Downsize This!: Random Threats from an Unarmed American

Overview

Americans today are working harder, working longer and yet for most of us, in this time of ruthless downsizing and political cronyism, job security, a decent standard of living and a comfortable retirement are becoming harder and harder to find. In this brilliantly funny and right-on-target diatribe, irreverent everyman Michael Moore gives his own bold views on who's behind the fading of the American dream.

Whether issuing Corporate Crook trading cards, organizing a Rodney King ...

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Overview

Americans today are working harder, working longer and yet for most of us, in this time of ruthless downsizing and political cronyism, job security, a decent standard of living and a comfortable retirement are becoming harder and harder to find. In this brilliantly funny and right-on-target diatribe, irreverent everyman Michael Moore gives his own bold views on who's behind the fading of the American dream.

Whether issuing Corporate Crook trading cards, organizing a Rodney King Commemorative Riot, sending a donation to Pat Buchanan from the John Wayne Gacy fan club (which was accepted) or trying to commit former right-wing congressman Bob Dornan to a mental hospital, the in-your-face host of TV Nation and director/star of Roger & Me combines an expansive wit with biting social commentary to make you think and laugh at the same time.

In hardcover, Downsize This! stormed the bestseller lists of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and others. Given Michael Moore's enormous -- and growing -- constituency, this trade paperback edition brings his unique perspective on the nation to an even greater audience.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
September 1997

Anita Gates, reviewer for The New York Times Book Review, describes best the politically incorrect and sometimes scathing style of author, filmmaker, and general gadfly Michael Moore when she writes, "Mr. Moore has a real talent for cutting through the garbage, digging out the important points and serving them up in delightful, outrageous, sometimes irrefutable ways." In the age of American corporate downsizing, when companies most resemble profit-preservation societies rather than reliable and fair employers, satirist Moore has once again fearlessly enlisted in the fight for the individual, silent laborer, working longer hours for less pay and shivering through sleepless nights without the blanket of job security. Downsize This! spent a month on the New York Times bestseller list in hardcover, and no doubt, now that the paperback has been released (containing new material), more people will read Moore's deconstructive satire of distinctly American political and economic ills.

Considered the spokesman for the working American, Moore's sole objective in writing Downsize This! was to bring candid and brutally honest discomfort to the corporate giants, politicians, lobbyists, and others who build their own prosperous careers and companies around the policy of swindling all that can be swindled out of the employee. Compared with Will Rogers for his humorous approach to societal politics, and considered as dangerous and unsettling as Mike Wallace, Moore is unflinching and unafraid to confront those who make life tougher for theaveragehardworking American. Moore's nonfiction film "Roger & Me," about the closing of a General Motors Plant in Flint, Michigan, became the highest grossing nonfiction film of all time for its fearlessness. Moore pulls no punches now in book form; the chapter names in Downsize This! speak for themselves: "Why Doesn't GM Sell Crack?" "Would Pat Buchanan Take a Check from Satan?" "Balance the Budget? Balance My Checkbook!" "NAFTA's Great! Let's Move Washington to Tijuana!" "Let's All Hop in a Ryder Truck!"

Moore has a way of hitting a nerve in the arm of American consciousness, an ability to make policy makers squirm when faced with the often ridiculous reality of their decisions. Some of the things that Moore uncovers: the fact that in Ventura, California, prison inmates are taking plane reservations for TWA. Never one to be hesitant to go straight to the big cheese, Moore presents Johnson Controls of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a giant check for all of 80 cents, the first-hour wage for their first Mexican employee. He issues "corporate crook" trading cards and tries to commit a certain congressman to a mental institution. Outrageous in his ideas and schemes, Michael Moore may very well appeal to your sense of humor; more important, Downsize This! will also succeed in illuminating the absurdity of how Americans do business.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Moore, whose documentary film Roger & Me and television series TV Nation have a strong cult following, takes on corporations, politicians and Americana in general in a mordant satire that will leave both conservatives and liberals reeling with embarrassment. Moore tears into corporations and labor unions alike. Citing "economic terrorism," he goes after the "Big Welfare Mamas"the CEOsdetailing their cozy tax deals with federal and local government, which have added to the deficit. He attacks the unions in "Why Are Union Leaders So F#!@ing Stupid," citing how they have collaborated with corporations while taking huge salaries to slash jobs from their own memberships. No one is immune; Moore scrutinizes the President, Bob Dole, NAFTA, Cuban refugees and Pat Buchanan. A scathing, funny book packed with facts, it will appeal to those who loved Al Franken's Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. Photos. Major ad/promo; author tour. Sept.
Library Journal
The man who brought you Roger & Me takes on the fat cats again.
Kirkus Reviews
The man behind the popular documentary Roger and Me and the short-lived series TV Nation takes a stab at authorship—and at every conservative sacred cow available.

