Economic Update: Roots of a Surging US Labor Movement

In this week’s Economic Update, Professor Richard Wolff discusses the reasons why the official United States unemployment rate is currently low in comparison to historic rates; We also highlight why U.S. restaurants are losing business. We then turn to the hypocrisy of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in the face of repression of growing American protest movement against Israeli policy in Gaza. In addition, we discuss Gabriel Zuckman's report on the economic impact of the dramatic cuts in taxes on billionaires vs rising taxes on the poorer half of the U.S.

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Lena Petrova: APWest’s Colossal Mistake: Us Decline, Rise of BRICS, Tariffs Damage US Economy

In this interview with Lena Petrova, Richard Wolff shares insights on the United States' waning dominance in the global economy, exacerbated by tariffs, sanctions, and a changing international power landscape. He highlights how U.S. external and internal economic policies are failing to adapt to the rise of competing economies, such as China, and the resultant shift to protectionism which may stoke further inflation. Wolff also critiques the growing national debt, which he connects to a mismatch between government spending demands and an aversion to raising taxes, leading to unsustainable borrowing. He foresees a generational shift as younger Americans question capitalism and propose more democratic workplace structures as a solution to inequality and systemic problems. Throughout, Wolff emphasizes the importance of recognizing and addressing deep-seated economic issues rather than relying on political posturing or short-term fixes.

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Dialogue Works: Ukraine Collapsing, Russia-China Alliance Tightens, NATO in Decline

In this Dialogue Works Interview, Richard Wolff talks about the shifting global economic dynamics with the rise of BRICS nations challenging the longstanding dominance of the G7 countries. He argues that China's economic growth and strategic alliances have created a larger economic unit than the G7, compelling nations worldwide to realign their economic ties. Wolff highlights the risks of American decline and the importance of recognizing this shift, as illustrated by the United States' strategic missteps with Russia and the war in Ukraine. He suggests that internal economic systems and class struggles deeply influence global power dynamics, potentially overshadowing geopolitical conflicts. Lastly, Wolff criticizes the US policy responses, such as increased tariffs, as symptomatic of a failure to adapt to a changing world order where other nations are capitalizing on globalization more effectively.

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The Socialist Program: Biden’s Tariff War on Clean Energy

Richard Wolff provides insights on The Socialist Program regarding the Biden administration's imposition of heavy tariffs on Chinese goods, particularly electric vehicles and green tech, as a protective measure for U.S. industries. Wolff argues that these tariffs are a response to American companies' failure to compete globally, particularly against China's advancements in electric vehicle production. The tariffs, he asserts, may lead to higher costs for American consumers and contribute to inflation, as it stifles competition and gives U.S. companies less incentive to innovate. Additionally, he criticizes the political motivations behind these tariffs, which are influenced by election politics and corporate lobbying rather than genuine concern for job creation or the climate crisis. Ultimately, Wolff suggests this protectionist strategy is indicative of a decline in American competitiveness and offers a critique of the capitalist system's approach to employment and environmental sustainability.

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The Critical Hour: Weekly News Wrap Up (11.05.2024)

In this The Critical Hour interview, Richard Wolff talks about the false narrative presented by capitalism's proponents regarding its benefits and the historical struggle required for workers' advancements. He critiques the stagnant federal minimum wage in the U.S. and highlights the resistance of capitalist structures to improve workers' livelihood. Wolff also dismantles the notion that China's success is attributable to capitalism, crediting their socialist approach for lifting millions out of poverty. He further argues that criticisms of China's and Russia's political systems are rooted in their refusal to submit to Western hegemony, not their actual governance models. Lastly, Wolff insists that America's decline is the result of systemic economic issues rather than external factors, challenging listeners to critically assess the reality of global economic shifts.

