Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York City. He wrote Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism and founded www.democracyatwork.info, a non-profit advocacy organization of the same name that promotes democratic workplaces as a key path to a stronger, democratic economic system.
Professor Wolff discusses the economic dimensions of our lives, our jobs, our incomes, our debts, those of our children, and those looming down the road in his unique mixture of deep insight and dry humor. He presents current events and draws connections to the past to highlight the machinations of our global economy. He helps us to understand political and corporate policy, organization of labor, the distribution of goods and services, and challenges us to question some of the deepest foundations of our society. For more of his lectures, visit the Democracy at Work YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/democracyatwrk.
Get the book here: https://goo.gl/XDxuDL
21:40 "a tiny group of people make all the decisions that the mass of people have to live with." Whereas in a marxist country, like Cuba, north Korea, and Stalinist Russia, everybody had an equal vote....no wait!
Mr. Professor, Economic advancement needs greed. Socialism won't work because it denies of human greed. That was why the USSR collapsed. The Chinese economy is in fact a new capitalist system. It is still a young capitalist system.
his solution of a vote for every employee would send most competitive companies into bankruptcy because other companies would move factories overseas and undercut their prices. The only solution is to make it a law that minimum wage and environmental laws must be enforced regardless of location of the factory in the world. Any product imported at our borders must have a certificate with proof of good wages and environmental record verified by environmental /wage protection agencies funded by goverment to investigate (2 separate independent audits per company that wants to import). The cost of that enforcement would be provided by an import tariff.
I say let the big banks fail next time around. No bank in the world should be greater than 1% of the entire size of the banking industry. Any new money printed should go straight to individual people, let's say $10,000 per person, which is still a bit less what they printed for the banks and government last time with quantitative easing. It would be bottom up economics instead of top down like they do it. Just an idea. We havent really tried real capitalism since the biggest mistakes get a bailout and those nad actors just get more powerful each cycle.
I havent watched it all yet, but so far no mention of the big banks running everything because they decide who gets the loans. Then when there's a crisis, they print more money to give it to all the banks that made bad investments, all while the failing bankers and corporations get to keep their high profits they made during the good years. Private profit and public taking all the losses. The federal reserve of the u.s. controls the world and picks the winners and losers. All the big companies and banks are "too big to fail"
Capitalism allows you to have any organizational system you want. You can create a non profit company with equal pay and equal say, with any structure as long as it does not break labour laws. As he stated there are companies like that in various forms today. In a socialist society a capitalist company would NOT be allowed. Create as many of these co-ops as you want.
The great depression is such a hilarious example for socialists to point to. The great depression was a decade of economic collapse that existed simultaneously with basically the most massive government intervention in the economy in US history. That's the opposite of evidence in favor of a position that says we need more government intervention.
The capitalist is fine when people free to invest whatever they please but what wrong is that the greedy and selfish behavior of zero-sum game is the problem, it is no limitation of greed like the corporations, they are getting too big and powerful above the law and they create the unequal of the income distribution. We need to design the new system, equal, fair and moral opportunity for humanity. Capitalist today is the tool for the crooks, evil and self-interest corporations who treated all citizens as cheap slaves. China is not much different, they are getting greed but the state is above the corporations, corruption is increasing, just like the USA. What we need is one world governance, a single currency and moral economic and limit the size of free enterprises.
I wish Dr. Wolff run for president.
