The One Percent

{4.5/5} “There’s nothing wrong with nepotism as long as you keep it within the family.”

The One Percent was released in 2006. It’s a documentary about the huge gap between the rich and the poor in the US.

The title refers to the fact that one percent of the people in the US control roughly half of the wealth. The director, Jamie Johnson, is himself an heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical empire.

He tries to get his family to talk about the issues, particularly his father, but they mostly refuse. So he goes elsewhere — he interviews a variety of rich and poor people.

He talks to Milton Friedman, probably the most famous economist. Friedman won the Nobel prize, and was influential with several US presidents.

He talks about how the government is subsidizing sugar production in the US and is thereby making one Florida family very rich, a family who has contributed a great deal to politicians. The laws make sugar more expensive in the US than it otherwise would be — sugar is about a third of the price in Canada and Mexico.

He meets one man who grew up wealthy but refused his inheritance and decided to do something else with his life.

He talks to people who don’t want to think about the problem, but also many thoughtful people.

The style of Johnson’s voiceover and the documentary as a whole remind me a fair amount of Michael Moore’s work.

The documentary will make you angry, but it’s worth watching.

Johnson directed one earlier documentary, Born Rich.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 8th, 2013 at 7:46 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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