Table of Contents
To begin with, the title of the documentary was intentionally created in such a way in order to catch attention of the readers or the YouTube viewers. It is a play of words because the widely known statement should be “equality for all”, but due to the economic problems Americans faced since the financial crisis of 2008, the phrase was changed to reflect the situation that happened (Johnson, 2015). In the aftermath of the financial crisis, ordinary workers and the supposed middle-class in America blocked the streets in protest; this event became known in history as Occupy Wall Street. Later, it turned out that they were right in expressing their anger and frustration, but when the camera shot the whole process, and on the computer screen there where shown income inequalities in 1928 and 2008, the protests made no sense in revealing the root of the problem. However, after Robert Reich visited the researcher who uncovered important information about the situation after studying tax incomes and income data since 1913, it was discovered that the main cause of the problem was the failure of the American economy to address the needs of the middle class earners. Thus, U.S. Labor Secretary Reich warns America's elite to never ignore the growing inequality as manifested by the economic struggles of the country's middle class.
One of the most dramatic revelations in the discussed documentary film was the explanation of how negligence and in some sense oppression of the middle class through heavy taxation, low wages, and weak benefits, can negatively influence the whole economy. To clarify, if the top 10 % of the rich people in America continue to pretend that they do not know about the problems of the middle class Americans, then they can say goodbye to their money and expect their wealth to shrink as well. Such was the outcome of the 2008 financial crisis when rich people lost millions of dollars as many companies went bankrupt.
As mentioned earlier, the key discovery in the documentary was the confession of a multi-millionaire who had a realistic view on his wealth (D'Agostino, 2012; Davis, 2001). The man made the admission that he became very wealthy due to his family's business, which deals with the manufacturing high quality pillows. It was a surprising confession on his part when he said indirectly that even though he was a rich man, he did not have the capacity to buy more pillows.
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As the cameras followed the multi-millionaire when he went to eat in a restaurant that sells noodles, the audience was made to understand through that image and through the narration of Robert Reich that the hundreds of mega-millionaires created by corporate American, in reality do not have the capacity to buy more noodles and other products produced by the companies not because they are not able to buy them, but due to the fact that they cannot consume significant amounts of products since they are few in number (Cullen, 2003; Reich, 2016). This idea was brought home by Robert Reich, a former cabinet member of the Bill Clinton administration, when he said that 70 % of the American economy is being sustained by the consumption of the members of the middle class (Krugman, 2003; Tomasi, 2012). However, the spending capability of the middle class Americans is weakening as they are hit hard by debts, low wages, and inadequate work benefits (Schlosser, 2001; Eecke, 2013). A radical change has to occur in favor of the middle class in order to prevent another occurrence of the financial crisis just like eight years ago.
To summarize, it is important for the top 10% of rich Americans to consider the struggles of the middle class members of the American society. However, there are so many obstacles on the way to attaining this goal. Even if the wealthy commentator that was interviewed in the documentary can convince his fellow mega-millionaires to do the right thing, it does not mean that they can start a revolution. This is a difficult task because corporations operate based on certain rules, according to which the shareholders have the final say on the things that have to be done. However, the shareholders say that the corporations must increase the profitability. According to Reich, corporations follow a simple formula in order to raise the profitability, and it consists in lowering the wages as well as the benefits given out to the workers.
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