Economic Update: The Terminal Crises of Global Capitalism

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In this week's show, Prof. Wolff presents updates on students' solidarity with workers at Smith College; US car industry manipulates supply/demand to inflate prices, profits; Teamsters strike, solidarity defeat Sysco Systems; Starbucks provokes its 250 unionized stores, and why rising wages do not "cause" inflation. In the second half of the show, Wolff interviews Prof. William I. Robinson on global capitalism and its multiple crises he calls "terminal."


Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff is a Democracy at Work production. We make it a point to provide the show free of ads. Please consider supporting our work. Learn about all the ways to support our work on our Donate page, and help us spread Prof. Wolff's message to a larger audience. Every donation counts! A special thank you to our devoted monthly donors (via both our website and Patreon) whose recurring contributions enable us to plan for the future.

Find quick and easy access to past episodes of Economic Update, including transcripts, on our EU Episode List page.


About our guest:  Prof. William I. Robinson is distinguished professor of sociology, global and international studies, and Latin American studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.  He researches globalization, capitalism, and crisis, and is also involved with social movements and anti-capitalist politics in Latin America and the United States.  Among his award-winning books are: Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, U.S. Intervention, and Hegemony (1996), A Theory of Global Capitalism (2004), Latin America and Global Capitalism (2008), and Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity (2014).

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SOURCES FOR SHOW SEGMENTS:
  1. Auto industry: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/TOTALSA
  2. Sysco systems: https://labornotes.org/2022/10/ahead-halloween-sysco-teamsters-give-corporate-ghouls-heebie-jeebies
  3. Starbucks: https://truthout.org/articles/starbucks-walks-out-of-union-contract-negotiations-after-months-of-delays/
  4. Wage inflation vs price inflation: https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/28/business/workers-wages-third-quarter/index.html

Showing 1 comment

  • Edward Dodson
    commented 2022-11-24 09:18:07 -0500
    As always, Professor Wolff provides us with much to consider. The conflicts existing in our society have worsened since the late 1970s, accelerating with the election of Ronald Reagan as President. The organization Redefining Progress developed an alternative measure of our society’s wellbeing (the Genuine Progress Indicator). The conclusion is that for most people in the U.S. the quality of life began to fall beginning around 1978. This coincides with new laws that initiated the deregulation of the financial sector that continued whether the Republicans or the Democrats held power.

    My own research confirms the forecast by Professor Robinson that we are on the brink of a global collapse. What is not well-understood is that our socio-political arrangements and institutions existing for the last two centuries have assured worsening economic cycles. I am among the small group of economists and others who have concluded that the central cause is the private appropriation of rents and the over-taxation of earned income flows, of depreciating capital goods and of commerce. For anyone who finds this perspective of interest, I invite you to view my recorded lecture on Youtube titled: “The Coming 2026 Financial and Economic Crisis.”

    Edward Dodson
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