Weekly Roundup: October 20, 2021

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work.

New this week: Economic Update, Capitalism Hits Home, Cities After..., Ask Prof Wolff & Wolff Responds...

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!


Economic Update: Signs of System Decline

On this week’s show, Prof. Wolff presents updates on the following topics: US wars lost: against Afghanistan, Iraq, and Covid; private profit from climate disaster; systemic infrastructure neglect; decline of whites in US; UK fears about US loss in Afghanistan; capitalism's profit-driven "long supply chains;" and lastly, workers power against employers in US today.

Wolff: "Why have we been neglectful [of infrastructure]? And the answer is: it's our capitalist system...it's built into our system to neglect it, and so, here comes my sad commentary. Watching the Republicans and Democrats debate this bill is an exercise in pathetic.”

Capitalism Hits Home: Why Does the US Lead the World in Rape?

Rape is a hate crime. This podcast analyses the forces that shape US rape in gender, culture, psychology and capitalism.

Fraad: "You can see why something like rape is created by all these other forces together in our very predatory, capitalist system. You'd need a strong socialist influence to pass the positive things, just like you needed a strong socialist influence in the New Deal.”

Cities After... Post-Pandemic Urbanization: Spectacles, Speculation & Tourism - Pt 4

In todays episode, Prof. Robles-Duran continues to discuss the social, spatial and environmental effects of mass tourism by focusing on Barcelona, one of the worlds top tourist destinations and the first major city that developed important strategic policy to fight the predatory global tourism industry. For this discussion, he is joined by two very important personalities from Barcelona’s municipal government and urban social movements alike. 

David Bravo: “​One of the main, current mistakes we are making is thinking that global capitalism is strong... I think it's not true. Because what we call global capitalism depends on local, physical infrastructure like airports, like harbors, like streets, which are publicly owned."

Ask Prof Wolff: Living in Capitalism, Believing in Socialism

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "I would be considered to belong to the “wealthy” class in my community and country espousing a pro socialist , anti capitalist ideology. I am often accused of being a hypocrite because of what I own or the fact that I have people that I employ with my business (4) and with my household. (My spouse has a bigger business than me and mine is successful too). We are both professionals, we are certainly not billionaires but we do ok and our businesses are structured in a capitalist way - employer employee etc. To explain my own position on this contradiction: I live in a capitalist system and I have to seize on the opportunity to give my own kids the best opportunities, I have no right to deprive them of that chance, not for a political belief etc. I try to raise my kids with social consciousness, etc nevertheless. Do you have any advice for this type of engagement with people - how would you respond when having political/economical discussions with other capitalists." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “It's important for your mental health that you have and recognize a utopia, even as you also recognize the distance between the life you live and the utopia you dream of and seek. The tension between the lived life and the life you could lead can bring that life you could lead closer. It's part of what makes the world get better and change.”

Ask Prof Wolff: When Population Stops Growing

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "To what degree can all economic systems to date be viewed as pyramid schemes, since they all seem to depend substantially upon population growth? And given that world population will have to level off at some point, has any thought been given to "best practices" for societies living with stable populations?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “​​This contradiction between the system's growth imperative and the limited population will eventually collapse it, as the very things they need to do to raise their profits (which they must) undercut their profits by driving up wages. For me, that's yet another way that capitalism self-destructs.”

Wolff Responds: Not Labor Shortage, Labor Resistance!

In this Wolff Responds,  Prof. Wolff addresses the fake news that we have a labor shortage in the U.S.  What we have instead, Wolff argues, is a reluctance by workers to return to unsafe and low paid jobs. 

Wolff: “​​There's a deep demand being made that the economic system put first and foremost the needs of the majority for secure, well-paying, well-conditioned job situations. That's a basic human right that our capitalist economic system is less and less capable of meeting. And that's why quitting, and that's why labor shortage, and that's why strikes are the rule of what is the labor market now.”

Wolff Responds: BS Economics to Excuse Capitalism

In this Wolff Responds,  Prof. Wolff voices his frustration with the ideological indoctrination efforts by economists to explain away the problems of the US economy.

Wolff:“​​We the majority, the people, the employees are now suffering an inflation, a delay in the delivery of goods we pay for… We live the failure of a system that allows a tiny minority to make all of these decisions. No wonder they don’t tell us the truth, because it would point the finger of blame right at them. No, no. They have their ideological servants to tell us about the mysteries of supply and demand that somehow didn’t work out the way we would’ve liked.”

Learn more about d@w latest book, Stuck Nation: Can the United States Change Course on Our History of Choosing Profits Over People?

by Bob Hennelly






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