Economic Update Episode List: Season 10

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Season 10   |   Season 9   |   Season 8

To view older seasons, please visit our YouTube channel.

Season 10

Season 10 began in January 2020, and will run through December 2020

EU_S10_E21_Thumbnail.pngCornel West on Pandemic Capitalism

Guest Cornel West

May 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 21 )

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On this week's show, Prof. Wolff presents updates on how pandemic and capitalism are combining to worsen social divides in the US. Special guest Cornel West joins the show to talk about (1) how pandemic + economic crash are affecting US society and (2) the prospects for social change.

2020 May Day Protests and Demands

Guest Kali Akuno, leader of Cooperation Jackson

May 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 20)

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A special program: interview with Kali Akuno, leader of Cooperation Jackson in Mississippi. As a leader of national May Day actions, he discusses their size, diversity, motivations and goals (including planned monthly national actions). He analyzes organizational challenges and prospects. Finally, he explains why he believes this May Day was a major strengthening of the US left.

Unemployment: Cruel, Wasteful, Unnecessary

No guest.

May 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 19)

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On this week's show, Prof. Wolff criticizes unemployment - as a specifically capitalist irrationality - and advocates "re-employment" as a far better policy. Gov't jobs and worker-coop development are key means for re-employment. Very socially necessary jobs are detailed that further encourage re-employment, instead of unemployment.

Honoring May Day, 1886 and 2020

No guest.

May 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 18)

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From May Day 1886 to 2020, workers wage long, hard struggles to reform capitalism. From the fight for an 8-hour workday to the fight for a safe, Corona-free workplace now. Employers block and delay reforms, and try to undo them once won. They use what capitalism gives them: dominant power, incentive (profit), and means (profits). If we change the system from capitalist to worker-coop, workers alone democratically make and secure reforms. Employers, the constant enemy of reform, vanish as a separate group dominating society.

Capitalism's Unemployment Problem

No guest.

April 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 17)

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Capitalism's recurring unemployment problem was never solved and makes the system fundamentally unstable. Today's high levels of unemployment are hugely costly in both human and financial terms. We analyze why capitalism prepares so poorly for and then endures its recurring unemployment. We also examine several alternatives to unemployment that would serve society better but threaten capitalism."

Virus Triggers Capitalist Crash

No guest.

April 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 16)

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Today’s episode features an analysis (part 1) of how, why capitalism - especially in US - failed to prepare for or cope with a virus thereby enabling it to trigger another crash of capitalism (third this century: in 2000, sub-prime mortgage in 2008). In part 2, Prof. Wolff provides an analysis of how to respond to crash better than the US government by emphasizing re-employment in millions of new jobs rather than unemployment, emphasizing worker-co-ops, etc.

The Psychological Aspects of Today's Crises

Guest Tess Fraad-Wolff, psychotherapist

April 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 15)

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Today’s episode features an analysis of the social divisions working to undermine the solidarity needed to fight both the coronavirus and the potentially resulting economic crash as well as how the inconsistent, out-of-touch and non-empathetic U.S. leadership is leaving millions of Americans with nowhere to turn as they increasingly feel society falling apart around them. Prof. Wolff discusses the psychological factors worsening this existing crisis, such as widespread loneliness and a sense of powerlessness, with Tess Fraad-Wolff, a psychotherapist practicing privately in New York City for the last decade, in an effort to better understand and more appropriately respond to the psychological aspects in today's crises we all face.

Corona and Our Mental Health

Guest Harriet Fraad, psychotherapist

April 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 14)

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The coronavirus's threat to physical health is clear. Far less well known are the virus's serious impacts on mental health (loneliness, depression, feelings of isolation, anxiety) worsened by the total failure of private and government leaders to anticipate, prepare for, or cope with the pandemic. With Dr. Harriet Fraad we explore the psychological costs of the pandemic and some ways we can better cope with them.

#MeToo and Corona: System is Key

No guest.

March 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 13)

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This program focuses on how the capitalist economic system plays crucial roles in the #MeToo examples of Weinstein and Cosby and also in the failed response to the Corona virus crisis. The organization of capitalist enterprises - power and wealth concentrated at the top in a tiny minority - invites and enables sexual harassment and abuse by people positioned like Weinstein and Cosby. A profit-driven medical-industrial complex did not invest in preparing for the virus and a profit-subservient gov't failed to mobilize private and public resources to test for, contain, and overcome the disease.

Comedy and Tragedy of Capitalism

Guest Lee Camp, host of Redacted Tonight

March 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 12)

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Updates on capitalism's failures exposed by the Coronavirus; Sanders and the re-entry of socialism into US politics; US social mobility goes down; and Macron evades democracy to try to force pension cuts (alias "reform") onto French people. Interview Lee Camp on his comedy and his critique of capitalism.

