Begging for Billionaires (2009) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • As school children, we were taught that only foreign governments could take private property from one citizen and give it to another. But the property rights that once defined us as a nation have virtually disappeared. Begging for Billionaires: The Attack on Property Rights in America is the first feature-length documentary to expose how city governments seize private property from everyday citizens and give it to billionaire developers and Fortune 500 companies, absurdly justifying their actions as "community economic development." Poor and disadvantaged families are forced out of their homes, sometimes with little notice. Good, hard-working Americans hold back tears as family histories are bulldozed to smithereens. Frantic homeowners scramble to rescue their life's possessions as heartless demolition crews pulverize the walls around them. Historic neighborhoods, rich with ethnic history, are systematically wiped away despite their beautiful homes and carefully maintained gardens. The film's action takes place in cities and towns throughout Missouri, one of the nation's worst abusers of eminent domain power. Harassment, intimidation, media manipulation and hush money are all part of this dirty game. And for all their misdeeds, developers reap millions in tax credits and government subsidies before paying off their servants in City Hall with generous campaign contributions designed to keep them in power and at their disposal. It's happening in Missouri, and it's happening all over America.

  • Explores the erosion of private property rights in United States and exposes how municipal governments use tax money and abusive eminent domain policies to aid private developers and corporations.


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