I recommend both the documentary and the book. The problem in our half-Capitalist/half-Socialist system is that the push is on to go with one or the other extreme, but what happens in reality is that those with the most political clout seem to get the money at the end of the day. So the very wealthy investor class member has found a way to get government to print up money to cover the biggest of losses, and enough extra money is spread around giving people some unemployment bail out monies, dubious temporary stimulus paychecks, and other little social service type funds- so that no one wants to completely overturn the current establishment. So we get these crazy swings from establishment Democrats to establishment Republicans, with little Nader/Green movements on the Left and little Tea Parties on the Right, attracting the really pissed off segments of the politically-minded populace. What would happen if Ralph Nader or Ron Paul actually became President would be anybody’s guess- I actually think I would vote for them as a ticket- they seem to have the right intentions, they are both smart and have compassionate sides, and I think they need each other.
Ralph Nader is too enamored with the government’s ability to regulate the bad guys, and Ron Paul is too fearful of political authorities role in ensuring the common good- which is the only reason for having political authority in the first place. They are both very good at identifying the wastefulness of most of the wars that now seem to be perpetual, and they both see that the little guys in this country and around the world are basically getting shafted by the global economy as managed by the big Trade Organizations (WTO, NAFTA et al) and World Bank/IMF supra-national, non-democratic power entities. Both Nader-Paul are hostile to the Big Banks and Multinational Corporations that either corrupt or use the governmental representatives of our nation. The Statist Nader and the Libertarian Paul would be a compelling team for me because they seem at different times to fit into the advice I find in reading the Catholic social doctrine- the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, the proper roles for political authorities and the role of business and free enterprise. The Wall Street princes would be reduced in powers by either regulating and watch dogging them or by bypassing them with small business interests hooking up with other global small business interests and eliminating the myriad of middle-men, those politically-connected, and the manipulators of currency and stock/futures paper markets.
I want to see some combination of Mr.Smith Goes to Washington-types bringing traditional moral beliefs, and a loathing of corruption that turns the General Welfare clause of the Preamble of our Constitution into a cruel joke among politicians; along with the Jimmy Stewart character in “It’s a Wonderful Life” a solid man of the community, a businessman and banker, who puts capital into play for the working middle-class to improve their lot- own homes, educate kids, take pride in self and community, allowing for public works where you don’t have to be rich to have access to the leisure time that is productive and wholesome for traditional families to flourish. Ralph Nader reminds me of Mr.Smith and Ron Paul reminds me of “It’s a Wonderful Life” economics 101. A dream team for me but I don’t think America is desperate enough to move outside their mainstream Dem/Republican boxes- I’m about to leave my Dem box in the near future- more on that later.