Marxist Economist debates FOX’s Stuart Varney about Socialism

Marxist Economist debates FOX’s Stuart Varney about Socialism


Senator Bernie Sanders renewing calls
for a single-payer health care system as the GOP fails to replace and repair
Obamacare. Listen to Senator Sanders: [TAPPER] Are you going to introduce single-payer?
[SANDERS] Absolutely, of course we are. We’re just tweaking the final points
of the bill and we’re figuring out how we can mount a national campaign to bring people together. [VARNEY] Ah, Socialism. Here it comes. We’re joined now by Richard Wolff, Visiting Professor at the New School. By the way, this is the good
Professor. The New York Times says this man is “America’s most famous Marxist Economist” and his name is Richard Wolff. Professor, welcome. [WOLFF] Thank you very much.
[VARNEY] Look, I’m a child of the 1960s. I went to the London School of Economics – which in those days was pure Marxism – then Marxism came, went out of fashion, the word “socialism” went out of fashion…but I think it’s back. Why is it back? [WOLFF] You know, it’s an old story. Socialism is in a way the shadow of capitalism. Nothing guarantees the future of socialism so much as capitalism because socialism is capitalism self-criticism. You know, every economic system has had the people who love it, and the people who don’t. And they’d had a debate. And we would have had that over the last 30 years if there weren’t the taboo – the
Cold War and all of that – and so we’re just getting back to kind of where we
should have been: let’s have a debate. Strengths and weaknesses of capitalism,
strengths and weaknesses of socialism. [VARNEY] When I was studying Marxism – and we did back in the 1960s – there was the long- [WOLFF] You survived. [VARNEY] Yeah, I survived…laws, the dynamic, the dialectic of history which propelled us towards the
inevitable proletarian revolution. You’re a Marxist economists. Do you think, do you really think that a proletarian revolution it’s just around the corner
in America? [WOLFF] No, an inevitability has never been my strong suit. I don’t know what
the future is going to bring any more than anybody else does. I think when you
have people who are struggling – and it’s hard, and they’re trying to make a change,
and it doesn’t come easily – there’s a temptation to believe that somehow it’s
in the works. It’ll happen for sure; maybe not right now but in the future;
it’s an indulgence, but it’s not a serious idea. I think the question of socialism is up for grabs, as is the question of capitalism, too. Every other system has been born, changed and died…capitalism, too. [VARNEY] Give me the reason why you, a very nice guy with a smile on your face,
should be a commie pinko bed-wetter. Why do you think that socialism is so
good for America now? Why? [WOLFF] Because capitalism isn’t doing a real good job for most Americans. We have a level of inequality that is extreme, going back…I
mean, you’re group in England – if I can call you partly British –
Oxfam, did a study recently that said the richest hundred or so people
have more wealth combined than the bottom half of the population of the
planet. That’s a level of inequality that you have to go back to the ancient
Pharaohs to see. We’ve also had two collapses of this capitalism in the last
75 years: one in the 30s and now another one in 2008. Most Americans are not back to where they were in 2007 in terms of their real incomes. Their jobs are less
secure, they have fewer benefits…I think you’re seeing a return to socialism not
so much because people like socialism. That may come – I don’t think it’s there
yet. If people who don’t like what they got, and what they see, and what they see
for their kids. [VARNEY] I think we are on the European road. I think we in America are
moving down that collectivist Road. How long do you think before we become like
a Denmark, or a France, or something like that? [WOLFF] I don’t think anyone knows. I certainly don’t. I think that’s going to be a question of what we on the Left
call struggles. [VARNEY] Do you want it? Do you really want it? [WOLFF] Oh yes, I want a society of much less
inequality, of much more security for people…I think we’re better to each
other as human beings that way. [VARNEY] I like the individual freedom and the vigor…
[WOLFF] It’s not either-or. [VARNEY] …the dynamism that America has. [WOLFF] You can give all kinds of freedom and dynamism to individuals. I love that. But that doesn’t require that you allow that
individualism and dynamism to produce an inequality that extinguishes the freedom
of all those who don’t have the resources. [VARNEY] So you’re gonna tax entrepreneurs to death? [WOLFF] No.
[VARNEY] Okay, know, what would you do with Jeff Bezos? He is now the
richest person in the world, bar none. 91 billion dollars I think his worth. [WOLFF] He’s outdone Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Here’s what I would do: I don’t believe in
taxes on people who do hard work and earn their money. I don’t think
that has anything to do with socialism. My concern has been that other way you earn money. Not by what you do- [VARNEY] A capital gain. [WOLFF] -but what you own.
[VARNEY] Well would you tax his 91 billion dollars worth of ownership in Amazon? Would you tax it?
[WOLFF] I would tax the income he gets from his property at a much higher rate than
anything I would tax – and I prefer none at all – for the income he gets by his
work. A socialist is not against paying people for their work.
It’s paying people when they DON’T work- [VARNEY] He’s not going to pay that tax. Look- [WOLFF] In our system you never have to because you can buy the politicians. [VARNEY] No, it’s not that. He’s got ninety billion dollars, he goes to a bank and
says I got 90 billion dollars worth of Amazon stock. Give me a loan. And the
bank says: how much would you like? They give him a loan, he doesn’t have to sell
the stock where he would pay capital gains, no he just gets the loan from the bank. How would you stop him? [WOLFF] I would stop him because I
wouldn’t allow that kind of thing to happen in the first place. There is no
reason on this Good Earth why one human being ought to dispose of 90 billion dollars.
[VARNEY But then how are you’re gonna stop him? [WOLFF] I’m gonna stop him by not letting him accumulate that in the first place. By taxing the income from property and not the income from labor. [VARNEY] He
started the company, he’d built the stock he’s got ownership of the stock, he’s got
the wealth. At what point would you take it off him? [WOLFF] But the wealth he got, the
wealthy accumulated, was mostly not from his work that he got paid for, but from
his property. If you stop that right at the beginning- [VARNEY] What do you mean “property”?
[WOLFF] His ownership. [VARNEY] Ownership of the company? [WOLFF] No, ownership of the stocks. [VARNEY] Alright, ownership of the stock in-
[WOLFF] Owning of the company is matter a speech. [VARNEY] Well, how would you take that off him? Would you not allow him to own that stock? [WOLFF] You know, you would allow him to invest, you would allow him to initiate a business- [VARNEY] That’s big of you.
[WOLFF] Yes. Well, trying to be nice. [VARNEY] But you still haven’t taken it off him.
[WOLFF] No, you haven’t taken it off him because you don’t have a tax on the capital appreciation and the income from his
property. [VARNEY] Thank God, but stay there, please Professor. Keep that smile. [WOLFF] I will.
[VARNEY] What do we got? Right after this, we’re going to talk Venezuela – the collapse of socialism. And the good Professor will stay to hear me out. Back in a second.

