Monday, March 4, 2013

A Better Poverty Documentary

I recently attempted to watch several documentaries about poverty.  Why is it that all poverty documentaries seem to only be interviews with poor people and about how bad it is to be poor and also capitalism sucks? 

It is unpleasant being poor, it seems.

One of the documentaries that I attempted to watch made the claim that poverty is the result of colonialism. 

News for you documentary makers: many people were poor before colonialism.

Are there any documentaries on poverty that actually relay new and/ or interesting poverty related information?

I've got an idea for a poverty documentary/ experiment.

Find three comparable poor cities somewhere.  Leave one city alone for the control.  Make free market changes to one city.  Make progressive changes to the third city.  Then the documentary could follow the progress and track the results to see what improves the lives of the poor the most.

City A for the control city.

City B as the free market city could have a "sweatshop" open up  where some citizens could choose to work there for wages.

City C could add minimum wages, require that all employers pay for employee's healthcare, add environmental laws to prevent the use of some of the land, there could be increases in the number of taxes and increases in the tax rates, there could be forms that need to be filled out before any actual action takes place, then there could be lots more forms that need to be filled out, then the city could have a year long delay as the forms are discussed by the geniuses in government, then we could find out that the wrong forms were filled out and new forms need to be filled out, then a rare fungus might be discovered that prevents the operation from going into effect, then the tax rates could be raised again and the whole production could begin again.  And then taxes could be raised again.

We should find a real progressive to think up the ideas for City C, in case he does not like my suggestions.

Wouldn't that be a more interesting documentary on poverty than the ones that we have currently which are nothing but interviews with poor people lamenting how bad it is to be poor?

And it would end with actual results!  We could see whether or not minimum wages, for example, improve the lives of the poor!

I'd be willing to work on this documentary.  Would anyone care to fund it? Or know a good cameraman?  Or writer? Or...

(Side note: which progressive proposals would actually make any sense if we want to grow the economy?  Raising taxes?)

1 comment:

  1. I nominate Detroit for City C; the work's already been done there for you.