We saw Michael Moore's Capitalism this week. I didn't like it much, although he had some good laughs, particularly when accosting the Wall Street firms over their receipt of TARP funds. But the whole thing seemed rather disjointed and without a theory to link together his attacks. The gist seemed to be the unionized General Motors of the 1950's and 60's of Moore's youth was the good life, and everything since has gone to hell. But the best he can do to explain how the capitalism of the 60's, changed to the capitalism of 2000 is to blame deregulation. Moore also gets himself caught in illogic--Obama's campaign is represented as the people rebelling against Wall Stteet but Obama's Treasury Secretary is depicted as a complete and utter failure (for his part in the bailouts).
Given the prominence of the bailouts in his movie, I was struck by the emphasis in this article on the role TARP played in angering the tea partiers. It's not unusual in American history to find both right and left wing radicals feeding off the same populist temper.