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The Daily Walk of Shame: Michael Moore

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"Don't make any more movies."
-- A Wall Street professional in response to Michael Moore's ambush-style solicitation for suggestions.

I won't go quite that far, but after wasting 120 minutes of my weekend on Moore's new documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story, I certainly sympathize with the sentiments.

Traditionally, I've tolerated his carefully chosen "evidence" and faulty leaps of logic because I've found him thought-provoking.

No longer.

I'm tired of everyman Michael Moore, replete with ballcap and Mom jeans, accosting various corporate headquarters with a bullhorn full of shocking demands. Putting crime scene tape around AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) and other bailed-out companies was clever, but Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) conspiracy theories, politicians' participation in Countrywide's "Friends of Angelo" mortgage program, General Motors' problems, and the concept of a financial coup d'etat have all been done before ... and better.

The rest of the movie is just a series of tangential anecdotal evidence about the perils of capitalism:

  • Companies, including Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) and numerous banks, taking out "dead peasant" policies that pay out when rank-and-file employees die.
  • People facing foreclosure ... including one scene in which the bank paid a family $1,000 to get their house ready for sale.
  • Kids sent to a juvenile detention center on trumped-up charges because a judge was getting kickbacks from the private detention center.
  • Airline pilots getting crappy pay.
  • The thoughts of this dude from The Princess Bride ... he is apparently a "Friend of Michael."

Some scenes are heart-wrenching. Some made me angry. But few make any sense. At least not as an indictment of capitalism.

Moore plays on our emotions to hide his lack of rationality. In a country with 300 million stories to be told, it's easy to pick out a few that show the ugly side of capitalism. He asserts that the U.S. should take care of all its people by redistributing wealth. He goes on to voice support for Franklin Roosevelt's concept of a "Second Bill of Rights," which basically says we have the right to live in a utopia where the security, health, and prosperity we all strive for as humans is guaranteed.

In Moore's mind, we live in the richest country on earth, so everyone should be taken care of. What he fails to grasp is that capitalism is the main reason we have our riches. He also fails to grasp any concept of personal responsibility. Capitalism is a man-made system, so there are plenty of problems -- and we must strive to fix them. But a nanny state with no incentives or personal responsibility is not the answer ... it's a bigger problem.

So, here's hoping that Moore takes an introductory econ course and audits a logic class or two. Then we can talk about his next movie.

What do you think? Want to sound off on Michael Moore? Have you seen Capitalism: A Love Story? Post a comment below to share your thoughts.

Anand Chokkavelu would have seen Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs instead, but it was too grounded in reality for his weekend tastes. He doesn't own shares of any company mentioned. Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (121) | Recommend This Article (178)

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  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 3:41 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. If we should ever meet lunch is on me.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 3:43 PM, cmfhousel wrote:

    Someone noted that the family being evicted in the opening scene had lived in the house for 41 years … which raises the question: Why wasn't the home paid off yet? I suppose they could have been one of the very, very, few with a 50-year mortgage, but mostly likely it was because they used their home as a HELOC cash machine during the boom years. Two sides to every story.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 3:54 PM, mikejw wrote:

    All the people who were buying houses that were past their income and riding around in leased Mercedes/BMWs now have to pay the price for their excesses.

    I think Mr. Moore has made a pretty penny off of all his movies and if he felt so bad for the victims of capitalism, maybe he should open his own wallet and donate all his profits to charities that feed the homeless.

    I lived modestly and frugally so I hope to buy a nice house in the near future. A lot of Americans are still holding onto the dream that their house is still worth $$$$$ when in fact that price will be falling and I will be waiting.

    See you in four years with a nice credit record, 20 percent down, and a ear to ear smile.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 3:55 PM, TMFEditorsDesk wrote:


    I'll take a drink instead...after watching the movie, it appears lunches are now free.


    Oh yes, great point! I had forgotten about that...seemed odd to me, too.

    -Anand (TMFBomb)

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 4:13 PM, bloodhoundgrl wrote:

    From an answer I posted this morning to my Unitarian Church's chat list:

    agree that unregulated banking and investing has done us a lot of harm, I still believe in a moral capitalism. Capitalism started because people were tired of the state regulating their ability to make a living. What about all those small, local business people engaged in capitalism? And at the opposite end of the spectrum, people like Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet, whose foundations have joined to do more good in the world than most governments have even tried to do.

    I'm really disappointed that MM is using people's fear of poverty to insist that all capitalism is evil. But I guess the gray area, where most truth lies, simply wouldn't make a good movie.

    And in linking his points to people's religious faith, he's adopted the tactic that right-wing preachers have been doing to support the Republicans for years, saying that the "other side" is morally corrupt from a religious point of view. I'm not saying it can't be true, just pointing out that this tactic has been used against liberals for so long, it's ironic that this is the tactic he chose.

    Yes, some people have abused capitalism and the Republican party deregulated a lot of practices to benefit the wealthiest. But capitalism allows the autonomy of those with ambition to do well, whether it's buying and selling securities or crafting musical instruments or selling their own produce or inventing new ways of doing things.

    Socialist approaches to social welfare issues, like health care, can exist side by side with well-regulated capitalist business practices. Other countries have done it, why can't we? Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I am a liberal, democratic, feminist, Unitarian, capitalist and none of the those terms exclude the others. Saying all capitalism is evil is the easy way out.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 4:19 PM, catoismymotor wrote:


    I'm going to buy you lunch when I buy Anand his drink. That was well said.


  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 4:24 PM, Seano67 wrote:

    "I think Mr. Moore has made a pretty penny off of all his movies and if he felt so bad for the victims of capitalism, maybe he should open his own wallet and donate all his profits to charities that feed the homeless."

    I agree. I find it highly ironic that Mr. Moore decries the very system which made him so rich.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 4:40 PM, outoffocus wrote:

    This is the best anti - Capitalism - A love story blog I've seen so far. As soon as I saw the trailer I knew this movie was total crap. Seeing his interviews on various talk shows further confirmed my assertion. The irony of his movie is that the issues that he points out in his movie were caused by his solution to the problem, government intervention. I mean if hes going to make a movie about capitalism, he should at least take the time out to look up the word in a dictionary.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 4:43 PM, jwiest wrote:

    Seems a good number here, and the OP, are missing the point. Capitalism is a great workhorse: put it in reins, strap it to a plow, and it is capable of great service to humanity. Worshiping the horse, and letting it run wild all over the field does nobody any good.

    As for "moral capitalism": certainly capitalists may be moral, but those who aren't do so much damage, the rest of us are well-served by protections against them. You will never convince those who've suffered at the hands of immoral capitalists that they can afford to let such protections wane.

    Last point: if capitalism is responsible for our great wealth, how come we're only 13th on the Quality of Life index? Big failure there. All the other nations ahead of us are capitalist as well, they just aren't afraid to use the reins on the workhorse.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 4:46 PM, GCshipbuilder wrote:

    I agree, but find it a little odd that an intelligent person would spend hard earned money to support Moore's idiocy. Let us not forget that it is capitalism that allows this idiot to make profit off of his movies. It is also the bad judgment of others that allow him to continue to make his money by purchasing seemingly harmless tickets. Shame on the few of you who watched the nonsense.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 4:48 PM, weestlink22joj wrote:

    You mistake Michael Moore as a serious journalist, instead of what is very clearly is: an alleged entertainer. Same with Rush Limbaugh and just about everyone on the Fox Network. Please keep it real.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 4:50 PM, spokanimal wrote:

    Something I heard recently:

    Capitalism is like sex. It's a beautiful thing that is an intetral part of what makes for beautiful relationships. But like capitalism, it can be abused... and it can be dirty, unless it's practiced within certain, moral guidelines (or, in the case of capitalism, within certain regulatory guidelines).

    Conversely, socialism is like a requirement of sexual abstainence. Like people who, in some or all industries, can work only for the state, having everyone walking around in burkas may prevent corruption and may prevent unwanted pregnancies, but it's otherwise overkill that removes so much of what life can be.

    That's why I always view Michael Moore wearing a burka.


  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 4:54 PM, outoffocus wrote:

    jwiest wrote:

    ~As for "moral capitalism": certainly capitalists may be moral, but those who aren't do so much damage, the rest of us are well-served by protections against them. You will never convince those who've suffered at the hands of immoral capitalists that they can afford to let such protections wane.~

    What happend over the last 10 years was not true capitalism. It was wanton greed and manipulation caused by government and corporations being in bed with each other. What happened when the whole party blew up? The politicians and corporations continued to be in bed with each other. In a healthy capitalistic society, innovation, competition, and efficiency is rewarded. Bad business practices are discouraged through regulation and BANKRUPTCY. Also, the government is independent from corporate interests. Now ask yourself, is that what transpired over the last 10 years?

    Yes we fell to 13 on the quality of life index but we used to be in the top 10. If we want to return to that we have to return to the virtues that brought about our success in the first place. That includes encouraging good businesses to prosper and allowing bad businesses (especially the ones that are a cancer to our society) to fail. That excludes looking after corporations at the expense of the little guy.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 5:01 PM, Joelshann wrote:

    "Meanwhile, we have plenty of people here, including my stepson's mother, who die every day for complete lack of insurance"

    With due respect to and sorrow at the loss of your stepson's mother... .

    Diseases, drunk drivers, and poor eating, drinking, smoking (and general lifestyle) habits; tsunamis, earthquakes, automobiles, airplanes, gravity, and carelessness can all contriubte to killing someone.

    Nobody ever died from "lack of insurance." Saving lives and preventing death are two distinct (but often confused) realities.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 5:15 PM, casahanson1 wrote:

    Capitalism: An economic and political system characterized by a free market for goods and services and private control of production consumption at the expense of others. Profiteering: To make excessive profits on goods in short supply.