Moore brings a uniformly predictable lefty perspective to a series of topics, including corporate downsizing of workforces, Bill Clinton's weakness in opposing the right wing, Congress's craven subjugation to special interests, NAFTA, white racism, anti-feminist hysteria, homophobia, and the demonization of welfare recipients. As in his film and video work, Moore is at his best when he leads the fuzzy-minded to the logical conclusions of their thought processes, for example, getting an anti-abortion activist to agree that male masturbation is a serious moral issue because life actually begins with the individual sperm. There is a good deal of useful political information spread through the book, including the names and deeds of a number of corporate executives and lobbyists whose power is seldom treated as critically as it should be by journalists. The humor is hit-and-miss, though, and readers who don't seethe along with Moore in his populist rage are likely to find the book as a whole tiresome. There's also a considerable amount of the nastiness that liberals decry among today's conservative polemicists, the low point being a suggestion to Bob Dole that he replace the pen with which he keeps his disabled right hand from closing in on itself with something more appropriate, such as a coathanger to symbolize his views on abortion.

Moore might consider, as he passes judgment on the hypocrisy of our time, that a writer who can muse on his frequent exasperation with limousine drivers should refer to the working class as something other than "we."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060977337
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 464,618
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Moore's first book, Downsize This!, was a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. The award-winning director of the groundbreaking documentary Roger & Me, which became the largest grossing nonfiction film of all time, Moore is the creator and host of the Emmy-winning series TV Nation and The Awful Truth. Also the coauthor (with Kathleen Glynn) of Adventures In A TV Nation, he lives in New York City.

Biography

Michael Moore -- filmmaker, author, on-camera pest to those in corporate power -- has filmed two of the most successful film documentaries of all-time and wrote the top nonfiction bestseller for 2002. But his most famous act on camera may be one that he didn't film himself.

Even those who weren't watching the Oscar telecast in the spring of 2003 must have heard about it during the aftermath. Moore, collecting his best documentary Oscar for Bowling for Columbine and joined by his fellow nominees onstage, proclaimed his dedication to nonfiction in his work and took aim at the fiction he said he saw all around him.

"We like nonfiction, and we live in fictitious times," he said to a mix of boos and cheers. "We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or fiction of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up."

At least it was short.

Moore has been telling truth to power -- or, to his critics, his version of the truth -- long before his groundbreaking 1994 documentary Roger & Me attempted to corner the General Motors chairman Roger Smith on why his company closed its plant in Flint, Mich., in favor of 11 new plants in Mexico.

He founded the alternative newspaper The Flint Voice in the 1970s, started a weekly radio show in Flint, and became the youngest school board member in the country when he ran for office in 1972. He was fired from the liberal magazine Mother Jones, reportedly for liberal activism.

But it was Roger & Me that made him something of an icon for the left. Heavy, sloppily dressed, almost always sporting a scruffy beard and a baseball cap, Moore is an everyman with a camera crew. And he has bones to pick with so many in power: General Motors, Kmart, the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich looks hopefully to Moore as the left's rallying counterpoint to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, a welcome gust of humor from the deadly earnestness of the liberal movement.

"Like Mr. Limbaugh at his least grandiose best," Rich wrote in 2003, "Mr. Moore's persona is more funny than angry, more everyman than show-biz. He is not, as he puts it, ''a didactic, wimpy kind of liberal' -- one of those whiners that makes audiences reach for the remote faster than you can say ‘Phil Donahue.' Mr. Moore may not be subtle as a filmmaker or a polemicist, but the grandstanding glee of his broad strokes is precisely what makes him succeed as a showman."

Anyone familiar with Moore's tone on camera – from Roger & Me to Bowling for Columbine to his short-lived television program TV Nation, sort of an extended, edgy Candid Camera-style prank afflicted on the rich – will recognize him in print as well.

"As someone with a penchant for demagoguery, someone who thinks that the present political structure needs ‘to be brought down and removed and replaced with a whole new system that we control,' Mr. Moore plays to the camera even when he's doing it on the page," Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times in 2003, reviewing his book Dude, Where's My Country?

