An exploration of supply side economics and the trickle down myth as exemplified by Pittsburgh's declining steel industry.
The Business of America... is the first film to probe one of our most treasured economic assumptions: that private corporations can be trusted to make the investments upon which all Americans depend.
The film contrasts two Pittsburgh steelworkers conventional faith in private enterprise with the actual strategies and priorities of a giant corporation, U.S. Steel. It traces their growing realization that despite "supply side" business claims, increased profits don't necessarily "trickle down" to working Americans.
To discover why, The Business of America... interviews U.S. Steel chairman David Roderick, travels to Wall Street and visits Harvard Business School. The film reveals that shareholder pressures to increase profitability have led many American firms to transform themselves from manufacturing enterprises into financial conglomerates. It raises troubling questions about whether the prevailing emphasis on short-term profits provides for the long-term investments industries--and the country--need to provide economic opportunities to all Americans.
The urgency of these concerns has made The Business of America... a standard audio-visual "text" in many economics, sociology, management, labor studies, and business ethics courses as well as a prescient warning of the ruin left behind when a nation allows corporations the unabated freedom to pursue profits any way they can.
"An impressive, compelling tour through the new industrial wasteland. This film deserves a wide and responsive audience." - John Kenneth Galbraith "The Business of America... goes to the heart and soul of the American Dream...It is an important contribution to the debate about the future of capitalism." - Bill Moyers "One of the most thought-provoking documentaries of the year. Neither government, industry nor the average American can afford to ignore it." - The Christian Science Monitor "A powerful documentary... makes personal many abstract economic issues while raising important questions about the nation's industrial decline." - The New York Times "A compelling and insightful chronicle of America's deindustrialization." - Robert Reich, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor
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