Economic Update: History's Lessons on Capitalism's Failures: Germany and US

[S11 E05] New

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On this week's show, Prof. Wolff evaluates capitalism by how it deals with Covid-19 and talks about Boeing's latest fatal crash. The second half of the show is dedicated to a major discussion of the causes of Hitler in Germany as offering clues to the rise of Trump and the assault on the Capitol.


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Learn more about Prof Wolff's new book, "The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself," now available. Visit us at www.democracyatwork.info/books


"Richard Wolff in his new book examines frightening and anti-democratic configurations of corporate power, offering not only a blueprint for how we got here, but a plan for how we will rescue ourselves and create new models of economic and political justice.” - Chris Hedges


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Showing 3 comments

  • pasqual digesu
    commented 2021-02-25 10:15:10 -0500
    As for business managed by the workers or cooperative’s, which I support and believe would produce a better product simply by pride of ownership, I am afraid that their product would still require an objective review from a detached 3rd party for security. Any vested interest in the success of a business can prioritize profit and survival over quality assurance and contract conformance. In this respect many coop workers would share the same interests as the present corporate leaders. Agencies like the FAA, DCMA, FDA, etc. would still be required. Unfortunately in the last 4 decades they have been weakened and pilfered by many sources and motives not in our best interest.
  • pasqual digesu
    commented 2021-02-25 09:18:56 -0500 · Flag
    Boeing was only 1 of the industries to profit from emergency money for a total sum closer to a trillion probably to all. Not only did they use this money to pay a fine that would have included other graver penalties in other countries but they also bought back their stock at a low price after the mass “cash in” sell out, drop in share prices helped enable them to threaten bankruptcy and claim the relief. Now that the stock is back up to par we can assume the share profit was doubled? compliments of the tax payer whose “Care/s (act) Package” does not just go to third world countries anymore, and in much greater sums of “charity”. Interestingly this was also enabling by not shutting down the wall street trade as in 2008 despite it being even less life essential than bars and resteraunts. As for Germany it is true that social security was instituted by Bismarck in the 1800’s, but it was the overall forced system of socialism in Italy starting in the 20’s which more likely mirrored the new deal and was also copied step by step by what some books refer to as “the imitator in Berlin”. (There is enough surviving international literature and sources of this time for reference) As with most other history in this region, Civilization also migrated from southern Europe to northern Europe.
  • Sonny Wiehe
    commented 2021-02-12 11:13:27 -0500 · Flag
    The professor left out a key component of this corporate outrage news. He failed to mention that Boeing received $17 Billion dollars in Cares Act tax relief (see Washington Post article titled “Senate aid package quietly carves out billions intended for Boeing, officials say” dated March 25, 2020 reported by Aaron Gregg, Jeff Stein, and Josh Dawsey) in first half of the year during the 2020 pandemic when most flights were put on ice. My understanding is that this economic relief came with no strings attachment and did not have to be (and indeed was not) paid back. Now, less than a year later, Boeing is settling for $2.5 Billion with the same authority that handed them them with more than enough money to do so—- while simultaneously eliminating legal prosecution for any criminal wrongdoing related to fatalities associated with crashes of their own aircraft and operations?? I find this the most incredible aspect of the story. Boeing, in essence, had the U.S. taxpayer pay for their crimes ..and looks to have profited handsomely while doing so. This is not a example of the systemic failure of capitalism, this is an example of a failed government colluding with capitalist corruption on a level never known before.

    Cheers!
    Sonny Wiehe
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