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Economic Update: Varoufakis' Critique of Capitalism Today [AUDIO]
Yanis Varoufakis, elected member Greek parliament, joins Prof. Wolff on this week's show and offers his original, critical perspectives on (1) the banking crisis, (2) the decline of the US empire and US capitalism, (3) the mass uprisings of the French and Greek working classes in Europe, (4) the collapse of Europe's efforts to shape an independent (from the US and China) economic position, and (5) class struggle inside China.
Varoufakis: “This is not a new banking crisis. This is exactly the same banking crisis that we experienced in 2007-2008. It never went away.”
Capitalism Hits Home: BRICS & The End of US Dominance
Dr. Fraad discusses the decline of the American empire, both globally and domestically. After WWII, the US was the only industrialized nation that stood strong, helping it ascend to global dominance. Today, however, the world order is shifting. The BRICS economic alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) is extremely powerful and widespread, with over 19 more countries hoping to join the alliance. The US dollar is losing its primacy and our country is steeped in debt. Internally, poverty is ever-increasing, corruption is normalized in our politics, and our wealthiest individuals and corporations don’t pay taxes. How did we get here? What can be done? Dr. Fraad tackles these questions and more.
Fraad: “The quest for more money, the quest for profit and capitalism makes rich men who steal and lie seem like great citizens.”
Ask Prof Wolff: The True Cost of Sanctions
A supporter of Democracy at Work asks: "Are sanctions, which are detrimental to ordinary citizens, in some cases justified in order to try to pressure a government committing evil (like in the case of South Africa) to cease?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response. To learn how to ask your own questions to Prof Wolff, click here.
Wolff: “The sanctions- to be blunt- don't hit the people you are told and we are told they're aimed at because those people have the best possible means to escape the impact of those sanctions and to put the pain onto those below them in the society. Which means it's not an effective way to change the behavior of the leaders of a country and it never has been. Sanctions don't work.”
Ask Prof Wolff: Can Capitalism Be Reformed?
A supporter of Democracy at Work asks: "Have you looked into the concept of Collective Capitalism as theorized by G. Means and its influence on Japan (which has the largest Communist Party not in control of the government)? Also, the public private relationship in Singapore's economy seems very different from the Western financial capitalist system. Are these various "Eastern" economic models something that would attract support from American workers rather than socialism? In another way, could concessions from capitalism like guarantees of long-term employment, market controls, social services, etc. be ways that capitalists retain private property rights and stymie socialist progress? For background, it seems like the FDR administration used this approach to prevent a full socialist movement from taking power during the great depression." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response. To learn how to ask your own questions to Prof Wolff, click here.
Wolff: “Everything that you get after years of struggle can be and will be undone because the employer has the incentive to do that: to boost their profits. And they have their profits, because those go into their hands, to realize what they're incentivized to do.”
Learn more about [email protected] latest book, Stuck Nation: Can the United States Change Course on Our History of Choosing Profits Over People?
by Bob Hennelly