July 28, 2014

TPA’s Screens Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?, Oct. 5

 

Topanga Peace Alliance’s (TPA) First Friday film screens on Friday, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m., at the Topanga Canyon Library.

Structured as a political thriller, Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?, is a feature documentary produced and directed by Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher, that investigates the roots of the current economic crisis and the ongoing assault on working people in the United States.

The film documents the hidden story of the systemic, multifaceted corporate attack on the middle class that, starting in the 1970s, transformed America’s well-regulated economy into a battlefield littered with foreclosed homes, runaway jobs, and broken dreams.

The American economy has been eviscerated due to four decades of deregulation, the outsourcing of 40 million manufacturing jobs, and self-serving tax policies that have created a new class of robber barons.

Heist traces the seismic shifts back to their roots in the early 1970s, showing how large corporations — acting through lobbying organizations like the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — began a political mobilization that would propel the largest transfer of wealth in history. The winners were the wealthiest one percent of our population. The losers were ordinary Americans, whose real income has barely increased since 1973.

“Ultimately, Heist can serve as a sober warning about what is happening to our country and provide some ideas of how to restore fairness and community, while reigning in the power of corporations,” says the film’s director.

Heist exposes how corporate leaders worked with elected officials of both major political parties to loot the economy and create a gap between rich and poor previously seen only in impoverished colonial nations.

Corporate executives took over the very regulatory agencies that had overseen their own industries. Markets were opened to a flood of imports from low-wage countries, decimating U.S. blue-collar jobs and labor unions. Congress enabled a dramatic transfer of wealth, through tax changes, to their wealthy patrons.

“The underlying idea of Heist is that knowledge is power,” notes the director, “and that social change comes from the bottom up.”

The Topanga Library is located at 122 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290. There will be a cheese/veggie potluck at 7:45 p.m., with the film screening at 8 p.m. A discussion follows. A $10 donation is requested, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. For further information, contact Julie Levine at (310) 455-9389.