There is a lot of opportunity within capitalism to be explored. I believe the big opportunity is for a robust and respectful debate about re-calibrating or defining the options to operate within the capitalist structure. I am very much in favor of exploring new team ownership options where the staff are more involved in the running of the company and sharing in the profit of the company.I am speaking about significant stakeholder positioned where the employee group would hold a major shareholding. I am also in
favor of exploring major tax breaks for these structures. A couple of options are profit sharing and ownership by the employees. The most important thing to understand is that All of what Richard Wolff is saying seems to be delivered in a somewhat condescending way from my standpoint, however maybe i just feel that way beciase i have been working on my start up for a long time
lol. Other things that need to be understood and though about very clearly is that business is more volatile than this presentation ever addresses, therefore many businesses fail, many more never take off and many that do succeed do so because of the will if the founders. I believe that there is need for a good debate for exploring how we open the market to more ownership by the working team and also look at alternative structures. I would suggest that the process is exciting and needs to be approached with some degree of enthusiasm and caution. No one has the perfect system and all systems will fail all of us if we have blind faith. We need some regulation for maturing successful industries and more open and experiential opportunities. There can be no getting away from the truth that none will ever get paid what they re worth unless they own the business. today the market is open to small business more so than ever before. We must all be open to new ideas and committed to striving for bringing stable careers
that can fund the development of families and lives and also open the door to more ownership based structures where the worker is the owner or at least one of the owners with real profit share. Not one system is right for everyone.
Except communism/socialism have killed millions of people. Any country that applies communism ends in masses going hungry. Not afraid to say that this guy is a complete tool, who's doesn't understand history or economics.
Same old tactics: spouting the benefits and virtues of a Marxist economic system by pointing all the flaws of a capitalist system.
Capitalism is not perfect, it might not even be good enough, but it's the best that humans manage to create. The crashes are inevitable and they are a necessary evil for the system to self-destruct so it can clean itself up and re-emerge again. It's a natural cycle. All the ups and downs come with the package of a dynamic system. Now, do you even have concrete examples of the ups of a Marxist system?
Richard Wolff, in the real world, ideas are cheap. The values of your idea, or anyone else's idea, can only be validated or invalidated by real world implementations. Sometimes, it works well but then it fizzles, or vice versa. But the idea of any economic system by itself means nothing, it's the implementation of which and how it impacts the society at large that matters. So, show us some shining examples of a triumphant Marxist system where the people were prospering, realizing their dreams, and living the lives they strive to create for themselves. At least, by then, us hopeless greedy, blood sucking cold heart capitalists can learn a few things or two so we can better our flawed selves.
Until you can do so, we'll have to refer to the concrete examples from the 20th century: the USSR, the Easter European block, and the communist China. And we all know how that turned out and, given a choice, which system they decided to implement after the collapse. And how come none of these countries ever said "hey you know what, the Marxism is great, we just didn't implement it right. Let's do a Marxism again".
Yes, lots of people are marginalized under a capitalist system, but by and large, the overall standard of living has increased steadily. Talk is cheap, so please show us a Marxist system that functions and how and why that is better.
But I think we all know you can't do that. After all, there are doers and talkers in this world, I think we all know which camp you fall under.
Is he really suggesting the Great Depression and the crash of '08 were the fault of Capitalism? There weren't large scale state interventions? The Federal Reserve wasn't actively manipulating the money supply or interest rates? There weren't large scale government programs being put into place? (Yes, even under Hoover - he was not nearly the free market guy we've been told).
All of these things are the antithesis of the free market... Here's a little food for thought - in 1920, there was a depression in the U.S... By every metric, it was just as bad as the Great Depression. Government did next to nothing to help it. By the years end it was all over and prosperity came back quickly.
This man is a lunatic. Let me explain. You paid for a million dollar mansion. Now you need to have people work on your property to tally up the gas you use, or install your Internet. Switch on your electricity. Deliver packages to you. Rain water rolls off your property into the municipal water supply. All kinds of people providing you with services that you hire them to do. Now, at the end of the year your property goes up in value. You are worth more than you were before you paid for that property. So now you must ask all those people who provide services to your property what you must use that for? You could choose to put in a pool, or a tennis court. They decide you must put a community center, or a public park on your property. How about a half-way house for criminals and drug addicts? How about a public motocross circuit on your property that you don't want? How about a community dump? How about toxic waste disposal? It serves your community! You are not allowed to object! How is a home, and a business part of the same discussion? They are both private property. Our Constitution protects the people from having their property seized without due compensation.