    Synonyms: Corruption

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 5:22 PM, kedo76 wrote: we think Moore is full of B.S., but everyone loved Fahrenheit 9/11? That movie was well accepted; we all agree that Bush is an idiot and the Iraq war a mistake but "Capitalism" is complete crude? Amazing how he goes from movie making folk hero to imbecile with back to back movies. Please tell me that this at least makes you question all of his movies.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 5:29 PM, Kip20 wrote:

    I've always found Michael Moore to be a hypocrite. This movie of his even further exemplifies his hypocrisy. The only thing that Michael Moore cares about is how much money is in his own wallet. If Michael Moore truly adhered to what he preached, I think that he should donate all of the proceeds from this movie to the poor and disenfranchised. Capitalism is what has made us into the world's greatest superpower, not being a welfare state. Everyone should read Ayn Rand's book, 'Atlas Shrugged' and be thankful for the system that we have now, as opposed to socialism or economic Fascism.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 5:32 PM, booyahh wrote:

    Nobody ever died from "lack of insurance."

    Huh? If you have ball cancer, and treating it costs 300k, and if you don't have 300k, well then you can die. Unless you have an insurance policy that cover the treatment for aforementioned ball cancer.

    So yes, people in the U.S. die frequenty due to lack of insurance, from various illnesses, not just ball cancer.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 5:32 PM, lclbnds879 wrote:

    All I can say is that AIG, Citigroup, Chase, and all of the other wall street criminals should have not gotten a bailout. They should have been allowed to fail and if need be have the CEOs put in jail for theft. Don't blame Michael Moore for putting into movie form what should be on the news every day; but will not be shown because the media is owned by the same criminals or their friends. I don't like Michael's bleeding heart mentality anymore then the rest of the people on this posting, but why blame the messenger for spreading the trugh. By next year; Gold = $1,500 Silver = $30.00 all because of a dollar that will be dead soon.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 5:33 PM, TMFSpeck wrote:

    You opine that Mr. Moore "fails to grasp" all the wonders of capitalism, that he's just perpetuating a "nanny state".

    While I don't disagree that capitalism isn't necessarily evil, those opinions, along with your protests that not enough Americans are taking "personal responsibility" ring a bit hollow given our current state of affairs: multi-million dollar bonuses to corporate execs who stood by while their companies went down the tubes, record profits for drug companies and insurance providers while tens of millions go without decent health care, and the greed and avarice of a few throwing millions into the unemployment line.

    That is the dark side of capitalism that I think Mr. Moore is trying to illuminate. To toss his efforts off as an irrational and illogical diatribe in the face of such events misses, I think, the larger point and sets us up to make the same monumental mistakes over and over again, mostly at the expense of those with too little power to do anything to stop it.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 5:36 PM, canbegreat wrote:

    Yes, after understanding MM's objective and truly trying to realize why his work has irritated and inspired the unknowing to rant and rage. It brings me great pleasure to understand the real problem in this American nation. They do not get it and will not get it as they have limited knowledge of the effects of their own actions. Only after they have lost all that they have will they understand the values of boundaries and or regulations needed in human survival.

    It is easy to blame. It is easy to not be involved in a solution. It is easy to only concern yourself with only your own motives.

    That is why the system that stands today is doomed to fail as not many sacrifice their resources for the better public good but for their self satisfaction.

    The scariest point to this is that few truly understand the caring ability needed for us to survive in this selfish country.

    What have you done to help correct the devastation of today? Or did you just monopolize on it?

    MM is only trying to get the word out. He is doing his part. Are you hearing his message or are you just coming up with your delusions to ignore it?

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 5:44 PM, Aneirin wrote:

    I completely agree with jwiest. Capitalism fundamentally is a good system, but needs regulations to keep it in check. The best system is neither laissez-faire nor complete statism; it is in the middle. There can be a system with welfare and regulations which preserves personal responsibility and incentives to do better.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 6:02 PM, 1bankerHater wrote:

    hes only scratching the surface of a broader problem capitalism only works with high moral standerds.

    every one says if i want to i can make billions! then i can be like every other capitalist and put my profit margins before the welfare of my employees, i mean 6% profit isnt good enough that only makes me 9bill a year but if i lower there wages and dump there health care then i can increase it to 8.2! wont myshareholders be happy! and they never even met my employees so they wont care if they hafta go bankrupt to pay for treatment of lets say a heart attack. OMG i have a better idea i can fire em all and move the whole manufacturing sector to indonesia! BOOM profits just hit 9.5% now i can bank 11bill a year! and still pay some fat dividends to my investors! i mean who cares if mrs smith cant feed her kids anymore she was alwasy ontime she,ll bounce back. i mean i only sighn her paychecks how does that make me responsible? she worked for me for 14years but damn i need that 11bill in the bank. course i could just give everyone health care and raises, lemme think abut it 2bill extra spread over 1600 employees thats 1.25 mill? so after there annual health care costs of 8200.00 that leaves1,241,800 per year per employee. damn i could even throw in free childcare and still make em all millionaires , i mean they have worked hard to make me a billionaire

    i remember when i started out how tuff it was, i would have the happiest employees ever and there production would go up and eventually make me more money. i could even hire more people and offer more payed time off to increase production.

    PFFF there FIRED indonesia has no labor laws i can beat em into production there , i mean human life only means so much to me and it aint more than 2% i,ll tell you that

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 6:05 PM, sgordonson wrote:

    Insurance... hmmm isn't that concept a product of capitalism in the first place?

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 6:14 PM, 1bankerHater wrote:

    insurance. yeah cant imagine wtf they were thinking back then, glad were all dumping it now we can drop from 37 in the world to 57 by next year in france england and canada its FREE imagine that bet there loseing money hand over fist, oh wait there country paysforit. well we still have better margins POWER TO few who can actually afford it ( dont tell anyone me and my CEO,s got the best)

    cant afford to get sick you know

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 6:17 PM, desertjedi wrote:

    Anand, when I saw your post's title on the Fool Home page, my initial reaction was, "here we go, the typical conservative nutjob reaction to Michael Moore". But after reading your entire post, I completely dropped that thought. I think it was well thought out and expressed.

    It did seem that MM was, in effect, trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Even so, I think there is a great value to MM's movie. Value that is lost if we simply subscribe to your post. And that value is simply how far off the rails capitalism in this country has gone. And just how dangerous to our country that situation has become.

    I think it's a fair assessment that our government is completely owned by big money. And what I find quite fitting and infinitely ominous were the memos from Citicorp to its shareholders basically stating that "soon, the entire planet will belong to Citicorp!....[insert sinister laughter or a Borg stating that resistance is futile, you will be assimilated]. Obviously not an exact quote but if you saw the movie you know the part I'm referring to.

    I simply don't think most people understand how bad and how vulnerable we are at this moment as a country.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 6:26 PM, cjd11 wrote:

    What I don't understand is why capitalism is viewed as an end stage system, as the peak of economic evolution, even though we've seen (and some have profited, while many have suffered) through it's wild boom and bust, bull and bear cycles.

    Unchecked capitalism as we have seen it, such as Wall Street cheering when stock prices go up b/c a company "reduces expenses" by laying off 15,000 workers, opening up a plant in Mexico, and giving the CEO a raise is not good for America.

    The idea of capitalism is that you should benefit from taking a big risk, and bear the burden of responsibility should your risk fail to pay off. Lately, the CEOs, VPs, and members of multi-leveled corporate bureaucracies don't -actually- bear any burden of risk, because no matter what, by virtue of having their jobs, they will get a huge golden parachute, regardless of whether or not they drive a company and its shareholders into the ground. That wrinkle is unique to America (although corruption certainly isn't), and it is disastrous for its business.

    Capitalism as a system needs to evolve. Originally, the idea was strike out with an invention or an idea and create a company that would grow wealth for you, and generated wealth when you hired new employees bought supplies. Today, it is far easier to create wealth without generating it for other people and contributing to the economy and country as a whole (hellooo day trading).

    Computers, increasing technology, and the outsourcing of manufacturing means that more work can be done with fewer and fewer jobs, again creating great wealth for some, but creating fewer job opportunities. Additionally, economies of scale and the power of large companies like Best Buy, Home Depot, and Walmart, make it harder for individuals to start their own businesses and compete.

    I haven't seen the new MM movie, and I'm not really a fan of his, but I imagine the point of his movie is that Capitalism, as currently seen in our country (particularly in the last few years) is not a sustainable economic system and this is likely to be more the case, not less, in the coming years when we'll have a population that continues to explode across the globe. It's very likely that 10% unemployment will be the norm, not the exception, some years down the road, unless the system takes the next step and evolves.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 6:27 PM, wjbraun wrote:

    I'm buying the next lunch! Moore has a very simplistic approach that does not begin to reach the thinking person. Playing to the crowd does not make Mike Moore the intellectual giant he thinks he is....It's makes him Mikey from the cereal box! He can market optics, but that's about it. How can he hate capitalism, when it is capitalism that lines his pockets?

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 6:35 PM, CupOJoe wrote:

    I thought anti-capitalists were those who refused to use proper punctuation and grammar in email and text messaging.

    What gives?


  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 6:36 PM, sevenofseven wrote:

    ball cancer?

    And without self interest, there would be no wealth creation or capitalism to begin with. Do I have self interest? Damn right I do - to take care of me and my family. Wanting a better life for me and my family is not morally wrong, and takes nothing from anyone else, unless I am stealing. As for sacrificing my resources, that is between me and my God. If I haven't done enough in this life, I'll be judged on it.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 6:46 PM, CMFStan8331 wrote:

    I think I'm a little bit in love with bloodhoundgrl. :-)

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 7:06 PM, ChannelDunlap wrote:

    I hate capitalism. I despise my corporate masters and the slavery I was born into.

    God I wish I was kidding, or making some satirical comment about Michael Moore's movie (which I have yet to see), but those really are my words. A little unfiltered, but they accurately represent my feelings on the subject.

    Capitalism has gotten us CEOs pulling down hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses, delegating the real work to people who are struggling to get by. Capitalism has given us banks large enough to bring down our economy with their imaginary investments. Capitalism has given us a wealth unbalance unlike anything we have ever seen. Capitalism has given us being like Walmart, AIG, Goldman Sachs, and Enron.

    And the only feasable alternative has been vilified by our government for half a century. Nobody can even entertain the idea that socialism might not be such a terrible idea because of this decades long witchhunt we've been on.

    So yeah, go Michael Moore. While I'm sure this movie has as much truth as fiction, much like all his others, at least he had the balls to stand up and speak his wildly unpopular opinion.

