Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Michael Moore, Capitalism, and Tax Incentives

How much money did Michael Moore get in tax incentives from the State of Michigan to make Capitalism: A Love Story?

$841,145.27, according to Louise Story of The New York Times:
Hollywood may make movies about the evils of capitalism, but it rarely works without incentives, which are paid for by taxpayers. Nationwide, about $1.5 billion in tax breaks is awarded to the film industry each year, according to a state-by-state survey by The New York Times.
Within two months, 24 movies had signed up to film in Michigan — up from two the entire year before. The productions estimated that they would spend $195 million filming there, and in return they would be refunded about $70 million in cash.
Before long, residents were rushing out on their lunch breaks to catch a glimpse of celebrities like Drew Barrymore, who was filming her movie “Whip It” in Ann Arbor, and Clint Eastwood, who was shooting “Gran Torino” in the Detroit area. Even Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called “Capitalism: A Love Story,” sought and received incentives.


  1. The film incentive program,eliminated by Snyder,put millwrights,electricians,and local actresses and actors,to work for 4 years in michigan. Add to that the carpenters,painters,etc,and you have a win-win situation for the people and the state .Not only that,but it created a reason for a whole lot of very talented kids to stay here instead of moving out East or West.I know where ytou're going with the introduction,dissing Moore because he accepted incentives.But dozens of other states offered the same,or similar film incentives.At least he chose to stay here in his own state.Like him or not,he is not always the most loveable person,he has not often been proven wrong in what he says or does.....Buick City comes to mind.Before Granholm's program, out of state film folks on tour had no idea that one could not see to the other side of Lake Michigan when facing Wisconsin. They were amazed,and were full of ideas for ocean type movie sets. Bottom line,we had something going that was "diversified", not part of the auto industry, etc. It was working till Snyder killed it (after saying he wouldn't). Not too far different fdrom what the punk is doing today with "Right to Work for Less" legislation. Michael Moore is NOT the Enemy.

    1. Anonymous, all great points. Just want to clarify that I was not dissing MM. Search his name on the blog and you'll find lots pro Michael Moore material. I'm actually a big fan, although many readers are not. I was just referencing a very thought provoking piece in the NY Times that examines the role of subsidies. It's worth reading and echoes many of your good points. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.