When you get hired into a job, you are compensated. If you don't agree with the rate of compensation you walk. If you have unreasonable expectations as to your worth you starve. If you under value your worth you drive the wages down for everyone employed in your field. You do not have a say in how other people spend their money. Even if you were employed to help them make it. Good god you entitled idiots need to think through the consequences of these types of ideas. What kinds of drugs must you be on to think his ideas are good ones? Do you have IQs only in double digits? How stupid are you?
You still haven't found the courage. In a way, I'm glad, because I realize that for someone like you (a conservative Clapping Seal) I have a better suicide method. Here, consider this one ...
Turn on your mom's oven.
If you let the gas escape for a few minutes, before lighting a match ...
you'll go much faster!
JUST DOIN' MY PART TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE !!!!!!!!
+Bu11y 380 "Sports Fans ... it looks like he finally made a choice!
Now taking votes:
How many think he took the freeway?
How many think he chose the dynamite?
Personally, I don't really care. All I know is ...
I'M CLEANING UP THE CESSPOOL OF LIFE ...
ONE TURD AT A TIME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Racism is alive and well in the current year. Just hurry up, and go extinct whitey. We'll be busy fuckjing your women while we wait.
Sports Fans ... it looks like he finally made a choice!
Now taking votes:
How many think he took the freeway?
How many think he chose the dynamite?
Personally, I don't really care. All I know is ...
I'M CLEANING UP THE CESSPOOL OF LIFE ...
ONE TURD AT A TIME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
+Bu11y 380 "The night is young. You now have a choice:
Freeway vs. Dyn-o-mite!
Either way, it's a win-win:
you not only make the world a better place
but you end the agony of being ... you.
YOU CAN DO THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
You whiteys would know, you are showing us already how you do it. As I said we are patient.
Where did you get the idea that the U.S. was the most capitalistic country (notice the proper spelling?) on the planet?
Let me guess ... Fox "News" - AmIRight?
Let's see your evidence to back up your claim.
CHALLENGE ISSUED !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Margaret Thatcher (the iron lady) destroyed all the labor unions and privatized everything. Her father was a butcher and her husband was a businessman and her son got into the oil business in Texas, USA
"If you lived with someone as unstable as this system (Capitalism) you would've moved out long ago" yes that's why people were jumping the Wall to escape West Berlin to East Berlin, why Floridians are swimming amidst sharks to get to Cuba and why Venezuelas can't get any more refugees into their countries with its fantastic stable system!
There is no such thing as a "Socialist system."
Every country on Earth has Socialist programs mixed into their economies.
If you think you can name a Socialist system that exists,
or ever has existed, feel free to embarrass yourself further.
You can't list any because none have ever existed.
When your beliefs are nothing more than fairy tales based on propaganda,
it's time to take back that logic circuit in your head
and exchange it for one that works.
FUCKIN’ CRUSHED !!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are attributing refugee flight with socialism because you are too brainwashed to realize that in all these cases it was greedy capitalists who were behind the human catastrophes you listed.
EDUCATING THE LESS CRANIALLY ENDOWED !!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a profoundly stupid, lying human being this Richard Wolff is. Marxism is just a scam to privatize the whole country into the hands of one political party, nothing more, nothing less. Whatever failures "capitalism" has, Marxism always, with NO exceptions, makes it worse, far worse. It concentrates all politcal & economic power into the hands of one corporation, with a (usually male non-minority) cadre of leaders that only leave power when they die. Marxism is the return of the Ancien Regime, made worse.
"Free markets & competition threaten the fat cats."
You have it backwards. Free markets and competition are what the fat cats use to strip the ignorant masses of whatever they accumulate.
Keep voting Republican. The rich sure do appreciate ...
YOUR SUPPORT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"a scam to privatize the whole country into the hands of one political party, nothing more, nothing less."
You just described what is happening right now in America by capitalists!
DIDN’T THINK THAT ONE OUT FIRST ... DIDJA !!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Two interesting rules that might excite you:
Rule number one. The workers together hire and fire and evaluate the managers. I know, I have to let that sink in. In other words it’s the opposite of what you have. The workers decide whether the managers were successful and if they weren’t they’re gone.