    Oh. This is usually where somebody chimes in about how I display this clear envy of those with a high "class" than I have. This may or may not be true. The corporate overlords have more control over my life than I do at this point, so I would go with "extreme disliking" over envy, but yeah it's more or less there, whatever you want to call it.

    I guess I'd just like to see a world more focused on cooperation than competition. We are all people sharing this Earth. Being so concerned with having more than each other is counter productive.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 7:21 PM, esxokm wrote:

    The problem, Anand, is that shareholders have been so abused by executives that any flagrant claims by Mr. Moore, if they help to swing the pendulum back toward an equilibrium point, are, quite frankly, welcome.

    I am not an anti-capatilist. Far, far from it! But I am annoyed by CEO compensation packages, CFO compensation packages,...CxO compensation packages.

    Simply put, if I am willing to absorb the supply of risk in the market (i.e., buy equities), then I should be as overcompensated as possible. I shouldn't have to worry about dilutive option grants and pensions that pay former execs $50,000 per month. I want the extra 1/2 cent per share in my dividend check.

    Mr. Moore would probably disagree with me, but that's okay. I hope he continues to make people angry. And, hopefully, shareholders will finally wake up and realize that they are the ones who deserve to be greedy, not the connected few who network their way to the top...

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 7:23 PM, DancesWithDogs wrote:

    It's great fun listening to those of you who were born with the wherewithall to be all you can be (perhaps in Afghanistan?). More of us spent eight tenths of the last decade avoiding the nausea-inducing pitching of our great ship of state under the incompetent hand of a skipper chosen by the highest (and they probably were at the time to chose him) court in the land.

    I just lived through the Cheney administration and you guys begrudge me simple first-amendment protected political satire? As a great political philosopher, and attendee of the London School of Economics said:

    1) "You can't always get what you want". and

    2) "If you can't take a joke, f**k you".

    And Anand, I'm tolerating you.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 7:51 PM, TMFPhillyDot wrote:


    This is the most predictable negative comment given when one has nothing else productive to say. First of all, Michael Moore does "open up his wallet" and give to charity. He supports several organizations that have to do with orphans, poverty, AIDS, and weapons reduction. Did you look anything up before you posted a comment? But even more importantly -- he gives his time. Whether you agree with him or not, unless your a multi-billionaire like Bill Gates, there is nothing more valuable that someone can give besides their time. Also, your comment about him decrying the system that made him so rich is baseless and unoriginal. Anyone who has studied history knows that there is nothing more American than dissent. How do you think the United States of America was created?

    Now, to the article: as a fan of Moore's movies, I definitely thought this was his worst. I agree with Anand's critique that the movie seemed random and that the stories felt arbitrary. When I left the theater the first thing I thought was that it seemed uneven. Considering the massive economic collapse of the past year and the many misunderstandings about capitalism, socialism, and democracy, he could have done a much better job identifying actual issues. This, I thought, was his biggest failure. All things aside, I couldn't agree with you more from a cinematic perspective.

    However, making fun of his baseball cap, his rugged jeans, his bullhorn tactics, well, that seems pretty easy and populist as well. Moore is who he is -- he doesn't claim to be an objective journalist. He is a film producer, and he projects his opinions in an in-your-face style. You tend to like him or hate him.

    Either way, I am surprised at so many of the comments putting him down for trying to produce a movie that could possibly connect with the non-1% of American's that make up 90% of our wealth.

    There's nothing wrong with capitalism. But capitalism without discretion can be an ugly religion (Shepherd Fairey).

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 8:03 PM, 1bankerHater wrote:

    But a nanny state with no incentives or personal responsibility ... i like the last part , lets see if i make a bad investment and it doesnt turn out i go bankrupt , now if they doit we bail em out the whole system is based on fraud, the good responsible banks should make it while the ones who make bad decisions fail . and the good guys take all there customers and they prosper thats capitalism not the omg ive got millions tied up in there i should bail em out! here take taxpayer money quick! this crap started when the banks realized there was no ISM without them they finally have the usa in a strangle hold and they knowit there going for the cash plain and simple and they know there gonna fail but who cares they get bailed out every time theres even a glich they might tank so now i hafta repay my debts to a bank i just gave 30bill n tax money to i hope next time its to late i hope they all tank and the doller drops under pesos ,riots, mass suicide give em all u got cause that is the onlyway anyones gonna change anything when the epic failure of this force fed lie bites em in the arse, capitalism only works for 1% of the population the other 99% are led like sheep to the slaughter right in to the slaughter house aka BofA,AIG,JPM Etc

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 8:22 PM, GCshipbuilder wrote:

    Simply because America was created by dissent doesn't make anarchy a productive way forward. The guy has nothing productive to say. He finds a few people to represent his views for his films knowing full well that they are a minority and do not represent the masses. I despise the notion that dissent is american. That is an ignorant. FYI charities are meant to help people providing products or services to the needy, since when is providing time going to reduce arms, AIDS, poverty, etc? Nevertheless, the point is, if Mikey hated capitalism as he pretends that he does, then he should be giving ALL of his money back to the poor charities that he pretends he cares about. Simply being wealthy by making films makes him a hypocrite, period.

    For kedo76. Not everyone loved Fahrenheit 9/11, nor does everyone think Bush is an idiot, nor does everyone think Iraq was a bad idea. What box do you live you? You watch too much MSNBC and CNN. The only problem with the IRAQ war was that we should have flattened the country entirely rather than losing even a single life on our side. There was no need to engage in urban combat. Afghanistan the same. Only when this country realizes that Muslim extremists are a threat to all of humanity will we begin to secure our future. Just like Japan, this time no regrets.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 9:50 PM, RAIDERFAN77 wrote:

    Here, here, Anand Chokkavelu!!!! I suspected that it would be this much. You commentary in this review is (sadly) all too rare.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 9:52 PM, wuff3t wrote:

    "Yes we fell to 13 on the quality of life index but we used to be in the top 10. If we want to return to that we have to return to the virtues that brought about our success in the first place."

    Return to what? Being number 13 or somewhere in the top 10? Or maybe better..........?

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 10:00 PM, Maid1950 wrote:

    Much of the problem started when pensions were moved from the compaines to the individuals, through 401Ks or RRSPs. Before the average worker got involved in investing he was oblivious to profit and loss, dividents etc. Sophisticated investors and Pension Fund Managers were happy with returns 2% above inflation. When the masses got involved in the markets they pushed Company Managers to continually increase share value, dividends etc. In order to attract investors the Board had to make decisions which drove up profit, often at the expense of the workers. Greed became the norm, how many individuals and/or groups have lost all their money to the likes of BreX because they were promised paybacks 2 or 3 times what the blue chips paid. When their house of cards fell and they were wiped out, they went to government hat in hand demanding restitution.

    If we want CEO's and Boards of Directors to be more conservative and humanistic in their running of companies, perhaps we need to be content with 2% real return year over year.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 10:01 PM, soycapital wrote:

    Thanks for the article on "Mr" Moore, I owe you one!

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 10:21 PM, FryingDutchman wrote:

    Not the best thread I've ever read.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 10:50 PM, htbihtbi23 wrote:

    As I read many of the comments posted by those who are in such emotional disagreement with the credibility of Michael Moore's facts, I failed to read a single rebuttal that countered with any evidence, facts and reason to support their emotional and fallacious points.

    Michael Moore provided valid facts in his film.They were not meant to be anectodel in nature. They were simply factual, valid examples used to illustrate the larger, yet identical truth about the failure of American capitalism.

    He is not cherry picking stories. He only has 90 minutes to make his movie. It is too comprehensive a subject for any human being to fully cover in a movie or a five books for that matter. However, he is one of many individuals who share the same point of view.

    I understand many of you don't like to hear the painful truth from any messenger, especially Michael Moore. There are many economists who you can read making his point far more convincingly. One can read their unbiased, statistical research proving logically and unequivocally that Capitalism in America has NOT been working for the vast minority of our population since 1967.

    All the economic measures related to standard of living improvement, inflation adjusted wage growth, etc, support the facts n the movie. You may not agree with his conclusion that there should be no Capitalism, but his conclusion that Americam Capitalism is a not working for people to say the least and is more accurately proven at present to be a rapidly failing system.

    Unless of course you thought Capitalism was working for the majority of Americans when Hoover was President as the economic numbers in 2009 have a closer correlation than to post- World War ll.

    It's also not mere coincidence. The major banking factors are quite similar. Why? Didn't we enact legislation to regulate banks and financial institution's? Of course we did.

    It's also true out corrupt memers of Congress have been slowly removing them for years so both our elected representatives and the Banking and Financial Industries can get obscenely rich.

    It appears many of you are under the illusion(delusion?) we live under a form of Government called a Representative Democracy here in America. I suppose if you continue to told that lie often enough and you emotionally want to believe it's true than you do.

    However, the unpleasent truth is our system of Government is an Oligarchy. It is a Governement of the Business, for the Business payed for by the Business. Beginning with Reagan, the Country has been increasingly representing their own personal financial interests along with businesses financial interests.

    The citizen's best interest is largely out of the equation.

    Our Senator's and Representatives in The House are not Public Servant's. They are serving businesses and lobbyists in a similar way a prositute provides service. The difference is the business lobbies provide money to polital canditated before and after they are elected in exchange for receiving legislatative support that will insure their businesses greater financial profit.

    The Politician also makes a great deal of money in many different ways during the course of their relationship.

    Where's the sex you ask? Perhaps you don't feel it when you bend over or whatever your preferred position is. The point is that it the citizens and The Constitution who they have been metaphorically F------.

    If you prefer a corporate metaphor, you can say our Government is a wholly owned subsidiary of "Big Business."

    That makes it easier on the old conscience if you choose to invest in AIG in the future.

    I find it intellectually insulting individually and rage producing as an American citizen to consistently be lied to by people who tell us they are working for the welfare and interests of the citizens and the Country-their job definition- but unequivocably represent their personal financial interests which are directly correlated with business interests.

    It boggles the mind to read the opinions of all the posts from people here who are investers, yet fail to see what was clearly right in front of their faces during and after the financial collapse. Do you know why it happened? Do you now it was criminal? Do you know that no criminal involved at any level has been charged with a crime. You may know that some of the criminals were rewarded with billions of dollars?

