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Ad valorem tax on stocks and bonds...

Ad valorem tax on stocks and bonds...https://youtu.be/SB2-4F758Yo

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This may bear comment and critique.

https://charlierose.com/videos/30816?autoplay=true

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How can we best redistribute wealth from the one-percenters to the middle class?

My suggestion is through taxation. Such as: Reduce the Corporate Income Tax to 25% – this is the only concession we’ll give to Trump and his buddies. Current rate is 39%. The impact would be small because most corporations only pay 17 to 19% and the really big companies, such as General Electric, pay no income tax at all. Don’t forget, it’s corporations that create jobs, not individuals. But think about it – the propaganda value on cutting the corporate tax rate would be priceless. Create a new Millionaires tax bracket – retain the current tax brackets for individuals and tack on one new one for the uber-rich. For every taxable dollar above $2 million, 50 cents of it would go to the general fund of the Federal government. Again, remember, individuals don’t create jobs; corporations do. Keep the Affordable Care Act taxes – the Affordable Care Act effectively taxes the wealthy in order to provide health insurance to 20 million lower-income citizens. It works, let’s keep it going. Implement a small transaction fee for all financial transactions – assess a 0.001% transaction fee for every stock trade, bond sale and derivative exchange. After all it was the Financial Industry that took down our economy in 2008, thus “We the People” should take it back. Change the Capital Gains rates to match those for individuals – Why should we reward people for do nothing while their assets appreciate? Income is income; we all should pay the same rates. Implement a Social Security donut hole – Let’s fix Social Security once and for all. The current program has a cut-off at $118,000. The tax is not levied above this amount. Let’s create a break, retain the current cut-off, but restart it on incomes above $250,000. Once individuals hit this amount, the tax starts up again with no more caps. This simple change would keep the benefits of Social Security going for another 50 to 75 years. Fix every pothole in America – It’s time we got serious about infrastructure projects. Trump talked a good game during the campaign, but he only proposed a penchant in his budget. Let’s start a ten-year infrastructure fund to fill every pothole, fix every road, and repair every bridge in the country. Model it after the ACA — for every dollar of taxable income above $250,000, five cents would go into this fund. Towns, cities, counties and states would partner with the Federal Government to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. Increase the Estate Tax – Cut the limits on the current Estate Tax in half. People do not pay inheritance tax for estates valued under $5.49 million for individuals and $11 million for couples. Cut them to $2.75 for individuals and $5.5 million for married couples. This is a modest proposal since very few people pay this tax today. “But why bother?” you say. With the House, Senate and the Presidency controlled by Trump and the Republicans, these tax initiatives would never pass. True! But we must clarify our message and stick to our principals. Let’s run full-page ads in all the major newspapers across mid-West, West Virginia and Florida putting our tax proposal next to Trump’s with this simple question: Which one truly supports your economic interests? It’s time we stop enriching those who don’t need it and start rebuilding the middle class. Are you with me?

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Could you have William K. Black as a guest on your show?

You've often spoken on the crash of 2008 and the lack of accountability and prosecution of those most responsible for it. Bill Black was the hero of the Savings and Loan meltdown during the reign of Bush the first. Professor Black was the man most responsible for the jailing of hundreds of bankers and politicians. His views on the events leading up to 2008 would be interesting to hear.

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Biohacking and economic implications

Hello! This story I ran across really resonated with me and made me think of the potential for workers' cooperatives to solve so much. Also, it underscores that markets are often terrible hindrances to caring for actual human needs. Not sure if this story is already on your radar, but was thinking it might be worth mentioning/discussing? http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41442-how-biohackers-at-counter-culture-labs-are-trying-to-make-insulin-more-affordable Thanks for all that you do Dr. Wolff.

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Universal Basic Income and the falling rate of profit.

From what I know, some capitalists support UBI because it would serve as something of a palliative for declining demand caused by automation and the resulting decline in profits. It would seem, however, that as automation proceeds, there would need to be an increasing tax burden upon capitalists in order to raise money for the UBI, which would approach 100% as we proceed towards full or near full automation, which would of course mean the end of capitalism. Thus, ceteris paribus, UBI doesn't actually solve the contradictions of capitalism.

