Weekly Roundup: February 1, 2023

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work.

New this week: The origin & purpose of today’s inflation, Q&A w/ All Things Co-op, retired people for social change, a political party that isn’t capitalist?

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!

Economic Update: A Corporatized America with Chris Hedges

Prof. Wolff explains why capitalism does not deserve credit for improved living conditions, Home Depot billionaire blames US capitalism's problems on US workers being "lazy, fat, and stupid," Southwest Airlines as example of failures by both corporations and their gov't "regulators," George Santos as creature of capitalist advertising. In the second half of the show, Wolff interviews Chris Hedges on the crisis of corporate America in 2023.

Hedges: “The Rockefellers had a few billion. Our billionaire class has 180 plus billion. And that's social inequality. You don't have to take political science 101 to understand that social inequality creates these kinds of messianic right-wing populist, neo fascists. That's what is vomited up from a society that no longer functions.”

Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: Making Sense of Today’s Inflation - Debt, Austerity and Tax Cuts

Prof. Harvey uses the diagram of capital’s circulatory processes, shared in the last episode, and applies it to the pressing issue of inflation today. Harvey draws parallels to how inflation was handled during the Reagan and Thatcher administrations, with austerity politics and the resulting reduced standard of living for the working class. These attacks on social expenditures were explained as  necessary to curb inflation, yet there is much more to the story. By utilizing the framework of capital’s circulation within a capitalist mode of production, Harvey reveals the many possible causes of inflation and how public policy often has hidden intentions. 

Harvey: "If you look and ask where the problem lies in the economy right now, why we're talking about a recession is because what the bourgeoisie and the real geniuses of economics and so on right wing economics are doing is exactly what was being done before, which is to increase the deficit and then say, well, we have to claw back that deficit by reducing social expenditures”

All Things Co-op: Ask Live

Kevin, Larry and Cinar answer questions about the challenges and importance of cooperatives and more. This live event originally aired on Friday, January 27, 2023.

Kevin: “If you stay focused and you are a kind of lightning rod for the people that you want to encourage, you'll find those people, they will come and that will become the beginning point of something potentially great. The example of this podcast and the work that me, Larry and Cinar have done is exactly that.”

Global Capitalism: U.S. Elite Fear U.S. Losing Its Dominance

When an empire is in decline, there is a scramble for people to take and hold on to as much as they can. Prof Wolff takes a moment to explain how the last decades of redistribution of wealth to the upper class is a sign that the U.S. is in decline.

Wolff: “A declining empire in which those at the top (the corporate leaders, the wealthy, the political elite, working together, intermarried, and going to the same golf courses) work a good deal to shift the burden of a declining empire off of them and on to everybody else.”

Ask Prof Wolff: Shouldn’t We Have a Political Party That Isn’t Capitalist?

A Patron of Democracy at Work asks: "I was wondering if there has ever been a political party that focuses primarily on the formation, maintenance and sustenance of worker co-ops? My understanding is that worker co-ops are all inclusive by design and would include folks that have been marginalized by society (i.e. people of color, women, gay folks, etc). Would it be useful to develop a political party in the U.S. whose primary focus would be on worker co-ops?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response. To learn how to ask your own questions to Prof Wolff, click here.

Wolff: “We could build a political party that was committed to worker co-ops and economics just like it was to all those other progressive values around other issues. It would have wide appeal and you know the co-op would be a recruiting center for the party. And the party would work to develop legislation rules and regulations that would enhance the ability to form co-ops, which is restricted now. To finance co-ops, which is restricted now. To celebrate co-ops, restricted now. And to tell the whole country in a hundred different ways, including in school curricula, that there is an alternative to capitalism.”


Ask Prof Wolff: Why Retired Individuals Are Critical For Social Change

A Patron of Democracy at Work asks: "Hello, I am an officially retired person, although I continue to work on projects in the arts, in part to supplement Social Security and in part as a labor of love. I often feel that I am somewhat excluded from the critical effort I see here to remake our work lives. What role can seniors play? We do, after all, possess lifetimes of experience." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response. To learn how to ask your own questions to Prof Wolff, click here.

Wolff: “I cannot imagine how much further along a change in American society would be if the elderly people in our society, those over 55 or 60, would begin to see in large numbers what is available, what they have to contribute: their time, their energy, their experience, their accumulated knowledge. These are invaluable combinations of resources that a new American left badly needs.”

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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