REVIEW: Inequality for All

7 01 2014

Inequality for AllAs a sociology major in college, you could say I might know a thing or two about inequality.  Ok, so it’s essentially our bread and butter.    Whether you’ve taken one sociology course or not, whether you followed the Occupy movement or not, you’ll find Robert Reich’s documentary “Inequality for All” both enlightening and fascinating.

Reich, a former Secretary of Labor for President Bill Clinton, is certainly not using this movie to push a party’s agenda or invective.  As he lays out from the beginning of the film, the terms liberal and conservative are becoming irrelevant anyways.  He does not pander to those who are already persuaded or talk down to anyone who has never thought deeply about inequality.  It’s a documentary out to shake assumptions, and it succeeds admirably at doing just that.

Reich even tells the audience that they are welcome to decide that inequality isn’t an issue.  But after all the facts he lays out, you’d be pretty hard-pressed to find anyone who won’t concede it is somewhat of a problem.  Reich helps his argument by presenting positives instead of preaching negative vitriol.  “Inequality For All” isn’t about calling for an end to trickle-down economics; it’s a documentary passionately advocating for middle-out economics.

His rhetoric is also aided by his lack of defeatism or pessimism, which is remarkable given that he compares the Great Recession’s causes and effects to those of the Great Depression.  Reich is brilliant at showing how both downturns came about as well as explaining the cyclical nature of economic growth and decline.  The goal should be to move from vicious circles characterized by debt and inflation to virtuous circles where production, efficiency, and education spawn reduced costs and lower prices.

As 2014 dawns, inequality will apparently be a pressing issue for both political parties in Congress.  So while they (and your friends who watch them on partisan news channels) spew a lot of empty partisan platitudes, why don’t you be the level-headed one with the facts to dispel the myths?  You can be that person by watching “Inequality for All.”  B+3stars



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