Friday, September 25, 2009

Michael Moore on Capitalism and Obama

After 20 Years of Filmmaking on US Injustices, Michael Moore Goes to the Source in “Capitalism: A Love Story”

Democracy Now! (9/24/09)
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And I think that this economic system that we have is an evil system. I truly believe that it is essentially designed to cause harm to people. It’s not an accident that this happens, because capitalism is, in its own way, its own Ponzi scheme. You know, we talk a lot about Bernie Madoff, and I guess he became a nice poster boy and a distraction from the real subject, but, in fact, capitalism, especially capitalism now as we know it, is a pyramid scheme, and it’s set up so that, again, the richest one percent sit on top of the pyramid. Their job is to convince everybody under them in the pyramid, all the worker ants, that they, too, could be at the top of the pyramid someday, when, of course, they know only a few people can sit on top of that pyramid. “If you just sell enough Amway, you can be up here with us.” No, that’s really not how it works. But it has worked for a long time, because a lot of everyday average Americans started believing this, this ruse that they, too, could be rich someday.

And so, I just—I just felt like it was time to just go after this and name it and not be afraid to name it and realize, OK, I know all the names I’m going to be called and, you know, this, that or whatever, and, you know, what I’m going to, you know, be dragged through, but I just—I just am tired—it really is—I am tired of having to dance around this or deal with this symptom of the problem or that calamity caused by capitalism. I mean, I could keep doing this ’til the end of my life, and I don’t think anything is really going to change that much. And I’d like to see change in my lifetime. And so, I made this film to just kind of, you know, go for it and start a discussion and stop these people, who are just blocks from us, who right now are planning today’s moves to make life miserable for millions of Americans and people around the world.

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JUAN GONZALEZ: And the issue of the people who are now dealing with the crisis?

MICHAEL MOORE: Well, you know, the day that President Obama named Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, and actually before that, when he brought Robert Rubin in on the campaign, former head of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, and also Larry Summers—if you don’t know who that is, he’s a very famous feminist from Harvard University. When Obama did this, I thought, OK, you know, instantly, in order just—I do this all the time. In order to sort of prevent myself from sinking into a deep pit of despair, I start, you know, spinning it in my head.

Well, OK, maybe Obama is like me and everybody else: you know, he doesn’t understand derivatives and credit default swaps. So he’s going to the people who helped, you know, create this system. And then I thought, and maybe he’s like my dad. Maybe he’s like, you know, OK, you made this mess, come in here and clean it up. And so, who better to go to than these guys? You know, the large banks, they hire bank robbers, former bank robbers, to advise them on how to prevent bank robberies. And really, again, who better to do that than a bank robber? Well, who better to help fix this mess than the people who helped to create it?

Now, that’s my hope. But as I point out in the film, President Obama received an enormous amount of money from financial institutions, employees of those institutions. And the employees of Goldman Sachs were his number one private contributor, donating almost a million dollars to his campaign.
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AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Michael, before you go, your film before Capitalism: A Love Story was Sicko, and now you see this whole debate. We only—well, we have less than a minute, but your thoughts on the healthcare crisis and debate and where it’s going here?

MICHAEL MOORE: President Obama, the reason why this is failing is because you took a half measure. He only went halfway, this public option. That’s why the base isn’t excited. That’s why there aren’t millions of people out in the streets supporting him. Had he done what he said he was going to do in 2003, when he first started thinking of running for Senate, that we need a single-payer system, like every other Western democracy, you know, I think all of us, everybody, would be out there massively. And it would make the town hall meetings and the teabag stuff look like the Disney Channel. You know, that’s what he would have had. But he can’t get anybody excited with this. He started out with a compromised position. You don’t start out compromising. You may have to compromise somewhere along the line, but you don’t start out that way.

So I hope he goes back and he rethinks this, now that he realizes that all his olive branch, bipartisan thing really wasn’t too accepted by the other side, and they have no intention of ever helping him. And, in fact, they will continue to whip up racism and other things to oppose whatever it is that he wants to do. They don’t care what it is. They’re just completely opposed to it. So, hopefully, I think he’s understood that at this point. And he’s got to go back to being that person who was raised by a single mother, from the working class, graduates from Harvard, goes to work in the inner city. That’s the Barack Obama we need to see right now.

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