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Economic Update: Prospects for a Political Turn Left

This week’s Economic Update Professor Richard Wolff discusses the successful unionization drives that is sweeping across US universities (example: Boston University), We highlight the facts that disprove Biden's "great economy" claims and why inflation is much worse in the United States than in China. Finally we have an exclusive Interview with Jared Yates Sexton, writer and political analyst, on prospects for a left turn in US politics

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Richard Wolff on Empowering Workplace Democracy: Address to Icelandic Labor Movement, April 18, 2024

In this address to Icelandic Labor Movement, Richard Wolff advocates for a radical reorganization of the workplace into worker cooperatives as a strategic solution to capitalism's deep-seated issues. He acknowledges the current unique struggles of American capitalism and the decline of the American empire, drawing parallels to Britain's historical economic descent. Wolff emphasizes that with capitalism in significant turmoil, there's an opportunity for strategic initiatives like worker co-ops, which are not a standalone solution but part of a broader goal for economic transformations. During the interview, Wolff also critiques capitalist strategies and highlights the increasing labor militancy in the United States as a response to systemic economic failures. Lastly, he suggests that the problems facing modern capitalism could be countered by government support of worker cooperatives, thus challenging the traditional profit-focused enterprise structure.

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Wall Street’s Dream Is Privatizing Social Security & Medicare…But They’re Here to Stay!

On The Socialist Program, Richard Wolff discusses the historical context and importance of Social Security and Medicare as critical safety nets for the American working class, born out of the economic struggles of the Great Depression and subsequent leftist political pressure. He examines the repeated narrative by corporations and the wealthy that these programs are insolvent, attributing this claim to ideological opposition to government-run programs and a desire to privatize them for profit. Wolff emphasizes that solvency concerns are largely manufactured and that the true issue is the unfair cap on contributions from the wealthy, as well as exemptions on various types of income which disproportionately benefit the rich. He warns against privatization, highlighting the risks and instability it would pose to individuals' retirement funds, contrasting private investment with the current system that relies on the more stable government bonds. Lastly, Wolff criticizes the pandering to rich individuals and corporate interests that undermine public trust and the effectiveness of these essential public welfare programs.

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Economic Update: Uneven Development a Key Problem of Capitalism

This week in honor of Karl Marx's birthday over this past weekend, Professor Richard Wolff offers a discussion of Marx's important theory of uneven development as central to capitalism. We show its widespread existence, using examples of it from past and present. We conclude by showing how uneven development helps cause key social problems in capitalism.

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Property VS. Speech On US Campuses (w/Richard Wolff)

In discussion on The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow, Richard Wolff delves into the resurgence of labor movements and student activism, noting an increase in union organizing on campuses across the United States. Wolff reflects on the changing conditions in academia, particularly the exploitation of graduate students and adjunct professors who endure low wages and job insecurity, drawing parallels to an economic system that also supports foreign policies like those regarding Israel and Palestine. He emphasizes the historical importance of May Day, highlighting its connection to current struggles for labor rights and free speech. Wolff criticizes university administrations, such as Columbia's, for prioritizing property and financial interests over student expression and academic freedom. He concludes by expressing hope that the growing movements among workers and students are signaling a pivotal moment of challenge to established power structures.

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KPFA Evening News - April 28th

Joining KPFA Evening News, Richard Wolff lends expertise by discussing the different economic and diplomatic stances between the United States and China. He highlights the faster growth rate of China's GDP compared to that of the United States and points out the competitive nature of recent US policies, such as the demand for a Chinese company to sell TikTok to non-Chinese buyers. Wolff notes the US's positioning against China demonstrates a desire to prevail rather than cooperate, despite rhetoric suggesting otherwise. He contrasts this with China's push for mutual success and shared progress. Additionally, Wolff finds the Chinese response to US actions to be relatively restrained given the circumstances.

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Israel is Echoing Historical Failures | Richard D. Wolff

In this Dialogue Works interview, Richard Wolff discusses the parallels between student protests in the U.S. against the situation in Gaza and historic student activism, such as during the Vietnam War era. He critiques political leaders and university officials for their ignorant and hostile reactions to legitimate student concerns. Wolff elaborates on the decline of U.S. global dominance and its impact on international relations, particularly regarding Israel's increasingly precarious position as the American empire wanes. He suggests that internal and external denial about these geopolitical shifts is leading to perilous decision-making. Lastly, Wolff emphasizes the need for greater historical awareness to understand and address current challenges, particularly in the Middle East, and predicts intensified domestic debate as young Americans return home from college and engage with their families on these issues.

