Economic Update: Collective Action for Change

 
The first half of this week’s show provides updates on consumers’ battling airplane seat shrinkage, a “free” press and the purchase of the Chicago Sun Times newspaper, fake “jobs creation” proclamations for subsidies and publicity and a new museum featuring artists challenging capitalism.
 
SPECIAL GUEST: Dr. Harriet Fraad speaks about how and why so many people wait so long before joining collective action to change economic and social conditions. To see the second half of this week's episode, sign up as a patron on Patreon.

 


Showing 13 comments

  • commented 2017-08-16 09:21:07 -0400
    In this episode of Economic Update, Professor Wolff’s overarching question for Harriet Fraad seems to be: What will it take to get people excited about worker-cooperative enterprise?

    In a single word, I would strongly argue that “access” is the best answer for that question. While you endeavor to provide many ways to connect, participate and get involved, the most direct and effective way is obviously — a job — in a worker-cooperative enterprise.

    Do you want to get people excited about worker-cooperative enterprise? Then give them a job in one. Is it really that simple? Yes. Mondragon has been doing it for more than 60 years.

    There are really just two ways to organize the surplus generated by worker-cooperative enterprise: 1) Divide it amongst the workers and let each do whatever they want with their share, or 2) Pool the surplus generated by individuals and enterprises into a massive fund that is committed to reproducing a worker-cooperative system by creating new jobs in worker-cooperative enterprise.

    The few American worker-cooperatives that actually generate a surplus tend to use the former approach. This is great for the people who work there, but inherently excludes everyone else from benefit and dramatically fails to reproduce any sort of cooperative system.

    Mondragon employs the latter approach, which provides immediate access to jobs for unemployed workers outside their system by delaying access to surplus for employed workers until they leave the system for retirement or other reasons.

    Are you familiar with the term “deferred consumption” aka “savings”, Professor Wolff? “Savings or suitcases” was a Mondragon slogan in the early days, desperate times. Some stayed in Mondragon to weather the storm and build an impossible dream under dictator Franco. Others literally packed their ‘suitcases’ and moved to Idaho of all places.

    Point is, the so-called worker-cooperative “movement” suffers from a severe macro deficiency of effective demand that will only be relieved by organizing deferred consumption democratically from the micro level — the level of the enterprise — expanding up and out to macro levels, through subsidiarity, to provide education and create new jobs for the unemployed.

    So, in response to your question about getting outsiders excited about worker-cooperative enterprise, my question for you, Professor Wolff, is:

    When will the insiders start collaborating to mobilize production to generate a surplus to reproduce a cooperative system that inherently creates new jobs in worker-cooperative enterprise for all of us unfortunate outsiders?

    This isn’t a rhetorical question. I’ve been been asking for years when the insiders will ever provide access to us outsiders. Is this sort of class struggle really the best way for a worker-cooperative movement to begin?
  • commented 2017-08-13 13:19:53 -0400
    Subsidize corporate profits with public debt: the American (corporate) way in a nutshell! Citizens: beware of politicians bearing ‘gifts’!
  • commented 2017-08-13 08:54:50 -0400
    Deceit and Deception
    Deceit – the act of representing as true what is known to be false; deceiving or lying – a dishonest action or trick, fraud or lie
    Deception – the fact or condition of being deceived – something that deceives, as an illusion, or is meant to deceive, as a fraud.

    This past weekend I listened to your program(s) about the Chinese companies coming to America to setup business. Three examples you used were in: Arkansas, Massachusetts and Wisconsin. In all cases it sounded like Jobs, Jobs and Jobs, which sounds good. The Governors, state officials, congress and the President Trump hailed this to show the American public what a wonderful job they are doing to get American going again. But at what cost to the American people?
    You did well in pointing out what the real costs are going to be. Talk about deceit and deception! Is America that stupid not to see what is going on? I know I was until I heard your recent programs. I have been a listener of your programs for several years
    What is America going to look like when President Trump finishes his first term in office? I believe that if conditions continue, America will become like Venezuela and “all hell” will break loose. I believe, Americas way of life will disintegrate very rapidly. When conditions are ripe, all of America will lose all hope and the rule of the mob will ensue. Then “Marshall Law” will be imposed.

    The news media (most forms of communication) and anything vital to living is being manipulated to deceive. What can the average American do?

    Only the “rich and big monopolies” will rule the world – thus a return to the middle ages.

    All I can do is get ready for the worst!
    Ben
  • commented 2017-08-12 12:14:01 -0400
    great format, i will continue to donate whenever i can. good luck
  • commented 2017-08-12 05:06:04 -0400
    Great work as usual Dr. Wolff. I like the new format, but NOT the BACKDROP, too distracting from the economic message.
  • commented 2017-08-11 19:21:46 -0400
    I agree with most of what Richard said but I take exception with the government leaving the press alone. The CIA influences CNN and I believe all the major news is somewhat influenced in regards to foreign policy by the deep state and CIA. You do NOT see the CIA veteran analysts who are speaking out on mainstream media. I cannot recall seeing Abby Martin on MSM. Many more.
  • commented 2017-08-11 17:44:03 -0400
    I am delighted to get reports from the excellent professor Richard D. Wolff…I would like to find out if there has been any link between the Beyond Banksters campaign of Council of Canadians - which has, as a national group in Canada, become very supportive of the work of Joyce Nelson and her current book BEYOND BANKSTERS
  • commented 2017-08-11 17:12:29 -0400
    Saying that upper class white people pay more attention to their children than do working class African Americans is racist and classist
  • commented 2017-08-11 16:59:39 -0400
    I stream YouTube using Roku on my TV. Only the first half – 28 minutes is available of this latest episode. This was not a problem on YouTube with the old format. I hope this can be rectified. And congratulations on the new, professional look. I would prefer a static background though as I find the swirling graphics behind Prof. Wollf’s head distracts from what he is saying.
  • commented 2017-08-11 16:59:39 -0400
    I stream YouTube using Roku on my TV. Only the first half – 28 minutes is available of this latest episode. This was not a problem on YouTube with the old format. I hope this can be rectified. And congratulations on the new, professional look. I would prefer a static background though as I find the swirling graphics behind Prof. Wollf’s head distracts from what he is saying.
  • commented 2017-08-11 16:59:38 -0400
    I stream YouTube using Roku on my TV. Only the first half – 28 minutes is available of this latest episode. This was not a problem on YouTube with the old format. I hope this can be rectified. And congratulations on the new, professional look. I would prefer a static background though as I find the swirling graphics behind Prof. Wollf’s head distracts from what he is saying.
  • commented 2017-08-11 16:59:38 -0400
    I stream YouTube using Roku on my TV. Only the first half – 28 minutes is available of this latest episode. This was not a problem on YouTube with the old format. I hope this can be rectified. And congratulations on the new, professional look. I would prefer a static background though as I find the swirling graphics behind Prof. Wollf’s head distracts from what he is saying.
  • commented 2017-08-11 16:42:40 -0400
    I have been learning a lot from Economic Update for over a year and look forward to regularly hearing economics in a way I can understand.

    But the Aug 11 segment with Dr. Harriet Fraad was repetitive and seemed PATRONIZING even for young people.

    What she says is important but please find a way to present her content CONCISELY.

    Thank you,
    M Toro
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