Economic Update: Profits, Families & Sex


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On this week's episode of Economic Update, Prof. Wolff provides updates on more VW sleaze, Irish bankers to jail, US public pension economics, Yale worker wins back job, Yale exposed. Interview with Dr. Harriet Fraad on post-1970s profit-driven US economy badly damaged intimate life.

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    commented 2016-10-26 19:55:56 -0400
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  • Alan Blanes
    commented 2016-08-10 14:14:06 -0400
    The false regulation of swindling brokerages is an example of disregard for the post WWII work on building a system of fundamental human rights. The following example is a comment relating to a company, Sentinel Financial Management, that refuses to follow the law and regulator governance – and instead practices elder abuse. There is a need for North Americans to begin to think about how to get universal rights to be placed at the level of priority that they belong: supreme law.

    Thanks for sending this report on the lack of good faith demonstrated by Sentinel Financial Management. One thing that I have noticed – and been extremely aggrieved by – is a problem that systematically prevents the common law of contract and the criminal code from being faced and implemented as an organic part of the way investment is governed. That problem is the reflexive parsing of the concept of organizational “mandate”. On dozens of occasions, I have been dismayed as to why a regulator employee can’t just let the perpetrator know what the law is and where the evidence indicates failure to observe the lawful and ethical practice. This glaring defect in the regulatory system is ruining the retirements of clients.

    I have heard extremely inexplicable claims that regulator staff are not allowed to question perpetrators of dishonest, bad faith acts against vulnerable clients. The net effect of this brush-off policy is to say in effect: “We are turning our back on the fact that you have been subjected to dishonest dealing – and we would prefer you to have to go to litigation and spend $50,000 on lawyer fees if you want to have a venue where you will be heard.”

    We have to get a custom established within the whole industry, that it is everyone’s responsibility to bring to the attention of those who are not following lawful practices – that they be given the essential feedback and corrective demonstration of what is lawful, where the laws are, that show how acceptable practices are to be followed, and where help for erroneous acts can be found in order to restore fidelity to clients. If all regulators and law enforcement personnel were required to understand and adopt Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there would be an understanding that there is a duty to the community to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected.

    What is going to have to be developed is a small transaction tax on securities trades that will create a fund to restore the financial condition of people who have had such experiences as having their portfolio subjected to being loaded up with the undesirable securities products that brokers are looking for a place to ditch things that no informed investor would want.

    I will be raising with CARP the idea that there needs to be a mass education drive to get Canadians familiar with the history of the development of universal rights. This concept emerged from the barbarism of WWII, and it took three years from 1945 to December 10, 1948 before the world had the first Declaration on Universal Human Rights [UDHR]. We as a country need to value those who fought in WWII, whose actions enabled the world to begin to formulate an agreement on how to ensure the fundamental rights of citizens. Canada needs an organized education program that will enable everyone to understand the history of this subject and the Covenants that protect things like the right to economic self determination. There is a right to a continuing improvement in living conditions – and allowing false regulatory practices that enable predatory abuse of vulnerable persons, is a direct assault on the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – that Parliament ratified in 1976 – but has only gathered dust instead of becoming part of our social acculturation.

    The claim that OBSI has a 99% success rate needs to be looked at in terms of what actual “solutions” constitute. Anything less than full recovery of financial wholeness, in my view, is not a complete resolution of a case of predatory financial abuse. There has been a very twisted practice of expecting victims to “bend like a bow and arrow” in order to reach a ‘compromise’ with the predator. This custom is alien to the requirements of fundamental justice – and I would like to know how many instances in OBSI cases that there has been undue pressure to “bend” in the face of violations of the financial security of the elderly.

    Warm regards,
  • Eli Hruska
    commented 2016-08-07 20:16:25 -0400
    Very insightful program. Now I understand better why blue collar workers, though not exclusively, have given Trump so much support. Trump, like Hitler, is promising what people want to hear, not what he can deliver. His arrogance and racism play well to blame the victim and redirect rage towards a visible scapegoat, i.e. so-called foreigners like Mexicans, Middle Eastern people, etc. No wonder that they forget that we are all foreigners except for the Native Americans from whom we stole the land and whom we murdered in the millions.
  • Jeremy Wells
    commented 2016-08-07 16:40:12 -0400
    A brief comment linking this <u>Economic Update</u> program was posted on the World Socialist Web Site Perspective article: <u>Why the CIA is for Hillary Clinton</u>