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U.S. Economy in Crisis, the Demise of the American Dream & China's Rise w/ Prof. Richard Wolff

Professor Richard Wolff joins Rachel Blevins on her show to discuss the current pro-Palestinian protests on university campuses and the broader socio-economic issues facing the United States. He compares the student protests to historical anti-war movements, criticizing the police and government response as heavy-handed and anti-free speech. Wolff also reflects on America's changing global economic position, highlighting the anxieties and frustrations due to growing inequalities and diminishing job prospects for younger generations. The discussion covers the American housing crisis, touching on the shift from home ownership to renting and the systemic issues contributing to this trend. Finally, Wolff warns of the potential for increased protest and union activity as young Americans face an uncertain economic future and denounces the vast spending on foreign aid while domestic issues are neglected.

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Economic Update: The Phenomenon of China

This week’s Economic Update Professor Richard Wolff dedicates the entire show to the economic developmental achievement of China, together with the historical background that motivated that achievement. We analyze the uniqueness of both the economic philosophy and the politics of China.

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Economic Update: A Critique of Government Spending

This week’s Economic Update Professor Richard Wolff devotes this program devoted to how to understand government spending. How it shapes the larger society. We will focus on two questions 1) What is the government spending on? and 2) How is that money going to be used, and who benefits? If government spending only flows to capitalist corporations, they will use it to reproduce capitalism including its inequalities and injustices. This is a crucial impact of government spending but rarely examined. The alternative - spending on worker coops - is explained and explored as a better alternative.

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Dialogue Works: Israel is Caught in a Historic Impossibility and Its Economy is in Trouble

On Dialogue Works, Richard Wolff joins the conversation to analyze the complex nature of settler colonialism and its historical impact, particularly relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He discusses the perceived historical impossibility of Israel's settler colonial project in the current international context and President Biden's shifting policy towards Israel in light of global opposition. The conversation then shifts to the broader global dynamics, where Wolff cautions against the United States continuing as a declining empire incapable of recognizing its fading dominance. He contrasts the US and China's approach to international policy and development, suggesting the world is evaluating which is more successful: military expenditure or economic growth that alleviates poverty. Finally, Wolff addresses the notion of "might makes right," challenging the inevitability of conflict and suggesting that, historically, nations have found ways to coexist and resolve tensions without resorting to perpetual war.

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The Socialist Program: Treasury Head Yellen’s New China Complaint

Richard Wolff joins The Socialist Program to discuss Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's trip to China and her focus on the so-called overcapacity issue, which the U.S. argues is China's production of too much in certain key economic areas. Wolff criticizes this complaint as a public relations tactic by the Biden administration, pointing out that many economies, including the U.S., have excess capacity, and that China's success in electric vehicles and other industries is due to their ability to produce large quantities efficiently. The Chinese strategy of developing extensive production capacity is a normal competitive strategy in capitalism and has been employed by successful U.S. companies historically. Wolff also touches on the debate about protectionist policies and argues that both free trade and protection can have complex and varying effects on the working class, suggesting that the real issue for the working class should be their relationship with the employer class. Lastly, he notes the shift from U.S. advocacy for free trade to protectionist policies, highlighting how China and other countries are adapting

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A Class Analysis of the Trump-Biden Rerun

By “class system” we mean the basic workplace organizations—the human relationships or “social relations”—that accomplish the production and distribution of goods and services. Some examples include the master/slave, communal village, and lord/serf organizations. Another example, the distinctive capitalist class system, entails the employer/employee organization. In the United States and in much of the world, it is now the dominant class system. Employers—a tiny minority of the population—direct and control the enterprises and employees that produce and distribute goods and services. Employers buy the labor power of employees—the population’s vast majority—and set it to work in their enterprises. Each enterprise’s output belongs to its employer who decides whether to sell it, sets the price, and receives and distributes the resulting revenue.