In his first book, Downsize This he jabbed at downsizing-happy corporate executives and other piñatas favored by the left. He followed that up with Stupid White Men he examined the new century after the bust of the New Economy and prayed for Jesse Helms to get kissed by a man. And, in 2003, he released Dude, Where's My Country? calling for a regime change in Washington. (One tidbit: The Internal Revenue Service actually has a specific form for tax refunds of $1 million or more. Perhaps some of you have seen it.)

With his first two books, Moore was something of a lone liberal voice on the best sellers lists. By the time his third was released, he had to muscle his way through people like Al Franken and Molly Ivins to get to his audience.

"When Stupid White Men appeared, its brand of name-calling was more of a novelty on the best-seller list. Now it is luxuriantly in flower," Maslin noted in her Times piece. "Mr. Moore will no doubt share a readership with Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (which is funnier), Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose's Bushwhacked (which is better informed) and Joe Conason's Big Lies (also better informed), if not with Bill O'Reilly's Who's Looking Out for You? (politically opposite, but no less self-serving). But Mr. Moore, through real conviction along with showboating personality, does make himself the most galvanizing and accessible of the lot."

Liberals rub their hands with glee for equal time against Rush Limbaugh (who termed his own radio program "equal time.") But for some, Moore's brand of rhetoric is good news for the conservatives, not liberals.

"If this book is what passes for a political manifesto, then Tom Paine is truly dead," Alan Wolfe wrote of Stupid in The New Republic 2002. "Moore peppers his book with factoids, weird memos, open letters, bizarre lists, LOTS OF SENTENCES IN CAPITAL LETTERS, and name-dropping accounts of how he happens to know some members of the Bush family personally. It is meant to be satire, I suppose; but the only person skewered is Moore, who proves himself to be the only stupid white man around. Anyone bent on redistributing income in favor of the rich could not get a luckier break than having a critic like Michael Moore."

Good To Know

Moore is a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association.

He is an enormous success in Germany. Publishers Weekly in 2003 reported that his book Stupid White Men sold 1.1 million copies during its first year in print in Germany, more than double than in the United States. Even the English version made the Spiegel bestseller list, the only book outside the Harry Potter series to do so.

Moore tangled with his publisher over the content of Stupid. HarperCollins had demanded changes in "offensive" material in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, but, with help from angry e-mails from librarians, the book was released unchanged.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      April 23, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Davison, Michigan
    1. Education:
      Attended University of Michigan, Flint

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Since making Roger & Me in 1989, I've listened to a lot of stories from people, strangers in the street, who want to buy me a beer or a burger and tell me what happened to their American Dream. Roger & Me chronicled how the world's richest corporation, General Motors, destroyed my hometown of Flint, Michigan, by firing 30,000 workers during a time when the company was making record profits. I filmed my search to find the chairman of GM, Roger Smith, and tried to convince him to come to Flint so he could see what he had done to the people there.
Although Roger never made it to Flint, a lot of other people have. These days everyone, it seems, lives in their own Flint, Michigan.

