Video: The Story of Broke

11/11/2011 10:49:42 AM

Tags: The Story of Broke, Annie Leonard, income inequality, taxes, government spending, neoliberal economics, social justice, politics, Will Wlizlo

storyofbroke.jpg 

Income inequality is on the forefront of the collective America brain. With economists ringing alarm bells, protestors occupying available slivers of public land, and families feeling the squeeze on a daily basis, the American status quo hasn’t been so vocally scrutinized in decades. With so much coverage, it’s easy to get lost in the details—statistics and scandals, history and histrionics. Leave it to Annie Leonard, the activist and cartoonist behind the popular series “The Story of Stuff,” to clear up a how the richest nation on earth can’t afford to pay its bills.

In “The Story of Broke,” Leonard’s most recent film, she explains in broad strokes how American tax dollars get turned into corporate pocket lining—and stolen from the people and infrastructure that need government support most. America is hardly the hard scrabble, heartless country that politicians make it, Leonard contends, “So next time you have an idea for a better future and someone tells you, ‘that’s nice, but there’s no money for that,’ you tell them we’re not broke. There is money, it’s ours, and it’s time to invest it right.”

“The Story of Stuff” series has a way of oversimplifying to introduce issues to a broader audience. For example, “The Story of Broke” paints a rose-tinted, neoliberal picture of how thoughtful government spending solves unemployment: “Instead of subsidizing garbage incinerators, let’s subsidize real solutions, like zero waste. Raising the US recycling rate to 75 percent would create one and a half million new jobs” [emphasis mine].

Sunshine on America’s liberal shoulders aside, Leonard’s strongest takeaway is that tax dollars come from everyday citizens and, to borrow the language of corporations, the customer is always right.

 

Also, see Utne Reader on “The Story of Cap and Trade” and “The Story of Citizens United v. FEC.”



Related Content

In Quotes: Relationship Labor, Fat Salaries, and Plastic Beaches

The quotes that catch our attention as we plow our way through Utne Reader’s library of 1,300 altern...

Cap and Trade: Compromising Ourselves to Death

The woman behind the anticonsumerist viral video phenomenon The Story of Stuff has a new target in h...

Annie Leonard and the Story of Solutions

Annie Leonard releases the final video in her Story of Stuff series, "The Story of Solutions."

Three Cheers for Boring Art

Critics extol the mind-nourishing virtues of “cultural vegetables”...

Content Tools
RSS




Post a comment below.

 

Larry Hudson
11/21/2011 3:04:39 PM
Zero comments means zero action means zero hope. The people will not respect the folly of their ways and continue to allow people like the Clintons and the OsamaObamas to lead them further astray. Oh well....






Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!