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B Corps

Today (July 30th), PBS NewsHour had a confusing segment on "B Corps". Lacking any definition and after attributing broad statements such as "employee ownership" and "doing good for the community and the immediate environment" I still had no idea what this status or certification meant for businesses. The segment even touched on the ills of capitalism, though they were stated more as facts of nature than anything worth talking about. Instead, B Corps were presented as the future of business and economy, which sounds great – but how different can something like this really be? Based on the little I could find, it doesn't seem like B Corps have anything to say on "employee ownership" or environmental standards. So, is there any relation between a B Corp and a true business cooperative? If not (which is my suspicion) can you please elaborate on what this business status even means? Does it conflict at all with D@W initiatives? What sort of incentives would a business have for this certification? Thank you!

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Poverty as partly being a state of mind - consistant with socialism... and Aristotle?

By not accepting this principle, don't we risk undermining the whole platform of socialism - in that a double standard would be created in which money effects behavior and not behavior effecting wealth? Given what we know from the social and cognitive sciences that says ones environment has a permanent, lasting effect on ones disposition and behavior, even after the change of circumstances, wouldn't a reasonable conclusion be that poverty does in fact leave a mark upon the individual and influence and guide their future actions, potentially reinforcing their situation? Besides modern sources, ancient works like Aristotle's Virtue Ethics, based on his understanding of character and personality formation, also assumes a cyclical dynamic between the decisions one makes and one's character, but all predicated under the circumstances and "lot" one first finds themselves in. Instead of poverty being framed as a "front end problem", where simply throwing money resolves the issue, shouldn't we see it as also a "back-end" issue, where the tradagies the poor have been subjected to created long term emotional and mental hardships that throwing money at them can not fix?

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Why do we use GDP as measure of economic value?

Professor Wolff, I have a question about an Economic Update episode I heard on Sunday July 23 2017. The show started with a story about United Airlines and how their ability to post profits despite treating customers terribly contradicts the Efficient Market hypothesis. I agree, and also I suspect that United is making more from financial investments than from ticket sales (because r > g), so it can treat customers badly because it really doesn't need customers. Later in the show came a story about China's GDP growth. In that part of the episode, why did Professor Wolff treat GDP as an accurate measure of economic value? If markets are not efficient, what is GDP really measuring? I don't think GDP growth should be a public policy goal. If I consume less food, for example, get healthier, and consume less healthcare services, I am counted as a drain on GDP. But my health is better. Therefore I think we should abandon GDP as a measure of value. So my question, once again, is why use GDP as a measure of anything if the Efficient Market hypothesis is wrong?

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Re: "Economic Update" today (7/28/17) on KPFA/KFCF

I would have liked to hear your discussion on sanctions include information on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the sanctions against apartheid South Africa in the 80s and early 90s, and the current BDS movement against Israel's occupation of Palestine. Also, it iwould have been interesting to hear your comments not only on the skewed teaching of economics in our universities but also on some of what I've been reading in Evonomics about the lack of any track record or likelihood in the future success of libertarian economic models. In addition, while not directly about economics, I would like to hear your comments on the attack on academic freedom regarding Palestinian/Middleeast issuesin several universities, including most recently the protest resignation and circulating letter of emeritus dean Vida Samian at Fresno State (CA.) Thank you.

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No question. Just a link. If it can work for work. It can work for housing. It already does.

http://coinstreet.org/what-we-do/co-operative-housing/introduction/

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Can cooperatives receive large money investments such as traditional companies?

Dr. Wolff, thank you for work and research on how to democratize and decentralize the economy. My question surrounds the factors of co-ops. Like traditional companies or projects obtaining investments from firms or individuals, can cooperatives receive large sum investments as if they were a start-up in the tech industry or an up and coming product or service?

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Worker co-op competing with a capitalist organisation.