The stories I hear are pretty much the same, with a few variations to allow for the pink-slipped brother who committed suicide, or the mother who lost her life savings when the pension fund went belly-up. I have heard so many of these stories that I can fill in the blanks before the sentences are finished. I find myself doing this to keep from sinking into an even greater despair.
It is not pleasant when a homeless person actually knows you and calls out, "Hey, Mike!" as you are trying to walk quickly past him and his shopping cart. This happened to me on 46th Street in New York City in front of the Paramount Hotel. I was with a vice president of NBC and the producers of my show "TV Nation." The homeless man grabbed my hand for a shake and told me he, too, was from Flint, Michigan, but now lives here on the street.
He wanted to describe his favorite part of Roger & Me, which he had seen three years ago when he had a job. While the NBC executive waswatching in disbelief, I'm thinking to myself . . . I know this guy!
"You remember me, don't you?" he asked. "I used to deliver your newspaper, the Flint Voice."
Why was it him standing there like that? Why not me? But for the grace of Warner Bros. and NBC? I emptied my pockets and gave him everything I had. We left him on the street and went inside, where I had a $30 steak. The NBC suit had a salad. My buddy from Flint was probably already guzzling his aptly named Colt .45.
***
As I write this I am on a plane to Ames, Iowa, to speak to a group of students and farmers who, like the strangers in the street, are angry and depressed that the America they once believed in has all but told them where to get off. When I arrive, the auditorium is overflowing. I begin to hear the same stories of betrayal and bewilderment and, always, the Big Question. Why is it that if they worked so hard for so long, and played by the rules, and voted for the Republicans, their reward has been foreclosure and divorce, bankruptcy and "the bottle"?
As I sit offstage listening to the introduction, I think about how I, too, was raised to believe in an America where everyone had the opportunity to achieve a decent life. I was the all-American boy, an Eagle Scout. I won my Marksman certificate from the NRA. I was religious, attending the seminary in high school to become a Catholic priest. I obeyed all the rules (to this day, I have yet to smoke a joint) and worked within our political system (at the age of eighteen, I was elected to public office in Michigan). Until the 1990s, I never earned more than $17,000 a year. I have stood in the unemployment line at least three different times in my life and was collecting $98 a week in "benefits" when I decided to make Roger & Me.
Now, after years of living when I barely had enough money to even go to the movies, I find myself suddenly blessed with the opportunity to make them. I feel truly privileged to be able to speak to so many people. But tonight, I can't stop thinking about the two people I met on my way here to Ames.
"Bill" is what the name read on his shirt, as he stood under the big Delta logo (you'll love the way we fly) behind the airline counter. He took my ticket, looked at the name, looked up at me (one of those "you look so much thinner on TV" looks), and smiled.
"I just saw your movie for the third time," he said, his face turning red because he thinks he's meeting a movie star or something. "I just want to thank you for what you did."
I thanked him for thanking me and then he told me his story.
"I'm fifty years old. Worked here at Delta for twenty-one years. Two years ago, they announced they were downsizing the company and told me I was being laid off. I went into shock. Almost twenty years with the company. Where was I going to get a job at fifty years old? They told us they were bringing in outside part-time contractors to do our jobs. Temps. We were welcome to apply for those jobs if we wanted to--at half our former wage. I just couldn't do it."
"So," I interrupted, "how many prescriptions did you eventually go on?"
"Six," he replied, without missing a beat. "Prozac, Xanax, Pepcid, Lasix, Clonidine for my blood pres-
sure . . ."
". . . And something to help you sleep at night."
"Yeah, Ambien, how'd you guess?"
"I get stopped a lot. People who have lost their jobs want to show me their portable pill cases--you know, a little compartment for each day of the week or--"
"Or each pill compartment divided by color," he said, finishing my sentence as he pulled out his plastic medicine chest to show me.
"You're not flying this plane I'm taking, are you?" I asked half-seriously.
He told me that the only way he got to come back to work was because someone had died and he was highest on the seniority list. "I'm down to three pills a day," Bill said, mustering a little pride. "Things are looking up."

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Table of Contents

The Etiquette of Downsizing 2
Ch. 1 Let's All Hop in a Ryder Truck 5
Ch. 2 Would Pat Buchanan Take a Check from Satan? 18
Ch. 3 "Don't Vote - It Only Encourages Them" 22
Ch. 4 Democrat? Republican? Can You Tell the Difference? 26
Ch. 5 Not on the Mayflower? Then Leave! 33
Ch. 6 Big Welfare Mamas 43
Ch. 7 Let's Dump on Orange County 56
Ch. 8 How to Conduct the Rodney King Commemorative Riot 62
Ch. 9 Pagan Babies 68
Ch. 10 Germany Still Hasn't Paid for Its Sins - and I Intend to Collect 76
Ch. 11 So You Want to Kill the President! 83
Ch. 12 Show Trials I'd Like to See 94
Ch. 13 If Clinton Had Balls ... 97
Ch. 14 Steve Forbes Was an Alien 104
Ch. 15 Corporate Crooks Trading Cards 108
Ch. 16 Why Are Union Leaders So F#!@ing Stupid? 127
Ch. 17 Balance the Budget? Balance My Checkbook! 136
Ch. 18 Mike's Penal Systems, Inc. 140
Ch. 19 Mandate? What Mandate? 147
Ch. 20 My Forbidden Love for Hillary 153
Ch. 21 A Sperm's Right to Life 161
Ch. 22 Let's Pick a New Enemy! 168
Ch. 23 Those Keystone Cubans 175
Ch. 24 What America Needs Is a Makeover 183
Ch. 25 O. J. Is Innocent 189
Ch. 26 The "Liddy Problem" 208
Ch. 27 I Try to Commit Bob Dornan 211
Ch. 28 Skip the Candidates - Vote for the Lobbyists! 221
Ch. 29 Harassing Gays for Extra Credit 229
Ch. 30 Take That Pen Out of Bob Dole's Hand 233
Ch. 31 Free Us, Nelson Mandela! 240
Ch. 32 NAFTA's Great! Let's Move Washington to Tijuana! 246
Ch. 33 Why Doesn't GM Sell Crack? 253
Ch. 34 I Want My Tax Break or I'm Leaving 258
Ch. 35 Mike's Militia 262
Everyone Fired ... Wall Street Reacts Favorably 272
Acknowledgments 274
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Interviews & Essays

On Tuesday, September 2nd, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Michael Moore to discuss DOWNSIZE THIS!.


