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Prof. Wolff discusses global impacts of food inflation, endless class struggle over length of the workday and workweek and US deaths by guns. In the second half of the show, Wolff interviews housing activists Manon Vergerio and Velvet Ross (Fannie Lou Diane) on the US housing crisis, homelessness and evictions.
Fannie Lou Diane: "It's a money grabbing process. These shelters make money, and those people are counted as money for them. And so, that's one of the issues why homelessness is still deeply embedded in our society, and it really won't go away until people stop profiting off of it.”
Prof. Harvey looks at the conditions of labor in the US today: the supply and demand as well as the characteristics capital requires from its labor force. If those characteristics are not met, Harvey explains, or can be met for a cheaper wage, capitalists will often seek it out in other countries. This parasitic nature results in an underinvestment and underdevelopment of resources such as health care and education for the domestic workforce. Instead, Harvey argues that we must utilize the surplus labor and surplus capital in the US in order to create a society in which basic needs are met and towards productive work with a social purpose.
Harvey: "Once basic needs are met, then actually we have free time: free time to do what we like and actually, we create a situation where surplus time can either be taken out for production for the oligarchy or it can be taken up for people to have in free time. And this seems to me what the socialist project should be about. It's about the production of conditions where we maximize the free time that people have.”
Cinar, Larry and Kevin talk with John Hayes of MyCoolClass about the rise of educational platforms and online learning. MyCoolClass aims to give power back to the teachers as they navigate the online teaching world and show how cooperative principles can shake up the space. John and the ATC guys chat about what cooperative cultural values bring to education and how an education system run by teachers could be truly revolutionary.
Hayes: “The online education industry was expected to hit 450 billion by 2025 and that was an estimate given before the pandemic. So this is not a niche industry, this is huge. This is really big. The other platforms out there-- very few people make the rules.”
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "Dear Professor Wolff, could you discuss 'economics' at not-for-profit academic hospitals? How do these hospitals afford the salaries of highly paid administrators (CEOs, Deans, Chairs, etc) who do not contribute to surplus labor (patient care)? Are some of these hospitals using 'nursing shortage' as an excuse to implement austere measures by loading more work on to fewer surplus laborers?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “It's a comment on the inadequacy of our medical care system because even the not-for-profits are shaped by the model of a profit-making enterprise.”
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "I stumbled upon your video about dialectics about a month ago and I was wondering if you could do more? I appreciate that you made the connection between economy and philosophy." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “Every system, like our capitalist system, is shaped by everything else going on- is pushed and pulled in contradictory ways until the dynamic of interaction makes the system, which was at first born out of another one, change over time and then pass away.”
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