Movie review: 'Inequality for All' a searing censure of the status quo

THE BUFFALO NEWSNovember 1, 2013 



    Rated: PG for thematic elements, some violence, language and smoking images. Starring: Robert Reich. Director: Jacob Kornbluth. Running time: 89 minutes. Theater: Flicks.

During the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement, wealthy defenders of the status quo were quick to assert that protesters were practicing “class warfare.”

But as the documentary “Inequality for All” makes clear, a class war has been waged for decades, and its victims have been the middle and working classes.

The result? A rigged system that has produced growing economic inequality and pushed upward mobility out of reach for millions.

“Of all the developed nations today, the United States has the most uneven distribution of income and wealth by far — and we’re surging toward ever greater inequality,” says Robert Reich, the economics professor and former Clinton labor secretary.

Reich says the wealth of the 400 richest individuals in the U.S. — now 64th among nations in income equality — is equal to roughly that of the bottom 150 million Americans, helped by a tax rate that has gone from 91 percent when the country’s economic health was booming all the way down to 35 percent.

“Inequality for All” follows the template of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the liberal global warming film. Reich, whose decades-long mission to reverse these trends provides the film’s narrative, presents plain-spoken lectures on economic history. He is also seen meeting with people struggling to make ends meet, as well as wealthy people.

The film probably will be seen by people already sympathetic to Reich’s point of view, but even the converted need a good night out.

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