Economic Update: Meanings of Class


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This week's episode includes updates on the Swedish plan for peaceful transition beyond capitalism, ripoffs in car insurance and Ferguson, MO's credit downgrade. Prof. Wolff's response to listeners about the CA drought and the best solution for corporate abuses like VW's. Major discussions include what class means and what is at stake in the different meanings of class and guaranteed income vs guaranteed jobs.


Showing 13 comments

  • Eric White
    followed this page 2016-09-13 17:17:35 -0400
  • Natalie Zimmerman
    commented 2015-10-11 14:20:57 -0400
    Professor Wolff,

    I was wondering how you see the traditional work of raising children and running a household in a model that moves beyond capitalism. You state at the end of this program on class that you believe that guaranteed jobs are better than guaranteed income. As you know, the market economy is built on an unpaid economy that revolves around child rearing. Do you see this as a “job” and if so, how would it be paid? It is difficult to approach a gender equal society without at least considering this work important. What are your thoughts.

    Thank you for all of your work,
  • Gregor Sirotof
    commented 2015-10-09 14:17:13 -0400
    Remember the book by C.Wright Mills: " The Power Elite." This book formed alot of
    my understanding of what class is, terms that I could grasp.
  • Perry Thomas
    commented 2015-10-09 11:52:26 -0400
    As always, I appreciated Dr. Wolff’s critical explorations of the short news items as well as this week’s more comprehensive talk about class. His unique and insightful perspectives are crucial in understanding some of the more complex aspects the way we are all affected by the economic system(s) at work. One constructive critique I would like to submit: Please fix the itunes link! As I listen to more than twenty podcasts each week, it would take an inordinate amount of time to go to each website and download them manually. Also please consider segments on future shows which address the “how to” aspects of forming worker self directed enterprises. Maybe interview people who have done it, maybe interview people from organizations who assist co-ops, maybe interview someone from the Food Co-op initiative or the National Cooperative Bank. Thanks for all you do!
  • Tucker Drake
    commented 2015-10-08 20:26:20 -0400
    To those who’ve said they’re having problems hearing the podcast, I’m using the Downcast app on an iPod Touch with the KPFA feed and have had any problems.
  • Lisa Naumann
    commented 2015-10-08 16:11:44 -0400
    Every second, Americans are losing choices, rights, the Commons, and the Rule of Law, and you’re advising us to reform the system, one worker co-op at a time? Egads man, one could sooner empty the ocean with a thimble.
  • Stephen Price
    commented 2015-10-08 15:36:15 -0400
    Unfortunately, I’ve been having trouble listening in my preferred format (the podcast app on my phone). The RSS feed I used to use is no longer maintained and I no longer can find on that works. I think an RSS feed for the show was overlooked in the upgrade to all this new infrastructure. If there is one, I can’t find the link on this site anywhere…
  • Hedi Saraf
    commented 2015-10-08 15:27:40 -0400
    I listen to your program every week, (or on a Podcast if I can’t at the time it’s broadcast.) I think it is a clear, interesting and very valuable delineation of the economic and also social issues that affect all of us in these times. As there is no other Marxist economist on air in the US, it is crucial to have access to this point of view.
    I found the class issue interesting, but a little bit simplistic. Isn’t it true that power and wealth are intertwined and have been in nearly every system that has been in effect for any length of time in human society? It’s time we tried to change that! Many thanks for the program. Hedi Saraf
  • Steve Parsons
    commented 2015-10-08 06:23:57 -0400
    Dr. Wolff,
    Please consider including some discussion in a future ’ Economic Update ’ about the horrific nuclear energy ( Fukushima disaster), nuclear weapons, … and the geoengineering (..spraying of nano-particle heavy metals into our atmosphere ) realities that we all face today.

    Thank you for your excellent presentations. My wife and I listen every week.

    Best regards,

    S. Parsons
    Maine, USA
  • Tucker Drake
    commented 2015-10-07 22:19:07 -0400
    The situation with automobile insurance is far worse than what Dr. Wolff described. In many states, if you don’t have auto insurance, your driver’s license is immediately suspended (thanks to the insurance company notifying the state). Once your license is suspended, you have to pay fees (and possibly retake the driving test) in order to have your license restored. If you don’t have the money to pay for insurance, how are you going to have the money to pay to have your license restored (and the “high risk” insurance the state requires once your license is restored)? In TN, it is said that 1/3rd of the cars on the road are driven by people without a license.

  • Dave Johnson
    commented 2015-10-07 22:10:13 -0400
    I have been operating under the assumption that class was defined by one’s relationship to work, not necessarily income or wealth. The capitalist class (or ownership class) owns and controls the means of production and pay workers (the working class) a salary or wage. The middle class operate with relative autonomy because of their education or modest wealth. I guess I was surprised and a bit dismayed that this model was not re-enforced.
  • Chris Robertson
    commented 2015-10-07 21:41:24 -0400
    Could someone please tell me why I’m having trouble listening to these it keeps crashing on my iPhone 6
  • Andy Konkol
    commented 2015-10-07 19:30:05 -0400
    Questionably relevant commentary by a certain expert logistician, but that’s nothing to do with another excellent podcast.

    On another note, it’s been two months since separately emailing Wolff and Democracy at Work about the disappearance of Economic Update from iTunes—has anyone addressed why this happened? I haven’t heard back.

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