Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful LIfe’



Frank Capra’s film IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, starring Jimmy Stewart, stands out as the single most effective movie describing American banking and the destructive effect it can have on the average citizen. Standing almost alone against the financiers propaganda of the past five decades, Capra’s message rings true.

George Bailey’s view of how the world would have been without him, gives us a view of how the world would look when the evil banker, Mr. Potter, rules.

Capra handles economics brilliantly. The bankers desire to keep the people in poverty is dramatically illustrated, as well as his immoral tactics. Free market theories are set aside without even being mentioned, by the direct observation that rule of the so called “free market” in fact means rule by the Potters, with the magic checkbook. The one that allows them to create money and allocate power by writing numbers on an accounting ledger or computer page.

The distinction between George Bailey’s savings and loan, and Potter’s bank was more than just the person in charge. Savings and Loans, at that time, carefully loaned out the moneys entrusted to them to build useful residential housing. Banks on the other hand created money out of thin air; concentrating power into the hands of bankers.

Back then Americans hadn’t yet learned their “economics in one lesson” from the Austrian school, and other conservative groups. They were not then deluded, as they are today into believing they possessed knowledge which they really didn’t have. But they had learned enough from their experience with the great depression, to know that bankers could not be trusted.

More even than all the good books written on the subject, this film being replayed many times each Christmas, has served to remind Americans of these realities. Until last year that is.


The suppression took the following form: NBC purchased the rights to show the film exclusively, one time. No longer would the film be shown once or twice a day on all channels during the Christmas holidays. In our area there were not many, if any, announcements (I saw none) from NBC on when they would present their exclusive showing of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. As a result I didn’t see the film at all in the 1996 Christmas season.

Those who own the rights to the film will hopefully take steps to assure sufficient airing of the movie in coming seasons. Free markets alone, without thoughtful consideration will not necessarily yield the best results. Priests of the Market God, HAND THE INVISIBLE, will squeal that only free markets can make such decisions. But its a meaningless concept. As long as bankers are allowed to hold special monetary privileges and to create private money, with the ability to allocate power (credit) to groups such as the TV networks, there cannot really be “free markets” (nor much good television!).


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