“The American Dream Film”…a lesson in misinformation lies and conspiracy theories

The collapse of the American dream explained
in animation. It’s a video or rather a film released in
January of 2010. I remember watching it at around 14 years
old and going: “Oh well. That’s good to know.” Lately I watched it again and … I am afraid
we are gonna have to talk about it because there is a lot of wrong stuff in this. We are gonna go through the entire thing and
say where it’s right, where it’s wrong and where is spreads antisemitic conspiracies
from the 1850s. Yea it has those. – Anyways. You’ve probably seen it. It has roughly 9 Million views and a 94% approval
rating. It seems people are taking this seriously
so let’s have a look at it. The story follows a man named Pile who just
moved into a new property. To buy it he took out a loan at the bank. Unfortunately he can’t pay back his mortgage
and the bank forecloses his property… This is supposed to resonate with the viewers. In 2008, during the mortgage crisis many people
lost everything they had. Those people are supposed to identify with
Pile. He wonders how this happened just as his friend
named Hardman teleports next to him with a time machine, or I guess he time travels next
to him? Anyways Hardman tries to convince Pile, and
by extension the audience of his… uhm… I am not gonna say conspiracy theory buuuut
misinformed explanation of how things work. Okay yea it’s a conspiracy theory
Anyways Hardman shows that the bank that Borrowed Pile money did it to make profit of interest. To make more profit they offered more and
more loans to people with worse and worse credit. To be able to make even more money they get
money from the FED. The banks even divert to credit cards to give
people the ability to loan even more money even more easily. So far there is nothing factually wrong here
and it’s just a surface level explanation of the financial sector and the way the mortgage
crisis began. Do not worry we’ll get into the conspiracies
in a bit. Anyways afterwards Pile asks Hardman where
the FED get’s the money it gave to the banks. Hardman explains that they don’t give it
to the banks they LOAN it to the banks and that more importantly, the FED just calls
the Mint to print money. And on top of that the FED also loans money
to the government which then has to raise the taxes on the people to pay off the interest
which means that the people are paying that bank! And this is where we meet the first lie of
the video. Hardman says that it’s unconstitutional
for the FED to control the printing of the money since it’s a private company. He says that it’s outrageous that a private
company like that could call up the Mint to print money and then loan it to the government
and demand that they pay interest on the money they just printed. And he is right! It would be outrageous if a private organisation
made money that way. It WOULD be. If that was true. But… it isn’t. The FED isn’t a private bank, it’s owned
by the federal government of the united states. The chairman along with the 12 members of
the board of directors are appointed directly by the president. On top of that all of the profit the FED makes
goes directly to the department of treasury so the profit made off the interest the government
has to pay goes to….the government. Meaning that when Hardman says that the government
uses taxes to pay interest to some private mastermind bank owner he is lying. Let’s continue with the video. After Pile says that he doesn’t see why
it’s a big deal, much like you should now that you know that Hardman just made up a
conspiracy and tried to convince us to believe it. Hardman just calls him ignorant. They travel to the 10th century and witness
the invention of money. Of course money is 6000 years older than that
but looking at how they invent paper money and the printing press in the same scene I
am gonna ignore the historical inaccuracies. Hardman explains that money is just something
used to make trade easier since everyone agrees that gold is valuable. Then they witness a banker inventing paper
money. He stores peoples gold in his vault and gives
them a piece of paper which says how much he owes them. He quickly get’s the idea to print more
IOUs than he has gold which leads him getting fucking lynched…. Yea that was my reaction as well. They return to the current time and Hardman
explains that man had found a way to turn worthless paper into gold and that this was
the birth of a monster. The monster is represented with a red shield. We will get into why in a bit. Then Hardman explains that Banks only have
to keep a fraction of the money someone deposited. This is called fractional reserve banking
and it’s used in every bank nowadays. This means if you deposit 1000$ the bank can
lend 900$ of those to someone else. You may feel that this is not a good thing
and that banks shouldn’t be able to just give your money to someone else and I’d
agree. But this is basically required for a free
market economy. The reason is that modern economes require
a lot of circulation of money. For example your 1000$ in the bank are dead
weight to the economy since nobody spends them. And if someone wants to open a business and
needs 500$ the bank needs to take those 500 from somewhere. That being your savings. The reason I explain this isn’t because
I like it or because I think it should be this way but because the video get’s it
completely wrong. Hardman explains
that [13:36-14:00] so we can see he is definitely concerned. Of course Pile is shown not wanting to believe
the conspiracy theory just like you probably don’t believe that a banking praxis which
is 200 years old is to blame for every economic problem. Then the ghost of Thomas Jefferson appears
and says an unrelated quote. Yea the video is a little random. Then they take the ghosts horse to ride to
the past. They appear at waterloo which prompts this
conversation: [0:03-0:12] Those monsters there funding both sides of the war are supposed
to be the Rothschild family. As Hardman says they are rich bankers from
Germany. They see a currier riding past them. And this is where we hear this: [0:21-1:27]
This is…uhh… a lie. To be more exact it’s an antisemitic conspiracy
theory made up by a French anti-Semitic newspaper in the 1850s. The red shield family did not but out the
nation, they didn’t trick people into selling stock, they didn’t fund any side of the
war, they merely lended money to governments as rich bankers tend to do and the English
public doesn’t pay money into the hands of the Rothschild bank. This is a lie designed to make it seem like
there is some giant conspiracy of those rich Jews to manipulate the most powerful nation
on earth without anyone noticing. A classical “The elites are controlling
us”-conspiracy theory. They then go to America. Hardman says that 1:32-1:41, further confirming
that he blames the this Jewish family for the death of the American dream. He says that they tried to take the American
dream but the founding fathers supposedly knew how evil the banks where and tried to
stop them. As proof we get this part of a speech by Thomas
Jefferson 1:59-2:23, now he is talking about public debt which has nothing to do with banks so
the maker of the video adds these guys to make a comment in order to manipulate what
the quote is about. This way he get’s away with taking a real
