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Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?

Distributed by Bullfrog Films, PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 800-543-FROG (3764)
Produced by Connecting the Dots Productions
Directed by Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher
DVD, color, 78 min.
Sr. High-General Adult
American Studies, Business, Economics, History

Reviewed by Michael J. Coffta, Business Librarian, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Date Entered: 10/19/2012

Heist clearly maps the manner in which entrenched power in the United States has methodically conducted a strategic and ideological counterrevolution to the New Deal. The film demonstrates how the US government’s involvement in public policy and economic prominence has been progressively dismantled. Not easily dismissed as rabid conspiracy theorists, the film makers cite historically engrained documents such as the Powell Mandate and the Mandate for Leadership. Furthermore, the film does not simply assail the Republican Party, but consistently points to examples of deregulation, subversive targeting of specific groups (such as labor unions and economic rivals to the United States), and corruption of all manners in many 20th and 21st century presidential administrations. The roles of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, media conglomerates, and corporate ownership are thoroughly explored as well.

Although the documentary concludes with examples of hope in which communities successfully lobbied against corporations, and calls for a recasting of the American Dream, this film is more about exposition and forecast than about detailing a strategy to undo what has been done. The title of this work may have been timidly chosen, as the alarmist content does not simply expound upon the heist of the American dream, but the likelihood of a full blown collapse of the U.S. economy and civilization.