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Michael Moore ignores capitalism's blessings

'Capitalism: A Love Story' seems more like a documentary of capitalism's authoritarian losers, rather than its democratic winners.

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Though Michael Moore seems to have missed it, in the past 10 years corporations have made enormous strides in promoting workplace democracy, patent-free innovation, and the financial independence of women in developing nations.

Mr. Moore's new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story," profiles hardworking Middle American families financially ruined by the brutal tactics of the auto, insurance, and financial industries and sets out to prove his extreme claim that "capitalism is evil." He's wrong.

While capitalism certainly has its faults, the fact that many big corporations went bankrupt shows that the free market did not reward unscrupulous practices. There is, in fact, a large slice of the economy thriving in the recession, and these firms are based on democracy and generosity.

Worker empowerment is profitable

During the past 20 years, team-based work environments have dethroned the Industrial Age hierarchy as the management structure of choice.

One example of the change: Harvard Business Review contributor Ricardo Semler saved his manufacturing plant from bankruptcy by replacing middle management with autonomous, employee-run teams.

Teams at his plant, Semco, set their own salaries, schedule their own hours, and are offered finance classes so they can understand Semco's transparent record books. Mr. Semler found that devolving power to employees made them happier – and happier workers were more productive.


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