“Inequality for all” directed by Jacob Kornbluth is a documentary released in 2013 contrasting the realities of the widely diversifying inequality of income in the United States. Based on his book “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future”, Robert Reich presents the film. He narrates the documentary wondrously touching on almost every other thing including his car and his height to support his points. The film is one of the best documentaries ever developed on reality as it is based on what a good society should entail and the effects of the widening gap of income to the economy.
According to the documentary, despite the U.S economy doubling in the past 30 years, the fruits of this increase were only harnessed by a few. 400 richest Americans own more wealth compared to their fellow citizens combined to a number of around 150 million in total. This, Reich argues, poses a danger to all Americans economically no matter their class of income. Most of the middle-class citizens feel that the American dream has been robed from them and they don’t feel to share their birth right. Robert Reich having served as the United States Secretary of Labour in Bill Clinton’s administration, narrates in the film in the best way ever using first hand experiences. He critically analyses the subject of inequality in the film likehe had addressed it for the previous 3 years.
Reich is unafraid to make some fun of self as he reveals terrific clips of himself on some late-night shows.He- in the clips- talks big and plays off to be small. He notes that being the secretary of Labour his focus was minimal for the government to invest on the working class. However, the strengths in this documentary are not in the personal stories Reich brings in, but in how he explains the economic dynamics that permitted them to happen. He notes that the state has reduced its funding to public universities meaning the universities have to raise their tuition. On the other hand, considering the stagnant or at times the decreasing wages in the United States, it is harder for themiddle-income families to afford it. Around the year 1960, the public colleges tuition was approximately 4% of the middle-class family income, while apparently, according to Reich’s argument, it’s almost 25% of their income. Thus, making the middle-income family to go into debts while raising the fee because they still need the degree as they used to at those times.
The director Jacob Kornbluth organized a basic campaign for the country’s labour unions to institute viewing parties during the release of the film, he then states that he is hopeful that he will launch a movement. The success of the film evidenced by various awards including the Oscar Awards; meant that the public reception was excellent just like he anticipated. The film on Rotten tomatoes is rated at 90% and more so has over 62 reviews. The Guardian noted it as an astonishingly excellent movie that co-relates economic ideas to the everyday life of the ordinary persons.
The documentary nevertheless, has some weaknesses in its “no kidding” moments. The film should have emphasized on what most people already suspected, that lobbyists and basically the entrenched wealthy have made the middle class to be an American dream, enticing as stardom.The director again brings out the context while avoiding most of the political subjects that have resulted the economy to be a mulch for Partisan consumption (Scott).
The film addresses the results of having such a divided economy in very divergent but obvious ways. It depicts an employee earning around $21 per hour as one who hardly can manage to support his or her family (Scott). The director reflects on Nick Hanauer a benevolent billionaire who notes that his company is highly dependent on middle-class customers. The documentary is strongly based on not laying blames. The director for instance, does not bring the Wall Street to limelight until midway(Scott).
The director strives to be bipartisan giving the republican family who are seemingly pro-union after seeing the downsizing of their hometown Calpine geothermal plant. This downsizing leaves the remaining workers to work more for a lesser pay, something that is so common nowadays. Reich’s argument throughout the film is that the middle class in the United States constitute 70% of the country’s spending and more so, are the job creators. The rich however, still get richer by collecting up their wealth in secret and often transferring their investments abroad.
Both Reich and the director do a credible job throughout the film. Reich’s tone throughout his narration is one that suggests that he is interested in the improvement of the country’s economy but more so, the welfare of the middle class. Despite that at some instances his tone sounds defeated, he however, maintains his confidence that America will thrive and maintain the right course. He notes at the end of the film that anyone who is sceptical about social progress should consider where the country has come from. He concludes this as some images of the women’s suffrage movement illuminate throughout the screen. This gives the documentary the ability to relate with the common interest of progress of the country.
Bowles, Scott. “‘Inequality for All’ a rich portrait of middle class.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 27 Sept. 2013. Web. 04 May 2017.