Sat Oct 13, 2012, 06:19 PM
KoKo (84,711 posts)
"Heist" the Movie is now on "Snag Films" ..if you have ROKU, APPLE TV you can get it Free Limited
Last edited Sat Oct 13, 2012, 08:27 PM - Edit history (1)
to Two Weeks from October 2nd.
I checked my ROKU and I do have SNAG Films and am going to watch it tonight.
Here's the scoop:
HEIST: Who Stole the American Dream? is a feature documentary which investigates the roots of the current economic crisis, and the ongoing assault on working people in the United States. It tells the hidden story of the systemic, multifaceted corporate attack on the middle class that, starting in the 1970s, transformed America's well-regulated economy into a battlefield littered with foreclosed homes, runaway jobs, and broken dreams. The American economy has been eviscerated due to four decades of deregulation, the outsourcing of forty-million manufacturing jobs, and self-serving tax policies that have created a new class of robber barons. Today's news blames Americans' devastated 401(k)'s and collapsed home values on financial earthquakes within the last two years. But HEIST traces these seismic shifts back to their roots in the early 1970s. It shows how large corporations - acting through lobbying organizations like the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - began a political mobilization that would propel the largest transfer of wealth in history. The winners were the wealthiest 1% of our population. The losers were ordinary Americans, whose real income has barely increased since 1973.
Beginning with background on the New Deal, HEIST explores how Franklin Delano Roosevelt's progressive policies were derailed by Ronald Reagan and subsequent presidential administrations, benefiting only the wealthiest investors and CEOs. HEIST exposes the full story: how corporate leaders worked with elected officials of both major political parties to create the largest transfer of wealth in history, looting the economy to create a gap between rich and poor previously seen only in impoverished colonial nations. The film is structured as a political thriller, showing the shift from FDR's New Deal reforms to an ideology where the free market reigns. It reveals the impact of the infamous Powell memo of 1971 entitled "Attack on American Free Enterprise System," which was a call to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for American business to defend its interests against criticisms of unregulated capitalism. The Powell Memo and the 1000 page Mandate for Leadership document published in 1980 by the conservative Heritage Foundation, which were written to promote business interests and deregulation, serve as the starting points of the story to show the roots of the class warfare unleashed by big business, and how wealth in the U.S. was transferred from workers to corporate interests over decades of policy shifts.
HEIST also reveals how corporate right-wingers such as Joseph Coors founded conservative think tanks, like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, that provided intellectual justifications for redistributing wealth upward. Their free market economists insisted that the only way out of the 1970s' crippling 'stagflation' was massive tax cuts for the wealthy, diminished power for unions, and broad deregulation of the economy. After years of constant repetition, this fringe prescription would become economic accepted ‘wisdom.' The film shows how Ronald Reagan's presidency radically reshaped our government, and unraveled our social compact, to match these right-wing prescriptions. Corporate executives took over the very regulatory agencies that had overseen their own industries. Markets were opened to a flood of imports from low-wage countries, decimating U.S. blue-collar jobs and labor unions. Congress enabled a dramatic transfer of wealth, through tax changes, to their wealthy patrons.
As the American manufacturing sector was being outsourced, Wall Street successfully lobbied Congress and successive presidents to drastically deregulate financial institutions and transactions. This fueled the mergers-and-acquisitions boom, leveraged buyouts, risky junk bonds, hedge funds, and exotic 'derivatives' that promised high returns on minimal underlying assets. The film reveals how corporations tore up jobs and communities to show profits that matched Wall Street's new short-term horizons. Meanwhile, secure pensions evaporated, replaced by 401k plans, as middle-class Americans were sold on an illusion of democratized wealth -- a mirage of an ever-rising stock market in which everyone could be a millionaire. The final effort to shift wealth to those who are already rich, was the effort to privatize Social Security by George W. Bush. Though that effort failed, there is again talk of cutting “entitlement” programs.
With clear, fact-driven storytelling, HEIST calls into question the current structure of our economy, examining alternative pathways to economic justice for Americans. HEIST posits that a fair economy requires that those responsible for the economic meltdown be held accountable, that rigorous reforms must be enacted into law, the American people must resist the takeover of our country by large corporations, wealth transfer to the very rich must be reversed, and a new, fair, sustainable local model of economic resilience be accelerated. The film’s protagonists include a roster of characters doing critical work around rethinking the current American economic structure which allows the film to be solution-oriented and a beacon of hope and change for economic justice. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders - a modern hero of the middle class - asks who is going to jail for the misdeeds of Wall Street. Political economist and historian Gar Alperovitz, author of Unjust Desserts, points to the remarkable growth of co-ops and worker-owned companies. Van Jones, former Senior Advisor on Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for the White House Council on Environmental Quality and founder of Rebuild the Dream, talks about the “World War II-level mobilization” needed “to retrofit a nation, to re-power a nation,” to “bail out the people and the planet too.” Former American Airlines CEO Robert Crandall advocates an industrial policy demanding that companies receiving taxpayer bailouts begin making high-speed rail networks and electric vehicles in exchange. Jeff Faux, founding president and distinguished fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and author of The Global Class War, talks about the need to revitalize government, making “public service something that’s respected, that’s paid decently, that people can look up to, because those are the people who are going to have to get us out of here, not just in the next six months, but over the next 20, 30 years.” Interviews with local organizers working for a green, resilient, locally sustainable economy illuminate paths to economic and political reform that can serve all Americans by creating a people-centered government.
HEIST is structured as a political thriller, and the filmmakers effectively weave past and present throughout the film, connecting the dots for audiences who haven’t been exposed to the full story of the American political economy. By revealing the perpetrators in the slide of the U.S. economy into a two class system and the dramatic political wins that began in the 1970s, HEIST is a warning as well as a vision of a new future. The film will be indispensable in bridging the gap between economic experts and ordinary taxpayers, in demanding accountability and building support for economic justice. Viewers will come away from the film feeling that they understand who broke the economy and how, and knowing what is needed to fix it.
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