By THEO FRYE-YANOS, age 11
Inequality for All is a 2013 documentary film about economic inequality in the United States. It is narrated by Robert Reich, a former United States Secretary of Labor during the Clinton Administration and current professor at UC Berkeley.
In Inequality for All, Reich explores why the United States has so much income inequality, and why the financial gap between the rich and the poor is widening. He argues that issues like the lack of labor unions, globalization and technology are to blame for rising income inequality. He also demonstrates that, rather than wealthy entrepreneurs and company owners being the “job creators,” it is the middle class who are the real job creators, since their buying power drives the economy much more than entrepreneurs or corporations. Due to the weakening middle class, the United States and its working class are in an economically weakening “vicious cycle,” rather than a “virtuous cycle” of widespread economic prosperity.
Reich uses many graphs to support his claims. He often makes the analogy that the graph of income inequality from the beginning of the twentieth century to now is similar to a suspension bridge. The two towers are the peaks of income inequality: in 1928, just before the Great Depression, and 2007, just before the Great Recession. The sagging area of the suspension cable represents the time of low inequality from the 1940s to the mid-1970s, when there were strong labor unions and more opportunities for people to go to college.
However, Reich also admits that some people benefit from greater inequality. When it is high, there are two winners: first, those who have the buying power because they are getting cheaper products, and second, the corporations, who are capitalizing* on the increase in productivity due to having more labor for less pay.
Inequality for All is a great educational film with a touch of political humor that I recommend for everyone that wishes to know about income inequality in our country and how we can fix it. The fight for income equality in our country is a growing one, and our citizens need to know how we can get ourselves out of the menacing (alarming) situation.
*Capitalize: to take advantage of or benefit from a situation.