Moderator: Hello and welcome to the barnesandnoble.com Live Events Auditorium. Tonight we are very honored to welcome Michael Moore, documentary filmmaker and author of DOWNSIZE THIS!, a collection of scathing and comical commentaries on the quality of life for the common American. Welcome, Michael Moore! We're glad you could join us this evening.

Michael Moore: Thanks. It's great to be here. Would somebody please shut the window? It's raining outside.


Chris Harrison from London, Ont.: Will you be attending the Toronto Film Fest this year? If so, will there be any book signings while you are in Toronto?

Michael Moore: Yes. My latest film "The Big One," will premiere at the Toronto Film Fest, this Saturday Sept. 6, at 1 30pm, and Monday at 7pm, both at the Uptown One Theater. There will be a book signing at the Chapters Book Store on Bloor Street at 4PM following the Saturday screening. I'm looking forward once agin to coming to Toronto where we won the best film award for "Roger and Me."


albert green from richmond va: Michael, was it Barnes & Noble or Border's that you discussed in Salon magazine?

Michael Moore: It was Borders. Why do you ask?


James from Ithaca: What do you think will be the impact of the Teamsters UPS victory? Do you think it really mean unions will start to gain more influence now?

Michael Moore: The strike will have a very positive impact for unions in this country. The fact that the American public got behind the strike was the best thing anbout it. Now that so many Americans have been forced into part-time and temp jobs, they realize the insanity of a corporate chairman going on TV, like the CEO of UPS did, and say that a person that works 35 hours a week is a "part-time worker."


Patrick from Fulton, Ms: Did Roger Smith ever see "Roger & Me"?

Michael Moore: He claims that he never saw it, but you and I both know he snuck into a theater somewhere on a rainy afternoon, sat in the last row, and fell in love with himself all over again.


Jeffrey Lindberg from Albuquerque: Hello Michael Moore! How is the paperback version of DOWNSIZE THIS new, improved and even better then the hardcover?

Michael Moore: It has four new chapters, including "10 Ways to Downsize the Boss," and "O.J. is Guilty." To follow the "O.J. is innocent" chapter. I also corrected a number of grammatical mistakes, and removed the coffee stain from page 156.


Brent Johnson from Utah: Michael, I'm afraid I can't be present for the forum...you're really a hero, a sense of humor and no fear!! 2 questions 1 Will you ever do another prime-time show, taking on corporate America as an ombudsman for the "little guy"? 2 A sad tale, my best friend, killed in an auto accident, the mishandling of the situation by a large hospital and their "lifeflight" program, essentially killing this young man, causing several EMT's and nurses to leave their jobs, and leaving his family with no explanation or records which have magically disappeared to fight for the principle of this situation...to make sure it never happens to anyone else.

This young man's mother reminded me of you when she swore to camp out on their doorstep after they made it through a drawn-out countersuit which left them with little money or energy. What would you suggest they do? Does it sound like something you'd take on? Just curious, and caring.

Michael Moore: I am still very hopeful that "TV Nation," or some version of it, will be back on the air sometime in the next year. The BBC has raised all the necessary funds; all we need is an American network to air it. Is there anyone from the Food or Golf channel participating in this online chat tonight?

Part Two: I certainly admire her courage, and I hope that she can both take on the hopspital, and keep going with her own life at the same time. As a side note, I think hospitals are extremely dangerous places, and should be avoided whenever possible. The AMA likes the fact that the whole country hates lawyers. The truth is, without attorneys taking on these incompetent doctors, the story you just told us about would happen a whole lot more often.


Dave Kent from Alexandria, Va.: Why is it so hard for American workers to join unions -- and what would it take to repeal anti-worker, anti-union legislation now on the books that thwarts union representation?

Michael Moore: I think the media and the corporations have done an excellent job convincing the public that Unions are bad for them. The New York Times on Sunday ran a rare piece pointing out that the bottom line is, if you organize your workplace, you are going to make 10-30% more than a non-union worker makes doing the same job. I believe, as we sit here tonight, on the day when the Dow posted its highest gain ever, that more and more Americans are catching on to the fact that they have not been invited to the party that Wall Street is throwing. And the more that Corporate America forces workers to work longer hours for less pay and less benefits, the sooner the average working stiff in this country is going to organize a union at his or her working place.


share_n_mpower from Minneapolis: I particularly liked the chapter on the Big Welfare Mamas. Do you have any plans for a sequel? I would recommend the Pohlads, who are trying to wrest millions from Minnesota and Minneapolis in order to keep the Twins baseball team there.

