Weekly Roundup: December 15, 2021

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work.

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


Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!


Economic Update: Ecology, Co-ops & Profit

On this week's show, Prof. Wolff presents updates on 50 years of fossil fuel corps putting profits before science, CVS to close 900 drugstores as part of decline of US workers living standards, FBI lies in Malcolm X assassination, and huge estate tax cuts for US rich. On the second half of the show, Prof. Wolff interviews Prof. Melissa Scanlan on her new book showing how coops are a better bet than traditional capitalist corporations to solve current ecological crises.

Wolff: "When scientists disagree, they're disagreeing about science. They're not disagreeing because they have profits at stake. That's what companies do.”

Capitalism Hits Home: What Can Americans Do To Be Happier?

The UN released its 2021 World Happiness Report. In this episode of CHH, Dr. Fraad answers why as world's richest nation, the US is not even one of the happiest. What do Americans need to do to be happier people? Fraad believes it can be done and tells us how.

Fraad: "None of the basic needs they have in their lives are commodified to the point where they're just unaffordable. It's obvious. If they can do it, we can do it."

Cities After... Andrés Arauz on the Legacy of Economic Shock Therapy

In this episode, Prof. Robles-Duran is joined by Andres Arauz, arguably, one of the most influential and intriguing political and economic thinkers of the new Latin-American left. This episode expands on the previous discussion on the contemporary effects of the Latin American economic shock therapy and how it has changed the territorial and political dynamics of the south. Robles-Duran and Arauz explore new progressive directions to counter the most recent privatization policies, and discuss the pandemic and post-pandemic socio-political battles in Latin America.

Arauz: "We were aware that you couldn't build socialism just in one country, especially not a small country like ours.... It's a common plan for the region.  The approach is to reach good living or buen vivir.”

Global Capitalism: Interdependence of China and the United States

Prof Wolff explains all the ways the U.S. and China depend on one another for production, finance and economic access. This is one of the major differences between the Cold War politics between the U.S. and Soviet Union and what is happening today.

Wolff: “There's an interdependence. China wants the benefits of the technology, of the connections that it brings for them to invite, as they have done, foreign capitalists to invest in China. But the very fact that foreign capitalists have creates the interdependence between them. And I want to stress it because comparable interdependencies didn't exist between the United States and the Soviet Union and that had a great deal to do with the so-called Cold War and with the whole history of post World War 2 global economic events. The interdependence I'm describing between the U.S. and China did not exist between the United States and the Soviet Union.”

Ask Prof Wolff: Why Workplaces Get Toxic

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "Lately for the last couple of months I have felt like my workplace has felt so toxic. It feels like sometimes you are all alone in a fight against customers, management and coworkers. Could there be any underlying reason behind all this and could it have anything to do with how the companies and workforce are designed which encourages this form of toxicity in work culture?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “You're feeling what is very real, and it comes right out of the profit driven logic of this system. The people in charge earn the profits. That's what they care about. That's why profit is the bottom line. That your situation is unbearable, toxic, damaging, stressful and so on is of no major interest to them. That's the reality.”


Ask Prof Wolff: Credit Cards as Refunds - Another Profit Hustle

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "It is curious what companies will do in the event of a refund due. I find it very strange that Chrysler sent me a Visa card for the value of a $300 refund they owed me. Verizon did the same thing for a $30 refund. Why wouldn’t they just send a check? Why on earth would they do this? Someone benefits, but who?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “Every corner, every angle, every maneuver, every minute movement is looked at to make more profits. And the bottom line is that we all have less purchasing power. They get the money. We lose it. It's the way the system is set up.”

Wolff Responds: The Real Drivers of Inflation

In this Wolff Responds, Prof. Wolff explains who is really driving inflation today, and reveals the truth behind supply chain issues.

Wolff: “An inflation, which is a general rise in prices, happens if and when the minority we call employers sees fit to raise prices. And they do that in order to either protect the profits they have or more likely raise them, which is their ever present goal. So, the first level of answer to “Why do we have an inflation?”, because employers want it.”

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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