Ask Prof. Wolff

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Immigrants fleeing to Canada via the US.

Hey, Just wanted to say I listen to your program every week and very much appreciate your prospective on things. I just wanted to ask if you could talk a little bit about the Immigrant issue happening now. Us up here in Canada haven't seen anything quite like this since the underground rail road, or maybe the draft dodge during Vietnam. I know there's a lot of things going on right now down there but as an outsider I know we're missing a lot of nuance to the situation.

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New article: Virtually everyone agrees that a great stock market crash is coming.

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/virtually-everyone-agrees-that-a-great-stock-market-crash-is-coming_022017

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How should I get started with Hegel?

I figure I should read Hegel, Kant, etc before I start with Marx, so how would you recommend to read Hegel? Which books to read first, companions, etc. Thank you Dr. Wolff.

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How can we rebut the standard line that we need 4% growth every quarter, every year?

The standard economic model posits perpetual growth as the prerequisite to a healthy economy. This model, I believe, must be changed in order to establish a sustainable economic system. The government pretends that perpetual growth is the ONLY way to provide jobs to the working class, but surely, that is now dangerously wrong-headed. So: what arguments counter that 4% growth argument, and its underlying model for perpetual growth?

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Capitalism vs. socialism

Is it fair and accurate to distinguish capitalism from socialism by saying capitalism is a system of economics, while socialism is a system of government?

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I would enjoy hearing your response to Mike Whitney's latest article in CounterPunch

MIKE WHITNEY Liberals Beware: Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas

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Help to reframe what a pension really is

The truth about pensions. Pensions are not a benefit granted by an employer to the employed. When actually a pension is delayed payment for work already done. As a condition for taking a job, a pension is part of your earned salary, withheld and invested by your employer, to be paid later, after retirement. So if an employer says "we just have the money to pay you for your pension" that means that he has either embezzled, stolen, or misspent your earnings, which by contract he is responsible for paying you. Your employer is a thief. By Professor Lakoff

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How come worker co-ops serve a blueprint for a 21st socialist economy?

How come worker co-ops serve a blueprint for a 21st socialist economy when we know that in the past many of them have degenerated (like Israeli agricultural coops 'Kibbutz' or firms in US plywood industry) as their members either sold their shares in the open market or hired workers that were non-members and hence they themselves turned into capitalists thereby making a coop revert back to a conventional firm?

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I found the most amazing documentary called "Beyond Elections" on youtube!

here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJkajOPgkhw&index=1&list=PLF08E81711A0D23B1

This documentary talks about all of the most amazing concepts with real world examples all condensed in a 16-part video. I highly recommend giving it a watch, I think it will inevitably give you some ideas to talk about at your next weekly update or monthly update.

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Could you go over the economics of the Fair Tax Act?

Good morning! I would like to see analysis on Thomas Maddie's Fair Tax proposal and what that kind of (sales/consumption) tax would do. No more income , payroll, capital gains, or corporate income tax. Rebates would be given to families based size to meet their "basic needs" via the Official poverty measure. I fear younger and older Americans and immigrants will feel this burden while established Americans (rich, upper-middle class) will not need to buy goods as much as the former group. The fair tax also assumes the neoclassical assumption that individuals are assumed to want more and more while constrained by budgeted incomes. While this is true in theory, reality means some people may not use the extra untaxed money, and the government is then stripped of its revenues. IRS agents are now without jobs and incomes. Thank you.

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Could you go over the economics of the Fair Tax Act?

Good morning! I would like to see analysis on Thomas Maddie's Fair Tax proposal and what that kind of (sales/consumption) tax would do. No more income , payroll, capital gains, or corporate income tax. Rebates would be given to families based size to meet their "basic needs" via the Official poverty measure. I fear younger and older Americans and immigrants will feel this burden while established Americans (rich, upper-middle class) will not need to buy goods as much as the former group. The fair tax also assumes the neoclassical assumption that individuals are assumed to want more and more while constrained by budgeted incomes. While this is true in theory, reality means some people may not use the extra untaxed money, and the government is then stripped of its revenues. IRS agents are now without jobs and incomes. Thank you.

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Could you please talk about consumerism and the ideology behind it,

why its beneficial for the business elite, etc? Thank you Richard!

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Prosperity Gospel writ large??

Professor Wolff, Three of the six faith leaders invited to pray at the most recent presidential inauguration are proponents of the Prosperity Gospel while none of the mainline Protestant denominations were represented. Some conspiracy alarmists posit that with Trump’s implicit endorsement of the Prosperity Gospel, Christian Dominionists are on their way towards a nationwide imposition of this philosophy. As you contend, the various economic systems manifest themselves in different relationships within each system. The Prosperity Gospel would appear to set up a divine right of wealth wherein those at the top are “blessed” by God and those at the bottom are encouraged to give as a means of elevating themselves out of poverty. Conspiracy rantings aside, as an intellectual exercise, I am interested in your take on what a large scale Prosperity Gospel economy might look like and how it would play out in the long term. Additionally, what would you see as the first indications that the conspiracy alarmists might be on to something? Enjoy the show, keep up the good work. Washington Post article re: Prosperity Gospel and Trump voters https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/07/15/how-the-prosperity-gospel-explains-donald-trumps-popularity-with-christian-voters/?utm_term=.1f6002f8699a

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SF Chronicle article --Pizzeria workers get a piece of the pie

I thought you might be interested in "Employee ownership may help businesses stay open as Boomers retire" from San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Employee-ownership-may-help-businesses-stay-open-10941974.php?t=c14be82dd1

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Shawn Wilbur as a Guest

I think it would be interesting to hear some discussion about different approaches to socialism. Shawn Wilbur might be a good person to discuss this sort of thing with. His approach to socialism is Proudhonian rather than Marxian, and his anarchist perspective can add something new to the discussion of the various forms of socialism that don't preclude markets. Some of his work: https://www.mutualism.info http://blog.libertarian-labyrinth.org

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