America's Distribution of Wealth (film #108 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

An economist lectures us on how the American capitalist system is the best in the world, morally right, and according to God's law. He's pretty boring himself, but he is interrupted by a couple of jaw-dropping scenes of "foreigners" marveling at the American system. Especially amusing is a scene of a fake Englishman who looks like Terry Jones dubbed in by Bill Clinton trying desperately to fake a British accent going all ga-ga in a supermarket. The shortages the Englishman has to put up with are assumed to be a product of socialism rather than that recent world war that everybody in the movie seems to have forgotten about. The economist also has going for him an excellent audio-visual aid in the form of a 3-D chart containing stylized human figures that he can move up and down––I really want this one for the Film Ephemeral Museum of Quirky Devices. Actually, he doesn't do too bad a job of showing that the majority of the American people are pretty well-off, but then this film was made at the height of American post-war prosperity, when such things as the GI Bill were making it possible for millions of Americans to move into the middle class at a rate not seen before, and so far not seen again. One wonders what the figures were like during the Depression, which, by the way, was also a product of capitalism. A great example of 50s capitalist propaganda.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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