There is a campaign occurring at River Valley "Coop" in Northampton, MA. There, customers, not workers, are part owners of the enterprise, and at present workers are fighting for a living wage and compensation for mandated work-related transportation time (see links below). I think this case could be a useful means of illustrating what workplace democracy is and is not. http://www.gazettenet.com/At-the-River-Valley-Co-Op-employees-still-shudder-at-the-shuttle-10237615 http://www.itsourcoop.org/about/
"Rigged: Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing." By Brett Murphy USA Today investigative report on workers forced into debt, in a modern day sharecropping system. Felt like the something you would be interested in. Thanks! https://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives/news/rigged-forced-into-debt-worked-past-exhaustion-left-with-nothing/
The labor theory of value is a very controversial topic in the field of economics, as I am sure you are aware. Some have abandoned the theory itself because of the critiques of the Austrian school. Do you think we as Marxists should continue to defend it? As a somewhat second question, what do you think of the Austrian economic school?
Thank you for covering this issue before - companies like Walmart save huge sums of money by providing low wages and poor benefits, forcing taxpayers to pick up the slack with food stamps, housing assistance, and other forms of assistance. There is a way to prevent this by making the company pay a fee per low-wage employee, equal to total value of public assistance they required to reach a livable standard. This article is short, but all the links are helpful. I would love to hear how we can make something like this happen. https://theintercept.com/2017/06/13/theres-a-new-way-to-make-walmart-pay-for-the-food-stamps-employees-rely-on/
To what extent was the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution financed / orchestrated by American bankers? Was this revolution more of a revolt of serfs against feudal landlords or alternatively, the use of brutality, terrorism, and mass murder in order to forcefully subjugate a population to a system of rule against their own will?
Is scarcity inevitable? How is it related to ineqality?
It appears that corporations are spending profits on stock buybacks at the expense of pension funds. Could you explain how these stock buybacks work and how they benefit those involved?
Ideally the money we give to the financial industry for investment would all flow to productive non-financial companies, to be used for building their businesses. But people in the financial industry seem to make so much money, it seems quite a bit of money just bounces around in the financial world. Is there a way to quantify the degree to which invested money is put to productive use?
Elon Musk has mentioned the idea of having a UBI as technology begins to take over the tasks that can be done by machines. Hawaii has also been working on passing a law that introduces a UBI for the state. Already we see bank tellers being replaced by the ATM and cashiers replaced by self check-out lines. Do you see the UBI as something we must do in the future? Is it sustainable? Will it create a huge tax burden? Can you think of any real world examples where this works? Thank you.
Why must we keep expanding into foreign markets/increasing export production (increasing scale of production, increasing debt financial and ecological)? Why is it that if a new market is identified (e.g. cherries in China) that production must expand or be developed to serve that market? Regardless of environmental capacity, that is to say water availability, soil fertility, biodiversity and the engineering of the environment for export production displacing and denaturing the given area. Australia is fed this good news story again and again... yet corporations win out in these deals mine our environmental values & cream financial support from the govt. and sue for compensation for loss of profits meanwhile restructuring our workforce/wages from a position of power, privatising land (impounding land). Are Ag markets really so precarious that we must fulfill all requests? Proposition: Who is the farmer today? I'm asking this from an Agriculture/primary industry position taking into consideration the environmental metrics (P,C,NO2 etc land degradation and water aka the anthroposcene)... Food sustains a population (think Carolyn Steel's Hungry City, and the work of Raj Patel and Michael Pollan amongst others) but I believe the Ag industry (primary production) is being mismanaged. New markets increase the value of the land or farming operation and now succession means local to global instead of one generation in the family to another... What can't we say No?
Professor Wolff, Could you please address this issue that came to my attention via The Real News Network. Here is link regarding the study by the Nation Low Income Housing Coalition. I believe this is the beginning of the end of The American Dream. Thank you. Sincerely, Demian http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/oor/OOR_2017.pdf
Worth a look, if you have not already seen it. It's in Dutch with subtitles, so I watched with the sound off. https://youtu.be/L0q2VdSx7u4
Here is an article that details how capitalism killed a 62 year old woman 8 days before retirement: http://www.heraldsun.com/news/business/article155735589.html