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Business & Economics in North America

The Billionaires' Tea Party

From the tea parties to healthcare and climate change, America's conservative citizens revolted against President Obama's reform agenda. But just how real were the roots of this supposedly grassroots uprising? Was it, in fact, an example of 'astroturfing', which is the practice of manufacturing citizens groups for the purpose of delivering corporate messages? Curious to find out, Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham went undercover to investigate. What he found was astroturfing on a scale greater than he could have imagined.

The Bottom Line: Privatizing the World

This program challenges the rush by big business to commodify the world's common resources - things as basic as drinkable water and human genes. Examines issues such as exporting water from Canada, creation and use of hybrid seed crops, patenting the BRCA1 gene sequence, dispensing generic versions of patented HIV medications, and drafting international trade agreements that override environmental laws. 2002. 54 min.

The Corporation.

In this acclaimed documentary, Noam Chomksy and the Media, 40 corporate insiders and critics, including Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, No Logo author Naomi Klein and Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, explore the nature and spectacular rise of the most pervasive institution of our time. Combining analysis with footage from advertising, television news and industrial films, The Corporation is an entertaining and provocative look at the inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures of the modern business corporation.

The Downside of Downsizing

Explores the negative effects of corporate downsizing and its often debilitating social and economic effects. Victims and survivors of the downsizing ax describe its effects on the individual and on office morale. The program examines the fact that most downsizings have failed to produce the promised improvements to company performance, and talks with the CEO of a company who feels downsizing did improve results. Performer: J. Wintermans (CEO). 1996. 26 min.

The Food Machine

Discusses the farm crisis in the United States in which small farms are being bought by large corporations. This pattern has been transplanted to underdeveloped countries, such as the Sudan resulting in increased food costs and a destabilizing of the rural population. c1988. 20 min. [preservation copy];

The Heartbeat of America.

Examines how General Motors Corporation went from being the undisputed number one car company in America to suffering the biggest corporate loss on record. Drawing on interviews with current and former GM board members, executives, designers, workers and automotive analysts, the GM saga is revealed. 1993. 96 min.
Full-text review from: ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

The Hunger Business

Film examines how the international trade of agricultural products effects underdeveloped nations. The U.S., as the world's dominant producer of cereal grains, is an important player in the global trade of food. Grain exports are seen in the U.S. as a good way of eliminating agricultural surpluses but food aid can prevent poor nations from becoming self-sufficient because the government of those nations has no incentive to develop policies to increase food production. c1988. 20 min.

The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant

Tells the story of the closing of the once-mighty General Motors Assembly Plant in Moraine, Ohio, as lived by the workers on the factory line. Follows the months and weeks leading to the last day of the plant, as workers come to terms with saying goodbye to jobs and a community they loved. Written, produced and directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. 2009.

The Machine That Changed the World.

5 part series. 58 min each part. Series on the history, nature, and future of computers and computing. 1992. Giant Brains.This program tells the story of the birth of computers, such as the ENIAC, the most complicated electronic machine ever built, and of the men and women who assisted in that birth: Charles Babbage, Alan Turing, Herman Goldstine, John Mauchly, Ada Lovelace and J. Presper Eckert.

The Online Music Revolution

An industry once dominated by giant music companies has undergone a radical transformation. This program examines the explosion of legal music downloading and viral marketing, which have enabled enterprising bands and singers to distribute their own work rather than signing with major labels.