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165 of 176 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2013
As far as this goes, it's a worthwhile examination of the repeated pattern that Robert Reich identifies in US economic history: that the widest income gap precedes and apparently precipitates a crash. He describes compares the related graph to a suspension bridge, with the highest peaks in 1929 and 2008.

The sharp increase of the income gap is solely due to the highest-income people claiming that they deserve to pay a lower rate of taxes than everyone else -- and gaming the political system to get their way. They claim to deserve huge tax breaks because they are "job creators"... However, as one wealthy business owner admits, his money mainly goes into offshore investments, and his own purchases don't support the economy. The most wealth-generating business model in fact results in exporting jobs from the United States.

The reviewer who panned this film, dismissing it as leftist, evidently has not seen it at all. In fact the stats show productivity is higher than at any time in history. However, ordinary people can barely make ends meet. The middle class has tried to compensate for wage stagnation by first of all mothers of families going out to work, then by more borrowing. This has all been to no avail, and instead there are massive losses of homes as well as jobs.

The real engine that drives prosperity is the purchasing power of a large middle class having income to spare for discretionary purchases. As their wages decline (though costs rise), their purchases decline, thus reducing sales and forcing more shutdowns of jobs, etc. in a "vicious cycle". Reich's analysis of the contrast between that dismal picture, and what he names the "virtuous cycle" that boosts jobs, is enlightening. It would be helpful to have this video and repeat watching these scenes in order better to understand both the problem and proposed solutions.

As far as the film goes it appears well-researched and valid. However, it does not address the issue of the government borrowing money from the privately-owned central banking system known as 'The Fed". The only dot which can be connected here is Reich mentioning that income tax was first implemented in 1913.

That caught my attention because it's the same year The Fed was established. The Fed's owners are private bankers who rule Washington, apparently through buying elections and politicians on both the 'left' and the 'right'. After 100 years of being governed by this financial system, isn't it time for American people to examine that aspect of their economic history? (The banking system and debt-based money was not specifically addressed in this film.) If they then decide they don't like the results, what would American voters do to change their situation?
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151 of 168 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2013
I just came from the theater. This film was fantastic. I am so glad that I saw it and I want everyone to see it. I'm buying a copy right now. So many people are angry... The television is filled with the voices of angry people... But the anger comes from not knowing the source of our suffering. It's not the government, it's not the media -- it's the inequality!! I feel like Chicken Little - I want to run through the city calling "TAX THE RICH!! TAX THE RICH!" I'm married to a Swede, and I can assure you that taxation that creates equal education for all, housing for all, health care for all and so much more results in a society that is a real community, and enjoys a high standard of living - surpassing the United States on almost every index. Robert Reich's film is a devastating indictment of the unbelievable greed that is protected and enshrined in 21st century America.
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89 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2013
Yesterday, I viewed "Inequality for All" on Cape Cod. The screening was shown in a small theatre in the Cape Museum of Fine Arts. Three screenings of the documentary were held. That said, I have always admired the work, mind, and heart of Robert Reich. He may be small in stature, but his heart, soul, and genuine caring for the welfare of all people are HUGE! The statistics presented in the documentary cannot be refuted. As a baby boomer, I well remember the Age of Prosperity enjoyed by the majority of citizens throughout the 50's and into the late 70's. Then the political and economic climate began to erode. The Clinton years saw advancement in our economy, and he left office with a budgetary surplus. As Reich notes, more could have been done at the time. The years since have seen a dramatic decline in our economy on all fronts. The rich have achieved more wealth, the middle class is eroding, and those in poverty have a tough time treading water. One doesn't have to be an economist to realize what has happened. One reviewer noted that raising the minimum wage will do nothing. But not to raise the minimum will advance the status quo and keep far too many people in poverty. We must make changes otherwise I can see uprisings on the horizon. How long before those who suffer at the hands of the wealthy will say, "I've had enough, and won't take it anymore." God-willing, we will realize just, moral, and equal access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for ALL. As Reich suggests, we need to raise the minimum wage, strengthen worker's voices, invest in education, reform Wall Street, fix our tax system and get big money out of politics. Currently, big money buys candidates and puts them in office.Let's face it, poor George Bush was nothing but a puppet of big money. They saw to his election as President, and expected him to do their bidding. Look where it got us. Surplus eroded, unjust, immoral war, our monetary treasure squandered, economic decline,not to mention lives lost and hearts broken. I plan to buy the DVD and share it with as many who are open to listening and pondering the data. We need to take action NOW.
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74 of 87 people found the following review helpful
I saw this film twice at the independent cienemas. It is an excellent film that has structure, organization, and an unfolding plot from the distinguished University of California, Berkeley professor of economics. Dr. Reich is funny, engaging, critical, realistic, and humane in his moral message about the current crisis of the U.S. income gap and growth of poverty in the United States. More than a simple documentary about the economic state of the union, Inequality for All also follows Professor Reich's development as an economist, former Secretary of Labor under Clinton, and his most recent profession as a Professor of Economics and Policy at UC Berkeley.

As a social studies high school teacher who teaches Government and Economics courses--and a who has a graduate degree in philosophy--I strongly recommend this film to anybody who wants an accessible understanding of how our current capitalist economic system requires a major shiftin in ideology and policy-making. Professor Reich is obviously a leftist, but he is a responsible leftist who understands what radical economic policy will not be immediate, and hence needs to be progressive. Furthermore, this film ends with a positive and optimistic message.

This is a film that I will be showing for my Economics and Government courses and it would be great to incorporate for our Common Core State Standards.
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37 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2013
I think every one should watch this movie, although the movie theater was empty I really liked all the valid points brought up
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2014
I am so in agreement with this. This documentary shows this inequality in it's rawest form and explains why it will not continue to support as it stands... all will collapse as it has before... think GREAT DEPRESSION... soup lines... mass suicides due to monitory loss... I shudder to think. I make very good money and have not suffered at all... but I am afraid that if this HUGE income gap continues and we do not open the door of opportunity to all... we will have another revolution... poor against the rich and even with their money, the 1% against the 99% cannot win and may lose it all.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2014
Again if people would only tune out of fake news like FOX and the other fear mongering fake news and read and research separate fact from fiction you will realize the truth. Not a corporation or rich persons spin on what they want you to believe wake up before it's too late.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2014
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this move but it was amazing. They actually make graphs and pie charts interesting. Also, instead of just pointing out problems like other social movies, Reich offers concrete ways to solve the problems.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2013
I saw this movie at the local theater and it was great. Robert Reich put this film together with easy to understand graphs and numbers that were easy to follow. It shows how the wealth distribution is tilted toward the very high income and increasing dramaticly. The top richest 400 people in the USA have as much money as a 150 million people in our country.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2014
Inequality for All basically covers the same information that Robert Reich teaches in a course at Berkeley, but rather than just filming his lectures, he presents the content in interesting and often funny, outside the classroom format. The information he provides is substantive and valid due to his education, years of experience as Labor Secretary and time in the beltway. While passionate about his subject, he is not offensive and presents his material in a way that is straightforward yet interesting. He makes his point not by using media generated talking points and hot button reactionary language, but by presenting the historical context of how we got in our current economic mess. The use of facts, statistics and graphs is easy to understand, pertinent and not boring.

Left,right or neutral, I highly recommend this film.
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