Economic Update:  A Deepening Crisis of Capitalism

Economic Update:  A Deepening Crisis of Capitalism


Welcome friends to another edition of Economic
Update, the weekly program devoted to the economic dimensions of our lives—jobs, incomes,
debts—those of our children, our own and those looming down the road. I’m your host Richard Wolf. I’ve been a professor of economics all my
adult life. And I put these updates together to give another
perspective on what’s going on in the economy all around us and that we all depend on. My first couple of updates today have to do
with something that’s more and more in the news. And that is the upcoming economic downturn. That’s right. Capitalism is a fundamentally unstable economic
system. On average, every 4 to 7 years, wherever capitalism
has become the dominant economy of the last 250 years, we have an economic downturn, when
typically millions of people are thrown out of work, large numbers of businesses dissolve,
we go through a period of time of real suffering and poverty, and interrupted lives, interrupted
educations, before we get back up again and to have it all happen again 4 to 7 years later. Sometimes these downturns are short and shallow,
other times they’re deep and last a long time. The famous ones—1929 and, again, 2008—were
the kind that were long and deep. We are still working our way out of the crash
of 2008. So that gave a particular poignancy last week
when the International Monetary Fund issued a report that global economic growth is slowing
dangerously. And one of the major reasons are the trade
wars that were initiated by Mr. Trump and the Republican Party, and power as they imposed
tariffs, first on the Mexicans and the Canadians, and demands for rewriting treaties, and then
tariffs on steel and aluminum, and then on China, you know the story. It’s unfolding all the time. Turns out that these trade wars and tariffs
are bad for economic growth around the world and are another contributing factor in the
uncertainty of how to plan for the world that leads businesses not to invest, which in turn
drives the economy down. It’s interesting for me to point out not
only to remind everyone of how unstable capitalism is, but to point out that this time the instability
may be considerably worse because of what Mr. Trump and the Republicans are doing. In order to appear to their political base
as though Mr. Trump is the tough guy, who’s redesigning the global economy to better serve
the United States—America First. This theater is actually going to cost everybody
including Americans. An economic slowdown already, and maybe, worst
crash than usual any time soon. And just to make sure you understand, this
is not just me speaking. The largest bank in the United States, JPMorgan
Chase, issued a report a couple of weeks ago, literally predicting that the next downturn
here in the United States will happen early in the year 2020, that’s less than a year
and a half from now. I don’t do predictions, I don’t believe
in them, but it’s interesting that so certain is the bank, the largest bank in America,
that they’re ready to make a prediction. Why did people accept an economic system that’s
so unstable? That’s the real question. As if to underscore the point, the Bank of
England, which is the equivalent in Great Britain to what the Federal Reserve is here
in the United States, issued another report last week, very worried about subprime debt. Here’s what they explained. Businesses have been borrowing money like
crazy over the last 10 years. Why? Because in the aftermath of the crash of 2008,
when the government of England, like America and many other countries, feared that the
whole economy would collapse, interest rates were brought down near zero to make it easy
for people to borrow and businesses to borrow in the hopes that that would stimulate the
economy and prevent another great depression. So interest rates being brought down led every
business—well-run, mediocrely-run, poorly-run—to see a solution to whatever problems they’ve
encountered by borrowing, virtually, costless money. “The result is” says the Bank of England,
“that if the economy turns down now and hurts a lot of businesses, they won’t be
able to pay back the excess borrowing that they have undertaken because of the last crash.” In other words, the last crash led the Bank
of England to bring interest rates down, which leads to an excess of borrowing, which sets
up the next crash. Talk about an unstable system! Yeah, you have it, literally, showing its
instability as it functions. My next updates have to do with markets. Yes, markets. This institution, which we are supposed to
believe, is either perfect or if not able to be perfected if only we take the right
steps. The latest example of this was the winner
of last week’s Nobel Prize, William Nordhaus—there were two winners, he shared it with another
economist. I had known Mr. Nordhaus because he and I…
our times at Yale University overlapped. And I once and twice did him a favor, when
his course came to a short section on Marxian economics, he invited me to teach that, which
I did to do him a favor. Anyway, in response to his winning of the
Nobel Prize, which he got by the way, for studying climate change, global warming, and
how to solve this climate problem, which he took seriously. His solution, indeed, he said it was the only
solution was a market solution. Raise the price of institutions, companies
that pollute the air, basically. Well, I’ve always found this extraordinary,
“Raise the price.” That means people who have to buy these things
are going to be hurt. What an interesting way of solving a problem—hurting
large numbers of people. Wouldn’t it be easier just to outlaw the
practice? Why is this playing around with markets and
to tell us that the market solution is the only solution? That’s straight out wrong. Let me give you a couple of examples. A hundred years ago, one of the great horrors
of capitalism was child labor. The practice of capitalists to lower the wages
they had to pay to hire children as young as five and six years of age, pay them very
little, and stick them in in place of adults, who would have had to be paid more. And of course, these children lost in terms
