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Inequality for All

2013

PG CC
Available on Prime

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich makes an eloquent and impassioned argument about how the devastating effects of America's widening income inequality not only threaten the middle class but also the very foundation of democracy itself.

Starring:
Lily Tomlin, Mary Tyler Moore
Runtime:
1 hour, 30 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Jacob Kornbluth
Starring Lily Tomlin, Mary Tyler Moore
Supporting actors Dolly Parton, Candice Bergen, Tyne Daly, Bill Clinton, Sharon Gless, Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, George W. Bush, George Bush, Robert Reich, Barbara Bush, Alan Simpson, Nick Hanauer, Fred Wertheimer, Brandon Woolf
Studio Radius
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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Format: Blu-ray
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.Read more ›
4 Comments 99 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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.
31 Comments 170 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
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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