It’s a Fictional Life

I’m astounded by how much of this argument (about placing your money in a local bank to punish the mega banking corporations that caused the financial crisis) relies on a completely fictional story to make its case. The inspirational video is nothing more than a recap of It’s a Wonderful Life with a few political sound bites spliced in.

Is this movie the ultimate trump card in appealing to people’s unchecked emotions?

Does this brazenly simplistic comparison really convince you to revolutionize the way you save your money?

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3 Comments

Filed under "Non-fiction", a motion picture is worth a couple of words

3 Responses to It’s a Fictional Life

  1. fictionadvocate

    How do you feel about such a classic story (with themes and implications that touch on all many different aspects of the human condition) being used for such a pointed political argument?

  2. m.snowe

    This pointed political argument against the corruption of big bankers has already been re-fictionalized and exploited to the fullest extent, and couldn’t possibly be improved upon: http://www.hulu.com/watch/115719/saturday-night-live-wonderful-life

  3. A few months ago, Harper’s published this piece on usury in America that also used an It’s a Wonderful Life analogy, but in a slightly more helpful way:

    ***

    I like to tell people that to find out what deregulation of usury did to us, they should check out the next Christmas showing of It’s a Wonderful Life. Remember, Mr. Potter the bad banker would not make loans, while the tender-hearted George Bailey always would. Mr. Potter wanted references. He wanted character. Mr. Potter was the bad guy because the loan must be repaid!

    But Mr. Potter was lending at an interest rate of something like 2 percent. At those rates, he wanted to be repaid. But now Mr. Potter would have more choices. If he could charge 35 percent, he might not necessarily think, “The loan must be repaid”—at least not right away. And if he can charge 200 percent, he actually may not want the loan ever to be repaid. I had a retired schoolteacher in my office the other day whose husband is deep into Alzheimer’s. The two had taken a loan for $1,700, somehow managed to pay back $3,000, and still they had not even begun to pay off the principal. That’s not uncommon in our post–Mr. Potter world.

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