America's Downward Spiral
In recent years, the economy in the United States has been in what most would see as a recession. American people differ in the way they react to a recession. Some, such as Michael Moore, feel it becomes a downward spiral as big business and it’s stockholders gain more money and power, and it’s workers gain less money and stability.
With a loss of stability for the American worker there is a fear of losing their health benefits, social security, pension plan, and most of all, their job. Moore’s reaction to this big business take over was to create several documentaries, Roger and Me, Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint, and The Big One. Along with Moore’s reaction to this recession there were several authors who printed pieces describing things such as; downward mobility, wilding, starvation, poverty, and homelessness.
In Moore’s documentaries he targeted big tycoons such as Roger Smith of GM, Phil ...view middle of the document...
This forces middle class to live below the standards they had been so accustomed to, this is a term not many are familiar with called downward mobility. This was outlined by Katherine Newman as she wrote about David Patterson who had a very stable career in the computer industry and one day lost it and was unable to find work. This forced the family to move from their “nice” neighborhood to an apartment. “Broke and distressed beyond imagining, the family found a small apartment in a modest section of a nearby town.” (Newman) This being the light side of what happens to those forced out of work unable to find a new job. Jo Goodwin Parker shares her life story, the ultimate low, poverty. “Poverty means insects in your food, in your nose, in your eyes, and crawling over you when you sleep.” (Parker)
Poverty and downward mobility are unfortunately not the only problems striking the American working class. It is fact that some jobs are simply not needed anymore. That of the laborer is just depleting. Some might even call it a “dying breed” (LaFevre 1) Mike LaFevre is part of the working class that labors day in and day out. Mike shares his views on working in the steel mill during an interview with Studs Terkle. “You're doing this manual labor and you know that technology can do it. (Laughs.) Let's face it, a machine can do the work of a man; otherwise they wouldn't have space probes. Why can we send a rocket ship that's unmanned and yet send a man in a steel mill to do a mule's work?” (LaFevre 4)
Michael Moore is clearly not alone on speaking out about the rising problems facing the American middle class. Although he may be more vocal than many, there are thousands out there who support his views and opinions.
* Moore, Michael, Dir. The Big One. Videocassette. Dog Eat Dog Films, 1997. VHS. 90 min.
* Newman, Katherine S. "Newman's American Nightmares." 11 Sept. 2001. 25 March 2003.
* Parker, Jo Goodwin. “Parker- "What Is Poverty?" 22 April 2001. 25 March 2003.
* Terkel, Studs. "Mike LeFevre: Who Built the Pyramids?" 1974. 25 March 2003.