A conversation with a group of high school students about the free enterprise system. An off-screen narrator moderates as the teenagers discuss topics such as monopolies and small businesses, government control and the mechanization of labor.
00:10 - Introduction over var. CU, MCU and MS of students. Explains that this conversation is to provoke discussion of the free enterprise system.
00:27 - Dissolve to orange screen with title “The System”. Snippets of conversation are audible, but nothing cohesive.
00:45 - Narrator asks the students to define the current economic system. A student immediately replies “free-enterprise” and they begin discussing what that means. Topics include competition as an incentive to work harder, monopolies and being at the mercy of big businesses.
02:58 - Narrator poses a new question over var. CU of students looking attentive. Does a corporation have to be sensistive to the consumer? The students answer that it doesn’t always have to, thats the problem. Another student wonders how we call the system free enterprise if you get stopped at a certain point.
04:06 - Narrator breaks in to say that as a company gets bigger it eliminates competition and then the government has to come in. The students debate the need for government interference. They move to discuss machinery making workers obsolete, which raises some disagreement as well.
07:28 - Narrator asks if the system is working as far as society is concerned. The students disagree over this point, and the conversation centers around two individual students in CU as they argue.
08:42 - Narrator asks if the goal of free enterprise is to provide for the welfare of society. One student rolls his eyes in CU as another student replies that an industy that sacrifices people isn’t effecient. An argument about mechanization and people losing jobs causes the students to talk over each other.
09:48 - Narrator asks about the system and the individual. They discuss the poor, education and work ethics.
12:09 - The narrator brings up the idea of preserving competition. The students talk briefly about communism and greed in society.
12:48 - Narrator asks, is that evil? One replies bluntly that it is a fact.
13:05 - MS of six students together. Narrator asks whether the system serves the consumer or society. A brisk debate follows, ending at socialism and standards of living within different systems. PAN back and forth between speakers, quick cuts and short sentences with tempers rising.
16:00-16:41 - Still frame CU of a girl looking troubled and thoughtful. Narrator asks dramatically- where, then, is the reality of the free enterprise system? He continues talking over the CU, posing questions to the viewer. Credits appears on the screen as he talks. Fade out.