Salon: Capitalism is the reason COVID-19 is ravaging America

Salon interviews Dr. Richard D. Wolff, whose new book "The Sickness is the System" explores capitalism's flaws

By Matthew Rozsa

"As I've written before, the novel coronavirus pandemic has exposed many of the structural weaknesses in capitalism. In order to rationalize the free market ideology that undergirds capitalist systems, capitalists must ignore inconvenient scientific facts (whether about the pandemic or issues like global warming and pollution) and cut corners when trying to help those stricken with misfortune. Even worse, capitalism requires constant consumption in order to maintain prosperity; if a wrench is thrown into the gears of perpetual growth, the entire economy grinds to a halt, as we have seen since the economic shutdowns began in March.

These arguments, and many others like them, are central to Dr. Richard D. Wolff's new book, "The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself." In a series of well-researched essays outlined with impeccable logic, the professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst analyzes the events of the last seven months — what one might deem the "COVID-19 era" — and explains how the horrors of 2020 are primarily caused by the social, political and economic status quo. His book tackles a number of issues, including how the economy crashed not because of a virus but because capitalism is incapable of coping with epidemics, how America's healthcare system is corrupt, and how income inequality caused immense suffering long before the pandemic and is propped up by economic myths...

Read the full article in Salon.


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  • Richard Wolff
    published this page in Updates 2020-10-05 10:25:47 -0400