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Prof. Harvey warns that the endless accumulation of capital in a variety of sectors is putting tremendous pressure on our economy, our world, and our very existence. Signs of economic growth—the rising mass of value; centralization of wealth and power in the hands of a small minority; the concentration of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere leading to serious climate and biological disruptions; the growing output of plastics; cement production in China; and airline travel and the surplus of liquidity seeking opportunities for investment—are being directed to unproductive activities like military expenditures and the defense industry, ever increasing the threat of nuclear war and mutually assured destruction. Harvey argues that international cooperation is needed and that alternatives must be explored. He discusses the work of Piketty and Ricardian Socialists as a way to address the growing inequality and gross injustices we are living through. He supports Piketty's ideas for the redistribution of income from the top 1% to the bottom 50% of the population and collaborative work models, like those of German and Swedish companies that give power to labor.
Harvey: “Marx was fiercely critical of the Ricardian socialist, and he was fiercely critical because in his view the problem lay not in distribution but in production: who had the power to organize production and who had the power to change the economy in foundational ways.”
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "Christopher Leonard, author of "The Lords of Easy Money" has a piece in the 6/11/22 NYT that addressed the issue of inflation's cause(s). He danced around your principal point, without actually saying it, namely that capitalism is in its death throes. I would be interested in your comments on his writing." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “The Federal Reserve is doing what it was called upon to do: trying to cope with an underlying problem, which is that capitalism as an economic system is unstable. It is cyclical. It's a boom bust system. It's got crisis after crisis. We're living through one after another as I speak to you.”
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "If pay for workers increases, won't that increase consumption (unless its stolen back through inflation) and, in turn, America's carbon footprint? I'm concerned about sustainability." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “If there's enough political power in the hands of the working class to put a cap on prices, number one, and number two, at the same time give the mass of people what they need- which is more income, more revenue, more purchasing power to have a higher standard of living- if we're strong enough to do that, we ought to be strong enough to take a step dictated by concerns over sustainability.”
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