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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Economic Update: How Capitalism Distributes Power

Updates on resurging child labor in US, colleges athlete vote to join unions, unionization sweeping not-for-profit charities (hospitals, museums, etc) such as MassMoca in western Massachusetts. Major discussion of how capitalism concentrates power in mass media (including social media), in authoritarian internal structures of corporations, and via donations and other controls exercised over two major political parties and over politicians. Read more

The Socialist Program: New U.S. Threats Against Russia

Prof Wolff joins The Socialist Program to discuss the intensifying U.S. efforts to apply pressure on global financial institutions in the Global South to enforce sanctions against Russia. Despite initial expectations for a quick economic collapse, Russia's economy has proven resilient, and Washington is now targeting banks in countries like the UAE and Turkey to cut off Russian access to global markets. Sanctions are a form of government intervention that dictates with whom businesses can trade, often leading to evasion and the search for workarounds by affected entities. The continued failure of sanctions against Russia over the past two years is seen as evidence of a shifting global economic balance and the waning influence of the U.S. Lastly, he critiques the use of "national security" as a catch-all justification for protectionist policies, which may not always align with the interests of workers or even all sectors of American capitalism.

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Economic Update: Patriarchy and Capitalism

This week’s Economic Update Professor Richard Wolff discusses the UAW union’s latest moves. Their organizing drives at auto plants, their efforts to form unions among employed and free-lance journalists. In addition, we will highlight New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s decision to deploy national guard troops in New York City subways and what that means for everyday residents. Finally, an interview with psychotherapist Tess Fraad-Wolff on interactions between patriarchy and capitalism, today. Read more

The Source: Economics of the Ukraine and Gaza Wars & the rise of Artificial Intelligence

Prof Wolff joins The Source to talk about global economic challenges, focusing on the impact of Western sanctions against Russia and the U.S.'s declining influence. Despite sanctions, Russia's economy shows growth, credited to Russia's strengthened ties with non-Western economies like China and India.The sanctions are a failed attempt to control Russia and a means for the U.S. to engage in the Ukraine conflict indirectly. Turning to Germany, Wolff attributes its economic downturn to severed ties with key markets like China, exacerbated by sanctions against Russia. Lastly, on AI, Wolff explores how its benefits or detriments depend on the surrounding economic and social systems, not the technology itself.

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The Socialist Program: TikTok Witch Hunt!

Prof Wolff joins The Socialist Program to discuss potential new U.S. legislation that could ban TikTok, fueled by anti-China sentiment and a new wave of McCarthyism. He contends that various elements contribute to this movement, including politicians seeking publicity and businesses desiring a competitive edge. Wolff notes that similar restrictions could hurt American businesses abroad and emphasizes China's steady economic rise, suggesting the U.S. is in decline. He also highlights the shortsightedness of the U.S. in failing to invest in education and infrastructure, necessary for sustaining technological growth. Finally, Wolff predicts that the accumulation of political and economic missteps may eventually lead to a significant shift in American politics and public awareness.

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Empire Decline and Costly Delusions

When Napoleon engaged Russia in a European land war, the Russians mounted a determined defense, and the French lost. When Hitler tried the same, the Soviet Union responded similarly, and the Germans lost. In World War 1 and its post-revolutionary civil war (1914-1922), first Russia and then the USSR defended with far greater effect against two invasions than the invaders had calculated. That history ought to have cautioned U.S. and European leaders to minimize the risks of confronting Russia, especially when Russia felt threatened and determined to defend itself.

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Economic Update: Debris From A Declining Empire

This week's episode of Economic Update we discuss we discuss United Kingdom politician George Galloway by-election victory, and the raised minimum wage in UK. We will comment on Elon Musk's lawsuit against the NLRB, as Trader Joe, Starbucks, and Amazon also join to ask right-wing Supreme Court to gut regulation of business. We then look at US protectionism as the Biden administration raises tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, in an attempt to keep Chinese EV's from US markets. Then in labor news we discuss Starbucks’ negotiations with unions and how Michigan’s legislature killed "right-to-work" law after 58 years. Finally, we have an Interview Richard RJ Esjow on the current decline of the “US Empire”. Richard Eskow is a journalist and host of The Zero Hour. a syndicated radio and television program. A lead writer, speechwriter, and editor for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign, he was also a featured columnist at The Huffington Post. He worked for years in the corporate world, with governments and with multinational organizations as the World Bank, specializing in healthcare financing, policy, and information technology. Read more

The Critical Hour: Weekly News Wrap Up (March 8)

Prof Wolff joins The Critical Hour to discuss President Biden's State of the Union address, expressing that Biden's narrative of a strong economy is disconnected from the reality of American inequality and struggles. According to Wolff, the president's optimistic depiction contradicts the actual economic hardships like homelessness, mental health issues, and inadequate responses to community problems. Despite favorable job growth headlines, Wolff criticizes the nature of these jobs and the systemic issues not being addressed, undermining the positive spin. He also covers Britain's political landscape, highlighting George Galloway's surprising election victory as an indicator of public disillusionment with traditional politics and a shift towards socialist perspectives. Lastly, Wolff touches on the decline of American power internationally, citing failed foreign policy in Israel-Palestine and Ukraine as examples of a diminishing U.S. empire.

