I went to see "Capitalism: A Love Story" today. I desperately want to blog about it, but I've been at a loss as to which blog I should include it on. I first thought about writing it on my Stocks and Bondage blog (hehe, you probably think I'm kidding about that blog, don't you??), then I thought that I should also put it on this Bad Ass Femmes blog. Why? Because I think that if there is one thing that a kick-ass-take-no-prisoners kind of woman should understand is...everything that has to do with money.
I'll first start with a couple of disclaimers. I am a woman full of contradictions. First off, I am a big ole capitalist whore. At the same time I am a big ole socialist whore. Every month my mailbox is just as stuffed with Forbes and other money magazines as it is with socialist newspapers from various socialist parties. I read the Wall Street Journal online just as much as I read the socialist Monthly Review. In reality, I believe the theoretical principals of capitalism can be just as distorted by humans as the practice of socialist theory. I also personally believe that we need a little bit of both, a blend of both systems.
Second, I own tons and tons of stock in huge companies. And I have made tons and tons of money off of these very large companies. I'm partly complicit when these companies fuck the little guy. At the same time, I have always considered myself to be a social justice advocate and believe that in a perfect world wealth would be distributed evenly. But it's not. And I refuse to sit around and be the tonta (i.e., idiotic) martyr and fuck myself over just because I want to prove a point. If we are living in a capitalist system, I am going to learn the game and benefit myself and others.
One might say that I have done very well for myself, financially speaking, but I don't bat an eye in the least when people discuss raising taxes. If that is the only think that I have to be concerned about, then I'd say that I am in a pretty privileged position. I make more money so I should make a more sizable contribution to this world. However, although I am a big fat capitalist whore, I would gladly cut my yearly earnings in half in a heartbeat if it meant that everyone in this country were able to be on the same playing field.
Now on to my conflicted ideas of the movie.
I love Michael Moore. I've seen everything he has ever produced, read everything he has written, and love, love, love him. I'm sure Michael is living such a life of similar contradictions-right Michael?
Yet I couldn't help feeling conflicted throughout the whole entire movie. I felt that there was a missing link.
Don't get me wrong-oh the horror of those big ole capitalist wolves fucking over the little guy, fucking over our country and then standing there with their greedy hands out demanding money for the disaster that they caused. I'm always giddy when I see someone sticking it to the big man and exposing all their dirty laundry. But really, are they the only ones at fault here?
Notwithstanding the poor people and old folk who were completely lied to by many of these companies, but are these greedy capitalists the only ones complicit in this debacle? No! Not in the least.
There's an entire aspect of the whole situation that is visibly missing from the movie. Throughout the entire movie, I thought to myself, "When do consumers also take responsibility for this mess?"
I personally know of more educated, upper middle class people than working class people who lost their homes because they got one of those ridiculous mortgages. Greedy middle class and upper middle class consumers who bought into the propaganda of the mortgage companies and other large companies merely because they also are greedy little pigs who wanted something that was too good to be true. In fact, I told numerous people on numerous occasions before all of this occurred that they should not get the mortgages, and yet they failed to listen and later lost their houses.
I'm talking about people who earn at least $80,000 or more, and most of them are married with two incomes. People who should know better. People who could have afforded a decent priced house, but decided that they wanted what they couldn't afford. I knew that they were getting duped, so am I supposed to feel sorry for them because they got fucked over? I most certainly don't. Some of these people make more money than me when they combine their incomes.
Before the stock market crashed, I watched these same greedy little fellows pour money into the stock market like a bunch of fools. One educated idiot at work borrowed money to buy stock, pulled money out of the equity in his house to buy stock, and gambled the stock market like he was in a casino. I repeatedly warned him what any non-idiot would know, "You DO NOT borrow money to invest money". I warned over and over and over. He would come in, puff up his chest and explain to me in a patronizing manner that he would use the money from dividends that he earned in order to pay off his debts for borrowing the stock. And then boom-one day he lost everything.
As the saying goes, "Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered". If you invest in the stock market and don't know what I'm talking about, I suggest that you get off your ass and find out. And if you're a greedy pig and let the big men in suits dupe you, then quit pointing the finger and accept your own complicity in the matter.
When the entire stock market crashed on a historical level, I went to work every day and talked everyone's ear off about the whole mess. Seventy-five percent of the people (who all make over $100,000 per year, by the way) didn't even know that the fucking stock market had crashed. Throughout the month they didn't even seem to be concerned. Most of the people that I spoke with didn't even know how their money was invested, and they didn't seem to have a fire under their ass to learn about it even in the midst of a financial crisis. Most of the women told me that their husbands handled all the investments. Now these same people are bitching that the big bad capitalists ruined their lives.
If a poor little girl like me from an east Los Angeles barrio can grow up to take responsibility for her finances, then so should everyone else.
The part that's missing from the whole movie is the episode where the big bad capitalist wolves ate alive the greedy pigs and the sheep who weren't paying attention. And the scene when the pigs and sheep served themselves on a golden platter to be eaten alive by the wolves.
Thank ya very much. Feel free to send me love or shoot darts at me in the comments section.
Coming soon-financial books that all women must read if you want to save yourself from being burned.
P.S. I'm not saying the big bad wolves aren't bad at all. I think someone ought to stick it to them and hang them in the public square.
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