Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!
On this week's show, Prof. Wolff presents updates on Biden's and Democrats' fading tax reforms, German and Austrian politics shift left, Yale sells out to rich donors, product shortages often deliberate, wages for housework, and real US food inflation.
Wolff: "Conservatives in Germany would be considered Bernie democrats or more to the left in this country. That's how different these two societies' politics are.”
In this episode of CHH, Dr. Fraad talks about the strikes sweeping the nation. In spite of a compromised AFL-CIO and no powerful Socialist labor Party or powerful Socialist media, American Labor is beginning to realize that labor is indeed essential and deserves to be valued and paid. Striketober is a beginning.
Fraad: "They don't want to put up with contagious customers for low wages. It's not worth the threat of death, and so, they're saying no. They're opting out. They also didn't get sufficient COVID protections. So why put up with that. Why risk your life?"
In this podcast, Prof. Robles-Duran's attempt is to revise and follow on the urbanization of shock therapy, a topic that he first wrote about in 2011 for a book titled "Urban Asymmetries: Studies and Project on Neoliberal Urbanization" and later expanded on in an essay he wrote for the 2014 edition of the Tirana Contemporary Art Biennial. Ten years later, the topic is more relevant than ever, especially, as the shock of the pandemic becomes normalized and absorbed by capitalist forces. Looking at the evolution of the urbanization of shock therapy might allow us to foresee the coming urban transformations and thus, be more prepared and organized to resist and counteract them.
Robles-Duran: "What was once planned and produced by the state and its public workforce was now being designed in the closed boardrooms of the capitalist elites and financed by private banks, international investors, and corporate conglomerates. This was happening while public investments were being defunded in cities around the world."
The newest Global Capitalism lecture is all about the Chinese economy. In “China - US’s First Real Competitor in a Century”, professor Richard Wolff introduces the successes, problems and lessons from “Chinese Socialism” and what it means for global capitalism.
Wolff: "China is a fundamental game changer. Not only the great competitor, for the first time in U.S. history and for the first time in a century, but also raising the most fundamental questions about economic organization, about capitalism itself and about the next system that replaces capitalism.”
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "I very much enjoyed your answer about the economic impacts of the abortion ban laws in Texas. Usually, there's some greedy motivation for the laws we see getting passed (Voting "safety" laws, Anti protest laws, laws protecting the secret origins of dark money, laws that make our drug prices higher). Who benefits from the anti-abortion laws? I don't see any winners in this one." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “Americans are good people, and they're just as smart as anybody else. If they're acting crazy, there must be something making them that way. What might that be? My guess would be the real deterioration in their lives that they haven't yet figured out why it happens. And so, they're open to rallying around campaigns like banning abortion as if that would make any difference.”
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "Now that Tesla is worth more than US $1 trillion, and Elon Musk is the wealthiest person in the world, there is more discussion of increasing the tax on billionaires specifically. Right-wingers are defending billionaires from taxation, arguing that unsold shares can't be taxed, and that billionaires, in their total pool of wealth, cannot fund the government for very long. Can you explain how taxation could work to include more progressive taxation of the billionaire class and refute some of the arguments from the right? Thanks." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “We let people who are rich enough to own stocks and bonds avoid a property tax whereas we make the homeowner pay double- for the income and for the value of the property. There's no reason for that. There's not much logic in it either. It is a terribly unfair system favoring the super rich who have spent a ton of money buying a ton of politicians to keep it that way.”
In this Wolff Responds, Prof. Wolff talks about the vaccine mandates and growing opposition by many Americans.
Wolff: “We shouldn't have allowed capitalism to deprive us of the medical facilities we need. That would be a mandate that the people would support, sustaining hospitals. Here's another one: give everybody a health insurance mandate.”
In this Wolff Responds, Prof. Wolff refutes the 2 main arguments made by conservatives to absolve capitalism from the injustices and inequalities it creates; the first, that capitalism has increased our standard of living, and the second, that unlike socialism, capitalism is not responsible for mass deaths.
Wolff: “Don't let anyone fool you into giving capitalism the credit for what had to be won over their die-hard opposition. The second argument supposedly to defend capitalism is to associate socialism with mass deaths… that therefore, there's a necessary association between the socialism that was in power in Russia and China, at that time, is somehow murderous in a way that capitalism in its time couldn't be, wouldn't be, never was. That is false."
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