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Five of John Sutherland's Classic Technicolor Economic/Industrial Information Films on One All Regions DVD! Capitalism has never been so animated!
MEET KING JOE (1949 - 9:26)
John Sutherland was famous for many things in animation history - direction, production and voice-over work in the employ of Disney, Warner Brothers and, as with the series of films of which this cartoon is a part, himself. This installment of the "Fun and Facts about American Business" series, which he produced for Harding College of Searcy, Arkansas under a number of generous grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, introduces us to "the king of the workers of the world", here known as Joe, the average American worker. He earns the highest wages and works the shortest hours of any other laborer, and he doesn't like the capitalist narrator telling him he's no smarter nor stronger than workers in other countries. Joe's sense of privilege needs cultivation, and it's provided by the time machine the narrator has handy to show Joe what work was like for Joe's ancestors. The monetary capital contributions by banks, insurance companies and stocks are well lauded for their bringing about the productivity and prosperity of U. S. workers, a point illustrated by the comparison between of the labor costs of a Chinese coolie and an American railroad worker. "New inventions create thousands of jobs for every one they displace", just like competition and the research and development it fosters does. The statistics on how much stuff American workers had at this time in comparison with the other 93% of the world's workers are truly extraordinary - 72% of the cars, 92% of the bathtubs, and "practically all the refrigerators in existence". The point of this film, in brief: American labor, management & capital are "the greatest production team in the history of Mankind".
IT'S EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS (1954 - 19:53)
Sponsored by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and DuPont, this film won the Freedoms Foundation's Gold Honor Medal for being "the best film developed in the United States during 1954 to further better understanding of the American way of life". It depicts America as resting upon a foundation built of irregularly shaped stone blocks, each bearing the inscription of an indivual American right, carefully fit together. It declares that the business of America is business, and that it's founded on the principles that promote business. This point is illustrated by John the colonial hatter who is free to be a capitalist, free to go into business for himself , invest his own and other people's money , and advertize. Modern economy is shown to be the inheritor of this legacy as the dollars of insurance companies, stocks, bonds & banks (with the savings accounts of individual bank customers) take a ride on the Savings Special train to investment. Corporate forces of finance, research, engineering, production, design, sales & advertising rally to compete in the marketplace war of high quality and low priced goods. Standards of living for 1890s & 1940s workers are compared to show how well off modern labor is. The crashing waves of wars and government controls nonetheless assail the foundations of fortress America, however - and we all must be on the lookout for the terrible money-sucking bane of American business, the Taxes Unlimited Train!
GOING PLACES (1948 - 8:34)
The title of this film could easily have been "THE PROFIT MOTIVE", and is another great installment of "Fun and Facts about American Business". Here the entrepeneur, driven by the profit motive, is shown to be the agent through which communities grow and are maintained by virtue of the taxes he pays. He got that way simply by wanting to save himself some labor & earn a comfortable retirement, but one a sexy lady enters his sights and he strives to gain and maintain her and their growing family, that all changes as the profit motive takes over as the driving force of his achievement. Labor, banks, insurance companies, stocks, etc. are again cited as the fuel which feeds the capital expansion necessary for profits to be raised, and help bring about the amenities that workers who work for successful companies can expect as a result of such investments. Don't miss the classic scene of the entrepeneur taking counsel from the angel and devil at each of his shoulders!
MAKE MINE FREEDOM (1948 - 9:30)
A very ethnic-looking salesman tries to sell the snake oil of "Ism" to characters emblematic of the four commercial interests of this country - management, labor, politicians and farmers. John Q. Public, a.k.a. you and I, objects when this "Ism" is about to be taken at face value, both in the swallowing and the signing over of the most precious of American possessions to obtain it- Freedom. The "Totalitarian" part of "Ism" comes into view as J.Q.B. illustrates what would happen to us all if we signed over our freedom for all the good things "Ism" promises - loss of liberty, of course, but also the prosperity that accompanies it. As the film states, "working to create an ever-increasing abundance of material and spiritual values for all" is the secret of American prosperity, and is something no foreign political or economic system could deliver. Another "Fun and Facts about American Business" segment.
LEAP FROG (1949 - 9:15)
This "Fun and Facts about American Business" episode puts "King Joe" of other cartoons of this series through an education as to how much material costs really are - not simply the raw material cost, but the most significant cost of all - labor. He finds this out when he gets a raise and yet cannot afford the very Dilly-Dolls he makes due to the price increase that raise brought about. The solution to this problem is productivity improvement, which gives Joe a brainstorm, his boss a proposal, investors an opportunity & lower prices with higher wages for all!
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