They also have another rule. The highest paid person cannot get more than 8x the income of the lowest paid person. That’s how they solve the problem of inequality. Just gone. Not an issue. There is some inequality. Eight to one is still a hefty ratio. But I assume you know that the ratio of corporate CEO’s to low paid workers in American corporations is around 350 to 1."
~Prof Richard Wolff at 50:00
Peter Wolff is full of symptoms but doesn't ever tell you the direct cause. He is a slight of hand snake oil salesman. Prof Wolff is the Federal Reserve part of a the government or is it Private? Dr Wolff was America a grand experiment because we came to believe we can rule ourselves and the harder we worked the more we would benefit, keeping all that we earned, or is America great because we're a melting pot?Which is to say we are great because we are all different colors and different fill in the blank? Prof Wolf why do we have a third party, the federal reserve print our money and then have them loan it to us at interest, when we can print it ourselves interest free?Like the constitution says. Answer that you hack. No you have so many theories and inconsequential things to tell us delivered in a very eloquent way, but sadly it is nothing more than colorful bullshit.
The inconsequential thing is the currency printed on demand. How currency is utilized and the value attributed to it is the true pathology behind our failing understanding of economics. This social contract is the thing to be revamped, not just the body responsible for its paper-production.
Oy vey, goyim, turn to socialism: it'll lead you down the right path! Give up your freedoms, give up your money, give up your country and you too can benefit from being a puppet of God's Chosen People!
People confuse democracy with capitalism (an economic system). Until you can educate yourself minimally about economics, there is little sense of suggesting improvement, as the major improvement means accepting the idea of socialism as a possible solution.
one of the flaws of this truely brilliant perspective is the disregard of the fact that society, community and the working class should deserve to be involved into co-ops movement, be mature enough to adopt the work co-ops paradigm appropriately and effeciently
Drivel. It's fine to have a criticism of anything, including Capitalism, but to suggest there's something better than free market Capitalism is just nonsense. Mr. Wolff demonizes Capitalism. Capitalism is just a naturally forming derivative of freedom, rights and common sense. It's like someone demonizing air or water. Just drivel. His arguments and points break down with very little scrutiny.
So a kid in the UK has 3 years to live with care and the free gov care says it’s not long enough so their not paying for it. The kid is now off of the life support he needs. That’s the socialist gov run healthcare y’all want? No thanks! @lozoft9 @brent miller
Every once in a while someone says something that is momentous and illuminates a moment, a direction, a state of the universal flux, and exposes the operational state of affairs in such a way that even the casual observer comprehends that the dynamics of change can be understood given a lucid and coherent exposition of the true nature of the driving motivations behind the actions of those in control of society.
Another hypocrite anti capitalist who sells his own over priced merchandise on his website. How much profit are you making off the backs of others Wolff? I wonder how many excuses the logically inconsistent socialist drones will make for this retard.
Marx's views and examples of why capitalism was bad was based on the bottom 90% having less than the top 10% but this happens in every human statistic re-guard less of what it is the top 10% makes up over half in grades, ppl that do everything in jobs is 10%,10% own over half of money.......this also works on karl marx's idea which was communism which means one dictator and the "socialism" argument comes from the same base principles but in both of your societies the same thing happens over the course of about 80 years even in socialism and communism.... capitalism isnt the answer for equality of outcome it is the answer for freedomwhich includes the freedom to FAIL......
this is why when money breaks down you can save yourself if you know how money works or how to trade instead of using the dollar, buy things that make more money than it costed to begin with to save up faster socialism is for pansies that can't do things for themselves which is not the masses, just because everyone believes it doesnt make it true.....
Hopefully, Prof Wolff's talk made an impact on 1/4th of one person's brain in that room. His humour, sadly, seems to be lost on this audience and a small one at that judging from the hand claps. Tragic if that is the case.
