Is this weird? I am reviewing a movie before I have seen it. But this is one that I’ve been curious about for a while.
This is a documentary that talks about how Corporations have become imbedded into our society.
Now, here is what I bring to the movie:
The Corporation is an economic, social and political entity. They are fairly new, not really addressed by the founders of our country, or Marx in Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto. Granted, those books are more than a hundred years old and the world has changed.
We have a different class system now, and different ways of “getting ahead.” We rely less on who we know and who we are related to. Things like “past performance” and “credit rating” have a lot more to do with what our options are.
America relies heavily on corporations to carry the slack for things that other countries have the government do. Traditionally, Corporations give us health care, and retirement. Our history has been one full of “company men” who worked hard for the corporation that would take care of them.
Other countries have governments to do health care and pensions-Socialized medicine and retirement. But American has worked out this other way of fulfilling those functions. We also tax corporations, because they make the most money. More than individuals do, depending.
Now, because the government relies on business corporations to do these social services, the government has to be nice to them. They have to cut them a little slack. It’s like corporations are the sole supporter of a VERY large family of dependents. I’ve often heard the phrase “Government is in the back pocket of Big Business.”
From my perspective, Big business is in the pocket of government too.
I’d like this movie to address how this interdependency came about.
ALSO, RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND, this interdependency is coming unravelled. Corporations are a little more flexible than government. They were carrying a heavy load, what with all the health care and pensions. They’ve been shrugging it off, to a large extent.
There has been a huge rise in the number of contractors. Contractors work for the corporation but are not part of it, and so the corporation is not responsible for their health care and pensions.
And as far as pensions, aka saving for retirement goes, that’s been largely privatized. Remember the stock boom of the late 90s? That wasn’t just a fluke. Corporations and government worked together to come up with a plan for individuals to be responsible for their own pensions (the 401K is an example). The money that corporations had held in reserve to pay for pensions was now free to be distributed to the individuals themselves and invested willy nilly.
And a lot of money disappeared after that. Enron? anything.com? There was money in that. And then there wasn’t. That wasn’t imaginary money . It is money that was lent to these corporations and didn’t return to the investors.
Things were changing. The balance is tipping.
And health care. That’s very complicated…Insurance and HMOs and Pharmacuetical companies (all their own form of corporations) are now offering to other corporations new or less expensive ways of dealing with their health care.
These are also things I hope this documentary addresses. Also, the labor movement (unions and female workers).
I am pretty sure that the documentary will talk about how big business is bad, because all documentaries shown in arty movie houses are lefty democrat. I find it amusing that the lefty types don’t seem to think through some of their political agenda. It’s frustrating to get a blank stare when I ask “and what then?” How can you then rail agains the unthinking masses when you are also unthinking?
Anyway, I hope that in the midst of the lefty political agenda, there will be some actual information and facts that will help me better understand the relationship of the american worker to corporations and government. I’ve been wondering about it, thinking about it for a while. Maybe the movie will give me some answers, or at least some new questions.