100 thoughts on “Marxist Economist debates FOX’s Stuart Varney about Socialism

  1. As a former leftist it kills me to hear people criticize the only economic system that actually pulls the poor out of poverty…the system of capitalism. Socialism does nothing more than freeze the economy and makes everyone equally poor and miserable.

  2. "The richest hundreds or so people have more wealth combined than the bottom half of the population of the planet. That's the level of inequality that you have to go back to the ancient Pharaohs to see'. Richard Wolff.

    And what was the system of the Pharaohs? Slavery.

  3. WOW..only fox would be stupid enough to invite Dr. Wolff on to argue about socialism…jeezze guys, thats like inviting Karl Marx on to discuss Communism..that was devistation. I think the idiot brigade at fox is masochistic. I would have loved to watch them walk right in to the us led sanctions in VE, just keep running your mouthes, we've got facts for ya all night

  4. Varney comes off as an arrogant prick by laughing dismissively at Mr. Wolff. I think he didn't realize he wasn't able to turn Richard into a sideshow attraction, and so he ended it egotistically.

  5. he was really trying to get wolff to say something violent. issue is, wolff is a bit of a softer socialist, he doesn't agree with antifa like most leftists and is closer to a social democrat than anything, so varney was really barking up the wrong tree here. should've had me on, i'd have let them hear all about the wonders of the guillotine

  6. I think Varney was pretty subdued by Richard being genial and smiling and not reacting to his "pinko commie" nonsense. He thrives on irritating people until they react emotionally, much like Shapiro/Tucker Carlson, and really can't survive a discussion if their opponent doesn't take the bait. All he could do is acknowledge that Bezos is a tax cheat and our system has no method with which to extract his absurd wealth, which, you'd think he'd consider why that's bad.

  7. That host is an idiot, or at least he was pretending to be, so that he cannot be convinced of the obvious. Very annoying. Why would you invite a guest when you pretend not to understand whatever he says? It only makes you look stupid.

  8. Lol the Fox lacky was lapping at the bit the defend daddy bezos. Wealth hoarding is totally okay while children starve in America. Yep.

  9. Host Stuart Varney is an angry bully. Stuart is so proud to be deaf and
    simple minded. Truly an ugly American looking for a fight because Prof
    Wolff thinks differently and social equality means Stuart will lose
    something. Stuart is a dumb bully. Prof Wolff is calm and articulate.

  10. Bet this guy wouldn't be against the socialist program of fire fighters coming when his house was on fire. Using those socialist roads to get there.

  11. Wolff was doing his best to hide the fact that yes, he would forcibly rip the wealth out of bezos' hands by any means necessary. And, if government has the power to do it to bezos, it has the power to rip it out of your hands too. Freedom and socialism definitely is an either/or.

