According to Michael Moore’s video, “Capitalism: A Love Story” various changes and historical developments since Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980’s set the stage for the 2008 financial crisis. The beginning of it all, according to Moore, is the Capitalism that dominated America following the World War II. At the time capitalism appeared like a good idea with America’s economy growing increasingly amid concerns by President Jimmy Carter of an impending crisis. President Reagan’s administration did not, however, share in those concerns. Corporations were allowed to gain more political power and enterprises became freer. On the other hand sectors such as the workers-unions were weakened by the corporations thus widening the rift between different social classes. The result was socioeconomic gaps, and the evils of capitalism started being evident. The rich would get even richer while the poor remained so. What followed are a few wealthy individuals controlling the American economy and political system. Democracy seemed to be replaced by capitalism. Banks were allowed too much power leading to people constantly being forcefully vacated from their own homes as real estate agents profited the most. The government would evidently have deals with sectors such as the Wall Street resulting in the suspicious disappearance of public money. People’s needs such as a decent living and job opportunities were no longer given priority. These events culminated in the 2008 financial crisis as the banking sector made big risks in anticipation of big profits. These banks would offer subprime home mortgages to the American People driven by greed yet supported by the government. Since the homeowners couldn’t pay owing to the capitalist state, it led to the great recession of 2008-2012.
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Climate Change and its Relationship with the Political and Economic System
Climate change is a present global crisis that cannot be addressed without mentioning politics and economics. In the last 50 years, the average land temperature has warmed by nearly 1° C, a change that has been associated with human activity. One of the biggest evidence of the relationship between climate change and politics as well as economics is the recent withdrawal of the US from the 2015 Paris Agreement that was aimed towards climate change mitigation. The reason that President Trump gave for the withdrawal is that the Paris Accord would undermine the U.S economy. It did not take long for him to announce that oil extraction would be allowed in the Arctic offshore, an action that could have huge negative consequences for the climate. A country like China has become so heavily industrialized that they have a big problem with smog. Air pollution in the eastern superpower is increasingly becoming a problem as industrialization grows by the day favored by political policies. After all, the government wants to grow its economy and therefore encourages industrialization, which is the same case for the US. Capitalism continues to have a deadly effect on the climate as big corporations are only interested in reaping heavy profits without caring. The relationship is thus evident: corporations continue to pollute the environment with greenhouse gas emissions while the government supports them since they promote the given country’s economy in the ever-growing competition to become the greatest country. With this line of thought, President Trump has made it clear that he will ‘Make America Great Again’ and no climate concerns will stand in his way.
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