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Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, News | 2 March 2012 (USA)
2:21 | Trailer
Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? reveals how American corporations orchestrated the dismantling of middle-class prosperity through rampant deregulation, the outsourcing of jobs, and tax... See full summary »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Warren ... Herself
Nomi Prins Nomi Prins ... Herself
Franklin D. Roosevelt ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert Crandall Robert Crandall ... Himself
Bernie Sanders ... Himself
Robert Kuttner Robert Kuttner ... Himself
Benjamin C. Waterhouse Benjamin C. Waterhouse ... Himself
David Cay Johnston ... Himself
David John David John ... Himself
Deepak Bhargava Deepak Bhargava ... Himself
David Brock David Brock ... Himself
Drew Westen Drew Westen ... Himself
Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage)
Lou Mattis Lou Mattis ... Himself
Leo Gerard Leo Gerard ... Himself


Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? reveals how American corporations orchestrated the dismantling of middle-class prosperity through rampant deregulation, the outsourcing of jobs, and tax policies favoring businesses and the wealthy. The collapse of the U.S. economy is the result of conscious choices made over thirty five years by a small group: leaders of corporations and their elected allies, and the biggest lobbying interest in Washington, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. To these individuals, the collapse is not a catastrophe, but rather the planned outcome of their long, patient work. For the rest of the country, it is merely the biggest heist in American history. Written by Anonymous

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occupy movement | See All (1) »


There are only two kinds of power in America: organized money and organized people.


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2 March 2012 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


The Corporate Welfare Song
(C) Anne Feeney (BMI)
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User Reviews

Bulletin!! The System is Rigged for the Rich & Powerful
20 October 2013 | by larrys3See all my reviews

Although my headline above is satirical, I did find this documentary to be taut and concise(at only 1 hr. and 16 min. long), and although I'm fairly well versed on the subject I did learn quite a bit from it.

I thought perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the doc was citing the memorandum of Lewis Powell, in the 1970's, who would go on to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. In this memorandum, which he wrote for the Chamber of Commerce, basically the game plan was written for the rich and powerful individuals and corporations, which is still being used today some 4 decades later.

President Ronald Reagan liked the Powell memorandum so much he distributed it to all his Administration officials, and apparently used it to back many of his doctrines. These included slashing taxes for the wealthy(the infamous "trickle down" economic theory), raising taxes for the middle class and the poor( but couching the terms as "revenue enhancements"), marginalize or destroy unions, and deregulate business as much as possible.

The film is quick to point out that Republican Administrations were not alone in this wealth re-distribution. Under President Clinton, the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act was abolished, which had very successfully prohibited banks and savings and loans from using depositors money for risky investments. Now, it was the Wild West all over again with banks packaging mortgages into the infamous derivatives, which I believe led primarily to the economic meltdown of 2008.

Also, Clinton backed and fostered the NAftA Treaty, which since its' inception has cost countless American jobs, held workers' wages stagnant, and put them further into debt in all three countries.

Manipulation of the media is another goal of the rich elite, or oligarchy. In 1983, there were 50 major media companies, and now we are down to 6--Time-Warner,Comcast, CBS, NewsCorp, Viacom, and Disney. Investigative reporting is becoming a thing of the distant past, and any reporter that seriously challenges those in power will most likely be fired. Six extremely powerful and rich families, such as the Koch Brothers, Joseph Coors et al. have formed private foundations to manipulate the media and promote their agendas. We even saw this in the recent Federal Government shutdown, and near default when certain groups showed they were virtually willing to do anything to de-fund "Obamacare" Next on their "hit list" will be Social Security and Medicare cuts, while major corporations shield their profits overseas and often not only do not pay their fair share of taxes but receive enormous rebates from the U.S. government.

I could write all day on this, but let's say the movie offers some possible solutions towards the end for citizens to fight back and try and reclaim some of the wealth that has moved to the rich and widened the gap between the wealthy and the other 99% of us. Unfortunately, I personally believe it will take another crisis of some sort to get people motivated enough to demand major changes in this rigged system.

The documentary was directed by Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher, and narrated by Thom Hartmann.

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