This course provides a working foundation in the core concepts of Marxian economic theory – necessary and surplus labor, labor power, surplus value, exploitation, capital accumulation, distributions of the surplus, capitalist crises, and the differences between capitalist and other class structures. In addition, these core concepts will be systematically used to understand current social problems (including political and cultural as well as economic problems).
Updates on Detroit's and Illinois's attacks on public employee pensions, minimum wages, tiny middle east oil countries take over global air travel, job openings vs unemployed, and companies' profit-driven hustles of dangerous flame-retardant chemicals. Major discussions of (1) redistribution policies versus not distributing unequally in the first place and (2) Capitalism's uneven development. Response to emails on free trade's consequences, robotics/less labor versus doing labor differently, and government repression against opponents of austerity policies.
Updates on seriously wrong solutions for real economic problems (in Hawaii and at Walmart), 10 big companies paying the lowest wages, Pope's assistant with strong critique of capitalism, correction on Swedish economics prize. Major discussion on the economics of organized religion and separating the issue of full employment from respecting the environment. Response to listeners on Philippine typhoon and critique of seeing "capitalism" as root of all evil.
Updates on key economic causes of Obamacare difficulties, risks of global deflation, Madrid's garbage strike, and the $13 billion settlement with JP Morgan Chase. Interview with Prof Sheila D. Collins on new book about lessons from the New Deal for today's crisis. Response to listeners on super PACs and issues of socialism.
Updates on Janet Yellen, minimum wages, Twitter, and Cuba trade embargo. Major discussions of a bankruptcy inside Mondragon and "private" universities that aren't. Response to questions on full employment and inflation.
Updates on big bank's manipulation of foreign exchange market, Ireland pays for bank bailouts, big pharma guilty of "recklessly endangering health, new book on US poverty. Major discussions of economics education as Manchester University students protest, unemployment and falling share of labor in total national income. Response to frustrated listener's question about obstacles to needed change with focus on DiBlasio mayoral victory in New York and Richmond, CA mayor's use of eminent domain.
Updates on Goldman Sachs charity/PR, bank scandals, housing "recovery" exposed, suicides rise in Kansas, and Benedictine Nun leads new anti-austerity party in Catalonia. Major discussions of public banking (as in North Dakota) and the basic analysis of continuing "austerity" policies around the world. Response to questions on nature, impact, and injustice of US property taxes.
Updates on big banks' misdeeds, inadequate health care, the social costs of low wages, and Nobel prizes in economics. Major discussions about poverty and education and important economic events on Bolivia (workers taking over enterprises), Spain (indignados form new political Party X), and China (raising value of yuan to change China's and world's economy). Response to questions on (1) how Great Recession affects retirees and retirement, and (2) latest data on the highest incomes in US.
Updates on France’s case against Amazon, and on what’s really in fast food chicken nuggets. Major discussions on lasting inequality in US cities like New Haven and the economics of the “medical-industrial complex” in the US. Response to listeners concerning the economic aspects of the attack against the City College of San Francisco.
Updates on world wealth distribution, Swiss referenda to reduce economic inequality, and capitalism vs democracy. Major discussions on uneven development’s impact on migration and on critique of national debt as matter of “a selfish generation” or “living beyond our means.”