Hi Rick, This article from the NYT touches on many items you discuss frequently. Would a worker co-op be able to compete with a capitalist organisation address the problem addressed in this article? What advantages would a capitalist have over a worker co-op when addressing the increasing automation of production? THANKS. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/upshot/maybe-weve-been-thinking-about-the-productivity-slump-all-wrong.html?nytmobile=0

posted an official response

A worker-coop based economy would deal with productivity in altogether different ways (with correspondingly different results). First of all, a worker-coop would likely have workers who all feel much more responsible for as well as likely to benefit from increasing productivity than workers in a capitalist enterprise....for all the usual reasons of how people react to having real skin in the proverbial game.

Second, every increase in worker productivity entails a subsequent choice: will the same workers continue to work and produce more output because productivity rose or will the enterprise keep output constant and thus enable workers to have less work time/ more leisure as a result of their increased productivity. What combination of more output (likely at lower price) and less labor hour should be decided democratically with inputs from both the workers in the enterprise experiencing rising productivity and workers and citizens outside that enterprise. This cannot and does not happen in capitalist enterprises where undemocratic decisions on these issues are made by capitalists; workers are excluded from participating in them. In a worker-coop based economy there is at least a far greater likelihood of a democratic decision-making process on how to use/benefit from productivity increases.

The only reason the above is not clear in people's minds (including the NYTimes journalist) is that they assume capitalism and thus assume the usual capitalist decision to forego their workers increased leisure in favor of firing "redundant" workers, upping profits, etc. Then they worry about how to deal with that.

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Nancy MacLean is under swarm-attack by the very right wingers she calls out in her book

Nancy MacLean's new book, "Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America" must have struck a chord. She is now being targeted by people and organizations believed to have ties with dark money, a label coined by New Yorker writer and author Jane Mayer in her book by the same name. Think Koch brothers. MacLean's book and the attack it provoked have attracted a string of criticisms and alleged inaccuracies and accusations of outright libel in her book. Much of this criticism has been expressed in a blog on the Washington Post website. I understand she has even appealed for support through her Facebook page. I cannot verify this last because I do not have a Facebook account. A good discussion of the conflict can be found here: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/07/12/historian-alleges-coordinated-criticism-her-latest-book-which-critical-radical-right. You can also hear Prof. MacLean interviewed about her book in this podcast: http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/a/e/2/ae2ef571cd9af7ba/Nancy_MacLean_on_the_Radical_Right_and_James_Buchanan.m4a?c_id=15889177&destination_id=195421&expiration=1501090510&hwt=b6ed7b1551f8f0316ffa50aa1e4f0595. For an earful of the kind of attacks being directed at Prof. MacLean, check out this podcast on Reason.com: http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/24/maclean-freedom-fest-panopticon. By the way, everyone should be aware that the very same radical right is now just six states short of calling for a constitutional convention to propose a revised constitution written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as described here: http://inthesetimes.com/article/18940/alec-balanced-budget-corporate-constitutional-convention

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How to get involved?

Professor Wolff, Your D@W site is helping me to learn a lot more about worker co-ops, something that I have been interested in ever since seeing you on a Q & A panel supporting the release of the book that you were involved with “Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA”. I’m hoping that you would be able to lend me your thoughts on something that isn’t really covered on the site. I’m a Data Science major (undergrad at this point) in the University of Michigan, minoring in the study of “complex systems”, and hoping to apply these skills to modeling (I mean computer modeling, of course – my job prospects in other kinds of modeling would be serious cause for concern). I’m interested in how models can be used to promote outcomes related to social justice. As for what specific outcomes, and what scale I want to focus on, well, I’m still trying to figure that out. I believe, though, that cooperative enterprise is something that would promote social justice in many ways; greater economic stability in communities, less poverty, less racism/classism/etc, even improved health outcomes. I’m sure there are more. Anyways, this leads to my question… In what ways would someone like me be able to get involved? In supporting co-ops, encouraging the adoption of co-op structure, advocating for more favorable legal environments for co-ops – whatever. I would like to use the skills that I am developing in school (agent-based modeling, analysis of large data sets, mapping system dynamics, etc) but other than that I am pretty open. If you have any ideas, or directions in which I could do further research, I would truly appreciate hearing about them. Thank you so much for your time, Professor!

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