Last week while searching the many many pirated DVD’s around our house for something interesting, I came across Michael Moore’s movie where he sticks it to the man yet again. While I generally like his movies and agree with him that many corporations are greedy, evil institutions, there is one point that I would like to raise.
Michael Moore only concentrates on the good of America. This came to me when I saw some pictures of “welfare” housing and the occupants complaining that they lived in run down housing and somebody should do something about it. For the first time in my life I looked at them as greedy bastards. The people in question were extremely fat, sitting on nice carpet and it seemed they had plenty of furniture. I also do not doubt that they have air conditioning and cable television.
The problem with rich countries is that the “poor” are always thinking about what they do not have instead of what they do. In other words, people by nature always tend to look up, instead of down. I came to see them as greedy since I now live in Vietnam and “poverty” has taken on a whole new meaning for me. The poorest I’ve seen are people with no housing that sleep in the street and are emancipated as a pole. One step up is a shack made of wood out in the middle of terribly dusty countryside which has no running water at all and the people drink rain water.
So when Michael Moore talks about these evil corporations leaving America and going to another country, it’s something I actually support. Many people in Vietnam have absolutely nothing and if they were lucky enough to get a job in a sweat shop, it is better than the alternative which would be nothing at all. At least in the sweat shop they can earn a living. It’s true these sweat shops don’t pay much, but if they paid too much, then doctors, lawyers and such would leave their professions to go work in the sweat shop and it would create havoc. (Well, maybe no one would miss the lawyers as much.)
But seriously, it upset me to see the “poor” in America complaining so much about their three story “run down” apartments, when most people in the world can barely afford even a shack.
I explained this to a Vietnamese girl I had dinner with this evening and she was baffled. When she grew up, her family couldn’t even afford shoes and drank rain water. The “poor” in Michael Moore’s video showed that the poor people’s kids wore Air Jordans’ and had nice clothing on.
I also didn’t appreciate it when welfare mothers went with Mr. Moore to a greedy governers office and started shouting “We wanna work,” and rambled on during a very loud diatribe. If they want to find work, I’m sure they have much better opportunity in America than in most places and at least the government is giving them something. If the people here in Vietnam got a handout from the government, there would be dancing in the streets.
This does not excuse most corporations from being greedy however. But under a capitalist system such as we have in America, the goal is to make as much money as possible and not make excuses for doing so. I’ve found that humans in general can only be motivated by either money or religion, and as education gets better, then money usually wins out.
If Michael Moore really wanted to change things, he should stop attacking these companies individually and try to change the Capitalist system to socialism or possibly communism. Although, again, politicians are also driven by money and I do think it’s better to have at least two parties to fight against each other than only one, since corruption is going to happen anyway, at least two parties create a sort of balance and can keep a sort of check on the corruption.