In one of Michael Moore’s latest posts, entitled “Life Among the 1%“–yes, you read that correctly, he finally admitted to being a member– Michael Moore tells a delightful anecdote about speaking to his community of Flint, Michigan about the sale of his first movie, Roger & Me, to Warner Brothers back in 1989. He lovingly explains how the union men of Flint patted him on the back, as he has “beaten the system.” The system he speaks of is capitalism, and as he sees it, he beat the system by producing a product–a movie– that people have spent their hard earned cash to see.
What needs further analysis is the logic behind his explanation of capitalism, as it is clear that Michael Moore has a radically different interpretation of this system than anyone else.
Moore states that he does “extremely well,” and that this is what drives other people absolutely crazy. He then explains his view of capitalism:
“Capitalism is a system, a pyramid scheme of sorts, that exploits the vast majority so that the few at the top can enrich themselves more. I make my money the old school, honest way by making things.”
Yup, definitely Mr. Moore. Capitalism is merely the system that exploits everybody-because capitalism does not allow people to use their own ideas and products to make themselves rich, to create things that benefit mankind. Nope, the sale of your movie is just the rich exploiting others, as the rich are the only ones that have benefitted from the production of your movie.
What? You say that you made three million dollars as well? Well, that changes everything. So the rich did not exploit your idea, but rather bought your idea and gave you a larger venue where you can be heard, allowing people to freely react to your product, deciding whether they want to expend the capital and time to see your movie. It doesn’t sound like the rich exploiting anyone at all. The “non-rich” who create products definitely cannot become the rich in a capitalistic society, as you said that only the rich get richer-wait, how did you make your money then, Mr. Moore?
Unfortunately, Moore’s logic about capitalism contains many inherent flaws about the understanding of capitalism in America today. People believe that capitalism is the problem, with inflation and unemployment being merely a byproduct of such a system. They believe that this is the rich exploiting the poor for their own gain.
What they don’t see is, as the French economist Claude Frederic Basitat called it, is “that which is not seen.” They do not see that printing your way out of a recession will cause inflation, as the amount of money in circulation increases. They don’t see that every dollar that the government spends is a dollar that could have been spent somewhere else for another purpose. These misconceptions are further propagated by people like Moore, who peddle their ideas that the system and businesses are at fault for the problems we are in, and a socialist system is the way to fix this, without understanding the benefits of a capitalistic system.
And all of this from someone who has used a “corrupt” capitalistic system to become rich beyond his wildest dreams.