  12. Just listen to the mounting panic and hysteria in Varney's voice. He tries every trick in the book but cannot avoid looking like the corporate schmuck he is against the logic and reasonableness of Wolff.

  13. it is interesting that someone who doesn't believe proletarian revolution or says that future is hard to predict, is called a Marxist economist. The old Marxism is dead, I guess. Marxists have learned something other than revolution and seizing other peoples's properties. good for them. they are converging more and more toward capitalism. 10 years later: a Marxist economy: we believe in free market and property rights and democracy, we have always been. Marx was an admirer of free market( as her tires to rewrite the history).

  14. varney lost it when he spoke about economics as a "fashion" . this is a choice made by the people? i do not remembering voting on that. economics is a soft science that works by the use of "externality's " to prove certain models of  what i call bean-counter-ism.

  15. You can see him repeatedly try to get a rise out of Wolff, and ignore all his responses. It's not an interview, it's a trolling contest. No one likes you, Stuart.

  16. At 3:25 I started to laugh. America moving down to the collectivist road? Mr. Varney, do you know that all this evolution that humankind went through is the collectivist road? Actually, capitalism raised with collectivist slogans, the capitalist nature of production is collectivist. A lot of people gathering in one place to produce some goods, the division of labor there makes everybody who participates in this very interdependent on each other.
    There are interests of two groups, one is employees and the other one employers and no matter what, they will encounter at some point a big misunderstanding. Then socialism was born in discussion about that misunderstanding.
    Mr. Varney, how American states become united? By individual effort or collective?
    Mr. Varney you are a typical presenter of you thin social layer – eggmass who mostly has little bourgeois consciousness, described by Bulgakov in his novel Dog's Heart. You are Klim Chugunkin, a little bourgeois, artist who dreaming to become rich, and his knowledge about socialism and communism is limited. Therefore you stamping a typical cliche such as entrepreneurs will die if socialism comes up, Jeff Bezos balalalalala. You really think that Jeff is doing something in his organization? He is just the guy who invested the money and has assistants who provide him with information, then he plays a speaking mouth and leader of all the things in Amazon. The image is just an image, created by a stupid journalist who does not know how manufacturing, supply chain and technology works.
    No matter what, but such guys will disappear in the same way how authentic feudal/knight/king disappeared. One day all of your generation who raised in such a discourse will pass away, and we who are young will fight each other because of your leave upon us a big amount of problems/contradictions. So I wonder what will happen in the future.

  17. hahhahahahaha, at 5:40, "he built the stock" …. Wow somebody is stupid so stupid, or he just lives in the 16th century. There were capitalists who worked themselves at the beginning, they really have done hard work, actually, that was a philosophy of earlier bourgeois. They were very humble, not using luxury and hard working. At that time such claims as you are poor because you are lazy was mostly true. Everybody got the opportunity to get wealth by doing some business after serfhood abolished. But in the dynamic development of capitalism, the capitalist became just the guy who pays and employing engineers, and labors. Then he got profit from all of the work of such people, then journalists praising him as a legend, "he found the company blabla", "he invented blabla" and etc. Look at Elon Musk, he is looser comparing to Henry Ford or Bill Gates. Every business what he takes over becomes unprofitable. I was surprised that many people think that he is one of the founders of PayPal, but he was just "the guy" who became CEO for short time and caused by his decision big issues with fraud.

  18. Varney wasn't his usual overly-obnoxious, insufferable self here, because he knows he's dealing with an intellectual heavyweight that will easily crush him and his tireseome laissez-faire capitalist nonsense.

  19. Funny, there is not going to be a proletarian revolution … it will be the conscience of capitalists to either let masses and masses of people live and die in poverty for no reason for a few more pennies, so do we all sink or swim as human beings on this planet as civilized beings?

  20. "Because capitalism isn't doing a real good job for most Americans."

    I'm quite sure that every American would prosper just like the citizens of every other country that has implemented socialism.

  21. Even Adam Smith said that one of several preconditions for capitalism was to eliminate economic rent/unearned income.

  22. I noticed Wolff can only criticize capitalism at the macro through metaphysics. It's not very persuasive for people who like high resolution in discussions. The pro capitalist equivalent to Wolff's method of deconstruction would be to focus on communisms body count in the twentieth century without delving into Marxist literature and comparing it to collectivised economies and their intellectual forerunners.

  23. So he wants to tax profit on the value of the stock, not even on the profit he gets when he removes the stocks or sells the stocks? But simply will not stock goes up in value it will be taxed? Even though it was unrealized?

  24. Love watching wolf stick it back in the face of fake capitalist….socialism is comming to America because capitalism is screwing the every day person….there is no good reason anyone should be worth billions of dollars while 90% of the country struggles….it's time to take back from the rich what they have stolen…

  25. Capitalism fall's on it's face every 4 to 10 years….you capitalist call it a recession….the working man calls it a ripoff….

