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Eleanor Ringel Cater

‘Inequality for All’ — Robert Reich explores the most inconvenient truth

By Eleanor Ringel Cater

There are so many inconvenient truths in Robert Reich’s “Inequality for All,” it makes Al Gore’s Oscar winner look like a Tea Party screed.

His premise? The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. And poorer. And poorer. And….

Reich, who was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and a professor at such tony places as Berkeley, Harvard and Brandeis, is as entertaining a guide as Gore was.  Actually, he ‘s more personable since a lot of the Gore bump (personality-wise) could be traced to the former VP’s singular stiffness as a Presidential candidate.  If he’d presented the Gore then that he did later in “An Inconvenient Truth,” he just may have been President.

Addressing one of his classes at the University of California, Berkeley, Reich is wryly funny, yet also as scary as an Old Testament prophet as he charts the crushing and ever-growing gap between CEOs and what used to be the Middle Class.

His on-screen audience (aside from us) are the students in one of his classes at Berkeley. Does it have to be Berkeley? I mean, easy aces. Try teaching that class at Bob Jones University. Yet, Reich uses his graph and charts and stats so persuasively, you have to think, well, maybe he would get through.

Roughly Danny DeVito size thanks to a rare genetic disease Reich remains optimistic despite the depressing tone of his conclusions. And he holds our interest with tossed-off factoids that have considerable impact.

Consider this: the 400 richest Americans have more total combined wealth than half — yes, half — of the entire United States population.

Of course, the movie is preaching to the choir. I don’t know a single person who will go to have their minds changed about the soaring inequality between the 99 and the 1 per centers.

But then, I’m being knee-jerk myself. My husband, who eats, drinks and sleeps FOX, believes the gap between haves and have-nots has become intolerable. And undesirable.

You may remember the old saying: Without a nail, the shoe was lost; without a shoe, the horse was lost, without a horse, the king was lost; without a king, the kingdom was lost.

Without a healthy middle class….

Eleanor Ringel

Eleanor Ringel, Movie Critic, was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly's Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.


1 Comment

  1. DW33 October 3, 2013 3:03 pm

    I haven’t seen this yet, but if Reich shows a graph of CEO’s versus so-called middle class, he ought to add our government elite.   When did most Congress men and women become millionaires?Report


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