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Daer prof. Wolff

I would really like to hear your opinion on my ideas on how to build better and more stable socio-economic system:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/economic-crises-unavoidable-sašo-tomažič

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-steps-towards-better-more-just-stable-society-sa%C5%A1o-toma%C5%BEi%C4%8D

I am also writing a book on this subject, so your opinion would be very helpful.

Best regards

Sašo Tomažič

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Jill Stein and Student Debt

I'm wondering if you could speak to the viability of Jill Stein's plan for the cancellation of student debt and comment on the accuracy of her statements regarding this plan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lelEx10_PMQ). In particular: To what extent is her claim that Wall Street debt was canceled through the use of quantitative easing a valid statement? How likely is it that, if she were elected president, she'd be able to make Federal Reserve appointments in such a way as to ensure her plan gets put into practice, and what kind of time frame would this involve? Would each individual's forgiven debt inevitably be taxed as income? Any insight you could offer into these questions would be welcome. Thanks.

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MMT Modern Money Theory, its pros and cons. Why and/or why not?

https://youtu.be/Xac2a6jNQJU https://youtu.be/YEyb5A7GNzg For when you can, these videos are lengthy but fortunately not visually artistically, so you can enjoy listening to them while doing something else, if needed. Am I being too skeptical of this concept? Why is the left (as in the real left) falling in love with this, and why is even Trump himself toying with this concept (or perhaps a version of his own)? I feel, though it sounds good to a certain extent even in practice,(I really would rather be living in an economy using this theory than the one we're in); I feel that it seems to me it'd be like a very large Band-Aid, but still a Band-Aid nonetheless to the economy as it stands. I feel that while we are still in a system where surpluses are still having to be generated for the efficiency of profits, MMT or no MMT, collapse after collapse we will see. Is it too utopian to imagine an MMT transition into a Time Banking/Service Exchange Cooperative Economy? Thank you!

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Can you explain the difference between labour and labour-power

I've recently been troubled by this concept of labour and labour-power. As I've come to understand, labour-power is one's capacity to work, quantitatively measured by time. Labour is, on the other hand, is the physical act of working itself. However, I wonder if you could explain how labour and labour-power are exchanged as commodities and the significance of the differentiation of such concept.

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Economic Calculation Problem

Forgive me if this has already been covered, but I'm wondering if Dr. Wolff is familiar with the economic calculation problem put forward by Mises (et. al.) that allegedly undermines the soundness of any other economic system besides capitalism.

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The Marginal Productivity of Labor and Capital under Capitalism.

Hello Prof. Wolff, you have often referred to capitalism as exploitative to the workers, because the capitalists take the fruits of the workers labor through profit. What do you say to the neoclassical Marginal Revenue Productivity Theory of Wages, which states that wages are equal to a worker's marginal product? Labor is the source of value I suppose, but what about machinery? Doesn't it create value too? If it creates value, wouldn't the capitalist be able to profit off of their machine's value in the long term?

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Commentary on MMT (modern monetary theory)?

Could you please offer your opinions and/or commentary on MMT (modern monetary theory), Hyman Minsky, Warren Mosler, Stephanie Kelton, Randall Wray, Bill Mitchell, etc. and how this explanation of monetary systems might relate to economic democracy and socialism.

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Guaranteed Income for All Americans

Professor Wolff: You have often cited the significant role that automation (robotization) and computerization play in the elimination of good-paying jobs in the United States. Capitalists enthusiastically employ technology that removes workers from production, because machines do not get paid wages, demand profit-eating health insurance, pensions, or benefits, or go on strike. Marx himself noted this phenomenon. I recently had dinner with a neighbor who works for a prominent U.S. manufacturer of industrial robots. He said that according to inside information to which he is privy that within the near future 50% of jobs in the U.S.will be performed by robots. One can imagine that technological advances might even increase this number. My question is what do we do? U.S jobs are disappearing fast, either because of automation or from off-shoring. Is a guaranteed income for all Americans the only answer? Thank you.

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Comparing universal income with part-time work?