of their schooling, which they lost, in terms of their childhood, which they lost. It was thought to be a horror. Now, of course, a market solution might have
been to raise the wages that had to be paid to children, and there were some efforts to
do that. But, thankfully, American families rose to
the occasion and said, “No, no. No market solution. Cut! None of it! Make it a crime to hire children.” Guess what? Solve the problem. And it didn’t have to do it by a market,
which would have been difficult and slow. Market solution is not advisable here. Let me give you another example. The Dutch government has been trying very
hard, together with the Dutch unions, to stop corporations from using the Netherlands—and
the very special tax laws they have—to locate an office there, make their profits show up
on their books in the Netherlands, even though they do business everywhere else in the world,
because that way they can pay taxes in the Netherlands, which are low, rather than to
have to pay taxes in the actual countries, where they do business. This is the scandal. Europeans have been pressing the Netherlands
government to stop it, doing similar things with the Irish government that also does this. But I’m only struck by the fact that the
market solution has been to let this kind of stuff go on, on the grounds that the corporation
must be free in the market to do whatever it wants. Market solution? You must be kidding. This is tax evasion, using the market as an
excuse just as it’s being used by folks like William Nordhaus to allow the process
of dealing with climate change to go so slowly and to be costly to the people, who can least
afford it, those at the bottom will have to pay the higher prices attached to the polluting
items. And I’m also struck that, while the Netherlands
government and the Netherlands union, and European governments are really squeezing
on this tax evasion, the Trump administration, the GOP, the American government for years
knowing that billions and billions of taxes are not paid on the road by American companies
as, again, found it too complicated, too difficult, too small to do anything about it. Extraordinary. Really extraordinary. And there’s another angle that’s worth
mentioning. The market solution, suppose—and this is
a problem for Mr. Nordhaus again—suppose politicians are for sale, suppose there’s
a market and buying them, which we all know there is, and suppose those, who are richest,
can buy the politicians best because that’s how market works, that’s how the market
always works. If things are scarce the people with the most
money bid up the price and get it. So the people with the most money get to politicians,
who write the laws, that allow them to escape the taxes. That’s a market solution. The market determines whose politicians get
into a position of power. Mr. Nordhaus doesn’t want the market to
work there. He only wants the market to work where he’s
interested in it. Okay. Then be honest and say that. Don’t say you like markets because they
produce as many horrors as they produce positive outcomes. And an honest appraisal of them would always
have to take that into account. My final update for today is to remark for
all of us that is an upsurge in labor militancy in the United States, something we haven’t
been able to say for years. And I want to call out and recognize those
workers that are no longer being passive and dorsal, not taking it, not being angry at
politicians, who are not their first line of problem, but the business and capitalism,
which is. And I want to give out two shout-outs—there
could be many. Workers are moving across the board. But my first shout-out is to the 8,000 workers
at the Marriott hotel chain that are on strike in 23 cities across the United States as we
make this program. The Marriott hotel chain, in case you’re
not aware of it, runs over 6,500 hotels around the world under its own name Marriott, but
also under the following names: Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, and Renaissance. Those are all Marriott hotels. Marriott is a $50 billion-dollar corporation
twice as large as the Hilton hotel chain, which many of you probably think of as the
premier hotel chain. It is very important that this leader in the
hotel industry has had to face 8,000 strikers led by the UNITE HERE union demanding the
kinds of wages and working conditions that should have given to these workers years ago. This militancy is going to the point of strike
is a very important turning point in the labor movement. And so is the next example. This one is the United Steelworkers of America,
and here is something particularly poignant I want to point out. When Trump levied the tariff on steel coming
in from the rest of the world, he gave a tremendous boost to steel companies in the United States. They didn’t have to compete anymore with
more efficient lower price steel coming from out of the country. That was blocked by having to pay a tariff. So the American steel companies—patriotic
to the core—immediately raised the prices of their steel taking advantage of the protection
of the tariffs. They didn’t do anything for their workers. And the workers are saying, “If you get
a benefit from the government’s tariff, we want a share of the extra profits you got.” Very interesting. They demand a share of the profits they help
to produce, more power to them. That’s a labor movement that’s becoming
creative. Well, folks, we’ve come to the end of the
first half of today’s Economic Update. I want to remind you, please, to subscribe
to us on our YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and be sure
to check out our website democracyatwork.info. There you can find the variety of ways to
make use of what we do and to work with us. And I especially want to thank the Patreon
community for the support they provide, crucial to our growth and our survival. Thank you all. We will be right back Welcome back, friends, to the second half
of Economic Update. It is my pleasure, once again, to welcome
to Economic Update Chris Hedges. He hardly needs much of an introduction. You’ve all seen him on this program before
