Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher’s exploration of the corporate takeover of America made its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival last Fall. It screened in conjunction with the Occupy movement in Marin and Los Angeles, and also was part of Santa Barbara’s lineup. It goes to Cleveland next month, but before that enjoys a one-week run in NYC.
Causey and Goldmacher’s film cogently argues that the economic collapse is a direct result of decades of deregulation in various forms at the service of corporations. Citing 1971’s Powell Memo, a battle plan to give corporations unprecedented power and wealth, which became a blueprint for public policy beginning under Reagan, the filmmakers trace a path of destruction of checks and balances which led to the current state of crisis. The growth of lobbies, the bankrolling of Congress through Conservative “think tanks” like the Heritage Foundation, and the weakening of unions all worked hand-in-hand to dismantle the benefits in place since the New Deal and begin the economic decline of the country under Reaganomics, while deregulation paved the way for corporations to amass greater and greater wealth. Unfortunately, Presidents who followed, both Democrat and Republican, followed suit. The doc presents a staggering amount of historical background that all Americans should know – and be angered by – but, just as importantly, it provides a way forward and out of the mess through political activism.