Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?

Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?

76 minutes 2012 9.1/10 based on 18 votes

Contrary to popular belief, Wall Street did not cause the economic crisis of 2008, which led to many thousands losing the jobs, their homes, and their retirement savings. Long before the general population became aware that something was going on, the dismantlement of government regulations was well advanced. Thousands of dollars were being channeled from the taxpayers into the pockets of the wealthy and corporate CEOs.

In 1929, when the stock market crashed, thousands were left without jobs and found themselves having to stand in breadlines to get food. This was followed by several years of unemployment while one by one, huge corporations declared bankruptcy. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ provided jobs, social security, unemployment insurance, and made it easier for workers to join unions and bargain collectively to protect themselves against corporate abuse.

Following that, there were 50 years of economic peace in which a strong middle class was built, as the US economy became the greatest economic machine in history. Home-ownership rates skyrocketed and entrepreneurs started making money.

However, big businesses don’t like the government to get involved in their moneymaking plans and strategies. So in 1971 corporate leaders began to orchestrate a detailed plan to eliminate any government policies that might stand between them and profits.

The Chamber of Commerce launched a subtle campaign to influence public opinion as part of their plan for a makeover.

This documentary explores the economic collapse of 2008, tracing its origins back to a secret memo written in 1971 by Lewis Powell, the person who was to later become a Supreme Court Justice. Lewis Powell was a well-respected citizen of Richmond, Virginia. He was partner at a prestigious corporate law firm and a friend of an executive at the Chamber of Commerce named Eugene Sydnor. Sydnor asked his friend to draft the document, which was given the title Attack on American Free Enterprise System. The six-page memo is a free-market utopian treatise that demanded massive business makeover of government through corporate control of the media, academia, the pulpit, arts and sciences and through the destruction of organized labor and consumer protection groups.  The memo was forwarded to every corporation, inciting them to join the battle to save free enterprise.

What Powell emphasized the most was business control of law and politics. In his memo he stated that businesses should use their financial muscle to shape the politics of the country and that those who opposed should be penalized.

Heirs to six of the largest family fortunes in the United States used their private foundations to fund organizations that would promote unregulated markets. How exactly were they able to manipulate an entire nation? Find out now.

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Rating: 9.1/10 based on 18 votes

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