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In this week's show, Prof. Wolff presents updates on US's groceries inflation; US teacher crisis; capitalists profiting from guns and protection from guns, UN report on global suffering from Ukraine war's and sanctions regimes' costs to world's people in terms of fuel, food, and interest rate inflations; and median New York City rent of $4,000/month make city housing increasingly unaffordable to most New Yorkers. In the second half of the show, Wolff is joined by Katie Halper: podcaster, writer, and filmmaker who talks about political decline in the US.
Wolff: "Today they are producing 90,000 new teachers a year, less than half [than in the 1970s]. What's going on? Low wages. Teachers are paid very poorly in the United States compared with other people who have comparable education... More and more institutions in the United States are responding to gun shootings by setting up programs to screen for guns, to identify who's got a gun, where they're going with it, and so on... These companies are going to have an incentive for there to be and stay guns in our culture, because their entire product is protecting people against it."
In this episode of Capitalism Hits Home, Dr. Fraad continues discussing America’s problem with gun violence. Because the US never converted to a peacetime economy after WWII, it continues to spend billions waging wars, stockpiling military equipment, and funding overseas conflicts. This militaristic culture enables domestic terrorism and mass violence. To counteract this, we need to encourage our many separate social movements to join together and fight to redistribute the excessive military budget to universal health care, child care, affordable housing, decent wages, climate justice, and more.
Dr. Fraad: “We have to accept that empire and militarism is not what’s going to save the world, it’s what’s going to destroy the planet.”
In the second episode of the Cities After…summer climate change series, Prof. Robles-Durán takes a deep dialectical dive into one of the most popular consumer "solutions" to the climate crisis: the electric car. He begins by sharing the reductionist points that both the auto industry and prestigious scientific journals promote to convince the masses that electric cars are environmentally friendly. In contrast, by looking dialectically and scrutinizing the capitalist industries involved in the whole production chain, Robles-Durán reveals that there is much more environmental destruction than we are told.
Robles-Durán: "The electric car won't solve the climate crisis. Not even close to it. And we can find this out just by doing a very simple dialectical analysis on everything that is involved in this. I know, dialectical thinking sounds complex because it addresses complexity. It has to be this way. Still, in my view, there is no other way to reveal and confront the extent to which capitalist industries have interconnected in the continued destruction of our planet and all living species in it.”
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "Dear Prof Wolff, can you please explain the similarities and differences between supply-side and demand-side economics?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “Supply-side economics has a better, more honest name: it's economics that deals with problems of capitalism by making sure you help, first and foremost, the employer.”
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "I have always been interested in the idea of what individualism would be like under socialism. Say, for example, some people don’t enjoy working in groups and prefer to work independently through freelance as they then have the time and flexibility to work on their own terms and not have to negotiate and make agreements with a group of people. Will there be options for people to work as sole proprietors/entrepreneurs in a socialist environment?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: "What socialism means is one thing is no longer acceptable: and that is the capitalist relationship, the relationship in which one person is an employer or a small group and a large group is employees. You can work on your own and you can work as part of a democratic community but you can't violate the basic premise of democracy because that's the commitment of the society as a whole.”
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