Capitalism, Jobs, Depressed People

Guest Tess Fraad-Wolff, psychotherapist

March 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 11)

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On this week's episode of EU, Prof. Wolff presents updates on Vancouver, BC, taxing its richest; JP Morgan Chase recognizes climate change threat and market's failure to cope; ways money shapes US politics today; why US women's soccer gender discrimination lawsuit helps all soccer players vs profit-driven soccer federation. The second half of the show features an interview with psychotherapist Tess Fraad-Wolff on why our jobs get us depressed and what to do about it.

Using Unemployment Against Workers

Guest Professor Gertrude Goldberg

March 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 10)

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Updates on high US maternal death rate, wealth inequality and the Pope, #MeToo hits the banks, Macron and Black Rock plot French pension "reform," dying Newsweek caught in corruption scandal using bible college. Interview Prof. Gertrude Goldberg on US unemployment, its social costs, and struggle for a universal job guarantee.

When Stale Debates Distract

No guest.

March 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 09)

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Updates on how Airbnb reflects workers' falling living standards, price-gouging anti-virus masks, purpose of Trump's record deficit, end of Brexit distraction makes UK face its real problem: capitalism, and cause of San Diego's pension crisis. Major discussion of the economics' centuries-old, #1 debate - more vs less government economic intervention. That debate mostly distracts from the feared debate over capitalism vs really alternative systems.

Larger Social Changes to Support Worker Co-ops

No guest.

February 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 08)

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This week on Economic Update, Professor Wolff responds to a criticism aimed at how d@w focuses too much on the transition from capitalist firms to worker co-op firms with too little attention paid to the larger social changes needed to move towards a worker-owned economy and thusly, beyond capitalism. Professor Wolf answers this criticism by discussing the broader social changes necessary to sustain a worker co-op based economy including the economic tools our government could use to sustain an economy-wide sharing of profits and resources as deemed necessary by the people participating in, working and creating in, the industries they as employees could and would control.

Socialism and Left Unity in the US

Guests Karen Ranucci (Center for Critical Thought) and Rob Robinson (Left Forum)

February 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 07)

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Updates on Trump's 2019 $1 trillion plus deficit, burden of poor countries' debt, Amsterdam forgives young peoples' debts, "strong man" governments' fund-raising strategy, and gross failures of Trump/GOP's 2017 tax cut. Interview Karen Ranucci (Center for Critical Thought) and Rob Robinson (Left Forum) on their programs and their collaboration to serve the rising US interests in socialism and building a movement for transition.

Capitalism's Uneven Development

No guest

February 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 06)

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This week’s episode of Economic Update features an introductory discussion by Professor Wolff on capitalism's systematically uneven economic development. From Marx's original criticism of capitalism for producing and reproducing unevenness to the many historical examples, Prof. Wolff argues that there are indeed heavy social costs which flow from capitalism's uneven development. Those costs then become bases for arguing the need to move beyond capitalism.

Exposing Economic Myths

No guest

February 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 05)

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This week on Economic Update, Professor Wolff discusses how the "unemployment rate" is an inadequate measure of the U.S. economy’s well-being along with the decline of the “real” value of the minimum wage in the U.S., the multiple failures and flaws of markets and how corporations as less economically efficient than worker co-ops.

Military Spending and Debt

Guest Bob Hennelly, investigative reporter

January 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 04)

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This week on Economic Update, Professor Wolff delivers updates on France's successful mass uprisings (Yellow Vests in 2019; mass union strikes in 2020) that forced the French government to back down on changes workers opposed, how endless wars impose huge debts, and how the Catholic Church uses U.S. bankruptcy law to prevent the church's assets from being used to compensate victims of sexual assault.

Independent Media

Guest Laura Flanders, journalist

January 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 03)

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Updates on sale of coop craft brewery, US medical costs highest in world, and the "overcoming poverty" defense of capitalism's inequality and instability. Interview Laura Flanders on independent media.

Answering our Critics

No guest

January 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 02)

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Three major criticisms of Economic Update are considered: (1) that we don't praise capitalism for reducing world poverty, (2) that we don't admit that "socialism has never worked anywhere," and (3) that no inventor of a new product or technique who starts a business will ever accept that employees in such a business are equal partners with the inventor, originator of the business. Today's program answers these criticisms, refuting their arguments systematically.

Capitalism & the Family: Myth Vs. Reality

Guest Harriet Fraad, psychotherapist

January 2020 (Season 10 - Episode 01)

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Updates on Job Quality Index and its US decline, the French activism against President Macron's effort to cut pensions, Gartman Letter urges investors to sell stocks in face of Trump's policies deteriorating the economy, Obamas purchase $11.5 million Martha's Vineyard mansion, and Kansas City cuts public transport fares to zero. Interview with Dr Harriet Fraad on myth vs reality of US capitalism and the family.

Other Seasons of Economic Update

Season 10   |   Season 9   |   Season 8

To view older seasons, please visit our YouTube channel. 

Episode transcripts are made possible by our volunteer transcription team. Would you like to join the team? Learn more on our Get Involved page.

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