Category Archives:Education

Students reflect on Inside Job – Overall reaction and what it says about America

As discussed in What I learned watching Inside Job 25 times, I show this movie at the end of my introductory investing course. I then ask students to reflect on it. One of the questions they’re asked:

What is your overall reaction to the Inside Job movie and what it says about America? Think: democracy, society, leadership, capitalism, fairness, corruption, opportunity, freedom, the American dream, etc.

Sophomore Z.A.  Before I watched “Inside Job” I was under the impression that the implosion of the stock market was natural, and was simply “meant to happen.” However, I now understand the extent of the corruption of Wall Street, and how it creates a negative image of the United States of America. More specifically, the fact that members of the United States government, such as Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, arguably knew the situation, makes us understand how unloyal our leaders are. Moreover, if this is truly the definition of capitalism, it is clear that there is need for reformation! Clearly, ideas such as “opportunity” and the “American dream” are now less and less freedom-like, mainly because our own leaders have proven themselves to be content with lying and deceiving us, both as traders and as citizens. I am simply appalled with the lack of orderliness or even straight-forward trusthworthiness that Wall Street has shown. The most tragic aspect of the situation is that the people involved do not admit their wrong doing and also, walk away with their fortunes! Looking back, I’ve simply learned that there is another layer to the onion which resembles America, and it is not pretty.

Students reflect on Inside Job – The 1% vs. the 99%

As discussed in What I learned watching Inside Job 25 times, I show this movie at the end of my introductory investing course. I then ask students to reflect on it. One of the questions they’re asked:

“The movie talked about how income disparity is growing between the top 1% of income earners and the other 99%. The 1%ers continue to separate themselves from other 99%. An example: a Manhattan apartment can now sell for over $100 million. But, over half of Americans have no wealth and are having trouble affording the house or apartment they live in! How do you view this? Is it a concern to you or something that’s not important, and why? Make sure to address how this could play out in the medium and long-term future, as in:  Where will this lead?”

Sophomore M.K.  I believe that compensation should be about value added towards the company, so in the case of the disparity between a CEO and a minimum wage worker, the CEO is potentially making million dollar deals, while a wage worker is doing a non-specialized task. The debate over income disparity that is occurring should not be focused on executive pay; rather, raising minimum wage to allow hourly workers to make a real living instead of living paycheck to paycheck. If something like this is not done, there will be real societal issues to follow, with hourly workers possibly going on strike or worse, leaving the economy in the lurch. This is a major issue that can and should be solved by the government, requiring companies to pay their hourly workers fair pay and benefits. After watching the documentary on Walmart earlier in the year in class, that documentary made the point that the bottom line of the company would not be reduced by such as margin where they couldn’t make money. Rather, the movie showed that with higher pay came worker satisfaction which in turn led to more efficient working. This would led to large companies making even more money, with their workforce even more efficient.