Economic Update: Economic/social costs of Prisons

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On this week's episode of Economic Update, Prof. Wolff provides updates on people forming coops in Detroit and Fridley, Minn; VW's guilty plea and Cuomo's fake numbers; real reason for repeal of Obamacare; highest paid execs in US. Interview with Dr. Kimberly Westcott on the history, economics, and social costs of the US prison system.


Showing 17 comments

  • commented 2017-03-01 17:54:36 -0500
    Hi Russ. Thanks for trolling my comments. If I have something wrong I invite you to debate the issue.

    But here is what you really wrote to me: Charlie writes things I don’t like but since I don’t have the cognitive capacity to engage I’ll just attack him personally.

    Get bent kid!
  • commented 2017-03-01 15:59:31 -0500
    Chaplin is obviously a troll. It’s too bad Chaplin doesn’t listen to the podcast that he comments on, because many of the arguments he tries to make are easily dismissed by the lectures. Stop clogging up the comment boards because you can’t understand the content. This link will most likely contain information that will satisfy your arguments. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPJpiw1WYdTNMCC0ypXHZ-kW7yCz4T0Zg
  • commented 2017-01-22 20:33:04 -0500
    Your missing the distinctions between an individual selling Pot and a large or medium business enterprise. As someone who
    Claims to be a professor of business this oversight seems inexcusable.

    I never had to buy or rent a facility to sell pot. I never had to manage employees and I certainly didn’t have to pay attention to political trends around the world, as owners and operators of large businesses must.

    I invite you to spend some time in poor schools here in the USA. Ask senoirs about to graduate basic questions about the world they inhabit. The experience is likely to convert you to my view.

    Take care!
    And viva Montaigne!!!
  • commented 2017-01-22 20:16:57 -0500
    No. That is not what you said. You said, “When I hear people say that workers should manage businesses I fail to see how that will work given the lack of education among our citizenry.”

    The world over, throughout history, even your personal experience as a pot dealer, illustrate that your assumption is wrong. You value education and believe that will improve these people’s lives, cool. Anyone, indeed everyone, can manage a business.

    Workers, even those in the communities you served, are not as stupid or as ill equipped as you as portray them. Workers can manage their own businesses, and to assume they cannot is part of the lies neoliberals like to feed us — the Myth of the Entrepreneur. Nonsense, anyone, any group of people, can build and do build complex business organizations. In my own research I look at how the Internet is enabling such democratic processes within organizations and in the markets.
  • commented 2017-01-22 19:59:53 -0500
    Firstly, I have to point out that you claim to be a professor of a subject which, according to you, requires ZERO education. That strikes me as incredibly ironic.

    What do you do all day? Laugh at the idiots who pay your salary?

    I’m happy to read any elaboration you care to provide. Your arguing that dealing heroine on a corner is the same as running a medium or large business because neither requires any education whatsoever.

    I already discussed how the dealer or street vendor DOES receive an education taylored to their individual markets.

    I should be clear: when I talk about education I don’t mean getting an MBA. I’m talking about having knowledge of the world and developing critical thinking skills—two things any decent education will attempt to undertake.
  • commented 2017-01-22 19:41:41 -0500
    Because none require that you redress the ills affecting education as you assume.
  • commented 2017-01-22 16:49:56 -0500
    I am not arguing your point at all. I already asked why you think selling tacos or heroine on the street is analogous to running a small, medium or even large scale legal business enterprise but you didn’t answer.

    Why do you believe these things are analogous?
  • commented 2017-01-22 15:20:56 -0500
    You are arguing my point. You don’t need an MBA.
  • commented 2017-01-22 15:18:10 -0500
    Dangerous, yes. Complicated? Not at all.
  • commented 2017-01-22 15:09:31 -0500
    Do you have experience selling heroine on the black market? I used to sell pot. Not complicated at all.
  • commented 2017-01-22 14:52:08 -0500
    Much more complicated to sell heroin in Baltimore or East LA. Large complicated coop do emerge without the help of the formal education system; in fact, the formal education system emerges from this process.
  • commented 2017-01-22 14:26:55 -0500
    Additionally, the successful taco or fish dealers aren’t operating on any kind of natural instinct. They grew up
    Among these markets and were “educated”
    In their mechanisms.

    They are still educated and still require education; it just isn’t the kind of formal schooling we are used to in the USA.
  • commented 2017-01-22 14:17:39 -0500
    Leonardo,
    You are talking about an individual selling fish or heroine, not about larger business models that produce mass quantities of goods. To sit on a street corner and sell fish or heroine I agree that no formal education is required.

    But why do you think those are analogous to running much larger, more sophisticated businesses?

    Professor Woolf isn’t talking about people selling fish on the corner. He’s talking about having people run snall, medium or even large business enterprises.
  • commented 2017-01-22 14:02:04 -0500
    Dear Charlie Chaplin and SD, Thank you for your comments. Respectfully let me challenge your assumptions about education being a prerequisite to running a business. I am a retired business professor with some experience in this. No, no formal education is needed. Case in point, the black market for heroin in the streets of Baltimore. Case in point, the fruit vendors in the tourist trade outside the fabelas in Sao Pablo. Case in point, the fish mongers in Lagos, Nigeria. Case in point, the taco stands in Mexico City. Overwhelming evidence suggests, commerce comes natural to humans; so do co-ops. The key knowledge in our DNA, not in our schools.
  • commented 2017-01-20 10:04:27 -0500
    Hi SD. I wasn’t given adequate resources. Our poor schools sure seem DESIGNED to
    Produce the results they do. Having said that let me add that ignorance about the world cuts across
    Sociological barriers, and countless kids in “good” schools also know next to nothing about the world. Our culture today is rabidly anti-intellectual.

    As for your other questions I think a well-educated people have a better chance at making anything function well: a business or a political system.

    It seems to make sense that as productivity goes up wages should increase as well. But
    Perhaps wage increases should be tied to company profits.

    Thought for food.
  • commented 2017-01-20 01:17:10 -0500
    You make a fair point and I agree that you can’t expect a poorly educated population to successfully manage a business. Were you given adequate resources to teach in those poor communities?
    Do you think a well educated population can successfully manage a business? Do you believe that as productivity goes up worker’s earning should also go up?
  • commented 2017-01-18 10:02:29 -0500
    I’ve worked as a high school teacher in poor communities across the country. The amount of ignorance that exists is beyond alarming. A majority of the young people in poor areas have very little education and know almost nothing about finances or politics.

    When I hear people say that workers should manage businesses I fail to see how that will work given the lack of education among our citizenry.

    How can very poorly educated people successfully manage a business?

    I look forward to reading responses.
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