Michael Moore: There are many candidates for "Welfare Mother of the Year" that have been sent to me since the book was published. It is amazing to see just how many companies are getting a free ride from their local and state governemnts. $170 Billion of our tax dollars goes to corporate welfare every year; $50 billion to social welfare. Why is this never discussed when we talk about "ending welfare as we know it?"


Howie from Las Vegas: What were the most interesting criticisms of your book when it was first published?

Michael Moore: Hmmm...That's a good question. You know, to be honest, I can't remember reading any, although I'm sure they existed. But my handlers at the publisher I'm sure kept those notices away from me for fear of what I might do with the small weapons arsenal I keep in the trunk of my Chevy Impala. My main criticism of the book is that Random House took a computer and digitally gave my fingers a manicure on the cover. I asked them why they didn't, while they we're in there doing digital work, take 10 pounds off the face? "Oh no," they said, "That would be unethical!"


clinton williams from clintwill@aol.com: Greetings, Mr. Moore. I challenge three statements in DOWNSIZE THIS!, paperback edition. 1. "Manpower, Inc....has surpassed General Motors as the number one employer in America." page 14 According to a report in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL of Thursday August 28, 1997, Wal-Mart surpassed GM in this category, 1995. 2. GM once proclaimed "What's good for General Motors is good for the country." page 14 Please cite your source for this quotation. 3. "most" 1992 presidential election voters casting ballots for candidate H. Ross Perot "knew [he] was a certified fruitcake..." page 15 Please inform me how I can obtain a true copy of Mr. Perot's fruitcake certificate. I thank you for your prompt attention to these requests, best regards, Clint Williams, Oakland, Michigan

Michael Moore: 1 I'm sure the WSJ is not counting ManPower's temp force as employees of ManPower, but rather employees of the companies in which they are temping. I personally visited the headquarters of ManPower, Inc., where they personally confirmed this fact for me. And no less a great American than Bob Dole quoted the same statistic last year in his debate with Clinton. 2 I am not in the office where my files are located, so I cannot give you the man's exact name, but he was the VP of GM, and he made the statement testifiying in front of a Senate subcommittee investgating GM on anti-trust violations in the 1950's. I would be happy to give you his name when I get back to the office. 3 OK. I understand that you, too, have a highly developed sense of humor, and I'm glad that you got the joke. By the way, there is no town in Michigan named "Oakland." Cite source: Rand McNally 1997 Road Atlas," page 46-47.


Jim from Long Island: Do you have plans to run for any public office again? President???

Michael Moore: No. Thank you.


Mark Wilson mtwain@erols.com from Silver Spring, Maryland: What "revenge" do you recommend that the peons take for being used/abused and written off by the business "leaders" and stock holders?

Michael Moore: Organize a union at your workplace, and I have a number of other ideas in this chapter in the paperback, "10 ways To Downsize the Boss."


Alan Connor from Oxford, England: Have you been following the British political scene since Labour came into govt.? The passage in _DT!_ where you write that Clinton lost people's respect for trying to be palsy with the rightwingers made me think of Blair's constant capitulation.

Michael Moore: Blair seems to be more like a reformed Torrie than anything else, and I hope that the people of your country don't have to go through what we've been through with Clinton.


Howie from Las vegas: How widely will The Big One be distributed?

Michael Moore: That depends on whether the distributor picks up the film over the next few weeks as we go to the festivals. I hope that people will get to see this film, because I think it says something that needs to be said about what's going on in this country, and I'm proud of it. The film will be at the following festivals over the next ferw months: Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Denver, Aspen, Sacramento, Charlottesville, Hamptons, etc. There will also be a couple of sneak preview benefits, one for the Detroit Newspaper Strikers in Royal Oak on Sept. 14th, in Boston on Oct. 4th, and in the Twin Cities on Sept. 20th. There will also be a screening at the Michigan Theatre on Sept. 19th


Matt from Riverside, CA: Michael, what do you think of Bill Gates and the terrorist tactics he's been using recently, like giving feature-filled web software away for free, and buying up cable companies to control distribution via cable modems?

Michael Moore: To be honest, I've not really looked into the matter of Bill Gates that much. So, I am not able to say whether he actually is Satan himself. I plan to contact our correspondent in Hell to find out the skinny on this guy, and report back to you all at some later date.