quote completely out of context for manipulation. You saw how Jefferson talked about DEBT while
the bankers advocated for a central bank which is a completely different topic. This whole scene is made to be manipulative
and make it seem like the founding fathers also knew about the giant banker’s conspiracy
theory of which Hardman tries to convince you. The video then shows Andrew Jackson fighting
the banks and winning. Supposedly showing how he also knew about
the conspiracy. What really happened was that he didn’t
like the government run central bank so he privatised it. Giving it from the people who paid for it
with their taxes to a bunch of private businessmen. Apparently that’s a win for the people. Then the video lies about what his last words
where, for some reason. Then Hardman says this: 3:52 – 4:00. This is a loop back to what the video was
about before. The central claim is that when the dollars
where backed with gold that was good for the economy, somehow. Then he claims that the evil bankers had a
meeting which was [4:17-4:26] which is a lie. While it was a secret meeting the government
was well aware of it. The government had created a separate task
force to create a central bank after the panic of 1907 destabilized the economy. The goal was to create an economy which would
be more resilient and wouldn’t collapse as easily. Of course that didn’t work since the free
market kinda just crashes every 15 years no matter what you do, but hey they tried. And this meeting is represented as some sort
of conspiracy of the rich to create a secret central bank. They are led by the Jewish bankers again. There is no basis in reality for this. Yes most of the people shown to attend the
meeting in the video actually did that in reality. The only difference is that they added the
Rothschild family for some reason and took out the government representatives. I suppose if they showed that the government
was present at this meeting then it’d be a lot harder to convince people that this
is some Jewish led conspiracy. He then calls the act treasonous and pretends
that it was handed to the president in some secret fashion without the knowledge of the
senate but that’s made up since the senate approved it beforehand. That’s how law making in the US works. Again this lie is designed to make it seem
like there is some conspiracy of people secretly working together to create a bank for an elite
to profit. And this is where we hear the last piece of
truth of the video: [6:13-6:26] And yes they do that. Of course it’s actually the government that
does that and not the Rothschild family but whatever. And the reason that they continue to print
money is worth a video on it’s own. Basically very short: If your economy grows
you need to insert more money into it to keep it running otherwise money would no longer
be a useful unit of exchange. And the reason they don’t just give that
money to banks an the government is because that would cause inflation. If you wonder what happens if you give a government
the ability to print it’s own money look at the economic crisis in Weimar Germany in
the 1920s. In short: A lot of inflation. And to avoid that inflation the money gets
loaned instead of gifted. So this part isn’t a lie but a dangerous
misconception. Hardman explains something very basic to the
way banks around the world work and pretends that it’s some evil plot by a Jewish family
to control the masses. Then Hardman claims that the taxes paid by
US citizens go to the FED instead of the government and calls it –6:47 which we already disproved. Remember all profit by the fed goes directly
to the government of the united states. Then they travel back in time and buy some
stuff. This is to showcase inflation but that’s
not worth debunking. He then says “The higher the inflation the
more of your money they take” which isn’t true. A 10% tax rate is 10% no matter how much money
you have. Whether your stuff is worth 10$ or 1000$ doesn’t
matter. You still pay 10% of that value as tax. So that’s an argument which doesn’t make
sense. Then we see this: [9:10- 9:22] so apparently
JFK knew about the conspiracy! He wanted to save us from those evil Jewish
bankers! Hardman explains
that [9:36-10:18] OH MY GOD THE BANKERS KILLED JFK. Why doesn’t everyone know about this! Because it’s not true. For a start Kennedy wasn’t talking about
Banks or some conspiracy in that clip. He was talking about THE SOVIET UNION because
of course he was. And the executive order wasn’t some attempt
and defeating a conspiracy. It was a tool for the Treasury to be able
to print it’s own money. Which as I mentioned before is incredibly
dangerous for the economy. And I hope I don’t have to explain that
the banks aren’t to blame for Kennedy’s assassination. Then he says some more conspiracy nonsense
about the secret powers behind the FED which results in a battle based on the 2006 movie
named “300”. He pretends that he and the few who “know
the truth” are fighting a noble battle. And then the video ends with Hardman killing
the US minister of finance and yelling “This is America.”. Then we hear some metal music and the video
ends. They have a website www.theamericandreamfilm.com
but this video is long enough as it is. So in conclusion. This is a very bad video that’s designed
to explain why the American dream isn’t around anymore and happens to piggy back on
a few anti-Semitic conspiracies to further it’s agenda. Of course the truth is that the American dream
can’t be achieved because the system we live in doesn’t allow it. It would be easy to dismiss the entire thing
if you look at how much of it is misrepresented or made up information but … to be honest…
it does have a point. Some of the problems it mentions are real. Banks are too powerful and don’t have enough
oversight. The economy is based on endless growth. Private bankers have more money than they
will ever need and if they loose it all they will be bailed out by the government. Banks only make money by betting money on
people and hoping that they will return it, with interest. The economy relies on debt. People can’t afford things like cars and
washing machines without loans anymore. And no matter how hard you work, you won’t
become rich. And to it’s credit, the video notices all
of that. They see the problems. They see that rich people are exploiting the
poor to become more rich but instead of having a look at and critiquing the system that caused
those conditions it blames everything on a Jewish bankers family and a government agency
it doesn’t fully understand. If you liked or believed what the video had
to say let me tell you: You are right to feel like the world is broken, like the economy
is only build around making rich people richer and like the entire financial sector is acting
immorally. You are right to seek for someone to blame
for this. But you won’t find a single person that’s
responsible. You will have to look deeper, not at the people
acting in the most profitable way they can but at the system that makes those actions
the most profitable. A philosopher once compared people to actors
on a stage. If you put any person into the position of
a banker, they would do the same things any banker would do. Simply because it’s the most profitable
and the stage they we on rewards making as much profit as possible. Don’t blame the actor, blame the stage. Don’t blame those who exploit the system,
blame the system.

