Global Capitalism May 2017 Monthly Economic Update

Global Capitalism: "The US' Position Weakens"
with Richard D. Wolff 
Co-sponsored by Democracy at Work, Left Forum & Judson Memorial Church

These programs begin with 30 minutes of short updates on important economic events of the last month, then Wolff analyzes several major economic issues. This month, these issues will include:

1. The huge importance of China and Chinese economic development
2. Capitalism's old centers (west. Europe, no. America and Japan) decline
3. Implications of global capitalism shifting away from old to new centers

Our goal: To develop all participants’ understanding and ability to explain current economic events and trends to others. We open the floor to questions and comments when time permits. 
  
Request: If you access the videos of these monthly updates via our website or YouTube, we ask you to join our attendees who contribute at least $10 at each monthly update to help defray costs of producing, video-taping, and distributing these videos. Please contribute by using the "donate" button belowContributions are tax deductible. To those able to contribute more than $10, our special thanks.

Showing 4 comments

  • commented 2017-05-17 13:34:26 -0400
    Professor Wolff’s May 2017 Economic Update was thoroughly engaging and I would like to add a few critical suggestions on the issues of health care, estate taxes, and mandates.
    It was made known that Americans pay roughly twice as much for health care than people in other industrial countries and that this amounts to 17% of US GDP. If we had the power to implement a single payer system on the order of say Germany, then reducing health care spending by half also means that we would reduce GDP by roughly 8.5%.
    I am not an economist but it seems to me that reducing GDP by 8.5% is rather severe – I think that even the worst year of the financial crisis only reduced GDP by 5%. Thus, should not any discussion about a universal single payer system also include a discussion that such a system would produce perhaps hundreds of billions in savings that would need to be redirected back into the economy?
    A universal system could save perhaps $600 billion yearly, that is, possibly $6 trillion over ten years. I think that inviting people to imagine new productive ways to use the savings would add further to the enthusiasm for the single payer system.
    On the subject of the “estate tax” it was discussed more or less as a tax upon the estate of the person who died. This plays into the hands of the “death tax” crowd. I think it would be better if the focus of the tax was on those people who are receiving this “free money”. After all, the living children are receiving money they did not work for or earn. And it should be renamed “the billionaire inheritance bonus tax.”
    Lastly, the issue of “mandate” associated with Obamacare was justified with examples of other government mandates. However, in fact, most people are subjected to mandates from corporations. Homeowners can be subjected to insurance company demands that require changes such as stair railings or electrical panels as a condition for continued coverage.
    Moreover, corporations often require signatures at purchase – for example cell phone contracts – that people can not possibly fully understand. And in the case of damage or injury, a mandate requires the buyer to pursue their complaint within mandatory arbitration panels which always favor the corporation.
    Again, a well done update. I look forward to more from Democracy at Work.
  • commented 2017-05-13 04:20:10 -0400
    “Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) teamed up to put together two bills that would make it easier to form and operate employee-owned businesses, which have been ‘proven to increase employment, productivity, sales, and wages in the United States,’ according to a statement from Sanders’ office… ‘Simply put,’ said Sanders, ‘when employees have an ownership stake in their company, they will not ship their own jobs to China to increase their profits, they will be more productive, and they will earn a better living.’” … https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/11/idea-whose-time-has-come-lawmakers-roll-out-plan-expand-worker-ownership
  • followed this page 2017-05-13 00:28:42 -0400
  • commented 2017-05-12 01:03:57 -0400
    Brilliant insights, as usual.
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