Guy Demers from Quebec, Canada: I've been asking around for a month now and nobody seems to be able to answer my question. Maybe you can help... Maybe you have some special insight on the matter...Maybe they're all too caught up it in to have any perspective... So... please... tell me... Will the stock market ever crash?

Michael Moore: I'm not as worried about the stock market crashing as I am about the millions of workers that are financing the party that Wall Street is throwing.


Jack Fleischer from Groton, MA: Three questions. You've done movies, TV, and books, do you consider yourself a writer, an artist, political commentator, or other? What is the next big project going to be? And do you possibly have any job offerings personal secretary? to an 18 year old with good credentials who's taking a year off between High School and college?

Michael Moore: 1 Something else. 2 I am writing a screenplay that I am going to direct for BBC films. My wife and I are writing a book on "TV Nation," and all the inside scoop and poop. I am also planning to do a pilot this fall for one of the four networks. And I'm going to try to get to at least one Detroit Red Wings Game this year.


Sean Ratliff from Milledgeville, Ga.: I'm a huge fan. How far would you go to prove a point? Jail? Would you risk being some Bubba's little love toy?

Michael Moore: If you knew me, I'm really a wimp. I've seen Bubba's love toys, and they are nothing I want to play with.


Colette from Queens, NY: Thank you for availing yourself to us. I will be shooting my first film in July '98. Will you please give me any advice on making a low-budget film. Your personal experiences would be appreciated. Continued success to you in Toronto and in your future endeavors.

Michael Moore: Shoot the film that you want to shoot, listen to no one but yourself. Van Gogh didn't ask for a committee to give him notes Should it be the right ear? The left ear? Maybe just no bandage? Don't wait for someone to give you a grant or invest in your film. If you believe in it, shoot it. On the other hand, don't give up your day job.


Donny B. from Raleigh, NC: Michael, can you wear or eat or drive anything anymore? Sounds like you could potentially have quite a list of boycotts.

Michael Moore: I generally don't boycott, because I like to eat things, wear things, and drive things. So, I try to change what's going on in a different way.


rachel from oakland: is it true that Borders Books categorizes DOWNSIZE THIS! as strictly a humor book?

Michael Moore: Not only Borders, but other bookstores do this. On one hand, I take it as a compliment that they think there is humor in the book. On the other hand, it just doesn't seem right looking at my book sitting next to Garfield, when the purpose of the book is to make commentary on the events of our times. I personally believe the book should be in Current Events or Politics.


Ned Guilesman from Burlington, VT: Michael, is there any stopping Phil Knoight of Nike? Did that scandal in Southeast Asia even make a ripple in the Nike stock? I visited that superstore/swoosh museum on 57th street in New York City. That place could sell ice to the Eskimos in the purest sense. What propaganda! Does Phil have a conscience, or what?

Michael Moore: Hmmm. Nike is a company with a strange paradox they run ads against racism, and were among the first to offer daycare to their employees. But I guess like most of us human beings, they have a blind spot, and that is their use of 14-16 year-olds in Indonesian factories making shoes for 40 cents an hour. That is morally wrong. I have said so in person to Phil Knight, I filmed my encounter with hm which is included in "The Big One" and I hope to have some sort of impact on them so that they will change their policies. And yes, I do believe that all the publicity about this has affected their sales.


Peter Racz from NYC NY: Michael- What's your take on the rash of tobacco company "settlements" and the accompanying long line of contrite CEOs with nicotine stained fingers? And while we're at it, care to address breast implants?

Michael Moore: Don't let 'em off the hook. Put them all in a room with a hundred smokers with no windows, and let them out in a week.


sando from s.c.: Do you think that companies in the US are going to recognize that they have to nurture a good relationship with valuable employees or will there have to be a resurrection of unions... they are certainly toying with providing enough reasons for an uprising!

Michael Moore: They're too stupid to do that, and thus the uprising will take place.


Dave from Tolland, CT: After years of fear by the salaried ranks of Pratt and Whitney UTC, the salaried folks in FL voted on a possible salaried union. The company, somehow, sealed the ballots. Months have passed. They have better lawyers than we do!! Suggestions???

Michael Moore: I wasn't aware of this. Please send more info to me at P.O. Box 831, Radio City Station, NY, NY 10101.


Alan Connor from Oxford, England: I run a film society over in the Little One and would be very keen to show _TBO_. What's the position on it? Are any 25mm prints in Europe? Are you coming back soon? Etcetera.

Michael Moore: I would love to show it there, and you can contact me there at the aforementioned address. Anyone wishing to e-mail me can do so at mmflint@AOL.com. My new web page should be up in the next few days. You can reach it at www.michaelmoore.com.


