Economic Update: Libertarianism Capitalism & Socialism

[S9 E47] This episode of Economic Update features an exploration by Professor Wolff of how Libertarians defend capitalism by saying its many current flaws/faults flow from...READ MORE

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  • خورخي لويس
    commented 2019-12-21 19:38:34 -0500
    Hello, I have been following Dr. Wolff lectures in youtube about his idea of democracy at work. The idea is interesting but I think that he leaves a lot in the air. Dr. Wolff talks about democratizing the firm (whatever nature it can have) but I have not heard a single concrete proposal to achieve that. The company is, by the nature of its creation, a non-democratic space. Shareholders will always argue that they risk the most and, therefore, profits are the reward for taking the risk involved in any economic activity. So, How can a firm be democratized under these conditions?

    Dr. Wolff explains very well the process of wealth inequality and concentration in a few hands but this is just the status quo and your proposal for change may not even have a change. Dr. Wolff argue that the wealthiest 1% realize the power the remaining poorer 99% has and, therefore, that 99% may elect people who will defend their rights. That simply will not happen, and here is why. Dr. Wolff mentioned that the wealthiest 1% decides who runs de country. This happens because in the U.S. money runs the election process. If you have no money because you are poor and you do not have “sponsor”, you simply will never get elected. And that is not gonna change and, by the contrary, it is getting worse and worse.

    So, how to get this changed is a huge question ahead of us. The correct way is to get money out of politics. One way to get this done is to create a common for to support democracy. The government should put money into it and donors too. The idea is to support de democratic process, not the candidate of the preference. At the end, it may be that the candidate one prefers is not the best one, so it is better to support the democratic process. Now the question is whether this change is actually possible in the foreseeable future.

    I am a firm believer of private enterprise but I also believe in proper government regulation. For example, to fight inequality, a law can be approved in the spirit of the example of Mondragon Corporation Dr. Wolff mentions in his lectures. In this way, it should be forbidden to have huge differences between the minimum and maximum pay in the company. For example, I would support a law that prohibits difference of more than 15 times between the lowest and highest paid. It is big difference, but it is a start. Now, Who would want this kind of law? And here is where to other side of the coin comes into play.

    I perceive a huge problem not in the economic aspect, but in the system of values. For example, it seems to me that people hate mllionaires because they are rich, i.e. people envy millionaires. So, the problem is huge because it seems to me that people hate the player, not the rules of the game. So, if people believe that is acceptable for a person to have a colossal amount of wealth, then the problem is in us, not in any socio-economic system. And here is where the idea of the new man has to be discussed.

    Who is the new man? The new man is a person that believes that no citizen should have more than an acceptable amount of wealth. This means, that should be a person that is not against having wealth, but that we, as a society, should not allow for the existence of likes of Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, etc. Besides, as Dr. Chomsky puts it, in the case of people who make lots of money with the information technology, they grabbed for free what society paid for decades to get developed. This means that society has been duped into making those “free-riders” that are today filthy wealthy. What a world! So, we should, as society, decide how much is too much and focus on giving a decent life to every citizen of the country. The new man is also a person that believes in democracy and practices it at all levels. So the new man has to have a different set of values from those we have now. Without these changes in values, the situation will never change and inequality will lead to instability but never to real change.

    I perceive that Dr. Wolff thinks that change is going to happen peacefully, and I think that is not even close to the truth. The elite that controls the world will never give up their power peacefully. Just check in the U.S. that the elite (that 1%) is involved greatly with the military industrial complex. Those people will not hesitate to kill anybody who gets in their way. We cannot romantically believe that the 1% will understand that their game is over and that is time to surrender power to the 100% of the population. I do not think that is not going to happen this way.