and in countless other opportunities that you’ve had. But to remind those of you that may not know,
Chris is a columnist for Truthdig. He teaches at the Princeton University in
a program for incarcerated prisoners. He’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist,
and a New York Times best-selling author. His most recent work is called, in a very
suggestive title, America: The Farewell Tour. Wolff: Thank you, Chris, for joining me. Hedges: Thanks, Rick. Wolff: Okay, let’s talk a little bit about
the book and then about some of the issues that you raised in the book. For me, what jumped out, when I first looked
at your book, was a line, that appears more than once, that the United States seems to
you to be a society that is—and I’ll use your word—unravelling. Tell us what you mean. Hedges: Well, I think all the warning signs
of a decayed society are palpable: the destruction of the physical infrastructure, the capture
of power by an oligarchic elite, which has destroyed democratic institutions, a final
military fiasco, which characterizes late Empire, which it did with the ancient Greeks,
when they invaded Sicily, or when the British invaded Egypt over the nationalization of
the Suez Canal and had to retreat in humiliation, the economic mismanagement, which is pushing
us closer and closer towards another economic crash, this time around without a plan B—since
they can’t lower interest rates anymore, they’re going to fabricate out of electronic
ether another $26 trillion dollars—the loss of civil liberties: militarized police, 25%
of the world’s prison population; and that sense of stagnation, despair, hopelessness,
what the sociologist Émile Durkheim calls “enemy”, which expresses itself in diseases
of despair: self-destructive pathologies, that are rippling across the American landscape,
opioid addiction, gambling, suicides, sexual sadism, and hate groups. And as Durkheim points out, “Those who lust
for the annihilation of others are driven by a yearning for self-annihilation.” So that this book is really a look at those
pathologies because if we don’t rebuild those social bonds, if we don’t make it
possible for people to engage in self-actualization to reach their potential, their goals, their
desires—even in a limited way—then with that economic collapse, these pathologies
will burst forth in even more frightening configurations than they already have. And I look at Trump as a result, as the symptom
of a diseased society, not the disease itself. Wolff: And would you say, using the old psychological
term, that there’s a massive denial of everything you just said that goes with everything you
just said? Hedges: Yes. Wolff: Because as for me, as I look around
the society and live here, there is a kind of bizarre almost level of the denial that
any of these things add up to what you’ve just said. Hedges: Well, because it’s so bleak and
you add climate change on top of that. The fact that we have a window now of probably
a decade, at most, to radically reconfigure our relationship with the ecosystem, which
we’re not doing. The reason climate scientists are so terrified
of going above two degrees Celsius, our feedback loops. And they know what feedback loops do because
they’ve studied it on planets like Venus, which once had water, and is now 800 degrees. At that point you’ve lost the polar ice
caps, the oceans acidify, sea level rises, crops die. I mean, feedback loops essentially accelerate
the deterioration in a way that there’s nothing you can do, there’s no control. And they’ve run mathematical studies, which
range between a 70% die-off of the human species and complete extinction, and yet we’re not
responding. We’re mesmerized by the vaudevillian reality
show, which has replaced news, political discourse. And this is characteristic of a dying society
as it was, for instance, in ancient Rome or the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I mean, there is a kind of just checking-out,
a kind of willful hedonism and infantilism almost, and inability, because the problems
are so massive, to even acknowledge that they exist. Wolff: And I think Trump in some way exemplifies,
even in his personal style, a kind of willful disregard, almost with enjoyable, making fun
of all of these problems as dismissing them in this blithe way. In your book, you also talk about people escaping
or trying to escape. What do you mean by that? What do you see as signs of an effort to escape
the very situation—even when you don’t admit it—you still try to escape it? Hedges: Well, half of this country now effectively
lives in poverty. Social mobility for the working class is all
but non-existent. All of the democratic institutions have been
reconfigured to consolidate both the wealth and the power of the corporate elite at our
expense, as you know better than anyone. What did they do with this fabricated money? They bought back their own stock, or they
gambled. I mean, the fracking industry, for instance,
is a losing enterprise. It doesn’t make money, but its value is
based on projected profit not real profit. Well, that’s exactly what we saw with the
dot-com crisis. And they extract debt peonage on a beleaguered
population, because the money has to be paid back, even though they got at 0% interest
on that student loan debt $1.5 trillion, household debt, your credit card—you’re late on
your credit card, it goes to 28%—that’s why they suppress wages although productivity
since 1973 has increased by 77%, you still have a third of the workforce earning less
than $12 dollars an hour, and that’s by design. So they’re oppressing a beleaguered working
class in an effort to essentially pay off the money that they have been handed by the
Fed, but it’s just, it’s an insane system… The New York Times had a story the other day
that, I think, by next year we will be paying, was it $370 billion dollars a year in interest,
and within 10 years, it’s $900 billion. It’s not a sustainable system. And yet, they are kind of use that phrase
they always use about Mattis and “there are no adults in the room”, nobody is confronting
any of these crises, which are impending. And I really, as I do in the book, look at
