Sunday, December 21, 2008

Classic Christmas Movie

In the 1946 film "It's a Wonderful Life", there is an interesting exchange between the main character, George Bailey, and the banker, Mr. Potter. 

Bailey's father, Peter Bailey, passed away and his son George, who had no real interest in running the family "Building and Loan", is leaving town for school.  The Board of Directors is meeting to decide the fate of the Building and Loan.  Potter is a... banker.  And he's on the board of the "Building and Loan" - his competition!  

While the film is Hollywood fiction from a different era, and it has plenty of misinformation (like lending out people's savings), it illustrates a few things:
  1. How every-day people, trying to live their lives, are dependent on the "good graces" of the banks, simply to survive.  The people do the work, the bank owns most of the stuff; and it steps on plenty of families along the way to owning more of the stuff.
  2. How the banks will turn the screws on people, using their fake-money at interest scheme, and call it "business".
  3. How good people can be subdued for lack of knowledge.  
  4. How this fraudulent money system meets with few robust challenges.
  5. How partnering with the fraudulent system, instead of changing it for the betterment of everyone, eventually harms everyone.
In this movie, they were being pounded between WWII, and the banks. Anyone see a pattern developing?

First 4 minutes: