Economic Update: We Can Do Better Than Capitalism


On this week's episode of Economic Update, Prof. Wolff provides updates on mistreated homeless, keeping millions from voting, 'I, Daniel Blake,' 3000 water systems like,Trump's foreign employees, unequal retirement USA, Sen Whitehouse on anti-science. READ MORE

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  • Joseph A. Mungai
    commented 2017-01-07 12:09:48 -0500
    “‘If the owners don’t want it, let’s run it ourselves.’ When a factory closes, the idea of turning it into a worker-owned co-operative sometimes comes up—and usually dies…But in Mexico a giant-sized worker cooperative has been building tires since 2005. The factory competes on the world market, employs 1,050 co-owners, and pays the best wages and pensions of any Mexican industrial plant…”
  • Jeremy Wells
    commented 2017-01-07 01:36:15 -0500
    <b>“GM, Ford and Chrysler must be transformed into publicly owned enterprises in order to produce safe and affordable transportation and a decent living for autoworkers, instead of channeling even more money into the pockets of the super-rich.”</b>

    This quote is from the statement published by the “World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter” …“in the wake of the announcement of mass layoffs by the Detroit-based automaker.”

    “In December, GM announced that it would eliminate a full shift and nearly 1,300 jobs at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. At the same time, GM said it would idle five other plants in January, including the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, from one to three weeks, impacting some 10,000 workers. On top of the shift elimination at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, GM earlier announced that it is suspending the third shift at its Lordstown, Ohio and Lansing River plants, impacting another 2,000 workers.”

    “Nearly half of the workers being cut at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant are temporary workers. Others are contract workers for GM Manufacturing Subsystems who make poverty wages of as little as $12-$13 an hour. GM timed the announcement so that workers hired in April 2016 will not have one year seniority when the job cuts take place in March and therefore will not be eligible for supplemental unemployment benefits (SUB pay).”

    Read the full statement here:
  • Dan Va
    commented 2017-01-04 01:59:23 -0500
    Dr. Wolff’s ultimate question in this talk is whether people would have the will to change the system by participating in a worker co-op. While the idea is good in 1967, the complexity of legalities and cohabitation within a 2016 capitalist system is daunting. The Amish do seem to do it. Those Polygamist in Texas seem to do it. Doesn’t seem too difficult to imagine 10 couples pooling funds to buy a small piece of land and creating a closed corporation whose stated purpose would be the goals of a worker co-op. But, when the children of the couples, of this ideal co-op, start going to college or having family things would probably unwind pretty quickly. Unless the worker co-op was to forego higher education for its children and grandchildren it’s hard to imagine they would settle for jobs making artillery for the government or programming computers to spy on people. Hospital emergencies would be devastating. They certainly would be hard pressed to manufacture clothing competitively with a Chinese city of 1 million that focuses on making underwear C.F. Thomas Friedman The World Is Flat Those cities do exist.
    The global over productivity is at a point of no return. As such, simple group effort to earn a living wage is not a matter of collective manufacturing effort. India has just announced (as of 1/3/17) a Basic Income for Everyone. This follows their making illegal the old currency. Should they execute that Basic Income idea and it stimulates internal demand, India will have created a self perpetuating economic engine. Or something so close to it that no one will mind a little debt funding fudging. These are the lines along which the US economy and government must focus. No Co-op needed, just a petition to declare corporate obese profits and un-invested savings, the property of the working class. Otherwise the shameful income disparity will fester into a putrid society that will die of its own uncooperative capacity. Typical 20-somethings now are; obese, lazy, unmotivated, college educated, undedicated and dirt poor. I think Adam Smith would be arguing that these (ahem) kiddos need to get a paycheck for getting educated in multiple discipline degree programs so that they have the intellectual range to; for example, operate a bull dozer on Monday and oversee a robotic knee transplant on Friday.
    Keep the thinking coming Dr. Wolff. Should this Socratic exercise and intellectual banter yield anything practicably productive it will be well worth it. Though it already does have considerable worth.
  • Joseph A. Mungai
    commented 2017-01-02 09:09:18 -0500
    Poisoning the water our children drink and the air they breathe: We Can Do Better Than Capitalism (5:04)
  • Joseph A. Mungai
    commented 2017-01-02 09:08:57 -0500
    Bill Moyers & Company: “David Simon, creator of the TV series ‘The Wire,’ talks with Bill about America’s capitalism crisis… ‘The horror show is we are going to be slaves to profit. Some of us are going to be higher on the pyramid and we’ll count ourselves lucky and many more will be marginalized and destroyed.’” (26:46)