Global Capitalism: March 2016 Monthly Update

Economics and 2016’s Presidential Politics

Co-sponsored by Democracy at Work, Left Forum, and Judson Memorial Church

These programs begin with 30 minutes of short updates on important economic events of the last month. Then Prof. Wolff analyzes several major economic issues. For this March, these will include:

  1. Capitalism’s Crisis and US Politics
  2. The Economics of Fascism
  3. The Economics of Socialism

Our goal: to develop all participants’ understanding and ability to explain current economic events and trends to others. When time permits, we open the floor to questions and comments.

Requested Fee/Donation: $10 per person. If you access the videos of these monthly updates posted on YouTube and our websites, we ask you to join our attendees who contribute at least $10 at each event to help defray costs of producing, video-taping, and distributing these videos. Please contribute via our donate page. Contributions to Democracy at Work are tax deductible (we will gladly provide receipts at the event). For those able to contribute more than $10, our special thanks.

 


Showing 5 comments

  • followed this page 2016-08-15 16:51:21 -0400
  • commented 2016-03-26 01:40:48 -0400
    I think that anarchy as chaos doesn’t exists. In any ‘chaos’, the most powerful will enforce his will. Capitalism is also an anarchy, the most powerful enforce his will, the capitalists will. Anarchy can’t be avoided. Chaos doesn’t exists. Rule of law is the rule of the powerful who enforces the law. You can’t control the powerful people.

    ‘Production for use’ and ‘best interests of society as large’ are dangerous ideas. Nobody should decide this, compel somebody to produce for use or serve the best interest of society. Why should cooperatives should vote against each other? In which cause? To decide what? If a cooperative can’t sell its products, would have no income, employees will get small wages and finally leave to other cooperatives, you remember that workforce has that mobility I explain. For a period of time they will earn small wages, it is normal when you launch bad products. There is nothing problematic here.

    Competition between cooperatives is good, open market is good too. Idea is to preserve an open for everybody, competing, innovative market.

    Important is that in a ‘economic democracy’, very few people tend to lie as they have the real chance to get a life, no need to protect a privilege by lying about pollution, perils of other races, defaults of products or risks of drugs, etc. Criminality will decrease dramatically.
  • commented 2016-03-25 15:04:36 -0400
    <blockquote>/marxism/communism are strongly opposed to central planning as state must disappear.</blockquote>

    A faction of Marxists advocate for anarchy, the establishment of a stateless society, in which individuals or groups self-govern. Are you of that ilk?

    <blockquote>Central planning endangers democracy/communism (as understood by Marx). Democracy is about liberty, we can/t have liberty as long as state exists, as some people have much political or economical power.</blockquote>

    My questions concerned how an economy based on cooperatives would achieve production for use. How would the needs of local or regional cooperatives be squared with what serves the best interests of society at large? If, say, a cooperative produced a widget that had become technologically antiquated and whose use-value, therefore, had declined, but this coop and its affiliates had more voting power than its more advanced competitor, how would society enforce a switch to the better, more beneficial product? Would this require a central planning agency that had command authority over independent WSDEs? This would strike me as problematic.

    <blockquote>Companies budget should be decided by people working there, investments, wages, etc.</blockquote>

    I agree with this. That is a fundamental element of economic democracy in the workplace.

    <blockquote>In the end your new technology, innovation will spread, will be shared with the rest of the globe (which is good for further innovation).So you will want to improve further in order to maintain your status.</blockquote>

    That is all well and good, but how does society resolved conflicts between competing WSDEs? Who or what determines the outcome of such struggles? The open market? I should think that such an arrangement would fly in the face of production for use.
  • commented 2016-03-25 14:21:37 -0400
    After I carefully/lengthy studied marxist ideology, I started to believe that democracy/marxism/communism are strongly opposed to central planing as state must disappear. Central planning endangers democracy/communism (as understood by Marx). Democracy is about liberty, we can/t have liberty as long as state exists, as some people have much political or economical power. Only way to avoid central planning is free mobility of workforce. Nobody (owner or manager etc) should have the right to employ or lay off workforce. People should be automatically employed where they chose to work, just professional certification required. Companies budget should be decided by people working there, investments, wages, etc. Take note that make no sense to sell/buy assets, nobody will buy the as owner/s profits doesn/t exists anymore. Also with this mobility, monopolies are impossible, as company profit will be shared etc. Professional training is the compulsory burden of industry/companies, no charge on people.
    Of course that intellectual property can/t exists in democracy. IP just enslaves people for ever.
    Sharing the net income of a company doesn/t mean equal wages. Everybody is free to negotiate in the collective. As long as your expertise proves, a collective may chose to pay you better. So you want to improve yourself professionally.
    Of course that, as we have that mobility of workforce, a competitive advantage can/t last. In the end your new technology, innovation will spread, will be shared with the rest of the globe (which is good for further innovation).So you will want to improve further in order to maintain your status. Or you may chose an average life depending on how you succeed to sell you to a collective.
    Lets suppose that McDonald staff will start to go to Apple (after required professional training – organized by industry or Apple). Average wage by Apple will decrease, McDonalds wages will increase a little bit, but people will become smarter, prepared for more innovation. So technological advances will be shared as income too.Everybody will gain from innovation, not only owners of IP.
  • commented 2016-03-24 20:23:59 -0400
    I’ve written Professor Wolff and asked him the following: Assume that every enterprise was organized cooperatively and democratically. Would these business entities still compete in an open market? How will society determine what is needed and allocate resources appropriately? Will there be some kind of central planning? How will that work in order to avoid corruption? If there is planning, who will the planners be? How will society “scientifically” control the means of production to maximize benefits to all? If every WSDE went its own way, wouldn’t that lead to many of the problems we see with capitalism today? I’d really appreciate hearing what folks have to say about this. Thanks!
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