What happens when the rich gets richer?
In the late seventies and early eighties an experiment was launched in the United States and the United Kingdom. The purpose was to provide a higher standard of living for everybody. What really happened is that today financial inequality is at an all time high.
At the time the politicians honestly believed that free market would produce the resources that would make everybody better off. The idea was to get rid of unemployment and increase investments. This, they expected would trickle down and benefit everyone. But by the mid eighties income differences started widening rapidly, and the weaker trade unions led to more inequality. The balance of power between employers and employees shifted to favor employers.
The nineties brought about some hope as technology started overtaking the globe, but among the many things that perpetuate inequality are beliefs: the way people think and the things they value. And so inequality continued to rise and most didn’t have the slightest idea about what they had done to contribute to that.
This film tells the stories of seven men and women who started out thinking their experiences would be different, but quickly realized that no matter how hard they try, the gap between the rich and the poor will always dominate how riches are distributed. In fact, most aspects of our lives are controlled by the size of that gap.
Alden is a Wall Street psychologist, who sometimes feels trapped in a box doing session after session, as he tries to join the top 1% earners. Leah works at her local KFC and says she lives in constant stress. Jen lives in a gated community where she doesn’t fit it and knows nothing about her neighbors except that they really invest in their golf carts. Darren grew up in an environment that was plagued by uncertainty. Rochelle might not be able to afford the best pair of shoes but declares that she’s not living in poverty, even though she spends a lot of time rushing from one patient to the next, taking care of their needs. Janet went from being a small business owner to working at Wal-Mart. Keith grew up in a loving environment in the Appalachian Mountains but has no idea who he is now that he’s in prison. Their stories are weaved together to make it clear that economic division creates social division.