In the documentary, “Saving Capitalism,” the former Secretary of Labor and Professor, Robert Reich identifies various issues and concerns facing the American economic system (capitalism). The professor assesses the varied perceptions of both liberal and conservative Americans on the present big factors and possible solutions. The book’s title implies that the American economic system is facing numerous challenges. While capitalism supports free market systems devoid of government controls, Robert affirm that high stakes among the political class and big corporations are threatening the American socio-economic systems. The rules are narrowing opportunities for the middle class and expanding opportunities for the rich (corporate America). Huge numbers of Americans are struggling to overcome the rising influence of the large companies in domestic policies. The rules and regulations set by government serves the interests of political and corporate leaders.
In the documentary, the professor cites issues such tax subsidies to corporations and tax breaks for CEO pays and other executives ($4billion in tax breaks-oil companies with a net income of over $50billion). Undeniably, lobby groups on corporate welfare are slowly killing capitalism and contributing to the erosion of the middle class population. Robert Reich believes that such practices are not sustainable and threatens the moral standing of the American societies. While government regulations can affect free markets, excessive freedom and competition resulted in the crash of the Wall Street during the financial crisis. In most cases, the government gets involved in dealing with the perceived consequences through massive bailouts. In essence, corporate players such as pharmaceutical companies wield massive market and political powers and influences policies in their favor. The corporations are influencing the country’s economic system (capitalism) by lobbying government’s regulations to benefit their operations. Such companies control policy decisions in different administrations through campaign funding, public relation stunts, and lobby groups. According to the documentary, corporate lobbying influenced by political leaders limits American voices implying that Americans will continue to pay more for basic services.
Congressman David Brat describes the current state as “crony capitalism.” According to the conservative politician, the government is facilitating big corporation at the expense of the general population. Money influences outcome and corporate America is taking over the country. In his campaign trails, President Trump affirmed that campaign moneys from Wall Street companies influenced most of the policy decisions in the company.
Subsequently, the rise of populism emanates from people’s needs for reformed institutions. Effective institutions can counter the power and influence of big corporations in the American societies. However, Professor Robert Reich proposes solutions that include the ratification of different legislations such as antitrust laws can control monopolies. Additionally, the country should prohibit corporate donations to political campaigns. Moreover, more young people should contribute towards demanding for systems that works for everybody. I believe that reclaiming the economy and democracy is paramount to “saving capitalism” and “saving capitalism.” Lastly, great organization and increased political interests among the citizens will help in changing the rules governing corporate bodies.
Different concepts and issues identified in the documentary “Saving Capitalism” relates to our experiences or knowledge in the contemporary societies and lecture notes. For instance, the institutional theory described in chapter 7 emphasizes that socio-economic and political issues should limit people’s access to opportunities. In chapter 8, the concept of functionalism stipulates that different media platforms are facilitating the rise of populism to counter “crony capitalism” in American societies. Americans should employ the constructionist approach in the identification of social problems caused by corporate and political leaders in the country. Under the public arenas model, the identified challenges should gain public attention and influence the introduction of viable changes in corporate and political systems.