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Commentary

Capitalism: Hollywood’s Miscast Villain
Why the film industry is so good at getting business wrong


     
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Capitalism hasn’t had much good press lately, and when it comes to the movies capitalism never seems to get a fair shake. In the movies, capitalists are almost invariably cast as villains. Has someone been murdered? Are the residents of a small town dying of cancer? Is an environment being despoiled? Look no further than the CEO of some large corporation. Quick, name as many movies as you can that feature capitalists as heroes. “Batman Forever” and “Iron Man” do not count. There are a few (“The Edge,” “You’ve Got Mail”), but it’s a short list. Now name as many movies as you can that feature mass-murdering corporations and corporate villains? That one is easy: “The Fugitive,” “Syriana,” “Mission Impossible II,” “Erin Brockovich,” “The China Syndrome” and “Avatar,” to name only a few.

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Alexander Tabarrok is Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, Assistant Editor of The Independent Review, and Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University, and he has taught at the University of Virginia and Ball State University. Dr. Tabarrok is the editor of The Independent Institute books, Entrepreneurial Economics (Oxford University Press), The Voluntary City (with David Beito and Peter Gordon, University of Michigan Press), and Changing the Guard: Private Prisons and the Control of Crime.

JudgeNew from Alexander Tabarrok!
JUDGE AND JURY: American Tort Law on Trial

In Judge and Jury, the fear of litigation is shown to reduce innovations, drive physicians and manufacturers out of lawsuit-prone specialties, and increase manufacturing and consumer costs. In the courts, data from thousands of cases all over the country demonstrate that tort system awards are driven by political factors such as judicial elections, jury compositions, and the location of courts themselves. Learn More »»






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