Moderator: Thanks so much for coming online to discuss DOWNSIZE THIS!, Michael Moore. It's been an enlightening discussion and we'll keep our eyes peeled for The Big One. Any final remarks?

Michael Moore: Thanks for having me. I'll be at barnesandnoble, Union Square in New York tomorrow night to talk and sign books, at 7:30pm, and will be visiting a number of cities across the country during the next few weeks. I hope to meet many of you. And thanks to barnesandnoble, not only for providing this online site, but for some great stores, where you can walk in, read an entire book, and then leave. Millions of downsized Americans salute you.


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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 26, 2010

    Lightweight Sandwich Construction

    I thought Micheal Moore did a great job at showing the ugly truth that is happening in corporate america and how it's affecting the average american. He his main focus of the book is on how big business is destroying america and her people by unmoral acts such as closing factories all across america just to move it to another state or country to get cheap labor, with reasons only to make a bigger profit because apparently profit is "king". He also brings some humor into the book by making CEO trading cards and a very detailed riot plan for the residents of compton if they feel the need to riot again.
    If your the type of person who wants to know what the heck is wrong with the U.S today or if your just a Micheal Moore fan who enjoys his funny Satirical view of our politicans and goverment. If your niether of these, Downsize would still be a great book to just pick up and read just for the laughs.
    In my personal opinion, I belive every current politican and Big Bussiness executive should be forced to read this and make amends for the wrongs they have committed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2009

    JC MC-2 ENG IV

    After reading this book by Michael Moore, I would have to say it was a very good and powerful book. Before reading this book I knew some of the things he talked about but I learned A LOT of stuff about people, the gov't, etc. I would recommend just about anybody to read this book, even if you've never watched or read anything from Michael Moore. This book has given me inspiration to do my part to inform people of the gov't and the power of corporations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2008

    Non-Fictions Assignment

    I was given an option of a non-fiction to read for one of my classes. I randomly picked this one, and was quite pleased with the result. Although I must say Mr. Moore does seem to get on some pretty random subjects, all in all, I liked his style of writing, and how well he supported his facts. I think this is a good choice if you are someone who seeks some truth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2003

    Unknowledgeable

    I also believe he was too easy on the corporate executives. Corporate Executives and Politican are allowing the hard working Americans to be Downsized and their paychecks cut why they take raises and bonuses. Instead of inciting seperation and racism, the author should do his homework and use his money to find legitimate fixes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2003

    Companies shipping Jobs oversea to make fat $$$

    Well this is a great threat to American today and who is talking about it, NOBODY. Politican are in bed with companies because, companies own politican and 'Mass media' is quite about this because, companies own 'mass media'. So who in the world cares about average hard working taxpayer American, THIS BOOK.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2003

    (Speechless)

    All I can say is that for those of you who said this book was not true and stupid, I feel sorry for you. You missed out on one of the best reading experiences of my life. Much praise to Mr. Moore for his outstanding work, and I am so excited about reading 'Stupid White Men' and 'Adventures in a TV Nation.' I also have to say that 'Bowling for Columbine' is the best documentary I have ever seen, so for those of you who didn't like that either, have fun crawling back in Mommy's lap for some more corporate lies, a blankey, and some juice. OUTSTANDING!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2003

    Uneducated Foolery

    Not well cited and lacks the feel of something that has been well thought out. Some of his conclusions could be shattered by some guy with an IQ of 80 and a calculator. Moore wants to be taken seriously but is quick to claim comedic license when a critic points out an inaccuracy. I found his TV show, TVNation, quite funny and enjoyable although it clearly lacked an intellectual basis. His latest ¿documentary,¿ Bowling for Columbine, is littered with inaccuracies. Moore is willing to accept an award for a documentary but maintains that inaccuracies are a result of the film¿s comedic nature. I am a college student and find most of the people (other students) that tout Mr. Moore as a great author or social critic are largely unfamiliar with his work! They repeat what they hear from the media who, for the most part, seems to have taken quite a liking to Moore¿s works. In fact, the media¿s hyping of the book (and his other endeavors) was the reason I read it in the first place. I was sorely disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2003

    Corporate Downsizing - Morally and Ethically Wrong

    He was too easy on the corporate executives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2001

    Enjoyable but not all that great

    Michael Moore is a great writer and I enjoyed this book but all in all he come across as quite hypocritical and some of his solutions don't make sense. Enjoyable if you're looking for a cheap no-brainer to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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