the Christian right, and I wrote a book on a Christian right 10 years ago called American
Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. I don’t use that term lightly, I’m a seminary
graduate. But I look at them as our version of a fascistic
movement, which has embraced that magical thinking: you know, the rapture, which isn’t
in the Bible, the whole sort of heretical belief that if we give enough, buy enough
prayer clause and give enough money to our megachurch and make our megachurch pastor
a millionaire, Jesus will give us a Cadillac. It’s an order perversion of the Christian
religion, and it’s been used to sacralize the worst elements of American imperialism,
American capitalism, white supremacy, homophobia, islamophobia, and everything else. And it has perpetuated among tens of millions
of our fellow citizens the kind of utter denial of fact and magical thinking that Trump exemplifies. And I often hear people say, “Well how can
Trump build an alliance with the Christian right?” And having spent two years inside that machine,
Trump embodies, you know, he has all of the characteristics that these narcissistic white
male leaders of megachurches have, including preying on the despair quite effectively,
in the case of the megachurches, of the congregants, in the case of his casinos, those who are
in economic distress. And I would say the only difference—they’re
all con artists—the only difference is that at least anecdotally, from what I can tell,
the sexual proclivities of the megachurch pastors is probably little kinkier than Trump’s. Wolff: About hate, the hate groups. They’re getting more and more numerous,
in today’s New York Times, another story about it, interwoven with the Republican Party
increasingly, apparently. Where does that fit in this proliferation,
you mentioned it earlier, but this proliferation of groups that really want to use violence
to enact a purifications ceremony of sorts here in the United States? Hedges: We should first be clear that that’s
always been within the DNA of American society that Richard Slotkin calls “regeneration
through violence”. So it’s always been there. And white hate groups have always been there
going all the way back to the slave patrols and the Clan, and the Baldwin–Felts and
the Pinkertons. And they’ve always been part of the DNA
of American society. And in times of societal distress or eventually
probably economic collapse, these hate groups will be unleashed. I mean, Trump is already inciting these groups
towards violence rhetorically. Wolff: And during the campaign too. Hedges: And he has done since. But we live now in a period of relative stability. With that stability gone, then these groups
will be in essence unleashed. They’ll be given a kind of green light to
attack the vulnerable. I mean, the whole idea that 11 or 12 million
undocumented workers is responsible for the economic decline of the United States. Wolff: You are already in crazy land. Hedges: You are already in crazy land. Right. I mean, most of them are earning below… It doesn’t make any sense. But it works as you know. And I saw it in Yugoslavia. With the economic collapse of Yugoslavia,
and then this rapacious and often buffoonish, Radovan Karadžić was every bit as buffoonish
as Donald Trump. And so were the Nazis. I mean, Hitler could not even speak proper
German. But these buffoons are dangerous. And they channel that rage, and it’s a legitimate
rage in terms of betrayal, towards the elite, towards the vulnerable. And these groups are at the forefront of that. And the state wants that rage and wants that
energy to be directed away from where it should be directed, which is at the elite ruling
class that has mismanaged the nation. Wolff: And the system that is decomposing
on us. As we come towards the end of the program,
I have to ask the question, how did you assess the Kavanaugh hearings: this whole spectacle
that we had for several weeks around the Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination? Hedges: But that’s what it was—a spectacle. It was political theater. The outcome was utterly preordained. The fact, that Susan Collins (R-Maine) was
struggling over whether Kavanaugh would revoke Roe v. Wade, is insane. The Christian Right has made it very clear
that this is their guy and he’s on the Supreme Court, because he will revoke Roe v. Wade. He committed acts of perjury aside from the
fact that he’s very likely a sexual predator, but none of it matters. So it was the farce of democratic process. Although Grassley (R-Iowa) like even ran,
rushed out over even though decorum and the rules in place in the Senate. And I think it was a kind of public window
into the utter dysfunction of American democratic institutions and the fact that all we have
left is the facade of democracy. We don’t live in a democracy, there are
no institutions left that can be called authentically democratic. Wolff: In the time we have the left, where
is it going? I know it’s difficult and no one can see
the future and I don’t believe in predicate, but nonetheless, what’s your gut? Where is this that you so eloquently described? Hedges: We know where it’s going vis-à-vis
climate change. That’s not disputable. Wolff: I meant the social dimension. Hedges: Well, it’s unraveling. When you have a figure like Trump, look to
the end of the Roman Empire with Caligula, Nero, Commodus. He actually reminds me of Commodus, who was
not interested in governance, he was just a big show, and he dressed himself up and
went to the arena and fixed fights, and that’s kind of like Trump. So but we know where it’s going. I mean, decay we have a kind of road map by
looking at decaying societies. And they have very similar characteristics
as Joseph Tainter has pointed out in The Collapse of Complex Societies including at the end
the withdrawal by a hedonistic and irresponsible elite into the Forbidden City or something. Wolff: So we’ve come to the end. Thank you so much, Chris. Thank you all for watching. And remember, we will continue this conversation
on Patreon. And if you’re interested in following, please
follow us on patreon.com/economicupdate. I look forward to speaking with you again
next week.

