In this feisty, irreverent, and clever documentary follow-up to Roger and Me, satirist Michael Moore heads out on the road on a book tour for his bestselling Downsize This. Sneaking away from publicity escorts in different cities, he tries to get corporate executives to answer his question: Why are you laying off thousands of workers when your companies are making staggering profits? Of course, Moore never gets to speak to these CEOs who are always protected by security guards and PR reps.
The film reveals some startling data that wasn't mentioned in the last presidential campaign: while laid off workers scramble for jobs, the government gives $11 million in "corporate welfare" to Pillsbury to promote products in third world countries; the largest employer in the U.S. is Manpower Inc., a temporary agency; and TWA is now using prisoners to provide information on the airline's toll free telephone line. The most interesting sequence in The Big One has Moore going toe-to-toe with Nike's CEO Phil Knight on the company's practice of making 99 percent of their product outside the country. The filmmaker is making one basic point the rich are different and right now they're busy widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots with a vengeance.