Weekly Roundup: January 19, 2022

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work.

New this week: Economic Update, All Things Co-op, Global Capitalism, Ask Prof Wolff & Wolff Responds...


Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!


Economic Update: Emotions and US Politics Today

On this week's show, Prof. Wolff talks about US bank closings as a sign of system decline; victory for 3000 striking Columbia University students; Laredo, Texas combats food deserts with co-ops; pandemic years worsen global inequalities, US defense bill aggravates US capitalism's inequalities. Special guest Tess Fraad-Wolff joins the second half of the show to discuss the role of emotions in US politics today (by Dems and GOP establishments but also Trump and Bernie wings).

Wolff: "Capitalism produced the awful results of inequality we see today, and it fought all the gains that we have enjoyed over the last 300 years. And that's why it's appropriate to criticize capitalism.”

All Things Co-op: Accumulation - The Ruthless Pursuit of Profit

In this episode, the ATC guys answer a question from a listener: "In the Soviet Union commodity production was retained and thus the money-commodity-money cycle that creates capital was able to continue, with the main change being that the capital accumulation was now directed by the state. Would a cooperative society not run into a similar issue, where the capital accumulation is merely directed by a different entity (in this case the co-ops) instead of eliminating capital accumulation itself?" Kevin, Larry, and Cinar dive into this question and provide their perspective on issues of capital accumulation, commodity production, and the incentives of cooperative enterprises.

Kevin: “What would change in terms of the incentive structure if you went from a sort of privately owned but socially produced relationship into a socially produced and socially controlled relationship? Your incentive structure changes: why you make decisions, what you're doing...the incentive structure fundamentally changes in the sense that the way that you are going to make economic decisions is not for private gain alone."

Global Capitalism: ​​Political Economy of Covid: Year #3

In this new Global Capitalism lecture, Richard Wolff discusses US Capitalism’s public health disaster & where blame belongs, trying to shift blame to mandates & desperate libertarianism, as well as Covid, inflation, "broken supply chains” in the systemic crisis.

Wolff: “Capitalism has been rendered more transparent in its dysfunctionality, in its failure to handle problems that the mass of people have. It's been more exposed in the last two years than it ever was before. Change is coming.”

Ask Prof Wolff: Non-profits as Co-ops

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "The descriptions I've seen of worker cooperatives focus almost exclusively on for-profit business models. How could a worker cooperative model apply to government and nonprofit workplaces, where workers don't have a "surplus" to distribute, can't alter public policies established by elected officials, and can't spend public or charitable funds in whatever way they choose? Is there a realistic and accountable way to implement workplace democracy or replace the traditional employer-employee relationship within the constraints of the public and nonprofit sectors?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “The argument for democracy was that it was better than autocracy in the form of monarchy kingdoms. Well, worker co-ops are the model in the realm of production for what might be the cooperative spirit to infuse, to inspire government agencies [and] non-profits to organize themselves in the same cooperative way.”

Wolff Responds: China & US Changing Places?

In this Wolff Responds, Prof. Wolff tackles the question, Is America’s global and economic reign coming to an end while being replaced by China? By looking at four major facets: GDP, real wages, COVID-19, and inflation, Wolff argues, we can begin to assess the economic realities and how these two major powers will interact moving forward. 

Wolff: “[Last year], the People's Republic of China was in the process of displacing and replacing the United Sates in terms of its economic powerhouse and strength and of its global influence.”

Learn more about d@w latest book, Stuck Nation: Can the United States Change Course on Our History of Choosing Profits Over People?

by Bob Hennelly





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