Economic Update: Capitalism’s Leaders

Economic Update:  Capitalism’s Leaders


Welcome friends to another edition of
Economic Update kind of warm here in New York City and I commiserate with you if
you have that problem where you are this is a program that every week looks at
our incomes our debts our jobs what’s coming down the road
I’m your host Richard Wolff I’ve been a Professor of Economics all my adult life
and now I bring whatever it is I’ve learned over that time to this program
each week to present what’s going on in the broad economic situation we all have
to live with before jumping in I need to make a few very short announcements the
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dot org all right let’s jump right in the big item these last few days has
been the health care struggles the whole Senate had to
postpone dealing with it because there’s such tension such disagreement not only
between Republicans and Democrats but among both of them about what ought
to be done it is after all shameful that the United States one of the richest
countries in the world is unable to provide decent medical insurance to its
people the way literally all of the other advanced industrial countries have
been doing for decades it’s also doubly shameful that we have the most expensive
health care in the world partly because of that first thing I said because we
don’t have comprehensive government managed or indeed government-run health
care the way they do in so many other countries so we spend almost twice what
other countries do for our health care that is our doctors our hospitals our
drugs or medical devices and the insurance to cover all of that and that
is being ripped off in our country in a way that no other country permits well
what’s the fight about well on the one hand we have Obamacare the health change
that was passed during the Obama administration the good news about that
was in extended health insurance to millions of people who had been without
it and that’s certainly a step in the right direction it even went further by
paying for a good part of that by taxing wealthy people and a few of the health
care corporations raking in the big bucks well that was more than enough to
get the Republicans to turn against it but the Obamacare also had flaws
failures which the Republicans could and did take advantage of and the biggest
one goes right back to the monopoly arrangement of our medical industrial
industries the problem was Obama care did nothing to prevent or stop private
medical care companies the doctors and the hospitals and the drug and medical
device makers and the insurer from either opting out of markets when
they didn’t make enough profit or jacking up their prices there were some
notorious examples that we all read about in the newspaper so that many
Americans were angry about the Obamacare not because it extended coverage to poor
people which for sure there is mass support for I’m happy to say but rather
because their premiums were going up faster than even before and they felt
correctly that they were being ripped off great the GOP and Trump could use
that could say over and over again it’s a disaster it’s failing that wasn’t true
but it captured the anger of people facing ever higher prices to produce
ever higher profits so income the Trump GOP folks the first thing they do is
propose to get rid of the taxes on rich people and even on the corporation’s
because of course that’s always their first priority and second to reduce the
coverage for poor people since there wouldn’t be the money coming in from the
tax on the rich and the corporation’s modest though that was but that proved
to be too much for the GOP moderates they’re called they were getting
screaming calls from their constituents who were telling them if you cut out
Obamacare it’s going to be even worse for us in these following ways and then
they explained what it means if you cut health insurance for all kinds of poor
people for all kinds of people who aren’t normally poor but suffer a
particular disease or suffer a cutback in employment you see the picture so
here they are the Democrats and Republicans those who are in both
parties worried about what will happen if you get rid of Obamacare and
substitute the lame Republican alternative but here’s what upsets me
and I hope upsets you throughout all these debates nobody questions the
status quo of the medical industrial monopoly that’s right the doctors and
hospitals the drug companies the insurers they struggle amongst
themselves but they present a common face to the rest of us pay up
pay more than anywhere else in the world to give us higher profits than anywhere
else in the world for people doing the work we do as long as we don’t question
that we will be struggling and choosing between one inadequate plan and another
the bottom line is the two political parties protect the medical industrial
monopoly because they’re afraid to confront them next update the United
States has one of the lowest minimum wages in the advanced industrial world
another shameful reality the World Economic Forum did a recent table that I
find useful they took the minimum wage the cash money a worker gets at the
bottom minimum and they subtracted from it the amount of taxes that worker has
to pay on that minimum he or she earns and then they rank the countries where
the workers get more and where do they get less in their minimum wage after
taxes the United States didn’t show well as you might imagine so I’m going to
give you a list now of the countries that pay more of a minimum wage after
taxes than the United States just you can see that way where we rank in the
world economic picture when it comes to how we treat those at the minimum wage
here are the countries who pay more Australia Luxembourg Belgium Ireland
France Netherlands New Zealand Germany Canada and the United Kingdom that we
fall below all of those well there’s nothing I can say that would be adequate
to what that’s about the next update has to do with a kind of straw in the wind
to unions at opposite ends of the United States one in Canada
excuse me one in California and the other one in Mississippi are doing
something that unions haven’t done enough of and I’m wondering whether
these are straws in the wind in the case of California it’s
workers at AT&T the telephone company who were given a contract which proposed
on the one hand to give them an 11 percent increase over four years that
works out to about two and a half percent a year
hardly a fortune and remember if you get two and a half percent a year and prices
go up two and a half percent a year which many people think they will over
the next four years you’ve got nothing in the way of in advance that would be
bad enough but the 11 percent over four years was coupled by the company with an
increase in how much the workers have to pay out of their own medical insurance
and indeed the workers were now going to be asked to pay twenty nine percent of
the cost of the medical insurance that comes with their job in effect that
increase in what they have to pay for the same medical care they’ve been
getting would take away the benefit of the wage increase or most of it in other
words they were offered next to nothing and with rising prices in this economy
it could literally have been negative over the next four years the Union and
the company agreed to this contract presented it to I believe it’s 17,000
workers at AT&T in California and I think also Nevada and the workers have
just recently rejected the contract as inadequate it’s very interesting because
it shows that the workers understand there they are the bottom line in the
end and if they don’t go along everybody else has discourage come up
with another solution that’s interesting that those workers had that sense to
vote that way and to force a better deal to come down the pike the second example
is the United Auto Workers in Mississippi which is culminating a
fifteen fourteen or fifteen year effort to unionize a Nissan automobile plant in
Mississippi they’re very hopeful they have filed for
an election within the next month and that too may be a straw
in the wind for the unionization remember in the Great Depression the
American working class decided to join unions as a way to defend against the
falling incomes and falling wages that a depression always means in this
catastrophe since 2008 the second worst collapse of capitalism in its history
workers have not yet made that decision so it’s an interesting question whether
it’s a straw in the wind that the auto workers in Mississippi may in fact lead
the way to a resumption of that kind of response
my next short update I wish it could be longer takes me back to something I have
done over the last year more than once and that’s to talk about the behavior
because it’s important for economics of the new pope he’s not so new now Pope
Francis but he continues to do remarkable things and I want to talk
about two of them that have economic impacts the first has to do with a
conference held in Rome from the 28th of June to the 1st of July just passed by
the Confederation of trade unions in Italy that’s a roughly the equivalent of
the afl-cio here in the United States it is the major trade union organization
it’s already interesting that the Pope addresses them as he has before but I
want to read to you a few of the sentences that come directly from that
speech which I read with enormous interest he says for example we must
think I’m quoting now from Pope Francis we must also think of a healthy healthy
culture of idleness of knowing how to rest this is not laziness it is a human
need when I ask a man a woman with two or three children tell me do you play
with your children do you allow yourself this quote unquote idleness well you
know when I go to work they still asleep and when I return they
already in bed when a worker says that according to
Pope Francis here’s his response this is inhuman
along with work there must also be other culture because a person is not only
formed by labour because we do not always work and we must not work always
a good job is one that gives you time to be a human being says the Pope and when
the and now quoting again and when the right to a fair pension is not always
recognized and not to all then it is bad a pension that is fair is neither too
poor nor too rich golden pensions are no less an offense to labor than pensions
that are too low Wow the Pope is against too much as well as too little
I wonder how Roman Catholics in the United States are going to digest
process think about what their Pope is telling them let me go on with some of
the other things he says he talks explicitly about unions and what he
thinks unions should do we believe the unions are prophetic that’s the word he
uses and here’s what he means by such language the union risks losing its
prophetic nature and becoming too similar to the institutions and powers
that it should instead criticize the words of Pope Francis
here we go war words the union with the passing of time has ended up resembling
politics or rather political parties their language their style and instead
if this typical and diverse dimension is lacking its action within businesses
will lose strength and effectiveness the union’s move
and has it’s great seasons when it is prophecy when it helps not only to
unmask the powerful who trample the rights of the most vulnerable workers
but who also defend the foreigner the least the discarded Pope Francis is
urging the unions to represent not only their members but especially those who
don’t have work who are discriminated against who are the outsiders
the union has to bring change its quote and now I’m quoting again it’s like a
watch man who guards and protects those who are inside the city of labor but
also guarding and protecting those who are outside the walls it is not enough
to protect only your members now a couple of sentences that really need to
be repeated I don’t have the time but I want you to hear them at least once
quote Pope Francis a couple of weeks ago quote the capitalism of our time does
not understand the value of the trade union because it has forgotten the
social nature of the economy of the business this is one of the greatest
sins Pope Francis is really clear and his support for the Union as a central
part of a good society ought to make people sit up and think about what he’s
saying but to be fair the Pope also does things that raise more than a few
eyebrows I want to bring one of those because of its economic content to your
attention he made a decision the in a letter to
bishops bread can be low-gluten excuse me it cannot
low gluten or gluten-free bread cannot be used in church ceremonies
however genetically modified wheat and other materials in the bread is okay
everything is mixed in this world and that applies to all the churches to the
final short update for today is a shout out a shout out of approval and this one
goes to the City of Seattle why because in recent days the city of Seattle’s
City Council its legislative body has taken a remarkable step it has passed a
bill unanimously and with the enthusiastic support of the mayor of
Seattle both the past mayor and the sitting mayor and this bill provides for
an income tax to be applied to residents of Seattle 2.25 percent on all income
over 250,000 dollars for an individual or over $500,000 per year for a married
couple who file together let me stop and let that sink in the City of Seattle has
decided to tax its wealthiest citizens 9 to 0 was the vote of the City Council to
do this so it’s not only happening in Seattle it’s happening unanimously and
enthusiastically what is this about the state of Washington where Seattle is
located is notorious across the 50 states for having one of the most
regressive tax structures in the country what does that mean regressive taxes
that’s as simply a term means at that makes no effort to take account of
the person’s ability to pay who’s required to pay the tax in other words
think of a sales tax if everybody who buys a shirt for $50 has to pay the same
five-dollar tax or whatever it might be then that’s a tax it makes no effort to
discriminate Rockefeller or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett buys the shirt pays
the same tax as does a person on welfare who buys the shirt we have in the United
States many such regressive taxes Washington relies on regressive taxes it
doesn’t have an income tax income taxes have often not always but have often
been progressive that is the rate of tax you pay goes up with a higher income you
baby earning so people who earn at the top pay a higher rate than people who
earn at the bottom that’s a progressive tax in other words that tax you’re asked
to pay takes account of your ability to pay okay so what the City Council of
Seattle is doing is saying we’re not happy living in a state that taxes
people without regard to their ability to pay we believe that to be
fundamentally unjust and unfair which is what many members of the City Council
said in their comments about this decision they’ve reached we would like
to correct the unfairly regressive structure of taxes in Seattle by having
a income tax a progressive income tax because the rate below 250,000 dollars a
year is zero and the rate above two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a
year is 2.25 percent that’s a progressive income tax for those of you
who may not know it when the progressive income tax for the
as a whole was passed back in 1910 over a hundred years ago it too was an income
tax that exempted the vast majority of Americans from any tax on their income
and was only intended to be a tax on those at the top over the last hundred
years those at the top worked very hard to use their money to move the burden of
taxation of income taxation off of themselves and on to the middle class
which the middle class permitted them to do since the middle class or the vast
majority and those above who were taxed in 1910 were a tiny minority it was
clear that the way the minority got the middle class to buy it was to buy the
politicians so it was difficult though it’s not impossible to push against it
we’ll see what the future holds in Seattle if the income tax passes but of
course immediately a cry went up from the Republicans from the business
community from all those who stand to lose and they are
going to fight it in court and they’re going to make public and against it
they’ve already begun to do that so it will be a fight the people in Seattle
who pushed for this know it but a unanimous City Council and the
supportive mayor which are now settled matters indicate that the majority of
people in Seattle want this which is one major reason why all of these
politicians support it and that means the courts will be under all kinds of
pressure to go along with this change to allow the sovereignty of the City of
Seattle the major urban area in the state of Washington to be played out in
this way that the majority of people want it is in a way an enormous step one
of the things it ought to do is to inspire motivate to create an incentive
to cities and towns across the United
States many of whom live our situated excuse me in states without the
restrictive laws that Washington has about such things in other words it’s
easier in other states to pass such a law to get such a law effective in the
society and think how it would change the City of Seattle estimates that the
tax would raise about a hundred and forty million dollars a year allowing
that city to improve its schools its parks to relieve the burden of Taxation
on those least able to pay to make the City of Seattle a much better place than
it is now and what and how by taking 2.25 percent of the money over two
hundred and fifty thousand dollars that a person earns or over five hundred
thousand a minimal burden on those at the top for a maximum benefit for the
vast majority of Seattle residents in fact including those at the top who will
also get benefits from a better school system a better park system and a less
divided by income community the question is whether this fight will be won or
lost but our hats must go off to these people and to the City Council and to
the mayor of Seattle who’ve taken an important step in correcting a
fundamentally unjust tax system not only in Seattle and Washington but in many
other parts of the United States as well we’ve come to the end of the first half
of this program please stay with us in the second half we’re going to deal with
some other issues of interest to you this is a program that is designed to
have you get as much as I can do it an insight into the current economic
and struggles not only to inform you but also to give you ammunition to make the
kinds of changes the country needs thank you very much for listening stay with us
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sure you don’t want some it’s chamomile you are extremely terrifying just the
scariest undead subhuman thing on TV and I really mean that but I am worried that
you could give my kids nightmares if they see you so I’m gonna have to block
you so that’s it oh and tell the zombies there they’re blocked – all right I know
this isn’t any fun to talk about but we should okay so who’s gonna do what I’ll
pack the dead batteries great I’ll only put what I don’t mean into a duffle bag
perfect that’s totally unhelpful no problem meanwhile I will try to comfort
everyone by speaking in a calm voice and I’ll try to get the generator going
without any gas oh let’s not forget the cellphones which probably won’t work
right and who is going to handle supplies I can forget to do all this for
us thanks pal well I think we couldn’t be any less
prepared I’m proud of you guys talk to your kids about who to call where to
meet what to pack visit ready.gov slash kids for tips and
information it’s okay welcome back friends to the second half
of today’s economic update before jumping into the analyses of some bigger
topics that need a bit more time each then I can devote to the topics done in
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the United States okay let’s turn then to some of the larger topics I’m going
to do something slightly unusual for me I’m going to cut a comment about
individuals and in this case the leaders of the g20 they just had a big meeting
you may have read about it in the newspapers or seen it elsewhere on the
media the 20 arguably richest or most influential in some sense countries in
the world have been getting together since 1999
this was their 12th meeting particularly the 12th of the leaders so that Donald
Trump went Vladimir Putin of Russia went and angular Merkel of Germany went and
so on they gathered in Hamburg Germany Germany was the host and they were there
to discuss whatever issues they felt particularly economic issues but not
only were important so they discussed world trade they discussed climate
change and how to deal with it they discussed immigration and so on there’s
been plenty of reporting on what they discussed not so much on the programs of
austerity that every single one of them has imposed on their people whether it’s
the Republicans and Democrats in this country or Merkel in Germany or if they
can’t fill in the blank they didn’t discuss that so much that’s just an
assumption that they all feel they ought to do and it’s something which makes the
mass of the world suffer that’s not what I’m talking about today I want to bring
you to an attention on the kinds of people that are leaders of the 20
richest countries meeting last week in Hamburg because
this is a collection of leaders that tells you something perhaps something
scary about where we are in the world so I won’t say much about who we sent from
the United States that speaks for itself and you kind of all understand what that
quality of leadership is so let me begin rather with the host Angela Merkel who’s
it pretty popular these days with people well I don’t want to puncture the
balloon well to be honest maybe a bit so let me tell you about a meeting at the
Parliament of Germany literally days before these leaders gathered mrs.
Merkel is the head of a coalition of two parties the Christian Democratic Union
and the Christian social Union – clearly very Christian parties they had a
meeting and they had a meeting to decide how they would vote on a bill working
its way through the upper and lower house of the German parliament that bill
was to legalize same-sex marriage something which is happening all over
the world and has happened in Germany now to the two Christian parties voted
against the legalization of same-sex marriage Angela Merkel as a member of
those parties also did and made public that she did so for a whole host of
reasons a majority of the members of both houses in Germany disagreed with
Angela Merkel and with many in the Christian parties and so same-sex
marriage was legalized but you have to wonder about a leader of a country
claiming to be the modern leader type who in her own political life functions
that way representing Japan was mr. eBay he has
just lost a major election in Tokyo and is accused of levels of corruption that
are genuinely staggering his last name is spelled a b e and so the joke in
japan is he’s not honest ad e like our and I’m Lincoln he’s dishonest Abe EE
then we had Frances McCrone or as his critics in France like to say macaroon
he is only the president of France because the leading conservative was up
to his eyeballs in levels of corruption that destroyed his candidacy
so mr. McRoy slithered in he seems to be some kind of former socialist since he
got into a government position thanks to the Socialist Party led by Francois
along but his first acts were to appoint a conservative Prime Minister and to
support that conservative Prime Minister in lowering taxes on the rich I’ll have
more to say about mr. McRoy then we have mr. Tamir of Brazil whose level of
corruption accused and already demonstrated is literally off the charts
we have Mr Zuma from South Africa who gets the same mr. Nieto from Mexico
likewise we have a level of people with crippling deficits this system puts them
in the position of leadership well nothing would further summarize this and
to give you a famous German quote in German it goes pet shrimp Tobin the
English translation the fact as in a soup or the scum as in a pond rises to
the top my next discussion has to do with the
city of Detroit that I have discussed with you in the past Detroit the largest
bankrupt city in American history a catastrophe of unspeakable dimensions I
will summarize again because we’ve done it in the past simply the basics in the
1960s and 70s it was the picture city of modern capitalism the automobile center
the place to which American presidents brought foreign visitors to see how
capitalism worked three huge automobile companies huge job stories good pay won
by the United Auto Workers then arguably the biggest and most powerful union or
certainly one of them here in the United States a city that had managed not only
to attract but to provide decent jobs to African Americans when that had been a
rarity in American history they too got to be UAW workers earning decent incomes
putting their kids to college and all the rest population just shy of
two million people and here we are a decade or two into the 21st century 40
50 years later what have we got a city that is one of the poorest in the United
States a city that drove out of itself more than half its population today the
population of Detroit is under 700,000 people down from nearly two million
those people left because there was no work and there was no work because Ford
Chrysler and General Motors decided they could make more profits that’s it by
moving somewhere else where they could pay workers much less first to the
American South and then to Canada and Mexico and now to China and India
behind a city of disaster high murder rates high abandoned housing rates unbelievable story forty fifty years
during which the mayors and the governor’s and the presidents
Republicans and Democrats alike stood there looking at this long term decay
and doing nothing to stop it let alone to reverse it until finally total
bankruptcy and a devastated City that’s the old story in the last few years
there’s been a lot of publicity a really lot of it
speaking about Detroit’s Renaissance Detroit’s coming back and I want to talk
to you about that there’s something to it there are buildings going up in the
business district in the Midtown area restaurants office towers something is
going on a great deal of it has to do with a man named Dan Gilbert he’s the
owner/operator of Quicken Loans he owns the basketball team the Cleveland
Cavaliers he’s a millionaire or billionaire what difference really does
that make he owns over 90 buildings in the business district he is bringing it
back and so there is a recovery of sorts but it is like the recovery of the
American economy since 2008 it’s a recovery for the few let me remind you
60% of the children of Detroit today continue to live in poverty right
40% of residents live below the official poverty line so what is Detroit becoming
it’s continuing to be an emblem of the United States from the 1970s to 2010
let’s say it was an emblem of decline and decay now it is a different
it’s an emblem of the United States’s reconstitution as a place in which there
are glitzy comfortable wealthy enclaves that called in other parts of the world
little protected areas and I mean protected by how the roads are the run
how the police are deployed where the building codes go a glitzy center and a
vast impoverished hinterland that’s what Detroit is becoming that’s
what the recovery of Detroit is it’s being reorganized into a rich
comfortable glitzy center and a vast sea of impoverished excluded others and it
isn’t just Detroit for which that is the story that we tell the next update which
deserves some attention has to do with something that happened over the last
few weeks in San Diego California and it has to do with a little beer company
it’s called modern times beer a company founded only in 2013
brewery that makes beer craft beer good quality beer currently employs about 118
people and produces over 40,000 barrels of beer per year that’s not why I’m
talking about it I’m talking about it because of what the owner/operator who
started the beer did this last week his name is Jacob McKeon MC ke a n uh and
he’s a remarkable fellow for two reasons that I want to bring to your attention
I’m not so interested in the fact that he successfully built a beer business
others have done that but he gets some approval for that but that’s not my
interest and he isn’t new in what I’m about to
tell you but he takes it further than others have and lacks what I’m after
what did he do a couple of Fridays ago he announced
that he’s converting his business into a ESOP es o P which stands for employee
stock ownership plan he’s basically giving his workers those 118 a 30%
ownership of the company in which they work they are going together if you add
up what each one gets they’re going to own 30% of the company the goal is for
them eventually to own 100% of the company that’s what the current owner is
planning to do he believes it’s in the best interests of San Diego of beer
production of those hundred and eighteen and of himself as an entrepreneur that
that be the future of his company modern times beer so first let’s look at this
is this unique is he weird no I’m going to give you the names of three other
companies that have done that the Deschutes beer company of Bend Oregon
the New Belgium beer company of Fort Collins Colorado and harpoon Brewing of
Boston they are already employee owned to varying degrees companies Wow
there are others there are others so this is not unique so why am i focusing
on it well first of all I want to make sure that everybody understands what an
esop is because we’re having more and more of them in the United States that’s
when a company takes the ownership and transfers it from the family that may
have started it the Vigil who may have started it other
shareholders outside who may own pieces of it and moves that ownership one way
or another by buying out the old people by issuing noose the old owners issuing
new stocks there’s various ways of doing it but they’re basically transferring
ownership to the workers themselves one of the goals of mr. McKeon are best
expressed by him and since he gave an interview recently that I found I want
to read it to you here we go one this is mr. McKean explaining why he did what he
did one way I pledged to keep this industry awesome is my never selling my
brewery to big beer big beer beans you know Budweiser any of the other monsters
continuing with mr. McKee there were likely come a time when I’m tired of
carrying the weight of so much responsibility as the owner/operator of
modern times beer but when that time comes I’m not going to screw the people
who made my success possible in the first place I want to read that to you
again quote I’m not going to screw the people who made my success possible in
the first place that would be an unethical choice I
could never be proud of I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to everyone
in this industry and when it comes time for me to do something else
I refuse to throw a hand grenade over my shoulder on my way out the door
oh goodness an employer an entrepreneur who understands the gratitude he owes to
his workers to the community in which he developed this industry to the countless
helping hands large and small that all of those people employees and citizens
gave to his company he doesn’t want to throw a hand grenade on his way out the
door let me continue reading from mr. McKean
I’ve certainly given this a great deal of thought what I learned is that if
employees are not passionate about what the company makes and how it operates
they won’t see themselves as having a future in it even a 100 percent es o P
let me interject that’s a company where a hundred percent of the ownership is in
the hands of the employees it does not have to offer any meaningful governance
or management role to employees what is he saying he is saying that even if the
workers own a hundred percent they can continue to live and work as workers in
other words they don’t act on their ownership they don’t use their ownership
to change how the enterprise actually works the consequence of not giving
employees governance and control mr. McKean goes on to say is the following
and again I quote if you do that the company’s owners aren’t invested in the
company’s direction that’s a formula for a bad culture it can lead to selling the
company to big beer we plan to do the opposite and by that he means they’re
going to take economic ownership what Aesop’s are when workers become owners
and they’re going to use the ownership to do something very different very
important and very additional and that is to become a company that is not just
owned by the workers but is run by the workers it’s not workers who are stock
owners but give the role of running the company to a board of directors of your
people not themselves workers no no no what mr. McKean is talking about is
making the workers not only the owners here it comes the operators the
directors they won’t name other people to be directors they’re
going to make themselves the directors you know why because as he puts it it’s
ethical it makes the company more successful and obviously it increases
the likelihood that the company will stay where these workers are rather than
sell out to somebody else destroying jobs damaging the community if and when
the company you sell to decides to leave to make more money elsewhere sort of
like the car companies in Detroit did because they were never run by their
workers mr. McKean is recognizing something that is fundamental to the
problems of the American capitalist economy most industries and most
enterprises don’t have someone like Jacob McKean too bad for them their
culture isn’t good the way he says they do sell out quickly and often the people
who will move the factory out of the country to people who move the office
out of this state to people who will go where the profits are higher rather than
taking account of the profits but alongside the lives of the people the
workers in the surrounding community that are effective the way to change
that is not the path of law that corporations will evade it’s not a
regulation it’s a change of the structure of the enterprise to make the
enterprise a place where those who work in it own it and direct it and where the
decisions they make have to be made together with the decisions coming from
the residential communities that are affected by the company’s decisions the
community’s decisions affect the company the company’s decisions affect the
residential community so they need to be together in making decisions each one
has to have veto power over the other one because they have to work out things
that are good for the people as workers and for the people as residents in the
community if you don’t do that your democracy isn’t real and if you don’t do
that you have all the bad consequences that mr. Jacob McKean a successful
entrepreneur figures out for himself and announces to the world he puts his money
where his mouth is and 118 workers in San Diego have launched themselves with
his help on a project not just to become the owners and thereby much more secure
in their jobs but to do with that ownership the transformation of their
daily lives they will all become not just workers in a beer factory but also
the designers the directors the decision makers on how to build that business how
to build the relationships with the communities where they live they’re in a
position to change the economic system to go beyond capitalism in a practical
way and beyond capitalism is not an abstraction it’s a simple idea end the
arrangement where they’re a minority of people are the employers and the
majority of the people are the employees such that the minority makes all the key
decisions and the majority has to make do and live with the results of it
decisions from which they are excluded that’s what mr. McKean wants to put
aside and I am proud and pleased take my hat off and to say wow there goes the
kind of on-the-ground practical moving beyond the capitalist system that is the
hope of the future of an economy in this country that has shown itself to be a
vehicle for those at the top those Renaissance folks in Detroit while it
leaves the mass of the people to live with the failures with the destruction
that capitalism has wreaked in so many parts of the United States and beyond
we’ve come to the end of this program I want to thank you for being with us I
want to remind you that the biggest goal of this program is to partner with you
in getting this message these ideas these understandings out to a larger
population I want to thank truth out or that
remarkable independent source of news and information that has partnered with
us for years I look forward to speaking with you again

73 thoughts on “Economic Update: Capitalism’s Leaders

  1. Prof. Wolff, could you share where should I study to better understand the federal reserve and monetary policy, thank you and I really appreciate your events and topics covered.

  2. No offense to all the wonderful guests that join the show, but I like it so much better when it's just an hour of Richard Wolff talking!

  3. Recipe for a Revolution:
    Oligarchs tax the working poor beyond their means to maintain a relative standard of living. Tax evading rich blame "God" for making poor people…

  4. It's not just a matter of insuring everyone. We have a massive deficiency in capacity. Medical clinics, urgent care facilities, emergency room beds, specialists, equipment. Even in cities like San Francisco there's been a real problem, and in many rural communities there's literally nothing.

  5. "… not only to inform you, but also to give you ammunition"
    I hope he didnt take my "italian mob boss" joke too literally. Nonetheless, i'd take anything you give me Mr. Wolff, God Bless you.

  6. America is a completely failed state and has been so for many years, a place where kaos has found it's place of existance, a black hole for what's human fairness, a Sagittarius in the Milky Way og ignorance. Chris Hedges was right when he compared Trump with Commodus but this is simply not enough because the whole garniture among him is doubtful and the system must disappear. When you compare US with the european countries – even thouh America has "shitten" all over us for causing the refugees – it's way behind in social development in every field. The only solution for every citizen seems to be to grab a pitchfork and march to the Wall Street and demand far better lifeterms…

  7. Hello from Scotland, been listening and watching professor Wolff for a few years now, love your show, love your tenacity, hate you have to do it because of globalisation, oligarchy, politicians, capitalism etc etc ……..

  8. Prof. Wolff and all, please try to partner with other channels like Kyle Kulinski (Secular Talk), Jimmy Dore (The Jimmy Dore Show), or TYT to expand your subscriber base. Your perspective is invaluable and deserves a wider audience!

  9. Excellent work as always. I just signed up on patreon; the first time I've done so. Perhaps an episode with Greg Palast, he's doing important work on voter fraud even though that isn't strictly an economic issue.

  10. That music Uggh! Why not use 9 seconds of "I can see clearly now"? …
    … Time to recognize health care IS infrastructure. The Obama supporters never saw what a horse collar the ACA was. It's as though reverse psychology was used to sell it.
    ACA is welfare for doctors and hospitals and drug companies. Wolff needs to crowd fund a federal class action for congress failure to represent the populace; and, deprivation of property without due process.

  11. I just had a conversation with some churchgoing people this evening and mentioned the Professor's work… They're older, and I had to assure them that I wasn't in favor of the government owning everything, and that socialism is what FDR did… I wonder how other churchgoing people will like the professor's words and ideas… I shared his work before and all through the election, and it pushed his audience up… I think it's time to take it to people who would not normally look for his flavor of thought… It just might be a sector that could surprise the nation… After all, they do think the world of FDR… We'll see…

  12. The producer of these videos really needs to make the audio volume consistent so the listener doesn't have to be blasted by the sudden rise in volume during the commercials and during the music at the beginning and end of each show.

  13. Great report but Dr Wolff does not go far enough yo state that our. "leaders" are OWNED
    By the insurance cartel who lobby the hell out of them via millions of dollars in bribes from insurance companies into pockets of most of representatives. Keep going, Sir.

  14. "Thanks Dr, your one if the few academics,who demonstrate "Education" by giving a s#&_t about ordinary people,the rest of them are useless,the sooner their of "OUR "planet the better!"

  15. 0:15 Welcome. 0:55 Announcements. 2:24 Healthcare bills. 7:23 Minimum wages. 8:45 Unions and medical insurance. 12:05 Pope Francis address labour unions. 18:27 Seattle taxes the rich. 30:43 Info on how to follow/contact. 33:18 The leaders of G20. 39:32 Detroit's "revival". 44:55 Beer company. Worker ownership/directorship.

  16. Thanks for this weeks update professor,The Vatican is rolling in the dough(gluten free) but it is good to see Pope Francis fighting for the workers,no doubt he will have made enemies over this.McCarthyism has decimated U.S. unions ,little wonder they have such poor pay conditions,time to strenghten your unions again America,Socialism is not a dirty word (unless your a greedy Capitalist).

  17. Don't like the intro music – it is way too raucous and completely out of sync with Prof Wolff's presentations
    What he is doing is not some sort of cool magazine program for hipsters
    The video production of the presentation is excellent

  18. Here in Iowa the ONLY insurance company who's on board with the ACA is called "Coventry"; and, they are renowned locally for denying coverage to everyone for any reason!

  19. Baltimore is another American city that has melted down into a tale of 2 cities…very rich and mainly extremely poor with high violent and property crime…

  20. I hate the rainy weather, but my sanity might force me into a move to Seattle. Any other bastions of enlightened thinking that could be recommended?

  21. Why didn't Hancocks Fabric and Boarders Books do this by becoming ESOPs, rather than going belly up and leave their employees jobless? Here in Iowa the employees of Boarders wanted to continue on, but the landlord for their building refused since they were going to increase the rents on a new tenant to replace Boarders (that location hasn't done well, since)!

  22. considering the USA is literally sitting on a gigantic gold mine (Alaska) it is a shame the way things are,we should aggressively strip mine Alaska for gold and we could all be wiping our bum bums with 100$ bills😆

  23. Democrats and Republicans remind me of two siblings fighting in the back seat of the car while the daddy drives it and the mommy swats at the kids and tells them to shut up😂😉

  24. Richard. How do you make liberals interested in democracy at work, and civic engagement? Liberals just want a spring break and show their titties every week. DAW dont fit with a cultural libertarian lifestyle it goes with a socialist culture

  25. Dear Dr. Wolf, would you please, one day, talk about the differences between "free enterprise", "capitalism", and "socialism". I was a delegate for Senator Sanders, I try to spread the word in a respectful manner to others; however, many people have been "trained" to believe "free-enterprise and capitalism" are synonymous, and that "socialism" is the antithesis. I would like to share your analysis on Facebook. Thank you.

