Sunday, October 04, 2009

Capitalism: The Real Story

Michael Moore: Capitalism did nothing for me.

The data show that capitalism has actually done a lot for Michael Moore, and the millions of others living in countries with higher levels of economic freedom and capitalism. In fact, among many other benefits illustrated in the charts below, just being born in America added almost 20 years to Michael Moore's life expectancy compared to if he had been born in one of the countries in the bottom quartile of economic freedom (the 25% "least free" countries in the world), see the first chart below.

Source: The Cato Institutes's "Economic Freedom of the World: 2009 Annual Report."

MP: In other words, the evidence clearly demonstrates that along with capitalism and greater economic freedoms come: a) higher per-capita incomes, b) higher incomes for the poorest 10%, c) greater life expectancy, d) less corruption, e) cleaner environments, and f) greater political rights and civil liberties. Not a bad record for a system that Michael Moore portrays as evil, and says did "nothing for him."


At 10/04/2009 11:50 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Moore is a hypocrite. If he was a true believer, he would give away his movies away for free.

At 10/04/2009 12:09 PM, Anonymous morganovich said...

of further interest, if you look at the income of the lowest 10% as a percentage of median incomes, it rises steadily with freedom and capitalism as well.

this drives home a fact few realize about the US system. despite the current fashion for vilifying US style capitalism, when compared even to other fairly free countries like those of europe, something gets lost in all the talk of gini coefficients: our poor are still as rich or richer than their poor.

the reason we have more "uneven" wealth distribution is that our middle class and our rich are MUCH richer than their counterparts in europe.

visit a Parisian apartment. you will not find large screen TV's, microwaves, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and in most cases, you won't find that the occupants own a car. these are all staples of the middle class in the US.

worse, the socialist systems take so much of this lower level of income in tax, that wealth accumulation is virtually impossible. social classes in europe are far more stratified and movement between them is much less common that in the US. unlike out lower classes, which tend to move up into the middle class over time, theirs stay right where they are.

europe is a great place to be rich. hold your assets offshore, and you pay no tax. but if you are not rich enough to have offshore investments, the taxes will eat you alive. in the US, a $100,000 salary leave you with $70-75,000 after taxes if you are even somewhat careful with your tax planning. in much of europe, you'd have $45-50,000, and that's before you discover the 3-5% property taxes, double digit VAT's, and extortionate taxes on cars and fuel. hell, the dutch actually tax SAVINGS. the whole system is set up in such a way as to make wealth accumulation virtually impossible. and these are the most successful socialist systems. have a look at cuba or venezeula to see how badly it can go.

At 10/04/2009 12:17 PM, Anonymous CompEng said...

The most important components to the advancement of society are freedom and honor. The ability to honor a contract, belief in fairness, the reasonable belief that honesty will be rewarded in the long run, and the ability to trust that those you are working with believe these things are well: they are as important to society as freedom. There are many lawless societies where freedom is much greater than in the developed world: they are distinguished by both poverty and violence. The bottom line: freedom is necessary, but freedom alone won't cut it.

At 10/04/2009 1:22 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> that Michael Moore portrays as evil, and says did "nothing for him."

Yeah, it only allowed him to make a number of blatantly specious pseudo-documentaries which has made him all too rich.

I want to see him go to China and become a resident there, and then try and make a film as critical of the Chinese government as his most recent "fake but accurate" documentaries have been.

Then he can tell us Capitalism "did nothing for him"

Well, he'll be about 8 inches shorter, so talking may be a bit of a problem, but, hey, everyone will know what Capitalism did for him that other systems would not.

At 10/04/2009 2:20 PM, Anonymous Benny "Tell It Like It Is" Man said...

Michale Moore, so clever on so many counts--his storytelling about GM, or Bush and the Iraq war is brilliant--falls apart when he addresses the topic of capitalism.
Who can doubt the innovations that come out of venture capitalism? Or that the allocation of resources, the range of consumer choice is terrific in capitalism.
Free markets do fall apart on some areas, pollution is an obvious one. Health care is iffy.
Moore overstates the case.

At 10/04/2009 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Health care is not part of our capitalist society. It is over-regulated, medicare, medicaid, SCHIP and other programs cause other distortions. Buyers and sellers don't negotiate the prices of the services, government and the insurance companies do. It's all a big mess and it isn't capitalism. It was better when it was a patient and a doctor.

At 10/04/2009 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moore's film pulled in about $4 million over the weekend. The film played in about 1000 theaters.

In terms of revealed preference, the vast majority of Americans prefer not to see the film.

At 10/04/2009 3:32 PM, Anonymous Kevin said...

Moore hasn't added to his life expectancy given his morbid obeseness

At 10/04/2009 7:40 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

Quite fascinating and informative the data you present in support of capitalism. The long view is often ignored as people struggle in the short term and look for change.

At 10/04/2009 9:47 PM, Blogger marketdoc said...

Moore specializes in telling half truths laced with his own skewed perspectives. I honestly cannot recall watching a movie as bad as Capitalism. I'm thinking of going to Flint with my camera rolling to ask for my money back. In keeping with his theme comparing the U.S. with Ancient Rome, I give the movie two thumbs down. I would give more thumbs down but I only have two thumbs.

At 10/04/2009 9:53 PM, Blogger QT said...


well said. Median incomes in Europe are definitely lower and although tax rates in new Europe have been coming down in recent years. The U.S. is still significantly ahead by most metrics in spite of the recession most notably in access to capital financing.

MM seems to fall into the usual San Francisco democrat "Blame America" rhetoric. Only a democracy would tolerate such a mosquito. Can you imagine Mr. Moore's life expectancy in Communist China or in Cuba. It seems punditry is doomed to be the haunt of such cartoon characters.

What is difficult to understand is any sentient being actually buying into whatever ego-centric jibberish MM is peddling at the mo. Appreciate some help on this. Any MM fans?

At 10/04/2009 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benny said

"Michale Moore, so clever on so many counts--his storytelling about GM, or Bush and the Iraq war is brilliant--falls apart when he addresses the topic of capitalism."

Ah, no.

Every film Moore has done is half-truth and innuendo, not just his latest "Capitalism".

His films may be clever, and perhaps entertaining BS, but they still are BS.

At 10/04/2009 11:18 PM, Anonymous argonaut said...

And to be a bit more pointed: here is a simple measure of what capitalism has "done" for Mr Moore in the past...

At 10/05/2009 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, looking the PDF, the US ranks #6 most free. I'm surprised it is that high.

I'm very much concerned that many of the programs proposed by the Obama adminstration such as Cap/Trade and Healthcare Reform - both massive tax/spend/redistribute schemes will reduce or erode our economic freedom.


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