    If I rob a bank I go to jail.

    If banks rob their citizens, they they get rewarded billions of dollars BY THE citizens. The citizens are robbed twice.

    I know. You believe the logic behind the story that it was a necessity to bail out the Banks.

    I wonder why people who lost 50% of their savings and then were made to pay the thieves,suffer a 300 trillion deficit along with your Grandchildren, etc, etc, are so angry at Michael Moore telling you the truth?

    You may not like Michael Moore as your messenger, but the message is accurate.

    Capitalism combined with human nature values money. It does not reward morality. It devalues morality. It teaches people that money and material objects have a higher value than being a moral person.

    Capitalism is working great in America for the richest 5% of the people at the expense of the other 95%.

    We are told the market and our economy have been saved. It apears that way if 6 million people are no longer working for all businesses affected.

    But I don't think the majority of those people, in addition to milions more Americans feel that happy days are here again.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 10:52 PM, Bilifuduo wrote:

    Personally, I think Michael Moore is to movies as Stephen Colbert is to TV. Both can make you laugh, but you would have to be a fool to actually buy into their arguments

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 10:55 PM, cordwood wrote:

    I guess that a recent health report is true:

    "Obesity is increased by the intestinal retension of bovine crap,[commonly known as "BS"].

    Mr. Moore ,apparently, is only trying to relieve himself of this condition via a cinema laxative.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 11:04 PM, modifyed wrote:

    The last time the real estate market was down I put a 15% down payment on a modest home, actually it was a fixer upper. I took out a 30 year fixed loan. The rates went up slightly and down slightly for several years. My wife and I ALWAYS paid our mortgage on time and usually there was some extra to hopefully shorten the loan in our favor.

    Many a year our family went the "stay-cation " route to save money to either reduce our mortgage or do some sort of home improvement project. The projects were the best, for when our family did the projects sometimes we screwed them up so bad we had to laugh. But we all learned and we grew real close and our house truly became our home.

    With the 401K`s max-ed and the mortgage getting it`s little extra my wife and I managed to scrape a little mad money to do some investing and dabble in the market. The extra money mostly came from 2nd jobs, overtime and coupon savings money. We didn`t have much but what we did have we enjoyed together.

    Our ship came in when AV went private. I did the math and the toilet paper I bought at 1 dollar and change per share was sold for $15 + . With the extra`s on the mortgage it didn`t take much to turn our 30 year mortgage into a 13 .5 year growing experience we will look back on as the hard times that bonded us together.

    Why do I tell this story?

    I drove by a house on the way to work today. In the driveway was a newer Mercedes - Benz GLK 350, a newer Toyota Solara Convertible, and a VW jetta that was being repo-ed (the cops were there with a flatbed driver.) On the front lawn there were a bunch of toys thrown around including a trampoline. There were 2 scooters (50 cc`s) laying on the front walkway and not one or two but three satellite dishes on the roof. The most thing that stuck out like a sore thumb was a 10 ft. by 12 ft sign on the front lawn announcing a home foreclosure auction to happen on Oct. 19th at 12:pm.

    After seeing the above scene and hearing about Mr. Moore`s new movie I am compelled to speak. I feel Mr. Moore`s next movie should be about the failure of the nations education system to teach basic economic`s. AIG and GM did not cause the above foreclosure, ignorance did. And who is to blame for that .... Look in the mirror Mr. Moore... for it is your ignorance that has the weak minded focused on the wrong problem.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 11:29 PM, TMFAleph1 wrote:


    You wrote:

    "Exactly what in the movie was factually wrong? Some Congress members themselves called the Treasury Department nothing more than an extension of Goldman Sachs' boardroom."

    Since when did members of Congress become the arbiters of truth? It would be very charitable to say that they spout as many idiocies as the average man on the street.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 11:41 PM, starbucks4ever wrote:

    "In Moore's mind, we live in the richest country on earth, so everyone should be taken care of. What he fails to grasp is that capitalism is the main reason we have our riches. "

    I am getting that deja vu feeling. Where did I hear this before? Yes, back in my native country. "What these democrats fail to grasp, the party line went, is that Stalin is the main reason we won the war". Why is it so hard to grasp that success is very often achieved not because of, but in spite of the system?

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2009, at 11:43 PM, rovobo wrote:

    I cannot but wonder what our financial wizards of WALL STREET could have done with all the money they could have scammed extorted, or otherwise lined their pockets with if the BUSHIES could have privatized Social Security as they were dying to due since they stole Presidency from the people's choice. I only hope these charlatans get their due.However there are are lot of good people in the financial business who have integrity and the desire to perform their duty without resorting to the greed and immorality of likes of ENRON ,MADOFF and all the thieving SOB's.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 12:17 AM, sbetzen wrote:

    I do wish that would stick to great investing advice and news. "Grey" ideological battles are a waste of time and space.

    Disapointing front page article to say the least.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 12:29 AM, meips wrote:

    When Mr. Moore moves to Cuba and when he has distributed all of his wealth (stocks, savings and property) then i will believe that he is sincere and believes that capitalism is truly evil.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 12:32 AM, regnar878 wrote:

    I have a suggestion for Michael Moore and the rest of the entertainment folks who don't appreciate the capitalist cream they've been drinking. Let's try it on them first: let's make it law that no one in the entertainment industry can make more than 5 times the national average salary in a year AND the rest of the "take" gets "redistributed." Just to sweeten the pot, let's make the law retroactive for their working lives.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 12:45 AM, TMFEditorsDesk wrote:

    @desertjedi (and others),

    Agreeing that a lot needs to be done from we've re-learned (b/c we had forgotten the lessons of the Great Depression), a completely unfettered capitalism can be dangerous. The Wall Street bailouts left a lot of us a bit angry. Rather than looking backwards, I'd rather look forward to how we can prevent it from happening again (smaller banks, Glass-Steagall, limiting derivatives, etc.).

    Where I disagree with Moore is that I (unironically) love capitalism.

    @TMFPhillyDot (and others),

    I truly believe Moore's heart is in the right place...he is trying to change the world for the better. I just think this movie was derivative and that he missed the mark.

    -Anand (TMFBomb)

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 12:53 AM, exseries7 wrote:

    I think Clint Eastwood mirrored many people's thoughts about Moore when he said that if Michael ever showed up at his door with a camera, Clint would kill him. Moore was in the audience when Clint directed that remark to him.

    Go ahead punk, make his day!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 1:21 AM, willy1111 wrote:

    Capitalism: An economic system characterized by the freedom of individuals to participate in voluntary exchange.

    Capitalism doesn't create illegal or unethical actions, people and governments do. While MM might be getting wealthy criticizing the system that made him, it is fortunate that this country is largely still comprised of people with a sense of personal responsibility.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 2:17 AM, KommanderKhaos wrote:

    Moore is a fat, greedy Socialist pig, oinking at the money trough!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 6:56 AM, daphinytsno wrote:

    There are many views to everything , Michael Moores views on stuff can be as scary as reading what some people write in these columns in response to those views... Extremists, especially during times like these, are always disturbing.. They can use religion, politics, gender, race or class, thankfully we all are able to make up our own minds. Personally I believe everyone should be allowed to live their life as they wish and believe in what they wish. We all get only one life, make it as happy as you can.. And let everyone else fight, argue and be miserable :)

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 7:15 AM, thuffman24 wrote:

    Moore is trying to enlighten us of the inherently evil ways of a human trying to make money at the expense of others. It is called GREED and every human will at one point or another be faced with making a decision in regards to money. Everyone probably agrees no one should use corruption, stealing, or other malicious means to get ahead in life (unless your name is Madoff, Stanford, all the banks bundling these mortgages and selling them to make a return, etc).

    Ironically, capitalism is exactly how Moore is making money-- from a movie that has a supply chain, marketing of the movie, profit margins, producers, etc. Bad movies don't sell, just like bad companies shouldn't survive. Moore is the closet capitalist here, and is probably content with the swelling of his wallet.

    And as he should be!! He does raise pertinent questions to the world. He does make you think. And isn't that the point, to think about our movtives? He obviously wants Americans to think about their motives, but calling the kettle black only works when you don't pour hot water from it.

    Granted, he shouldn't feel bad for making tons of money. People watch entertainment, which is a product of capitalism. The USA and the world as a majority all benefit from capitalism because it creates a need that is filled. And the United States epitomizes this need by being the proverbial consumer (unfortunately on credit). We consume more than anyone else in the world.

    Which leads me to a simple argument: there are smart humans and ignorant humans. Which means there are humans that refuse to see their role in the good and bad of capitalism: i.e small businesses hiring local workers, creating jobs, and spreading good products and making money for themselves or the bad: i.e. Stanford, Madoff, ARM mortgages trying flip a house, etc.

    Don't blame capitalism for greed and don't mistake the two. Blame the human. Of course, every working human at some point is faced with decisions. Let's take a case to case look at what has happened in our country-- with companies big and small, and see if their decisions are founded by greed and corruption, or if they are moral and smart for the business. There are great businesses in the United States that still need to make tough decisions to survive and prosper and that might mean going global or outsourcing to other countries. That doesn't make it immoral. It makes it possible for the business to survive.

    Every human in the United States has a chance to become what they want-- by hard work, sacrifice, saving, and smart investing. Micheal Moore was from Flint, a dying city (and dying car companies that should have made harder decisions about what the consumer wants and not what their employee wants) and now he is a multi-millionaire because of his passion.

    I applaud his passion and creativity, but wonder if he knows the very hard line he draws about capitalism is the very thing allowing him to eat (really eat) and sleep comfortably every night.

    I believe every human has the right to make as much money as possible. Without this dream, the lifeblood of the USA is gone. But the USA has turned from this way of life to a consuming way of life and the scales aren't balanced. A majority of humans in the USA became influenced by greed, superficiality, and ego. This isn't capitalism is it? It is the human pysche.

    These humans, you and me, the ones that make, start, and run these businesses need to evaluate and be evaluated on the merits or failures of our decisions. And if you agree that all capitialism is bad, don't watch the movie, just turn on the local news and you'll see what you need too: The USA making bad decisions on many levels: human, business, and government.

