Organized Labor's Decline in the US Is Well-Known. But What Drove It?

This article originally appeared at The Guardian.

Organized labor's decline in the US over the past half century is well-known; what drove that decline, less so. The New Deal's enemies – big business, Republicans, conservatives – had developed a coordinated strategy by the late 1940s. They would break up the coalition of organized labor, socialist and communist parties: the mass base that had forced through the 1930s New Deal. Then each coalition member could be individually destroyed.

Economic Update: Uncounted Costs of Capitalist Crisis

Updates on privatization scandals in Greece, wild dogs roaming Detroit, criminalizing the homeless in South Carolina, and poorer New Haven subsidizing richer Yale. Major discussion of how the crisis has impacted colleges, universities and students yielding social costs for decades to come. Response to listeners on US federal income taxes and intro to a women workers coop in Brooklyn, New York.

Economic Update: Economics and Health

Update on intern's death in London, austerity and suicide, over-prescribing anti-depressants, cutting health benefits, and laying off mortgage workers at Wells Fargo. Major discussions of the economics of the richest 1% and their relation to the Democratic Party in the US. Continuing response to listeners on defining capitalism and Black Star workers coop (brewpub) in Austin, Texas.

Economic Update: Economics of Foreclosures

Updates on Social Security, real wage decline, part-time work, political mavericks and others, subsidy for Walmart. Interview with Laura Gottesdeiner on foreclosure epidemic. Response to listeners on demographic change and economics.

On Economic Update with Professor Richard Wolff, Wolff and guests will discuss the current state of the economy, both locally and globally in relation to the economic crisis.

Economic Update: Religion and Class Economics

Updates on billionaires buying newspapers, the bad news in latest US jobs report, IMF proposals for Spain's economic crash, and a progressive new bill in the US Senate. Interview with Theology Professor Joerg Rieger on religion, class, and capitalism. Response to listeners: recognition of extraordinary leadership by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, CA.

On Economic Update with Professor Richard Wolff, Wolff and guests will discuss the current state of the economy, both locally and globally in relation to the economic crisis.

KPFA Interview: Letters and Politics

Richard Wolff on the political economy of a BART Strike. 


Economic Update: What Capitalism Delivers

Updates on latest US GDP growth, corporate guilty pleas in Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, "economic insecurity" in US, Detroit's new sports arena and Prince William's paid paternity leave. Major discussions of US disposable income drop, banks deny 10 million checking accounts, and remarkably favorable polling numbers for labor unions. Response to listeners on sources of capital for worker coops.

How Much Would a Minimum-Wage Increase Help Students?

This article originally appeared at USA Today.

Christin King, like many college students, is worried about keeping up her grades and squeezing in extracurricular activities while holding a job.

“I’m really stressing out,” she says. “I don’t know how I’m going to fit it all in.”

The Opposite of What the Marchers Demanded

This article originally appeared at Moyers & Company.

The March on Washington aimed to secure a decent, livable wage for all Americans as a way to reduce income inequality. Fifty years later, that noble goal remains unachieved. In fact, the 1970s proved to be a turning point. The decades since show a steady decline in the share of national income going to the lower 50 percent and, indeed, to the lower 90 percent of American households.

Economic Policy Debates: Theater of Distraction

This article originally appeared at Truthout.

Endless debates over austerity vs. stimulus policies agitate governments. Which is "the correct" one to escape global capitalism's ongoing crisis? The debates proceed as if official policies were key to ending crises. But the politicians' fights over policies are mostly distractions from the main events: how crises usually end themselves and their immense social costs.

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