No matter what solution we chose, I cannot see any way to escape the fact that the population growth and automation will eventually produce a situation where there's simply not enough jobs for everyone who want to work. And then what? If we move everyone to universal income, what influence would it have on production of goods and the circulation of money? In other words, if a large part of the population doesn't work, where will the money come from? If we move everyone to part-time work, how would we earn enough to maintain our current lifestyle? After all, we cannot expect employers to pay full wages for part-time work. Wouldn't we require some sort of government support anyway then, just to survive?

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Where does money come from?

Banks getting to create money out of thin air given out as loans which of course need to be paid back with interest for which the money doesn't exist. All money essentially being somebodies loan from their bank. And then a small amount being the government's loan from the federal reserve. And there not mathematically being enough money for everyone to pay it back. The fed getting to control the money supply. Fractional reserve lending. Nothing to back up the money. Bitcoin. Are these interesting things to think about?

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Please address increasing high incomes and profits, and debt money creation as counterfeiting

Hi Richard, after analyzing economics for decades I feel there is a key narrative that is not being taken up that would help everyone (likely even many elites) to far better understand our modern economic crisis through the following very simple analysis: Especially now that money has become little more that imaginary electronic blips on computer hard drives, constantly increasing very high incomes and corporate profits (beyond inflation) and the endless expanding money creation through debt creation which fuels these endlessly increasing elite incomes and profits, can be very simply seen as nothing more complicated than a legalized form of counterfeiting. Seen in this light, it becomes a lot more clear why endless debt money creation and arbitrarily increasing elite incomes and profits, are so bad for the economy. This is because it is pretty easy for anyone to understand why physically printing endless private money supplies on paper is an economically destructive act. So why aren't we simply discussing debt money creation and arbitrarily and vastly increasing incomes and profits, as counterfeiting, and that the obvious needed correction to that counterfeiting is to remove all of that excess money through 90% to 100% taxes on high incomes and profits so that wealth disparity and inflation caused by this legal counterfeiting are strongly corrected; and disparities (as well as lack of investment in infrastructure, education, welfare, etc) are also corrected through redistribution? Let's open up this more simple way of looking at this problem. thanks Eric Brooks San Francisco, CA

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Value

For us value is created only as a result of human labour. Price is a different thing which by and large fluctuates around value. The fruit of financial magic is money. It is something that has price but no value. Commodities (shares, bonds, prepackaged debt, etc.) are being bought and sold. The money is disconnected from labour. How do we account for this? (In terms of labour theory of value)

posted an official response

There is a long tradition of Marxian analysis of values, prices and the larger capitalist economy. It can and does treat products of labor that have no value or price; that have price but no value; and so on. Marx himself- as well as his followers - attended to the matter of paper money (rather than gold money which can be treated as a produced commodity with value [as Marx does in Capital, vol 1] through concepts like "fictitious capital" and so on. Perhaps the best way to think about this is to see that the world of labor, commodities, and values can spawn a set of derivatives - symbols that stand in for a particular relation to commodities, labor and values - that can exchange in markets at prices, etc. The question then becomes how such exchanges and their prices relate to values. This is analogous to the overblown debates over how Marx related the prices of commodities produce in capitalisj to their values. On that you might take a look at S. Resnick and R. Wolff, New Departures in Marxian Theory, New York: Rooutledge, 2006.

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An Indigenous Economic Model

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Recorded in San Luis Obispo, CA on February 02, 2017.

The existing economic system in most countries is a kind of state capitalism. It produces enormous inequalities. Its extraction practices are environmentally destructive. Perhaps indigenous models provide a viable alternative. Chief Seattle was a Susquamish chief in what is now Washington State. He reportedly made these observations in an 1854 letter to U.S. President Pierce: “How can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect.” And he warned: “Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.”

https://www.alternativeradio.org/collections/spk_roxanne-dunbar-ortiz/products/ortr002

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Largest prison strike in US history.

It's occurring right now, since september 9th, buthe its almost no coverage. There are various issues, such as solitary and others, but what Unites the prisoners together across the US is about prison labor. Many protested by refusing to show up for work. The young turks: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=c3_dvJ8Rc1g https://theintercept.com/2016/09/16/the-largest-prison-strike-in-u-s-history-enters-its-second-week/

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