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Ten Years Ago: Unemployment [10th Anniversary of Economic Update with Richard Wolff]
We have work that needs to be done, and people who want to work. So why do we still have significant unemployment? Professor Wolff tackles this question in a short video. To mark Economic Update's 10th anniversary year, Professor Wolff is revisiting relevant moments from 10 years ago to explore how capitalism, its defenders, and its critics have all changed.
Wolff: “We didn't have a federal jobs program, and the business community clapped, because their biggest fear, their worst nightmare, is a government offering good jobs to millions of unemployed people. Oh yes, on the 4th of July our business leaders give speeches about the wonders of competition, but they don't want competition from the government."
All Things Co-op: Co-op Cycle
Co-op Cycle is a platform cooperative based primarily in France, but with member cooperatives around Europe. In this episode, the ATC guys chat with Adrien Claude, the coordinator for Co-op Cycle, about how it works…
Kevin: "From a kind of traditional orthodoxy Marxist position, of course everything is kind of contingent on social, political, economic, historical, geographical contingencies that all wrap together to kind of make the situation we find ourselves in. But, through all of that, no matter where you are in the world, you find that there is this common cooperative notion, this idea that we all agree that we should collectively come together, and we shouldn't let some benefit while most of us aren't able to do anything."
Global Capitalism: The Possibility of Biden Becoming like FDR- Clip
This is a clip from the May 2021 Global Capitalism lecture, in which Prof Wolff explains the conditions he believes are necessary for President Biden to become anything like President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Wolff: “The questions of how far a president will or will not go have very little to do with the individual or, for that matter, the political party. What makes the thing happen or not are the larger social conditions that force certain courses of action, and block others.”
Ask Prof Wolff: Marx's Flaws
A patron of Economic Update asks: "Hi Prof. Wolff! What are Marx's flaws that you've briefly mentioned before? The labor theory of value? Communism itself? Any of your personal critiques?"
This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “I take my hat off to Karl Marx. He taught me a great deal, as has the Marxist traditions. I basically feel sympathy for those who never read that material, never learned it. It's too bad, it's your loss, but it's also clear that there were areas that later Marxists had to work on, that remain unfinished pieces of understanding, that our generations and those to come will have to fill in.”
Ask Prof Wolff: Media Bias & Capitalism
A patron of Economic Update asks: "Hello Professor Wolff, I was wondering if you could answer this question: most Americans, including me, believe that the Press is too biased. Obviously Capitalism has an incentive in making the Media biased in its favor, but can Socialism or Marxism make the Press more fair? Less bias?"
This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “The basic problem in capitalism is really not so much that the people who determine the media have this or that bias. It's really a question of the social organization of the media of newspapers, radio, television, social networking platforms and so on. Here's the problem in a nutshell: we in capitalism are supposed to believe, we have been taught to believe, that the capitalist model of how to organize an enterprise is some sort of necessary template: something that every institution in the society, no matter what it does or what its social purpose might be, would be best organized, you guessed it, if it replicated, if it reproduced the capitalist system.”
Wolff Responds: Covid's Victims as Hostages to Profits
In this Wolff Responds, Prof. Wolff argues why vaccines were the preferred approach in combating the global pandemic to lockdown. Wolff explains the important lesson to be learned about how we organize our medical system and economic activities in general can be derived from this crisis.
Wolff: “This second way [the world responded to COVID-19] was profitable. It has to do with vaccines those could be profit-making activities for pharmaceutical companies who therefore preferred them, didn't they? They weren't interested in lockdowns. Most employers weren't. They didn't want to pay the price of losing profits, and the countries and the regions that forwent lockdowns and waited for the vaccines to be profitably produced, and packaged, and shipped suffered the horrible numbers of the ill and the dead. The profitable approach took longer and killed more people.
Learn more about Prof Wolff's latest book, The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself.
Now also available as an eBook!
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