    My comment:

    For another Marxist insight into how bitter alienation of white male workers is making Donald Trump a popular candidate, listen to this latest edition of Economic Update presented by Marxist economist educator Richard D. Wolff interview with psychologist Dr. Harriet Fraad.
  • J. W. Echeverria
    commented 2016-08-07 04:46:46 -0400
    Thank you for the insight on something so misunderstood in our culture. Dr. Fraad pulled the curtain back to help me see the connection between things I thought I understood but now know I didn’t understand fully. Where before I was disgusted with capitalism, I am now even more so. The ways in which the capitalist system creates negative social consequences then finds new ways to exploit and profit from the subsequent despair is in my eyes truly “insidious”. Then the Albright-Clinton-CIA connection just took this to a new level that I can only describe as horror. Every topic, and there are countless numbers, is like a curtained box which contains the contents of something unknown. Each time the curtain is pulled back what is always revealed is this writhing putrescent abomination that is nothing short of evil. This is the gallery of capitalist horror and we all are captiive spectators and participants seemingly never to escape in its labyrinth of damnation. Let me count the ways of this torment and suffering. What is striking is how the subject matter will start off as a simple enough problem of which a simple solution is evident but then through more detailed exposure and analysis starts to take on a more complex if not impossible nuance. Now, we have crossed over into territory that can no longer be understood as mere economics. It is apparent it is something much more than that. I look forward to more Dr. Fraad insights and the pondering of these puzzles.
  • Madeline Taylor
    commented 2016-08-06 23:11:55 -0400
    Wow, Lewis…that poem says it well! Very upsetting, but thanks for sharing.
  • Martin Screeton
    commented 2016-08-06 22:25:42 -0400
    Dr. Fraad’s perspective has struck me a couple of times and have heard her a few times… I remember a poem on capitalist society in a 1959 book “Search for Serenity” by Lewis Presnall that sums up what happened to Men in the past… and what now is happening to women as a result of our Neoliberal capitalism on steroids…. here it is…
    The Modern Man
    Hurry the baby as fast as you can.
    Hurry him, worry him, make him a man.
    Off with his baby clothes, get him in pants,
    Feed him on brain foods and make him advance.

    Hustle him, soon as he is able to walk,
    Into grammar school; cram him with talk,
    Fill his poor head with figures and facts,
    Keep on a-jammin them in till it cracks.

    Once boys grew up at a rational rate,
    Now we develope a man while you wait.
    Rush him through college; compel him to grab
    Of every known subject, a dip and a dab.

    Get him in business, and after the cash,
    All by the time he can grow a mustache;
    Let him forget he was ever a boy,
    Make gold His God and its jingle His joy.

    Keep him a hustling and clear out of breath,
    until he wins—-nervious prostation and death.
    Author unknown

    Lewis F. Presnall
    Search for Serenity
  • Martin Screeton
    followed this page 2016-08-06 22:18:09 -0400
  • Madeline Taylor
    commented 2016-08-06 14:52:52 -0400
    I found Dr. Fraad’s perspective regarding the impact of capitalistic, economic structures on interpersonal relationships very interesting and disturbing. As a psychotherapist with a specialization in early, childhood development, I’m gravely concerned about economic forces which cause us to see other people as need-satisfying objects rather than as whole people with complex subjectivities of their own. Her description of how economic need is forcing young women to (softly) prostitute themselves with sugar-daddies in order to get tuition to go to school was particularly upsetting.

    Part of the problem is the long-standing division of responsibilities which has left boys and men out of the inner circle of mothers and babies. When boys are directed, at very young ages, to deny their need for love and connection with mother, with father, etc. they are required to suppress this deep need for loving, secure attachment relationships. They are, instead, stuffed with notions of power and superiority which NEVER will substitute for the feeling of being truly loved and valued as a member of a family or tribe. Power on the world stage never fulfills the original need to feel important and interpersonally impactful in our earliest relationships.

    It sounds like Dr. Fraad is saying that the sociopathic, capitalistic system causes people to commodify one another, creating more I-It relationships and destroying the human connection we REALLY need, while stuffing us with notions that it’s money that will ultimately make us happy. If we don’t know that what we really long for are loving relationships, we’ll be looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places.

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