The Divide
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The Divide

2015, Economics  -   5 Comments
Ratings: 7.77/10 from 48 users.

Across the United States and the United Kingdom, economic policies that were set in place decades ago continue to harbor a growing wedge between the wealthy and the poor. The ambitious two-part documentary The Divide introduces us to seven citizens who have experienced the effects of this disparity firsthand.

Though the film includes archived news footage related to several key economic milestones - the technology boom, the rise of Wall Street, and the calamitous financial crisis of 2008 among them - it is by no means a dry lesson in government policy. Instead, the filmmakers focus almost exclusively on the human side of the equation.

In New York City, a psychologist serves the mental health needs of Wall Street's most successful movers and shakers. Not content to teach or open a practice for less privileged clients - where his salary might be limited to a mere $100,000 a year - he now lives the high life, or at least works hard at maintaining the appearance that he is.

A small business owner was forced to close her shop after a Walmart was erected nearby. Later, she procured employment from that same Walmart that put her out of business. Over the years, she's detected a depressing change in corporate culture. Employees are pushed to their limits, no longer recognized for their hard work as they once were, and the company leaders are less willing to share the fruits of their success.

Through these and other portraits, we understand the psychological and societal implications of wealth inequality between the haves, the have nots, and those who are trying to break from one social status to the other. This dynamic is especially profound in the story of Jen, a mother from Sacramento, California who lives in a luxury gated community. She doesn't know her neighbors, and she can frequently feel them judging her based on the type of car she drives and her willingness to do her own yard work.

Economic inequality is currently at its highest level since 1928. The Divide mourns the passing of a way of life that is no longer simple, balanced or just, and which now values the facade of success over all else.

Directed by: Katharine Round

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5 years ago

sickening, america is dying from this cancer market/material worship. china/asian trade group turning buddha and taking over by 2025 Thank Heavens

5 years ago

Dear Dustup:

The Koch brothers want to take over the college and universities so they can brainwash the students with their own ideology. You have corporations using the colleges and universities to do their R&D at taxpayer's expense where they reap all the benefits and the public doesn't get anything from it. Unregulated capitalism will not prevail.

5 years ago

Dissatisfaction can be a motivator ...or for some it can be a depressing anchor of resentment. It would seem the wiser choice would be to use it as a motivator.

In the somewhat earlier days of Apple computer, I knew a grease monkey who saved bought one, taught himself the computer mainly from books bought at a book store and in a few years moved into the office when they needed someone who could operate a computer to make nice print outs of the data results of the work done at that facility. I also know a guy who never graduated from high school, who learned how to be a machinist by watching the guy next to him. The guy saw he wasn't clueless and decided to help him along. He later went into biz himself after tiring from getting fired from various machine shops for essentially doing the work of several but also breaking some silly rule the dipstick managers felt necessary to enforce to demonstrate authority. So he would go back to the same amount of work as everyone else and they would fire him for supposed insubordination in not continuing that high level of work at the same pay as the others. It shows you the mentality of a bigger company. Ripe for competition.

Socialism is desired by the established companies to prevent that competition. With excessive govt, which defines socialism, you need a permit for everything. And since it would be considered a waste of resources to open up another shop doing the same thing, no permit since of course the socialists know best, especially when their leaders pockets are lined and they appoint all the bureaucrats under them.

What would happen if all the dissatisfied Wal Mart employees decided to pool their resources, find an angel investor to help, and started Buy Mart? A smaller sized store carrying many of the same fast selling items but much easier to find? They might concentrate more towards sporting goods than food or some other angle that the folks in that area do and buy. They could be employee owned, have profit sharing, etc. Oh gee there already is one of those chains where I live, they just spell it differently. I like it because they usually have what you want/need and don't have to wear yourself out to find it. Plus they have plenty of people to help you. Prices are just as good or better. However, they are regional, not nationwide. So there is still opportunity.

One problem is that govt schools make drone worker bees by design. They pollute minds with nutritionless, GMO food, Chemtrails, Fluoridated water, and Marxist propaganda. Another is that govt is all about benefiting itself and to hell with the people, no mater what they claim come election time. And even if someone comes along who truly wants to make things better, the rest will prevent it. Until you do a clean sweep, nothing will change, Socialist Corporatism (not capitalism will prevail).

Margaret Moore
5 years ago

Inequality is the name of the game. Some people succeed, by luck or circumstance, but a majority of others struggle to get by. Thus was it ever.