Where would we be today if the “decision makers” would have made more acceptable decisions that affected the economy prior to the market crashing? Millions of middle-class Americans have been left jobless, and even homeless, as a result of the major corporations getting bailed out, while certain individuals were benefiting millions of dollars in bonuses. Following the Great Depression, the United States did not have a single financial crisis.
However, according to Charles Ferguson, who is the director of Inside Job, the progressive deregulation of the financial sector since the 1980s gave rise to an increasingly criminal industry. In fact, many executives and leaders that were involved in this meltdown refused to answer questions, and some refused to interview for the documentary all together. The financial crisis of 2008 left many of us with many unanswered questions wondering how the most powerful nation in the world ended up with a destructed economy.
The documentary Inside Job hunts down the culprits of the major financial institutions that had the biggest effect on the nation’s economy. The film attempts to provide a comprehensive understanding of the most important subject we have yet to face as a country; which is the worst financial crisis since the Depression, as well as holding those accountable who destroyed our financial system. Inside Job exposes the shocking truth behind the economic crisis. Throughout the film, you feel yourself cringing more and more by each interview.
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This documentary not once uses the word ‘capitalism’, although it is implied throughout the entire duration. The underlying message about capitalism in the movie is that it mainly benefits the elite, and that it is a corrupt world of finance. The big banks and financial institutions molded the government policies in their favor. As the economy came crashing down, the owners and leaders of financial institutions walked away from the crisis with their personal accounts untouched, and in superb condition for what the entire global economy was going to face next. Joe Boustead, of Socialist. et, states “The truth is that in a capitalist mode of production anarchy rules, this in turn led to a massive crisis of overproduction, there were simply too many commodities being produced to be consumed as the individuals could either not afford them or simply had no need for them. ”
One by one, the big banks came crashing down, and more debt was being added to what would become the worst economic crisis in history. Out of the various philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche would be inclined to agree with the behavior of the Wall Street moguls and the politicians who were responsible for the “Great Recession. Nietzsche is the philosopher of the will to power, seen as vital creation and fulfillment. He believed that humans and animals seek to live only to exert power and that each person should establish their own moral codes. As Nietzsche believed, “A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength—life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent. ” As evidenced in the documentary, the government and executives sought to discharge their strength by partaking in self-preserving behaviors.
While Inside Job exposed the criminal culture of Wall Street, a culture of lies, trickery, and corruption for power, it also exposed the widespread abuse of cocaine and prostitutes. Jonathan Alpert, a psychological counselor for Wall Street executives and professionals in the film, tells us that these practices “go right to the very top. ” Nietzsche valued individualism above all else. He spoke negatively of anarchists, but he believed that only certain individuals should attempt to break away from the “herd. ” That is the main reason I believe he would agree with the behaviors shown in this film.
He would be inclined to believe that only certain individuals would be intelligent enough to take advantage of certain laws implemented by government, and somehow twist them into their own benefit, which is exactly what these Wall Street moguls did. If I were to propose legislation to address the problems and issues presented in the documentary, I would use John Stuart Mill’s philosophical view as a basis for the legislation. Mills believed in utilitarianism, which claimed that “one should assess persons, actions, and institutions by how well they promote human happiness. James Mill claimed: The desire, therefore, of that power which is necessary to render the persons and properties of human beings subservient to our pleasures, is the grand governing law of human nature [Essay IV; cf. Essay V]. I would use utilitarianism as a standard of conduct. Mills believed in the common good for the greatest number. This legislation would not have allowed the senseless, selfish acts that were committed which resulted in a recession that the entire nation had to deal with. Utilitarianism would have avoided the issues that were addressed in the documentary.
It would maximize happiness and reduce the suffering of millions of people. I would also implement Sartre’s “bad faith”, or better known as his existentialism philosophy. Existentialism is a concept where a human would be under pressure from society and acts authentically. These CEOs and leaders knew what they were getting not only their institutions in, but also the economy. Instead of acting authentically and making decisions that would later on benefit the greater amount of people in the world, they chose to act unconsciously.
It is a fact that the recession could have been avoided. The wrong decisions were purposely implemented in order to cover certain individuals and maintain power, and of course wealth. Jean-Paul Sartre believed that one should be held responsible for his own actions, and that all individuals should act authentically. From Sartre’s view, we are all “conscious” when we make decisions. He focused on three modes of being: being-for-itself, being-in-itself, and being-for-others. The “being-for-itself” would be better described as the being of consciousness.
All of these problems that we are facing today, would not be occurring if the decision makers would have acted with consciousness, rather than cruelty, and greed. The people who purposely made calls to somehow sabotage the economy for their own interest should be held accountable, and prosecuted, just as any criminal. Inside Job does an amazing job of informing the audience of what happened behind closed doors to end up where our economy is today. It goes back in history far enough to explain where this economic downfall started, and who there is to blame.
The economic crisis could have been avoided if the correct course of action were taken, but instead the middle-class ended up in a situation that was never thought of. Due to greed, this country has to work harder to clean up the mess of the power and money-hungry executives that allowed the economy to get to this state. Inside Job is an informing documentary that leaves us disgusted, but yet informed of the unethical moves people are willing to make in order to stay in power and wealthy. At the end of this documentary, we are left wondering, where would we be today if greed didn’t partake in people’s every move?
What is next to come to America, what was once the most powerful country in the world? These moguls are roaming free enjoying their millions of dollars, rather than behind bars for leaving the nation in the worst state we have ever been in as a nation. While the less-powerful, and innocent, are figuring out where the next meal is coming from, or finding a way to get their children to college, the rich are feeding off of every dollar that was benefited and controlled. The truth always comes to light, and in this case, regardless of how hard these folks tried to hide it, the research was conducted to find out what exactly happened.
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