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Economic Update: A Sea Change In US Labor's Militancy

In this week’s Economic Update Professor, Richard Wolff examines US spending on war materials for Ukraine and Israel, we will discuss Chinese Electric Vehicle imports and the US's protectionist response, and we will highlight the possible convergence of worker cooperatives as part of union negotiating strategies, and we discuss the impact of Harvard college workers vote overwhelmingly to join two unions. Finally, we Interview author and union organizer, Kim Kelly.

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The Critical Hour: Weekly News Wrap Up (06.04.2024)

Richard Wolff joins The Critical Hour to discuss the success of China’s hybrid economic model, which combines state-owned and private enterprises, and is outperforming the US and European market-based economies. Treasury Secretary Yellen has voiced concerns over China's growing economic capabilities, particularly in electric vehicles and computer applications. Wolff highlights that despite government subsidies being a common global practice, China's efficient use is leading to its expected surpassing of the US economy by the end of the 2020s. The US Trade Representative, Catherine Tai, has criticized China's economic model as "non-market" policies, which Wolff argues is an inaccurate characterization since China does engage in market activities, much like any other nation. Lastly, Wolff suggests that the European social model, which has historically provided substantial welfare benefits, could face challenges due to pressure from the US to increase military spending, potentially leading to tax hikes or cuts in social services.

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Economic Update: The Myth of Black Buying Power

This week’s Economic Update Professor Richard Wolff discusses how the capitalist political economy can explain the Baltimore bridge disaster, we explain why raising minimum wages helps big vs small businesses. We highlight the recent court rulings in New York and how cities can lower rents for their citizens as Kingston, NY just did, (if tenants mobilize to do so). Finally an Interview with Professor Jared A. Ball on the myths of black buying power and black capitalism and the role such myths play in supporting capitalism. Read more


Project Censored: The Cost of American Delusions with Professor Richard Wolff

Prof Wolff joins Project Censored to discuss the decline of U.S. influence and the delusions of power in current global politics. He analyzes the complex economic situation in Europe, highlighting its struggles to compete with the U.S. and China, alongside internal challenges such as right-wing politics and immigration crises. Wolff also explores the impact of economic nationalism versus neoliberal globalization, suggesting a shift in global economic power dynamics towards China. He touches on the economic and political consequences for Israel due to its conflict with Palestine and the U.S.'s potential reevaluation of alliances with European countries. Finally, Wolff foresees a possibility of a left-wing political turn in response to the failure of right-wing solutions to address underlying social and economic issues.

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Dialogue Works: NATO's Terrible Miscalculations as Ukraine is Being Destroyed

Prof Wolff joins Dialogue Works to discuss significant miscalculations in the West's approach to the Ukraine war, suggesting overestimations of Russia's weakness and underestimations of its resilience. He argues that Western powers failed to anticipate Russia's capacity for sustaining an attritional conflict, misjudging both the country's military and economic fortitude. The resulting miscalculations, according to Wolff, have had catastrophic consequences for Ukraine, causing widespread destruction and massive population displacement. Wolff posits that these errors stem from a broader inability to confront the decline of American hegemony and the concurrent rise of China and the BRICS nations. He believes that internal struggles within Western societies, particularly between right-leaning governments and corporate interests vested in China, will critically shape future geopolitical strategies and highlight the urgency of addressing these costly delusions.

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Economic Update: Resurgent Labor Organizing In The South

This week’s Economic Update Professor Richard Wolff discusses the US Treasury Department charges Apple as monopoly, Georgia's state government sides openly with employers against unions, two union members decide to enter important elections as independent voices in Nebraska and West Virginia, and a critique of the FED's policy that keeps inflation and interest rates high. Finally we Interview Mike Elk, publisher of the Payday, on his views regarding the important UAW fight for union recognition at VW plant Chattanooga, TN. Read more...


The Socialist Program: US Capitalists Flock to China as US Gov’t Says STOP China

On this episode of The Socialist Program Brian and Prof. Wolff discuss US attempts to minimize China's production of computer chips, the scale of which is proving to be a big draw for US-based corporations. Is it really possible to ice China out of the global supply chain?

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