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Roger and Me Essay

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Roger And Me

Roger And Me is a documentary that carries a considerable economic significance by presenting a modern version of capitalism, and by depicting an interesting example of Gunnar Myrdal’s theory of the circular and cumulative causation. Flint, the hometown of the filmmaker Michael Moore, has been built around the factories of one of the largest auto corporations in the world – General Motors. For decades on end the company has been prosperous, making high profits and keeping its workers loyal and content with their jobs and payment. Everyone in Moore’s family has worked for General Motors; the Flint residents have become not only economically but also spiritually and culturally connected with and influenced by the company – a
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Employing Mexicans for such minimal wages implies a peculiar kind of a 20th century imperialism: GM is able to extract enormous profits and to become the world’s largest corporation by super-exploiting labor in a country less well developed and economically influenced by the USA.

Of course, the board does not confess to satisfying the greed for higher profits by taking these unpopular steps; they present all the process as catching up on the competitors. “GM has to do what it has to do in order to stay competitive, even if it means laying off thousands of people”, says a member of the board, and thus makes it more than clear that in a capitalist society the managers and the directors are concerned only with the profit maximization and with their own welfare, whereas the employees have to fight for their jobs in more and more unfavorable conditions. More than 30 000 workers have now lost their jobs, whereas the company’s chairman Roger Smith has just made $2 millions himself. The unions are no help at all in this moment. Supposed to increase the workers’ bargaining power, the unions have now become useless, since “too many people in the unions friends with the management”, whose interests, in this case, are completely the opposites to those of the workers.

The closure of the factories is the first step toward the devastating
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