Your professors knew that what you might destroy their grants. They were trying to protect you from becoming politically incorrect, which is what you are! I like you! But the chance you will be Pres. of a Univ. is nil almost.
People rarely live to 100. The board of directors are subject to Jerimiah 10:23, which says that "man is not able to drect his own step." The corporate leadership makes lots of mistakes, like granting themselves stock optiions and paying management huge paychecks. Thus the directors decide immorally and greedily and even illegally.
Capitalism depends on evey man getting access to land. A patron system works for barrons and the lords of the land.
Or, now, energy oil and gas leases. People came to America and got access to land (i.e. democratic republic). There was food and lots of land. And far away from the elite of Europe!
THE UNITED STATES OF THE WORLD
MICHAEL JAMES MCDANIEL·TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 201656 Reads
The United States of the World
Here I propose a possible correction in the political/economic affairs of the human enterprise. Just as the USA’s founding fathers had some geniuses among them but needed the input and support of many committed people, so will we. I truly think, “we the people”, are about to commit a suicide of sorts due to the unbridled force of corruption and our presumed inability to create the change we need. The human enterprise popularly called “civilization” is at a tipping point. What we do and don’t do, will affect the future of our civilization in ways which we will not be able to alter without the appropriate actions needed now!
I have known a few hundred extraordinarily fine thinkers in my life. Some I spent some time with, but most I knew through their written and artistic works. We need volunteers to throw themselves into this work without allowing its prospect of success to end their efforts before they start. It will be necessary to be joined by individuals of iconic ability as The United States attracted the genius of Jefferson and Adams, et al. But the roster of “GENIUS” is not long. We must in our significant numbers join our hands, fortunes, and wills.
I can only start here from what I know and that is clearly insufficient to the task before us. This must be a group enterprise growing in influence quickly before the mistakes of our past bury our possible futures.
The original 13 colonies differed more from one another than many of the world's nation-states differ from each other today and yet they found a way through compromise and a shared purpose to overcome those differences and join together in a way that cost them prerogatives but secured a better future for them and their heirs. The shared purpose of today rests on even stronger self-interest needs than did that of our past colonial days.
A United States of the World would/could start with a few of the nation states already existing joining as did America’s 13 colonies. New states would be admitted as they saw it in their best interests to join and would be allowed entry upon meeting criteria to be laid out by THE UNITED STATES OF THE WORLD. It would be necessary to give up their militaries to a new military run by the new USW. A common currency would be best. States rights would be allowed for the continued experimentation with policies and ideas differing from state to state. Free travel and location would be open between the member nation states. A bare minimum wage would exist for all USW members. Cooperative organizations would be given precedence over corporate enterprises. The model of this kind of large-scale transformation is available in the Basque region in Italy, it is the Mondragon Corporation formed in 1956. It is a federation of discrete companies all of whom are cooperatives managed by the workers.
Voting procedures and rules would be standardized (mail voting, automatic registration). A standard living income would be provided to all citizens. Universal health care for all.
There would need to be two tiers of purchasing power. One a guaranteed income equal between all citizens great enough to allow those who do not wish to work for wages to pursue other interests and endeavors. Other employment for extra income would be allowed but as incomes rise the tax rate would soon become confiscatory. The basic income would be adequate for all needs and many desires. More would just be unnecessary as the basic income would be adequate to see one through old age and it’s infirmities. There would be universal healthcare for all. Those who wanted healthcare experimental or lavish in nature would be dependent on their 2nd tier incomes and the generosity of others.
All energy needs would be supplied by renewables with no carbon pollutants nor other dangerous propensities to the Earth's environment. All products would be closed systems so that the majority of their components are continuously recycled.
This is all possible NOW. The necessary technologies are now in existence. Only the will and ability to avoid obstructions placed in our way by those who have already cornered the market in those natural resources and agencies stand in the way. Most productive enterprises would be based on cooperative forms of organization. This is possible by the use of state sponsored robotics. We can already do these things!
