Let’s make money

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Excellent new film from Erwin Wagenhofer, maker of Feed the World, Let’s Make Money travels around the world, filming and/or speaking to financial investors, factory workers, top ‘economic hitmen’, cotton pickers, economic and agriculatural experts and many more. Some shocking images of what is being done to make money around the world (in part with money that we give to our banks to ‘safe-keep’, i.e., to invest).

Favourite film moment is one of the juxtapositions of completely incompatible arguments. First we see a long scene showing workers picking cotton in Burkina Faso and hear intelligent analysis of the situation by Francis Kologo. He notes that the USA gives 3 million US dollars of subventions to domestic cotton production every year. “If Americans a liberal, why are they subsidizing their own cotton production? They’re protectionist, but demand that we are liberal.”

Okay, this is perhaps not new information for the audience which is likely to go to see this film. But it is immediately followed by the following comment from Gerhard Schwarz, chief editor of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung about migration:

All liberals of this world are of the opinion that borders should be open, for goods, for money and for services. It’s more difficult with people. There, you have to think about whether we need to demand some kind of admission fee, like clubs charge admission fees. If you want to join a tennis club, you generally have to pay an admission fee. Not only a monthy or annual fee, like taxes, but a one off admission charge, because the predecessors who are already there, they built the club house, they built the place up; and a newcomer profits from something which he didn’t contribute anything to.

‘Didn’t contribute anything to’? Yes, well. The worrying thing about immigration discourse, is that this opinion seems fairly wide-spread. Contested by films such as Wagenhofer’s Let’s Make Money, aiming to show the interrelatedness of the whole global population.


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