Weekly Roundup: February 23, 2022

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work.

New this week: Economic Update, Capitalism Hits Home & Ask Prof Wolff...


Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!


Economic Update: Covid Criminals, Pandemic Profiteers

On this week's show, Prof. Wolff presents updates on Mississippi's legalization of pot, US's $30 trillion national debt, Mexican workers at GM plant vote in militant union, and Amazon's 17% price increase (after a year of record profits), as much of nation already suffers from 7% inflation. In the second half of the show, Wolff interviews John Nichols, author of Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers.

Nichols: "​​We're looking, literally, at hundreds of thousands of people who died unnecessarily because our system allows economic and political elites to think of their own advantage rather than to think of doing what any decent human being would do in such a circumstance, which is to care for others.”

Capitalism Hits Home: Political Right vs. Abortion Rights


Control of women's reproduction is a common weapon in the hands of the Right Wing. In the episode of Capitalism Hits Home, Dr. Harriet Fraad breaks down the fight for reproductive rights by looking at abortion access and forced sterilization. These issues are fundamentally about class and control: forcing women to have unwanted pregnancies, denying immigrants and minorities the right to reproduce, keeping women out of the labor force and reliant on men, and dividing the masses so organization and unity is impossible.

Fraad: “The right wing is trying to assert male supremacy and white male supremacy and to divide the mass of workers from each other, so that we don't all together demand a more just and economically possible future together. Abortion is an element of class control through controlling women's bodies, and it has always been so.”

Cities After…Josep Bohigas on the Growing Suburban Divide: An International Perspective - Pt. 4

In this episode of Cities After...,Prof. Robles-Duran talks with Josep Bohigas, Barcelona’s Chief Urban Planner, about the international image and perspectives of the hegemony of American Suburbia in Western Europe. Bohigas traces Spain’s suburban development from the 1920s until today, highlighting the similarities and differences from American sprawl. As Robles-Duran concludes this short series on the American Suburban Divide, it is important to emphasize how its disastrous influence on social and environmental urban dynamics continues to define many landscapes around the world. Thus, it becomes even more important to collectively imagine ways out of sprawl.

Bohigas: “In Spanish, you say, "en la calle, te encallas"- in the street, you get stuck. And stuck in the street, that means that you constantly face others. And of course, by creating spaces like plazas, streets, it's very much interesting to confront and to deal with complexity that in the suburbs doesn't happen."⁠

Ask Prof Wolff: Transitions Between Economic Systems

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "You often mention the fact that capitalism had largely the time to experiment by trial and error until it finally succeeded in replacing the feudal system. The purpose is to substantiate that assertion that is often used in your monologues and discussions with the fan club of capitalism. Can you bring up those examples? Can you point to the early failures and successes to illustrate the trial and error process? Are there books with those examples shown systematically?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “What were the actualities of the transition from feudalism to capitalism? Where do you go to learn the details, so you can add some flesh to the skeleton argument we make: that it's the right way to look at what has been going on over the last hundred years, in terms of getting beyond capitalism. So, I've put together some on the assumption that many of you might be interested.”

 Wolff Responds: Inflation, Prices, Interest Rates...A Policy Crisis

In this Wolff Responds, Prof. Wolff speaks about the failures by the Biden administration to find a way out of the current economic crisis. As inflation steadily increases and wages stagnate, our government’s only proposed solution—increased interest rates—does more harm than good. We’re stuck at a dead end with nowhere to go…except to a system better than capitalism, one that supports the masses.

Wolff: “It's a terrible dead end into which the accumulated problems of U.S. capitalism have taken us, and none of our leaders has a clue how to get out of this awful mess.”

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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