    Which in the end, is still the same thing because we all pay for it.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 7:57 AM, kholmar wrote:

    like him or not, his purpose is to make money by generating debate on issues and i think we can all agree that he does just that.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 8:47 AM, Frycup wrote:

    He should run for office to sit in D.C. with the other Elites that live be the credo, " as I say, not as I do."

    If he ever spent a working day in a small business working near the owner of that business then he would begin his education on what Capitalism really is.

    Someone else said Capitalism is a man-made is. Of course it has faults. But without it, Michael Moore would simply be another working stiff in a socialist economy. Instead, he rides the wave of publicity that is available in this free society with which we live.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 9:23 AM, laughtrack wrote:

    So many people don't want Michael Moore to be right. Why is that?

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 9:30 AM, XMFTom7 wrote:

    Well, there's little I can add to the above discussion that hasn't already been expressed (for better or worse), but I gotta take my friend (and occasional nemesis) Anand to task for his potshot at "the dude from The Princess Bride." That "dude" is, as was NOT pointed out, Wallace Shawn, actor and playwright, famous of course for his role as Vizzini the Sicilian. While he might be a "Friend of Michael," he was also a Fulbright scholar, educated in economics and philosophy at Oxford, which might make him somewhat qualified to comment upon capitalism. It's INCONCEIVABLE that you missed that! :)

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 9:38 AM, outoffocus wrote:

    thuffman24 has the bes comment on here

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 10:31 AM, furioshonen wrote:

    This is the worst article I have ever read on The Motley Fool, and I have been reading for 10 years. If Moore's film was bad, this article is worse. I want the time it took to read it, and the time it took to fill out this comment back. If Moore's films at least are thought provoking this article is thought draining. I haven't seen the film but it seems like Anand didn't take any notes, because I am sure that Moore has some point, weather valid or not, but that Anand was too busy having an emotional gut reaction to listen... and now I have to waste my time reading the opinion of someone who doesn't know what they are talking about. If Anand is tired of Everyman Moore, I am tired of everyman reviewers. Don't quit your day job.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 12:10 PM, mnjones wrote:

    I've been involved in grassroots politics for many years. I confess that my primary interest is selfish; I'm concerned for my own and my family's future. I have, literally, watched as America has become farther and farther distant from the ideal we all learned about in childhood. We all know that many of the issues Mr. Moore's movie highlights are real, and present real and imminent danger. In my experience, most Americans, no matter their favorite political color, feel growing anxiety over those issues. In fact, I believe it is that very anxiety that drives many of us to seek wealth. We wish to isolate ourselves from the consequences of corruption. The problem with the movie is that it expresses real concerns, then destroys their validity with melodrama and rhetoric—typical tools of self-proclaimed opinion-makers.

    I am convinced that the last administration was the most corrupt, dishonest, and self-serving in the history of the nation, and I see the same sort of influences present in the new administration. The banks are still calling the shots, and Mr. Obama’s health care reform attacks the insurance companies. But it fails to examine the role the AMA and doctors in general, the hospital oligopolies, the drug companies, and the FDA play in our failing health care system. ALL Americans are now and will continue to pay the bills. His plan essentially ensures that the doctors and hospitals will ALWAYS get paid. It doesn’t take much of a leap to suppose Mr. Obama accepted soft-money contributions from the AMA and the companies that run our hospitals. If Mr. Obama’s plan is accepted and the doctors and hospitals are suddenly free of the shackles trying to collect unfair fees from people who don’t have the money have placed on them, will their fees soar even higher? I fear that they will. At the end of Obama’s term, will we have a health-care meltdown? We are already in the process.

    Therein lies my concern. We all know it is wrong. We all fear the future. And still, we haven’t figured out how to come together to form opposition to a deadly phenomena that has no opposition. Many of us allow ourselves to be swayed by the media and popular ideas that have nothing at all to do with the real issues. Is Obama a socialist? Is he a Muslim? Does his health care reform propose old people be left to die? None of this matters. He is….corrupt! They are all corrupt! Democrats, Republicans—it makes no difference. The system is corrupt! And unless we as a people find a way to oppose that corruption instead of each other, it will only get worse.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 12:13 PM, cjd11 wrote:

    For those folks banging the "personal responsibility" drum, think of this: One of the largest contributing factors for the last economic crisis is that people's eyes were bigger than their plate. Lending institutions gave out money too easily, folks bought cars that were too expensive, houses they couldn't afford with gimmick mortgages, and carried way too much credit card debt.

    What's been the solution of the government to help the economy rebound? Slashing the interest rates and essentially eliminating any normal person's ability to safely save and grow their money.

    When I was growing up, not that long ago, a saving's account would generate 6%. You could get a CD that would give you a double digit return. Now, good luck finding a saving's account or CD that gives you 1.5%. What does that do? It encourages people to not save, to go out and buy more, and to toss their money into the market, which a large percentage of the population isn't prepared or able to do.

    Some folks say that love means never asking someone to change, and in that sense Capitalism is America's love story, because despite the experience of the last several years, the country has not asked its financial system to change, or even considered that its guiding principles could use an adjustment. It's full speed ahead, "defeat Terror by going to the shopping mall", and whatever you do, don't ever stop spending your money.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 12:59 PM, TMFEditorsDesk wrote:

    @thuffman24 and cjd11,

    Nice posts. Good stuff to think about.


    I'll be curious what you have to say after you watch the movie. If this is the worst article the Fool has ever written, then you clearly haven't read my other stuff. :)


    I love your deep tracks knowledge of Wallace Shawn.

    Nonetheless, he's still that dude from The Princess Bride and you still killed my father...prepare to die!

    -Anand (TMFBomb)

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 3:58 PM, jm7700229 wrote:

    At the risk of repeating a cliche, I'd like to tell Michael that I agree with him. In fact, the only thing worse than capitalism is everything else. I invite him to emigrate to North Korea, where everyone is treated equally (except that, of course, some people are more equal than others).

    Michael Moore is a fascinating character type: a very intelligent, uneducated, uninformed person who believes that his intellect trumps knowledge and experience. Garrison Keilor, Barbra Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg all join Michael and the rest of the Hollywood-centric boobies in ignoring history in favor of what their insular social group thinks.

    My only question is: why would you waste eight bucks on one of this crackpot's rants?

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 7:29 PM, tkell31 wrote:

    Because people cant keep their greed in check capitalism, left unchecked, is just another way of establishing a feudal system. It seems like the people most geared towards succeeding in a capitalist setting are also the ones who can't seem to stop themselves from lining their pockets with money no matter what the cost. Business is corrupt, our govt is corrupt...good luck getting it figured out with human nature as part of the equation.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2009, at 7:50 PM, EMP70 wrote:

    "Redistributing wealth". I assume that starts with Michael Moore's $300 million?

    He reminds me of an internet troll. Keep feeding him and he keeps coming back. If we ignore him, maybe he'll go away.

  • Report this Comment On October 07, 2009, at 1:07 AM, luckyIguess wrote:

    I haven't been able to watch a MM movie since Roger and Me. He tells only the part of the story that aligns with his point of view. This movie (which I won't bother seeing) is surely no different.

    I'm sorry that you had to waste your time watching it, but thanks for confirming what I already thought. That Moore is using what he purports to be a documentory as a vehicle for fooling other into adopting his illogical and unfounded beliefs.

  • Report this Comment On October 07, 2009, at 12:01 PM, cocacolakidcp wrote:

    Michael 'Moron' was on the Howard Stern show on Sisius Satellite Radio recently. MM says he's 'slighly conservative' Fortunately for MM, being so very wrong on capitalism is not illegal. Lets lock him up anyway, or extradite him to North Korea.

  • Report this Comment On October 07, 2009, at 2:55 PM, golfer121501 wrote:

    kedo76, we think Moore is full of B.S., but everyone loved Fahrenheit 9/11? That movie was well accepted; we all agree that Bush is an idiot and the Iraq war a mistake but "Capitalism" is complete crude? Amazing how he goes from movie making folk hero to imbecile with back to back movies. Please tell me that this at least makes you question all of his movies.

    I think you are making a LOT of foolish generalizations:

    not everyone loved Fahrenheit 9/11. Most people I know wouldn't waste their time to watch in the theater or now.

    not everyone agrees that "Bush is an idiot" - that is an opinion, not a fact ( and a poor one and that).

    MM has always been an imbecile to the informed people of this country. He is just a parrot for the far left and Sorros.

  • Report this Comment On October 07, 2009, at 6:01 PM, JeanDavid wrote:

    "Someone noted that the family being evicted in the opening scene had lived in the house for 41 years … which raises the question: Why wasn't the home paid off yet?"

    I was on the board of a non-profit that was concerned with affordable housing. The non-profit was set up when another non-profit that was not in the housing business (a "soup kitchen") discovered a huge percentage of their clients were not only hungry, but homeless. We found out that many of the homeless had owned their homes free and clear, but the property taxes and inflation had increased so that the taxing authorities seized their property to pay off the taxes. In fact, the non-profit was named after three homeless men who died due to their homelessness; two froze to death and one was murdered while sleeping in a park.

    These people were not all improvident; they were just people who could not have anticipated the increases in property taxes and other costs, and probably could not have earned enough to get ahead of what eventually happened.

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2009, at 2:52 AM, warrenrial wrote:

    Michael Moore is a fat Socialist pig who hates America.

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2009, at 11:59 AM, kpomin57 wrote:

    This "review" is just as biased as any film Mr. Moore has made. If I want this kind of fanatical bias I would read a rag like the Wall Street Journal.

    Capitalism has to be regulated or it becomes harmful, which is where we are now. You focused on the few pieces of theater and glossed over the fact that the banks just took trillions of our tax dollars to bail themselves out for their own bad decisions. You want to talk about personal responsibility? What about the personal responsibility of the bank managers and hedge fund managers who made bad decisions and then whined like babies for a bailout from the same taxpayers who suffer from their bad decisions?

    The main point of the movie, which you didn't even mention is the inordinate power that the top 1% has over our democracy, which was encapsulated brilliantly by Mr. Moore in the memo from Citigroup to its top customers that declared America is now a plutocracy and what a "threat" democracy is to their power.

