The latest employment report (for July 2012) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in Washington documents the utter failure of the political establishment to respond effectively to the crisis that began in December 2007. Unemployment remains over 8 %, more than 50% higher than it was in 2007. The U-6 figure published by the BLS that adds to these unemployed the numbers of marginal workers (those who gave up looking for work) and the part-timers who want full-time work has returned to 15% of the labor force, nearly 20 million Americans.
After 5 years of crisis - with no end in sight - it’s time to evaluate what happened, why, and what needs to be done. One key cause of this crisis, missed by most mainstream analyses, is the class structure of capitalist enterprises. By that I mean enterprises’ internal organization pitting workers against corporate boards of directors and major shareholders. Those boards seek first to maximize corporate profits and growth. That means maximizing the difference between the value added by workers’ labor and the value paid to workers in wages.
Professor Wolff discusses that which the crisis has made possible in relation to Marxism during this lecture given at The Brecht Forum on July 29, 2012 as part of their Annual Intensive Introduction to Marxism.
A sure sign of the changing counsciousness and a growing presence of an economic analysis systemically counter to the mainstream. I joined David Harvey in speaking with Charlie Rose this week.
Updates include Capital One Bank's misdeeds, French socialists' new policies, taxing churches in Spain, Walton family's immense wealth, strike at Caterpillar, and taxing private wealth. Major discussions of huge corporate cash hoards and vast private wealth hidden from view and from taxes in tax-havens. Responses to questions on reorganizing banking and on Marx's surplus value theory.
Professor Wolff on recent unemployment rates and what they mean. Clip from April Monthly Update at the Brecht Forum in New York. Full video here.
Professor Wolff on student debt. Clip from April Monthly Update at the Brecht Forum in New York. Full video here.