anybody needed to be A Serbian Filmed, its this guy.

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy

Apr 21, 2010

http://www.detnews.com/article/20111115/OPINION01/...
This guy's a real piece of work. I'm surprised people of Detroit haven't turned against him or occupied his house.

Apr 21, 2010

Who do you think is the "Moore" in Moore Capital Management? Duh

Apr 21, 2010

"Even a broken clock is right twice a day"

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Apr 21, 2010

I pretty much despise Moore, but one thing I'll give the guy is that he doesn't seem to be completely isolated in an urban liberal bubble like the large majority of the MSM.

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Apr 21, 2010

The day after the election I thought Moore must be a brilliant oracle, but now he's predicting that Trump will not make it to inauguration day on January 20 (he will resign first or be prevented by the electoral college or some other legal action). That to me sounds like the most insanely idiotic prediction I've ever heard in my entire life, but if he's correct in that prediction, I will change my political affiliation and bow down to Moore as Messiah.

Apr 21, 2010

Yeah I think he says a lot of crap just so when he's right he can say he proved everyone wrong. I voted for trump but I didn't really believe he was going to win nor did I think HRC would win in a landslide like all of the media had predicted. If trump resigned after a year I wouldn't be shocked given how unbelievable the campaign has been.

Apr 21, 2010

True story:

CLint Eastwood was at a function, and someone asked him what he'd do if Michael Moore came to his home to interview him, as he did to Charleton Heston. Eastwood's response: "I'd kill him." Everyone laughed. Then Eastwood said, "I'm not joking."

Apr 21, 2010

I swear I saw Michael Moore on campus the other day...

Apr 21, 2010

I'm going to contact him, and I'm going to defend capitalism. Who's with me?

Apr 21, 2010
F9 - Update:

I'm going to contact him, and I'm going to defend capitalism. Who's with me?

Unfortunately it's his movie and he'll put whatever he wants on there even if it's taken completely out of context. I'm sure he would get put in his place numerous times during interviews, but he's not going to show that, he's going to show anything that presents financial professionals as evil human beings.

I'm already getting pissed off about the movie this fuckwhit plans to make. He disgusts me.

Apr 21, 2010

great photo

Apr 21, 2010

this movie is going to be full of completely irrelevant and nonsensical comments

can't wait to hear moore explain lbo's

Apr 21, 2010

I'm sure he's inviting main street types to talk about lying on their mortgage applications. He just hasn't posted that email yet.

Apr 21, 2010

he makes money selling suspect information to gullible people and hes going to make a movie about the evils of wall st?

Apr 21, 2010

While I would consider myself to be relatively left of center by US standards, I've probably yet to find someone as intellectually dishonest as Michael Moore. I read an article he wrote about the crisis a few months ago and was shocked to read prose on the verge of full-retardness. As everyone knows, you never go full retard, but the "greatest swindle in American history" and the "greatest detective story ever told" are some of the most idiotic and base hyperboles you could pen to describe the crisis. I really hope Clint Eastwood kills him.

Apr 21, 2010

Personally I think we should sign up that e-mail address up for every spam and neo-Nazi mailing list on the internet

So what do you do?
-I work for an investment banking firm.
Oh okay; you are like my brother, he works for Edward Jones.
-No, a college degree is required in my profession

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Apr 21, 2010
MMBinNC:

Personally I think we should sign up that e-mail address up for every spam and neo-Nazi mailing list on the internet

I like this idea.

Apr 21, 2010

He's an idiot who's been out of his depth since Columbine. Seems like he decides what he's going to say before a movie, and then cherry-picks research to back that up.

Apr 21, 2010
taylorman_23:

He's an idiot who's been out of his depth since Columbine. Seems like he decides what he's going to say before a movie, and then cherry-picks research to back that up.

Yep, this is exactly what he does

Apr 21, 2010

Goodbread, can you post the Michael Moore article discussing the crisis?

Apr 21, 2010

I've been having a terrible time finding that article, not least because there a dozens of new posts everyday on his website.
I think this is what I read:

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.ph...

Apr 21, 2010

dp

Apr 21, 2010

ROFL. Am I the only one who thinks being in finance is so much more badass now that the general public hates us?

Apr 21, 2010
Hephaestus:

ROFL. Am I the only one who thinks being in finance is so much more badass now that the general public hates us?

I think so...

Apr 21, 2010

Michael Moore is a fat piece of shit...I don't know who watches his documentaries, but they need to stop.

Great pic though.

"I don't think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."
-John D. Rockefeller

Apr 21, 2010

http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/22/news/economy/micha...
What a douchebag:

"I started out wanting to explore the premise of capitalism being anti-American, and anti-Jesus, meaning it's not a Democratic economy. And it's not run with a moral or ethical code. But when the crash happened, it added a third plot line: not only is capitalism anti-American and anti-Jesus, it doesn't work." - Michael Moore

Apr 21, 2010
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