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2009, at 12:48 PM, rigpa44 wrote:

    There is such a thing called "Negative Capitalism". It's the "shadow" element of something that can be positive. Everything has this play of opposites that take place to one degree or another. In terms of capitalism, the shadow element is greed.

    Every company and individual needs to reflect on themselves and ask where the cut-line is between fair profit for sustainability and life-supporting growth, and vile profiteering that is not life-supporting for itself and others. I would tend to error on the side of doing what's life-supporting for all, than to incur the fiery karmic wrath of hoarding money in a gluttonous manner. This temptation is what Moore is pointing to albeit in his own controversial way.

    But aside from Moore's usual home-spun flamboyance, he does give us pause for reflection, which is crucial to the sustainability of our economy and our country. Especially in these times. So be it.

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2009, at 5:48 PM, grokbill wrote:

    i now put your site into the trash heap of history... at least as far as my computer is concerned you are now and forevermore for the so-called conservatives writing their inane and insane posts on this site, i can only wish upon you a quote from one of the great american capitalist's of all time, "there's a sucker born every minute". by the by fool's is such a apt name for this site. bye suckers.

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2009, at 6:54 PM, seanmh1970 wrote:

    I don't need Motley Fool to tell me that this movie is not worth watching. Michael Moore is about as relevant as AM Talk Radio.

    However I also don't need Motley Fool Money Podcast touting MSFT as a good buy while Motley Fool Rule Breakers is emailing this garbage to my inbox:

    "The two words Bill Gates doesn't want you to hear...

    They spooked the Microsoft founder into early retirement. Now they're going to bring down his empire and make a handful of investors rich. You can join them -- but you must act now."

    Michael Moore could have written this piece of hysteria (aka Advertisement) for Motley Fool Rule Breakers. Get your own house in order instead of coming down to wacko Moores level.

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2009, at 7:38 PM, TMFTomGardner wrote:

    One way we can get to the moderate center where most problems are solved is for the people to realize that Rush Limbaugh = Michael Moore. They look alike; they talk alike; they distort the truth to support a philosophy; and they do so to generate as much personal profit as they can. I say -- let's give them one last primetime debate followed by a UFC-style cage match...and then focus back on the center where capitalism is glorious but flawed and endlessly improvable, and where there is certainly a much better system for health care than the one we have. . but we might have to overhaul the lobbying system before we can solve any of the larger problems we face. Great article, Anand. Fool on.

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2009, at 7:45 PM, AnJo1 wrote:

    Winston Churchill said, "Democracy is the worst political system there is . . . except for all the rest." The same can be said of capitalism.

    Why is it that when people rant about the "excesses" of capitalism, it's always about corporate CEOs, and never about Oprah or Bill and Hillary Clinton? Is it really that much harder to do whatever it is that Oprah does than to run a Fortune 100 company?

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2009, at 7:58 PM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    Michael Moore goes to Cuba for all his Colonoscopy, lol.

    I hear he is kind of weird that way.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 1:12 AM, kmacattack wrote:

    I read every comment, and have to say that most were well thought out.

    I have been a small business owner for the past 13 years and an investor for about 25 years, so I guess I'm qualified to call myself a capitalist. For some of those 13 years I might have qualified as a non-profit organization, although not by design.

    I was encouraged to read that many of you took a stance in the middle, which was totally unexpected from what I expected from fellow capitalists. There are a few "wingnuts" thrown in who reminded me of my grandpa's favorite saying "don't confuse me with facts, I've got my mind made up."

    I haven't seen this movie, but all this hoopla makes me want to see it. I've watched Fahrenheit 911 and Sicko, and thought that by and large, Michael Moore's facts were pretty much substantiated in both those movies. I thought he overdid the sarcastic comments in a few instances in both those films. I think most people could have seen what was happening without his commentary, but on second thought,, America elected "W" TWICE (fool me once, shame on you, twice, shame on me).

    Let me amend that statement. The US Supreme Court, Bush goons flown in on Enron's Jet (who were allowed to break in to the Dade County courthouse and stop vote counting when Gore was about to overtake Bush in Florida) along with some hep from Bush's Ohio Chairman Ohio Diebold Corp (who makes voting machines that could take Gore votes in Florida and give them to Bush) Florida Sec. of State Katherine Harris who was also Bush's campaign manager in Florida, Brother/Governor Jeb BUSH.

    In '04, Big Business along with the "Swiftboat Veterans (which were largely funded by oil billionaires), Taft Broadcasting and their monopoly of TV stations in Ohio, the Ohio Secretary of State, who was, you guessed it, Bush's campaign manager who promised to "deliver Ohio" made sure that there was a shortage of voting machines in Kerry strongholds, and no waiting lines in Bush's strongholds. Speaking of Oil companies, public records show that 85% of Big Oil "contributions" (I prefer the old fashioned word BRIBES) are given to republican candidates, often illegally as in the case of Karl Rove's "founder's clubs"

    where employees give generously to a candidate and are reimbursed by the company such as was the case at Enron.

    As an investor, I'm especially bitter about Enron's ties with Bush and Cheney. One of my investments included a fund promoted by Smith-Barney, which also included World-com. When the sh.. hit the fan at these two companies, my IRA lost $80,000. Gov. Bush was asked about his ties with Ken Lay as he stood in front of a large jet on loan to his campaign from Enron. His reply was "I don't know any Ken Lay". When 80 letters were produced between the two under the FOIA act, Bush said "OOOOhhh, you meant Kenny Boy!" When he asked about his position regarding corporations who "cooked the books", he said "Everybody cooks the books."

    He, in fact, cooked his failing oil company's books to bail out of it two weeks before it tanked.

    The most notable really scary post was the one about nuking the middle east as a solution to the world's problems. Hopefully this guy doesn't have any weapons in his possession, but I suspect he is extremely well armed.

    About 6 years ago, when we were being bombarded by TV ads advertising "You can buy a $300,000 house for only $800 per month, I told several of my friends "This is going to blow up in a few years and it's going to be worse than the S and L crisis in the 80's (starring Neil Bush, "W"s brother, who stole about $7 BILLION from taxpayers and didn't spend one day in jail. The S and L debacle happened to a great extent because of a lack of regulation.

    As a businessman, I'm happy to report that I'm having a record year, with a huge surge following the "cash for clunkers" program which the republicans, of course said was a waste of money at the time. As a fiscal conservative, I really hated to see the bailouts happen, but as an American, I absolutely believe that they HAD TO HAPPEN or we truly could have fallen into a real depression.

    As an investor, I'm having the best year since the mid 90's. My lone dog is WalMart, and it was touted as a "buy" when it was $60 per share. Now it's $49. Personally, I think WalMart has done more to destroy the manufacturing industry in the US than any other company. I was encouraged by the forced resignation of Chairman Lee Scott, and the subsequent backing by Wal Mart of national health reform. Scott openly encouraged American manufacturers to close plants in the US and move them to China, which to me was tantamount to treason. At $49, Wal Mart may be a good buy, but I remember a few months back when Costco was trading about $10 below Wal Mart, that Motley Fool predicted that Costco's share price would surpass Wal Mart's, and now Costco is trading about $10 HIGHER than Wal Mart. Costco is Unionized, profitable, growing, and is much more employee friendly. Wal Mart has created many enemies over the years, many of them unnecessarily. Hopefully they will start paying some attention to shareholders, customers, and will treat employees as humans rather than disposable property and they can become a truly GREAT company as opposed to a BIG company.

    The best course for this country is somewhere in the middle, not absolute capitalism, nor absolute socialism. I am frankly SICK OF NAME CALLING.

    Banks that are "too big to fail" need to be unraveled to where if they screw up, they go bankrupt. That's socialistic, I know, but how many times in my lifetime does anyone need to be reminded that ABSOLUTE DERGULATION IS A BAD THING ? Even Andrew Carnegie, author of the HORRIBLE trickle down theory, believed that monopolies were bad and that wealth should not be inherited. Carnegie believed that business was inherently honest and would in most cases do the right thing if only given the chance. Carnegie, like his student Herbert Hoover, was a good and decent man with BAD IDEAS. I really want to laugh out loud when I hear the republicans such as John Boehner ask for the keys to the bus again when they in fact drove it nearly off of a cliff. If they ever hope to gain my vote again, they had better come up with some progressive, sensible ideas and stop the bulls...!

    Mr. Boehner, you sound an awful lot like a bag-man for the insurance/pharma industry when you make an ASININE STATEMENT like "80% of the people (who have health insurance) are happy with their insurance provider. HINT- YOU JUST EXCLDED ABOUT HALF OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE with 50 million uninsured and 20% who are unhappy with Blue Cross, etc, which I believe is a total understated LIE. To be fair, why don't you also mention that 88% of ALL CANADIANS are happy with their Universal Health care program, which costs about 50 percent less than the Average American family. To say that if we insure everyone, that the people who have the money to buy insurance might have to wait a little longer to see the doctor really sounds SOCIOPATHIC. (Sounds a lot like "I've got health insurance, screw the rest of you)

    If you ever hope to get my vote again, I would like for you to prove to me that your entire focus does not revolve around MONEY, GREED AND POWER, and that you in fact represent the American people and not just powerful corporations.

    Former US Senator and Presidential candidate Fred Harris wrote to me a few years ago that he believed that "The best public policy is that which has a positive affect on the greatest number of people"

    I believe that President Obama made a similar statement after the election that his agenda would not be based on partisanship, but in doing "what is practical and is working." Considering the state of the country when he assumed office, I think he has done an unbelievable job. The consensus was that there was no way out of the recession until at least mid summer 2010.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 1:51 AM, kmacattack wrote:

    As Lt. Colombo used to say "There's just one more thing that bodders me", as he was about to set the trap for the crooks.

    For those of you who think the republican party is good for business, here's the record since 1928.

    Hoover- Depression (His campaign promise was " chicken in every pot and a car in every garage") Right.

    Eisenhower- 2 recessions in 8 years. Promised that trickle down would stop inflation. Didn't.