12 thoughts on ““The American Dream Film”…a lesson in misinformation lies and conspiracy theories

  • Great video as always! This is a great video that shows how distracting conspiracy theories can be. They always contain a grain of truth, but end up completely diverting us from the real cause. It always ends up blaming systemic problems on a few "evil" people.

  • i feel bad cause i watch that video years ago and kind of put me on the track of leftism but remenber makes me cringe about miselft like when you were a teen and watch the nostalgia critic

  • American Dream destroyed itself, and the environment, let it die and look forward to a new ideal. And true, capitalism is the problem, but these people are incapable of criticizing capitalism, so they blame it on "the Jews" for the flaw of capitalism.

  • you ever look into Richard Werner's work on dis-aggregate credit creation (via banks)? if the reserve requirement is 20%, and the bank has $1000, they can actually loan out $5000 – if they think the risk of having to pay all of that at once is low enough.

  • The AmericanDreamFilm website is actually kinda insane, they have a section called 'How you can help' in which they basically say things like;
    "If you are a teacher, teach the 'real history' to your students"
    "If you are a parent, tell your kids, because you can't trust the schools to teach them everything"
    As well as other notes for bloggers, voting, and which politicians to give money to.

    Their 'contact us' page leads to email accounts for 'TheBulletWire', which seems to be the tabloid which produced this film.
    They have a very colorful video on gay marriage on their YouTube channel, and they talk a lot about Rand Paul on their Twitter.

  • I vaguely remember having the constantly recommended to me years ago but never actually watching it (probably because at the time I didn't care enough about politics to sit down for a half-hour long YT video)

  • Blame the “elite rich jews”, “corporatism” or “crony capitalism” for causing [insert financial disaster name here] to hide the truth: crony capitalism, corporatism = regular capitalism. Even though the jews part is wrong (capitalists are mostly non jewish, but can be any ethnicity) the “rich and elite” part is accurate.

    Funny enough there is an actual conspiracy, among capitalists to blame on to various people for the inevitable economic disasters that happen under their system.

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