  26. Capitalism collapsed twice in the US; the country is now home to much inequality and corruption. Commentators live stating Venezuela is a failed socialist state yet we never look at how the US has sabotaged Venezuela in the attempt to possess its natural resources i.e., fossil fuel. It’s a shame to see what the US has become.

  27. What a smug shithead, purposely not understanding Richard and putting words in his mouth and cutting him off constantly. This is why I hate the mainstream media. All spin and no substance, by design.

  28. Wolf is wrong, the money belong to shareholders, the money earned by labor ( marx) 30 % or more is to pay taxes, to pay supply expenses, salaries, inflation caused by goberment overexpending on military, welfare programs, etc, some money to pay a investors, legal reservs, reinvest in the company and to cover past losses

  29. I love how they planned the segment on Venezuela right after the interview with Prof. Wolff. How clever. When you talk about Venezuela don't leave anything (Facts) out now.

  30. you can see the difference between fox news hosts and other journalists:
    other journalists let people speak their word, and then respond
    fox news host interrupt and keep derailing the conversation as soon as it starts getting to an interesting point so that the point can't be stated fully in order to prolong the conversation until the midbreak of the interview.
    That's how you push an agenda, that's how you make sure you keep pushing the host's ideas without giving a chance to the guest to speak their mind and let the ideas spread:
    gentlemen this is free market place of ideas you want, good luck with it

  31. "You think the US GOVERNMENT can take money from RICH PEOPLE?? HAAHAAHAHAHA! what do you think we are? the most powerful government in the history of the world?"

  32. This was kind of bearable until Varney started talking about banks. That was so stupid, so ideologically grounded, that Wolff could barely respond. How do you argue against a problem that would disappear when you get what you want? No, tax evasion is a natural part of life, just as much as breathing.

  33. Leave to fox to find the biggest douches around the world to be a host of a show, and make it seem like they are just being fair and balanced. Richard Wolff has more credentials then Varney and his ancestry put together. Yet Varney is arrogantly laughing and putting on a show as if he has something smart to say. The only fools he is fooling, are the fools who merit Fox.

  34. Fashion repeats
    What time teach
    How and why ?
    learn, don't shy
    Do someone care ?
    Personalities often dare
    to run away
    like you sway
    Try equality within
    You love telling
    poors pray for you
    When help is through
    dont think of your capital always
    passions are considered, so weigh

  35. Who knew the juxtaposition of two old grumpy guys could make them both so… so jovial?! "A very nice guy with a smile on your face" Has anyone ever heard Richard Wolff described in this way???

  36. cue the Venezuela argument – oh wait, that's a failed coup. also, Denmark, Sweden and France have freedom, Stuart, you fucking tool.

  37. Why do you suppose Stuart Varney is so resistant to an education? You have a man in Wolff who has spent his life studying Marxism, Capitalism, and the economy, and this bozo laughs about a cheat rather than interview him for his viewers.

  38. "Venezuela: the collapse of socialism"……… forgot to mention which socialism – the one practiced in between American corporations who have unilaterally, illegally sanctioned Venezuela's national economy to force a popular uprising against an autonomous, US-defying leader.

  39. The ACA killed any entertainment of socialism for me. The fact that I have to buy health insurance or I pay a fine takes away my freedom. I don’t want any more socialism if it forces me to do things I don’t want via threats of imprisonment or worse.

  40. Professor Wolf is cool as a cucumber & stays true through the flurry by Varney. Professor Wolf gives substance to the adage that an educated man cannot be insulted. Many thanks to Professor Wolf.

  41. Why the People Who think that capithalism is flawless It so ignoran? Oh, because the very notion that something its perfect its stupid

  42. I can’t believe all these ppl in here want to take a man wealth from him do you know how he struggled and built his company now you want to take what he earned away from him go build something and work and toil over it and let someone take what you worked for away from you and lets see how any one of you would like it

  43. By taxing the hell from ownership income you prevent wealth creation and disincentivize investment. You basically want to force everyone to be employee and be payed for work, but then there will be nothing that could be bought for it because everything that can be owned is taxed so nobady will build it. You can tell right away that you wan't to sociallize all property.

  44. Jeff Bezzos built that wealth. Every purchase on amazon is a vote saying that Jeff deserves his wealth. Noone forces you to buy things on amazon, it's completelly voluntary. How much more democratization you want? He builds wealth and you profit from it. The money on his account are not wealth, the goods you consume are wealth.

  45. As far as I know, Marxism says about not letting entrepreneurs having means of production. So Bill Gates could be in charge of his company but getting appropriate salary not all the results. Why are you talking about taxes in this case?

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