    Farewell speech warned of the "growing power of the military-industrial complex" Saw the Reagans and Bushes in a crystal ball, evidently.

    Nixon-2 recessions in 7 years

    Ford- continued recession

    Reagan-2 recessions in 8 years

    GHW Bush- 1 recession in 4 years

    "W" Bush - 2 recessions, one near depression

    In addition, 12 TRILLION in DEBT created during these administrations.

    Scandals included:

    VP Nixon bribery allegations under Eisenhower

    President Nixon- Watergate break in and cover-up which followed, VP Spiro Agnew resigned and was convicted of bribery.

    Reagan- Iran Contra affair starring Fox personality Ollie North. Our CIA decided to go into the drug importing business and used the money to finance political allies in Nicaragua, etc. North, VP Bush, and even Reagan himself were allegedly involved in the rimes.

    "W" Bush- Where do I begin? Probably the most corrupt and totally inept administration in history. It's late and I'm tired, so I don't want to bore you with this one. If you watch anything besides Faux "News", I don't need to remind you. Only time will tell if Cheney, Karl Rove, and fellow travelers end up behind bars. Let's hope so. It might just discourage future bad behavior.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 2:08 AM, casahanson1 wrote:

    If you are reading this you are merely a victim of capitalism, a human-doing. The only thing in doubt is your personal awareness.

    Can humanity afford to wait until the tipping point of your awakening?

    Will the planet survive that long?

    Capitalism has blinded you with greed for more and more stuff and things.

    There are no true virtues of capitalism so, WAKE UP!

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 1:14 PM, Enriqueamigo wrote:

    Whew! So many blind people that equate capitalism with negative outcomes. Have any of you been outside our US borders? Talked to citizens of other lands about the realities of their less capitalistic lives? There are many pros and cons to every type of government and societal system around the world.

    Let's not forget that Mr Clinton and his congress, removed a small but vital law regarding Credit Default Swaps that originated in the 1930's to prevent the gambling that has wrecked our economy. Why would they do that? When it resulted in the same outcome in the 1930's why would they allow it to be ok again?

    Because they knew the outcome beforehand. Now here we have more Constitution eroding "emergency" actions by our president and congress. Makes Bush's necessary security actions look like a pimple on an elephants behind. Liberals and conservatives alike should be reading Mark Levine's book and wake up to the real threat to our already eroded democracy. A democracy that suffers the extremes of what we call left and right and still functions pretty well.

    How do most Congress members make an average of 30% on their investments...outperforming experts- seems statistically impossible to me. I would like to think that they are doing what we sent them to do but even as I laugh at the idiots that talk about them being in bed with business, I cannot help but wonder. They will be the new elite ruling class, a type of royalty our system is supposed to deny, but it is eroding. Maybe Jefferson and the rest of the crafters, just could not envision a newly crafted widespread royalty of this nature.

    O bama wins the Nobel peace prize! for what....? OMG very many kool-aid drinkers out there.

    Where are the major headlines about Rangel and the rest of the alledgedly corrupt actions of our 'we are here for the little people' representatives?

    Sorry, had to vent a bit...

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 1:27 PM, JTHbull wrote:

    I would ask the Fool to please stick with helping me to make money as a capitalist and to stay away from pontificating about movie makers or politics.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 1:45 PM, BigAl1825 wrote:

    Capitalism is not the main reason we have our wealth, that is an ideological position held by you (though you are not alone). The main reason we have our wealth is due to scientific and technological progress that took advantage of natural resources and human workers to develop into a supposedly more advanced world. There is no evidence, whatsoever, that this could not have happened in the absence of capitalism. And there is surely no evidence, at all, that capitalism is the best way forward. What you believe, is not necessarily what is. Your review of the film thus loses all credibility, because your ideological stance betrays and semblance of impartiality that you might hold - despite your attempt at showing that you had been impartial in the past. You fell just short of saying that you don't like him because he's a fat guy, but it was easily read between the lines.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 1:52 PM, comorbid wrote:

    A bridge too far for Michael, again. Sad. And what did he do with the money he made? On the other side performance artist GlennBeck plays his violins and cries also. What is up with all the emotion? My father said, life is not fair, and that is what I told my children. John Adams said, on his death bed in a letter to Thomas Jefferson thyat the best we could do was to, "be kind and seek justice." And I will add, "while you try to make a living."

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 2:09 PM, etzapel wrote:

    Not to belabor the point, but MM is a blithering hyporcritical idiot, and so is every person that finds his movies "thought-provoking". You're buying into his bucket of crap when you buy tickets to see his movies.

    I've got some advice; if you don't like what 'big business' is doing to you, STOP BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS. Your wallet is and always has been your vote; think before you use it.

    That's the beauty of capitalism - it works only when consumers are not idiots. Use your heads, people.

    If you don't like Bank of America excesses, pull your money out and move it to another bank, your mattress, a jar in the ground, etc. If you don't like WalMart, don't go there and don't invest your hard earned money in their stocks. Its so easy it makes my head explode when I hear worthless slimeballs who've hoodwinked all of you Fools into buying their equally worthless crap try to tell me that 'capitalism isn't just'.

    Capitalism in its purest form is the most just of all economic systems; it rewards those who work the hardest and punishes those who are corrupt and would otherwise rely on a protective government to hide their corruption.

    One last point, though the notion of the Corporation, as defined in US tax legislation has aided the amazing climb of the United States to some of the greatest commercial, scientific, and economic advances the world has ever seen, it also hides the criminal factor from the capitalistically certain retribution of the consuming public by law. If every business owner were held wholly accountable for their mistakes by the consumers who buy their products and services, and could not hide behind the veil that is the 'Incorporated' status, you would never have seen what we've seen in the past two years.

    Military-industrial complex? nope - it wouldn't exist.

    Giant commercial insurance companies totally corrupt and insensitive? Again - they wouldn't exist.

    Car companies that make crappy cars? nope, they'd be gone long ago.

    Medical insurers who fail to pay $300k for a liver transplant for an 80-yr old alcholic smoker instead of providing for a comfortable, pain-free, loving end of a natural life? again, wouln't happen.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 2:32 PM, JLGST wrote:

    I thought it was a fabulous film and makes many valid points. Read some Karl Marx, his views of Capitalism and it's future are looking rather accurate. Just as power corrupts, so does greed, and it does not bring out the best in people.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 3:02 PM, RetiredGamer wrote:

    I'm not a big fan of Michael Moore either, but you do an even worse job of justifying your argument than he does. If all the aggressive pro-capitalist people would start addressing the actual issues those of us with less faith have, there might be more reason for those of us looking at all sides to come your way.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 3:18 PM, Id1otBox wrote:

    JLGST...if you've actually read'll know that he's like Voltaire in that he's wrong to suggest humans could acutally build a classless utopian sociopolitical-economic environment. Did you hear about Glasnost and Peristrokia? Google it.

    BTW Michael Moore is ALMOST as big of a moron as Rush Limbaugh. All he does is point out problems and if we suggests solutions...they are unrealistic.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 3:47 PM, menefer wrote:

    Capitalism has gotten off track in this country. We had a breed of capitalism that worked for most of our history but it is not working now. For example it was common for corporations to have a full employment policy and recessions were considered a normal part of the business cycle. During a recession profits were expected to drop and even running in the red for a short time was alright. Now we are driven by short term results and huge bonuses that have come to be expected. Cost cutting via layoffs has now become the norm. Then when the cycle turns up we have another jobless recovery. The current 10% unemployment is a result of capitalism gone awry.

    We should all be glad we have people like Michael Moore who highlight the problem. Perhaps partly due to his efforts we will turn back on course a little sooner.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 3:55 PM, alexpaz wrote:

    I won't ever subscribe to Motley Fool if they keep publishing biased and opinionated garbage like this article. It was a great movie, at least one man has the balls to stand up to big corporate ponzi schemers and the government agencies that support them.


  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 4:57 PM, etzapel wrote:

    That would be fine if MM ever took the time to point out as emphatically that the same socialist government lackies that go to bed each night with their corporate partners in crime are equally at fault as capitalism. But we all know he'll do that just as soon as he'll donate every penny of his 'ill-gotten gains' (his own words for greedy profiteering) to those who are worse off than his sorry, selfish butt. The guy has zero interest in helping anyone but himself to a big bank account, just like any other shrewd entertainer.

    Hollywood is full of them. If you've ever lived there, you would know - the place is full of selfish, greedy, narcissistic, inhuman folks, poor and rich alike. Just go out to dinner in any restaurant and you'll find 'wanna-be's' slobbering all over you if you even look like you've made it big.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 5:09 PM, ahoythere wrote:

    As the radical leftist machine gains ground, it will only expedite America's becoming weaker. That's what our competitors want, (Korea, China, all of Europe, Russia, etc.) they want our jobs and our businesses that's the real issue. The Left wants us to be like Europe with (10% unemployment) Guess what, their wish has come true. The answer. How does McDonalds stay on top? By out competing the competition. They don't hire people to hog-tie them(Obama). They don't worship those who actively seek their demise (Michael Moore) China is the silent new variable which is changing the world with its labor. If China is wiping out industries in the U.S. don't you think they're doing the same to Europe? The paradigm has changed, it's unsustainable to keep attacking from within. Support America

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 6:06 PM, wsowa1 wrote:

    We're a rich country if you are part of the wealthiest 10% of Americans. For the vast majority of the rest we're a 3rd world country with 3rd world rights - including the right to be put away in a jail somewhere at the whim of someone in Washington - with any right to judicial process. Yeah its a really great place to live but only if you have money, influence, and great health care.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 7:38 PM, mals wrote:

    I will never put down Moore. He means well and like all priducers he emphasizes the evils of capitalism. He never said he was agianst capitalism; he is advcating reform and regulation. Who can disagree with that. if you do, I feel sorry for you.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 7:54 PM, deong wrote:

    I believe that most of us agree that Michael Moore makes clever rabble-rousing documentaries that, however, lack real substance and are best classified as propaganda (and has become quite wealthy doing so).

    I comfort myself by stealing (and altering) a sentiment attributed to Winston Churchill in response to a criticism:

    When Michael Moore wakes tomorrow he will still be fat and ugly.