  26. Seattle mayor debate was from another dimension if yu know what I mean. All the canditates on the top 6-7  should just work together one day a week and spread the love.

  27. Unemployment serves a function in the economy. Some "experts" describe how a certain amount of unemployment is a "good" thing and is, in fact, necessary. So if you're unemployed, you're actually helping the country according to some economists. Unemployment keeps down demand which keeps down inflation Some "economists" say it keeps the economy from "overheating".   Unemployment keeps wages low, which helps keep workers in check and paranoid and easier to control. Unemployment keeps the population down as people don't marry and have children. Unemployment leads to petty crime which is good for the profit making prison industry which employs them for 10 cents/hour making license plates or whatever. Unemployment is essential to our economy. I would like to hear Dr. Wolff explain this "logic" of unemployment in our capitalist economy. Also, when you're down and out unemployed, it makes those that are employed feel better when they see you down and stagnant, getting no where in life. It is essential in the capitalist system that some fail, falter, and lose. You have your predators and prey. You better know who is who in this equation or you will have your head bitten off. I used to be one of those lingering in the parents basement getting no where in life. My role in my family was to linger and stagnate, getting more depressed and dejected. It made everyone else in my family feel better seeing me so low and down. I guess you could say they were not so supportive. Ha ha ha. Nevertheless, I never knew I was providing such a "service" to the economy. Capitalism is proof that there is heaven and hell, and, unfortunately that hell is getting hotter as this brutal system matures. Whatever "good" it does, unemployment is hell for millions. Those with jobs, humble yourselves, your parents basement will not be there forever. And the people at the top don't give a shit about you and the government cares even less. Try to steal a can of Vienna sausages from Walmart and you're going to get your ass kicked, but the crooked banker who stole millions goes free. So what is the solution? I wish I knew.

  28. Fiat currency always fails and is not capital as it is a fiction that no one can use as a store of value Richard Wolff is a joke as he does not address this or the interference in the economy by governments.

  29. LOL Detriots down fall and current status is from 60 plus years of DEMOCRAT control and over spending to buy votes property, taxes twice that of national average the constant threat by politicians to shift the Zoning of areas in order to extract campaign funds. the UWA administration's constant desire for more currency and benefits to pay for its self and justify its existence to the common member was another factor in why the auto industry left Commie land.

  30. If you reward failure and punish success which do you think you will get more of and which will you get less of?

  31. I get a little frustrated by the way that you vilify the beneficiaries of the economic system, without identifying the system as a problem. It is essentially the same as blaming the person who steals food because they are starving. It's external pressures that give rise to the behavior, and I find it detrimental to enacting solutions to try to blame the actors for their choices. If your goal is to identify the circumstances that give rise to the behaviors that are considered antisocial, then you must consider the fact that humans have no free will. Only then, will you be able to make any progress towards the solutions. I will urge, again, that you consider the ideas put forward by Jacque Fresco in his Venus Project. There will be no solutions to our problems until we understand the scientific basis for their causes. The Venus Project is not put forward as THE solution, but, as one possible solution along the lines of scientific reasoning. If you want to find solutions, you would be well served by understanding the problem.

  32. I live in the USA and its like a Vampire Horror Movie were the vampires use the population as a farm or food source. Global Capitalism, It's brutal.

  33. These people today have not the since to stand together for anything unless it gives the tier 15 minutes of fame. Sorry they country is on the road to destruction. A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know where it is today.

  34. Mr. Wolfe, I love most of what you say but….
    The pope is still awful by continuing to preach condoms are bad to the AIDS ravaged populations of Africa and continues to shield the pedophiles filling the church's ranks.

  35. Dan Gilbert is an evil fucking dude. As a resident detroiter, we have to fight on everything that's going on. He doesn't give two shits about the poor.

  36. Bravo, Seattle. Bravo . PS Kudo's Modern Dai Beer, That's A Owner who GETS IT ! Long Liv that Man . . .

  37. It strikes me as odd that anyone is surprised by Pope Francis’ words, as he is restating teachings that the Church has held since 1891.

  38. chlorine

    Elemental chlorine at high conc is extremely dangerous and poisonous for all living organisms, and was used in WWI as the first gaseous chemical weapon.

    القرآن – سورۃ نمبر 83 المطففين
    آیت نمبر 10

    أَعـوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْـطانِ الرَّجيـم
    بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

    وَيۡلٌ يَّوۡمَئِذٍ لِّلۡمُكَذِّبِيۡنَ ۞

    Translation:
    Woe, that Day, to the deniers,

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