Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!
On this week's show, Prof. Wolff presents updates on Alabama miners' strike, how China's focus on reducing inequality affects competition with the US, and the economics of the "right to repair" consumers' movement in the US. The second half of the show features an interview with investigative reporter Bob Hennelly, author of "Stuck Nation: Can the United States Change Course on Our History of Choosing Profits Over People?"
Hennelly: "This presaged what's happened with the Trump response to the pandemic. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, where 16 acres was laid to waste, the EPA under the direction of President Bush... advised people the air was safe to breathe within a couple of days... So tens of thousands of people... spent months on top of what was a huge, unprecedented funeral pyre, where they were digging for relatives, colleagues and co-workers under the belief, which was a lie, that the air was safe to breathe... There have been some that have died as a consequence, so this really mirrors what's happened with the pandemic in the sense that we've been told that there was nothing to worry about."
In this episode of CHH, Dr. Fraad addresses the "labor shortage" in the US today. 9.2 million jobs remain open. Republicans and Democrats differ on what to do about this supposed shortage. 44% of US workers are low pay workers constantly struggling to survive. Maybe they just won't stand for it!
Fraad: "America is waking up and starting to realize, because of the terrible mishandling of this pandemic, we have only four percent of the world's population and 20 percent of the world's deaths from COVID and no public health care. And also, a recession. People are starting to say no. And they're starting to unite together. There are more strikes this year than any other year since 2001. In the last 20 years, because people are realizing what we have. We keep this place going. We are essential and we're not paid a living wage. We can't live on what we get, and we have a right to stand together and make changes."
This podcast will be the first of four episodes where, together with future guests, Prof. Robles-Duran will slowly adopt the city of Barcelona as a sample to think through some of the tendencies of a post-pandemic neoliberal urbanization. He will do so by looking at three trending development drivers, the production of urban spectacle, the burdens of rental housing, and the limitless expansion of mass tourism.
Robles-Durán: “If state and municipal governments can barely meet the social support exigencies of these capitalist organizations and the new profit oriented partnerships that direct contemporary urban growth refuse to intervene in areas where little or no profit is to be made, then who the h*** is addressing the growing conditions of urban poverty and its social spatial consequences?”
A patron of Economic Update asks: "Could you provide an analysis on the failures of the more prominent socialist societies in recent history and the contributing factors to these failures, real or perceived?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “If you're going to have socialism, [you need] to transform the workplace. You know, where adults spend most of their lives. Five days out of seven, the best hours of those five days, most adults are working. They're in the workplace, the enterprise, the factory, the office, the store. That needed to be transformed, if you were going to achieve the goals of socialism: equality, solidarity, fraternity, possibility for individuals to grow and to build institutions for themselves, their families and their communities.”
In this Wolff Responds, Prof. Wolff talks about the relationship between the "labor shortages" and immigration policies, and the impact on the U.S. economy. The vast majority of immigrants who have come to the US have taken on the hardest and lowest paying jobs. Forcing undocumented immigrants to leave the US, Wolff argues, is yet another "example of a system in trouble making its own decline worse."
Wolff: “It's not only the immigration story, but the immigration story is a key part of this story. And it's a wonderful lesson that in a capitalist economic system, all the parts are linked together, and [if] you intrude on one of them, it's going to ramify. It's going to explode on you in many ways."
In this Wolff Responds, Prof. Wolff talks about the economic impact of forcing millions of undocumented, hard-working immigrants to leave the US.
Wolff: “Your problem isn't unemployed people. Your problem isn't undocumented immigrants. Your problem is a system that treats everybody, documented or not, in a way you should not have tolerated for a long time."
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