    ("ad hominem abusive" isn't fair.....but still........)

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2009, at 10:24 PM, GoVols86 wrote:

    I bet Michael Moore glad his movie came out now rather than in a couple of months. We are coming up on the 10 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.

    I see the divided Germany as the best experiment in socialism vs. capitalism.

    Lets take a country of people known for their work ethic, then we will split the country in half. Let's make the western half use capitalism and the eastern half use socialism.

    In a mere few decades the western half thrived. The eastern half decayed. Any social-economic system that can make make a poor country out of a nation of hard working industrious Germans, is a failed system.

    And it was capitalism that brought down the Berlin wall. Oh sure the East Germans wanted to be free. But it was their desire for Madonna CDs, Levi 501s and toilet paper that was the tipping point.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2009, at 1:30 PM, Jeaninex wrote:

    Thank you for this article ~ I for one will not pay out my hard earned money to see a Michael Moore film, which are stupid and if I have a need to have a "thought provoking moment" all I need to do it go out in the community and see for myself.

    I am the American Dream, enjoyed my career, retired at the ripe old age of 56, enjoyed a few years of prosperity, and then in 2008, my dream came "tumbling down" and it was like a bull doser rolling through and crushed my dream along with my heart.

    At 66 (only 10 years later), I was considered no longer "credit worth", my past history was thrown out and my life changed dramatically. Even though I had made sure that I was covered medically, that long term care was paid for, I was NOT behind in any of my bills and was making ends meet. The powers that be made a life decision for me ~ and that was that. However, because I live in America, I am able to pull myself up by my "freedoms and past work ethic" and slowly but surely return to a respectable status and I am NOT predisposed to remain among the poor and down trodden.

    Shame on everyone that thinks "Capitalism" has had it's day ~ Michail Moore, redistribute ALL of your wealth and see how you like it.


  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2009, at 2:15 PM, mrwonderfulme wrote:

    Moore has the ability to make movies that hit your hot button, he is the ultimate (and hypocritical),,,,, CAPITALIST,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2009, at 5:42 PM, zzpat wrote:

    The author says capitalism is the reason the US is rich. Perhaps, but we also have abundant natural resources. Without the land to grow food, we'd be screwed. Without oil, we'd be dependent on third world countries for our energy and we'd have to go to war with tiny countries like Iraq every ten years or so to make sure we get as much if their oil as possible.

    Without South Africa and the Middle East, we wouldn't have the minerals needed to make our weapons of war. Without war we'd have no energy. Without energy we'd be very, very poor.

    Trade with other countries and our natural resources makes us rich, not capitalism per se.

    Even during this recession, 25% of our GDP comes from foreign trade and during boom times, more than 30%.

    Middle Eastern countries that are not and have not had capitalism are very, very rich. What makes them rich? Their natural resources.

    The walk of shame award should go to anyone who fails to do his research and this author easily falls into that category.

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2009, at 7:09 AM, thuffman24 wrote:

    I like GoVols86 idea, except I don't think we need a wall like the East Germans. It's like crack smokers in Amsterdam. Just raise your hand if you want to live on the socialist side. We'll just give your own socialist city and you can move there for free (for Moore's sake, how about Flint, Michigan) and then everyone can recieve free hand outs, smoke their crack, and live the fair socialist life.

    My dad always raised me (and maybe this is a generational problem more than a capitalist/socialist problem) that, "Life Isn't Fair," so get off your whining horse, tack a plow to it, and start working to get ahead. Small business in the USA accounts for a majority of GDP and that is average American doing something about their life. Maybe next generations are starting to assume their way of life is guaranteed. And that is when we need to start making it socially unacceptable in the education of our youth to allow this paradigm to develop.

    And documentaries, I thought, were supposed to show unbiased realities of life, but Moore never really let's that happen in his documentaries. Show me both the good and the bad reality of capitalism, and then I'll give it some merit. If you can name one of his documentaries that do that, please tell me.

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2009, at 3:47 PM, jacknisen wrote:

    I say from each according to their abilities and to each according to their needs! Oh, wait, they tried that already and it didn't work out so well.....

    Never mind!

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2009, at 4:07 PM, neutrinoman wrote:

    Nice article, just not harsh enough, perhaps.

    The only thing I find disturbing is that it took this long for the writer to discover that Michael Moore is an idiot -- fat, ignorant, mean to his employees, with pretentious airs of deep thought.

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2009, at 11:54 PM, magystic wrote:

    I find it interesting to hear that lack of insurance never killed anyone, or that capitalism came about as a reaction to big government. If the political right can have AM radio, FOX TV, and "Slim" Rush Limbaugh, the left ought to be able to enjoy Michael Moore without all this whining. The tone of these people who hate Moore is really quite reactionary, as if all of those people who bought homes than lost their jobs and their houses are guilty of "leasing" Mercedes and ridiculously failing to make being able to pay for a house contingent on having a job. You have very short memories if you think these poor souls and not the capitalists who devised the wicked derivative market are responsible for the decline in your 401Ks.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2009, at 12:32 PM, johndoeuno wrote:

    The Heist by the Goldman Sachs crowd into the American taxpayer's pocket is called WHAT?

    Who calls the shots in the financial world?

    Who calls the shots in the political arena in the US?

    Those forces at work are thrilling, bold, audacious, scary, decadent, dismal and discouraging at once.


  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2009, at 12:47 PM, kubilus1 wrote:


    Huh? If you have ball cancer, and treating it costs 300k, and if you don't have 300k, well then you can die. Unless you have an insurance policy that cover the treatment for aforementioned ball cancer.

    So yes, people in the U.S. die frequenty due to lack of insurance, from various illnesses, not just ball cancer.


    Booyah, they didn't die from lack of insurance. They died from lack of personal responsibility.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2009, at 1:50 PM, CosmicJustice wrote:

    A must read for any capitalist lover- Milton Freidman- 'Capitalism and Freedom".

    The fact that this fat idiot can blame capitalism is a joke in itself. Ive already wasted a few seconds of my life talking about him.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2009, at 2:46 PM, ilizn2u wrote:

    I'm going to stick w/ big Mike on this one.

    The truth is that in world with the concept of "too big to fail" we no longer have capitalism. People always want to blame the victims. The blame for the mess should be placed at in the lap of Big Biz.

    They lie.

    They cheat.

    They steal. (example every time a bonus is paid to management when the have not made a profit is stealing from share holders and that we let this go on makes use real fools)

    And when the lose money they run crying like babies to the tax payers.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2009, at 3:10 PM, mikecart1 wrote:

    I liked his Bowling for Columbine and Sicko. Haven't seen his other movies. My biggest complaint is that he needs to lose weight, shave, and get a better haircut (no homo).

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2009, at 3:50 PM, johndoeuno wrote:

    What's the difference between Goldman Sachs

    and Acorn?


  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2009, at 4:15 PM, PAObserver wrote:

    Did not see the movie, however, two judges in Pennsylvania were indicted for taking kickbacks from a privately-run juvenile detention center. He might not have fabricated that fact.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2009, at 5:32 PM, MMooreSucks wrote:

    Michael Moore is a fool for trying indict Capitalism itself.

    Our problem is Croney Capitalism for which both of our political parties, full of corrupt politicians, are responsible for. Democrats with their self serving policies that promote individual irresponsibility, and Republicans with their self serving policies that promote corporate irresponsibility. If he would have indicted all of these self serving scumbags and their cronies, using good examples, he would have been seen as a hero rather than a hypocrite.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2009, at 5:52 PM, Patwarren09 wrote:

    Michael Moore is a fat idiot (obesity can actually cause degeneration of brain matter). He is an entertainer, and not even a good one, and his movies are laughable by anyone with even a shred of intelligence.

    He is a poor propagandist too.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2009, at 10:25 PM, zgriner wrote:

    If Moore believes so strongly in giving my money away, why won't he give all his money away, so that he and 1000 of his closest friends can all live the same way, at the poverty level.

  • Report this Comment On October 15, 2009, at 12:52 PM, rczernie wrote:

    Wow! Great reading!

    My dear foolish friends, we have real problems in this land of milk and honey. Behind the debate over capitalism vs humanism, behind the truth that health insurance is now designed to dis-insure the risky, behind the obscene rewards for making it into corporate management (and even rewarding gross incompetence), there lies an obvious truth. That is that our elected officials have tremendous conflict-of-interest. They are daily bought by the money gluttons in insurance, in drugs, in banking and in lawyering, etc. How can we as nominally moral people accept this incredible immorality at the highest levels of our public life? We have "the deciders" nursing from the breast of billion (trillion?) dollar interests. My thought is that if government does not rectify this classic "no-no" which is so strictly enforced on every modest citizen with little clout, such as a juror who cannot participate if he/she has the least connection to a case, or a doctor who is prohibited from taking a "bribe" from a drug company, or having a relative in one's workplace, etc., then Americans must somehow take government back from the filthy elected who swim in this cesspool of corruption. I don't know how it can be done. A call for a Constitutional convention? For surely the founding fathers would puke at what time and greed have done to their immortal document. They'd be first in line to re-convene.

  • Report this Comment On October 15, 2009, at 11:40 PM, runswithbulls wrote:

    The "public" that consist of followers of Michael Moore are fools. Our system of government is not perfect, but the best that is available. Mr. Moore's appeal is to those individuals who do not want to roll up their sleeves. Regardless of social status, race, gender or color, opportunities exist in this country like in no other. Certainly there are inequities, but these are being overcome with involvement, discourse, and participation in solutions other than pointing of fingers. There is no free lunch, but Mr. Moore considers himself the exception to the rule. Mr. Moore is a classic example of a con artist laughing all the way to the bank.

    Runs with bulls.

  • Report this Comment On December 07, 2011, at 3:30 AM, supercap235 wrote:

    The financial system collapsed, and the government (the taxpayers) forked over more than $7.7 TRILLION to bail it out. Yet the cheerleaders still cheer (and jeer the opposition). It would be kind of funny, if it weren't so sad. It's like when the home crowd for the last-place football team chants from the stands "We're number 16! We're number 16!" Pathetic. Michael Moore may not be right about everything, but he's smarter than the Einsteins at Lehman Brothers.

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