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Richard Wolff Live With Black Power Media

Prof. Wolff joins Black Power Media to discuss socialism, economics, and the transformative power of worker cooperatives. He emphasizes that socialism, for him, involves collective decision-making around production and distribution, democratically controlling the surplus that workers create. Co-ops are seen as a transitional strategy towards socialism but are not a magic bullet; political and cultural changes are also needed. They offer a framework to practice economic democracy, challenging capitalist power structures and the training in non-participation that workers experience. Wolff advocates aligning economics with democracy to build towards a society offering real equality and better quality of life for all.

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Dialogue Works: NATO's Hunger to Lose - George Galloway's Win - Nuland's Resignation

Prof Wolff joins Dialogue Works to discuss current geopolitical tensions, including Europe's involvement in Ukraine, neoconservative influence in US foreign policy, and the shifting balance of power in the global economy. He highlights the West's failure to undermine Russia, European politicians' refusal to admit mistakes, and the risks Europe faces by aligning too closely with the US. He stresses the need for Europe to form a distinct economic block and advocates for reevaluating relationships with Russia and China given their growing economic influence. Wolff also comments on the changing US domestic political landscape and its potential impact on foreign policy decisions. Lastly, he acknowledges the shifting global economic power from the G7 to BRICS, predicting it will result in more countries turning to BRICS for better economic and political deals.

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The Socialist Program: Billionaire Power: An American Obscenity

In this episode, Prof Wolff and Brian Becker delve into the reasons behind the concentration of nearly $1 trillion in wealth among just five individuals, contrasting this with the modest one-time awards or cash prizes typically received by inventors, scholars, and celebrated figures in various disciplines. They also explore how Jeff Bezos was able to run Amazon without turning a profit for nine years, a feat unattainable for most businesses, which struggle to survive beyond a few months without profit.

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Economic Update: Capitalism, Gender, And A Split Society

This week's episode of Economic Update hosted by Professor Richard Wolff, we discuss the underemployed of US college graduates, failed anti-Russian sanctions, the collapsed UK birthrate, and expanding wars in the Middle East, we will dive into the costs and risks in absence of a ceasefire in Gaza. Finally we Interview Dr. Harriet Fraad, host of Capitalism Hits Home and a clinical therapist. Professor Wolff and Dr. Fraad explore the post 1970's deindustrialization in the US, its impact on white males versus other social groups, and resulting US social splits. Read more...

Economic Update: Breaking Up With Capitalism

This week's episode of Economic Update hosted by Professor Richard Wolff, we discuss the Philadelphia University of the Artist Faculty Union and its struggles; we clarify what declining inflation does and does not mean; we answer the question: as to why sanctions fail. Finally we interview Essence Magazine's senior news & politics editor author, lawyer Malaika Jabali and discuss her newly released book "It's Not You Its Capitalism". Read more

Dialogue Works: Ukraine Losing, Russia Winning, Neocons Endless Defeats - Tucker's Interview

Prof Wolff joins Dialogue Works to provide insights on his perspective regarding the interview with Vladimir Putin by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. He discusses the importance of such interviews as opportunities to understand official positions and potentially uncover new information about international conflicts such as the war in Ukraine. Wolff criticizes American media for attacking Carlson and emphasized the need for open communication and the value of letting opponents like Putin express their views. He mentions the historical context and past conflicts that shape Russia's defensive posture and notes the change in trade currency from the dollar, indicating a strategic shift by Russia towards other economies. Lastly, Wolff observes Carlson's journey of realization and potential ideological shift as he recognizes the discrepancies between propagated narratives of U.S. capitalism and the realities he is beginning to acknowledge.

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The Socialist Program: Why Are Workers Drowning in Credit Card Debt?

In this discussion, Prof Wolff joins Walter Smolarek to explore the reasons behind the significant credit card debt among workers. They delve into this issue amidst news that the financial behemoth Capital One is attempting to acquire another major player, Discover, for over $35 billion.

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Economic Update: Capitalism and Tax Injustice

This week's episode of Economic Update hosted by Professor Richard Wolff, we discuss Germany's recession, California fast-food workers unionize, How the war in Ukraine boosts US stock market, corporate stock holdings, while hurting most wage/salary incomes, In addition we ask what lessons from the protest/revolt of European farmers? Finally, the ongoing exposing of major injustices of the US federal tax system (tax exemptions for schools, churches, hospitals, and charities and social security's flat tax system) Find out more

Eftertryk Magasin: Richard Wolff Interview With Martin Haumann

Richard wolff joins Martin Haumann to engage in a detailed discussion concerning both American and Danish political landscapes. The conversation aims to dissect the intricacies of the global economy, exploring how economic policies and practices impact societies on a worldwide scale. They also delve into the topic of militarism, discussing its role and consequences in global affairs, as well as the significance of alternative media in today's information ecosystem, examining its influence on public opinion and its capacity to challenge mainstream narratives.

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Economic Update: The U.S. Tax System Designed For Economic Injustice

[EU S14 E06]

This week's episode of Economic Update hosted by Professor Richard Wolff, we will be discussing the increasingly more common corporate threats to force remote workers back to working onsite. We then turn to Ukraine war economics, US vs BGI as anti-Chinese economic nationalism, US's escalation of war in the Middle East, and finally a critique of the US tax system's injustices. Read More

Economic Update: The US Economy As An Apartheid System

[EU S14 E05]

This week's episode of Economic Update hosted by Professor Richard Wolff, we will be discussing the continuing decline of US manufacturing; a 29,000 person strike at California State Univ.; the Houthis disrupt Red Sea shipping in move against Israel; and Texas refuses to obey US federal government's rules in struggle over immigration and white supremacy. In addition we have a special Interview with leading economist Prof. Michael Hudson on basic crises facing US capitalism. Read More...