Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: Inequality, Ricardian Socialism, and Real Solutions


[S4 E10] New

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey warns that the endless accumulation of capital in a variety of sectors is putting tremendous pressure on our economy, our world, and our very existence. Signs of economic growth—the rising mass of value; centralization of wealth and power in the hands of a small minority; the concentration of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere leading to serious climate and biological disruptions; the growing output of plastics; cement production in China; and airline travel and the surplus of liquidity seeking opportunities for investment—are being directed to unproductive activities like military expenditures and the defense industry, ever increasing the threat of nuclear war and mutually assured destruction. Harvey argues that international cooperation is needed and that alternatives must be explored. He discusses the work of Piketty and Ricardian Socialists as a way to address the growing inequality and gross injustices we are living through. He supports Piketty's ideas for the redistribution of income from the top 1% to the bottom 50% of the population and collaborative work models, like those of German and Swedish companies that give power to labor. 

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Showing 2 comments

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  • Edward Dodson
    commented 2022-07-06 20:43:49 -0400
    What the Ricardian socialists intuitively understood but did not articulate was (and is) the fact that wealth experiences a redistribution of wealth from producers to non-producers because of the societal laws that permit this to occur. Included in the non-producing segment of society were the landed rentier interests and the non-landed rentier interests (i.e., holders of patents, subsidies and other legal privileges). What should have replaced the labor theory of value was a labor and capital goods theory of property. Well-regulated markets that prevent special privileges would return the appropriate level of produced wealth to those who labor and those who provide capital goods that increase total production over what can be produced by labor itself. Of course, well-regulated markets requires that rents from all sources are captured by society to pay for all needed and desired public goods and services.

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