Nation states would not be coerced into joining. Rather they would be screaming for entry based on our own example of the good life.
Debt, interest, and the growth required by our capitalistic system would be ended. Perhaps adjusting the purchasing power of the medium of exchange has great potential as means of managing the society’s economic system. I know: The government does nothing well! Private enterprise beats government management everytime. We’ll No! People run government and those same people manage the private enterprise. Human abilities and difficulties inhabit both worlds. WE ARE ONE. Corruption will always be a factor and must be defended against vigorously. Money is not the cause of corruption. Rather “power” is the basis of corruption. Money should be reduced to a mechanism by which purchasing power is distributed. Removal of the fear of want removes much of the impetus for we humans to store our nuts in huge individual piles.
I think a system created along these lines could result in greater choice and individual freedom. It would potentiate human welfare through a system which actively would look for human good rather than leave it to the religious magical thinking that markets will provide for us automatically if left alone without human interference. Everything I propose here is incomplete and I can provide explanations to many the myriad of objections I see to this proposal but this is not primarily an individual effort here. It would have to be a joint enterprise joined by multitudes. People with much more writing ability need to spark the movement and details must be arrived at through joint labors and the political skills necessary are way beyond me.
Please discuss with me and others these ideas and those you may have.
He’s brilliant. Let’s go all over the greatest country the world has ever known and talk about a failed economic system that has NEVER worked ever and get people to believe it could work here. The fact he makes boat loads of money doing this is why capitalism is great. Even for morons
Cold Wave the other reason true socialism will never work is people have different skills. We are not equal! Lebron James is a 6’8 250 lb man that can score a basketball from anywhere and people love him for that. Should I as a UPS driver make the same money as him? Windows changed the way we operate computers. People with zero education can now operate a computer easily. Should I make the same money as BIll Gates? He served 100’s of millions of people while I as a UPS driver serve about 200 people a day. We are unequal and thus get paid unequal. Equality is immoral cause u diminish a persons individual talents.
Cold Wave maybe because it’s impossible to have true socialism. Like Stallen Castro, and so many others you have to have a president or leader. People will not give up power for the sake of society. That’s why in America a president only has two terms by law and god forbid he try to change that. That’s where the 2nd amendment comes in. 200 million guns owned by private citizens will keep that from happening. So u make the argument that it’s been tried 100 times but never done right so let’s try it here and see if we can make it work? Not a great argument! Just sayin
Real socialism has never been established in any country. It's not that it failed as an economic system (because it has never been established), its the pursuit of it that failed in many parts of the world.
I saw Richard Wolff in Berkeley, Ca last year. If you have a chance to see him I highly recommend it. He has a good stage presence, sense of humor and the ability to take for some difficult or obscure concepts and explain them in very simple ways.
One take home point for me is that the inability of our government to critically examine and remedy our economic problems is due to the fact that we have been taught only one model of economics and don't have the skills to think outside that one framework.
He talk about the good times 1940-1970. I live in Denmark by 1975 our economic was in ruins ,we had massive undinployment ,we had 30 years where everybody got what they wanted and i mean it was a big ,one big take away,and it end very bad ,this man is a liar .
Wow. I bet these suckers fall for this BS. Wolff is crediting government for what a free market produced and blaming the free market for the destruction the government produced. LOL! As I've always said, it takes a real genius to ignore the evidence, explain away reality and make it sound convincing. The kind of genius that can stare right into the face of blue and call it red.
It's post-modern Marxism: Workers controlling AND owning the means AND the SELLING of production. I wonder how this system scales. and are there or will there be, in the near future, American examples of large scale co-ops.
Community pharmacists are the health professionals most accessible to the public. They supply medicines in accordance with a prescription or, when legally permitted, sell them without a prescription. In addition to ensuring an accurate supply of appropriate products, their professional activities also cover counselling of patients at the time of dispensing of prescription and non-prescription drugs, drug information to health professionals, patients and the general public, and participation in health-promotion programmes. They maintain links with other health professionals in primary health care.