100 comments

  1. Jesus said If you have 2 coats give one away, Feed the poor, help one another a True socialist/communist ideology, what do "Christian" Americans hate the most? exactly socialism communism, Jesus Never said exploit the poor He never said Build your army up so you can go n rob more countries IE bigger army more countries wealth to rob, heard this B4 EVERY SOCIALIST COUNTRY ON EARTH DOES NOT WORK, they make Sure it wont work by any means possible so they can tell the world look we told u socialism doesn't work we made dump sure it doesn't work long live the Idiots who make is possible for the elite to keep robbing the poor n they call it socialism/communism

  2. I agree with everything except the notion that simply by having a kink, you are spiritually misshapen and a broken product of a broken system. You are not less of a person for having a kink. You are not less of a person for having a mental illness either, but the difference being people who have kinks both want to have it and enjoy it while those with mental illnesses do not want to be afflicted and certainly don't enjoy their condition

  3. This needs to go viral. We need more people waking up to see the levels of corruption run deep. Religion, Government, Corporations, NGO, Pop Media etc. All disgustingly corrupt and working in unison in these here fascist United States. All adoring Lucifer. Let's not forget the banksters and big pharma as well as the medical industry. Music industry, movie industry, education. I could go on and on. This society idn't dying, its being murdered.

  4. Brilliant duo. Compelling points. I will say, that the use of words like 'depravity' 'hedonistic' and 'kink' to describe the personalities and manifestations of a decaying empire make me feel a little uneasy. Simply because of the degree to which those same words are used to describe queer, trans and various marginalized groups.

    I understand that Hill is not using it in that way. But I have seen people describe Nazi Germany as being hedonistic and sexually depraved and use it as a signifier of the horrors that were to come. When the 'depravity' that they are referring to was the comparative sexual freedom, queer culture and institutes devoted to the advancement of LGBT rights. 1930s Germany was for many a safe haven and golden age for LGBT people. And it is that 'hedonism' that people refer to when noting a marker for the rise of Nazism. When in reality much of the rise of fascism was a reaction to the such socially progressive and advancement of ordinary peoples and labor rights.

    Considering the rhetoric you use, I would maybe say that it would help to be a little more specific. Otherwise it can be weaponized against marginalized people, who are often fighting the hardest in the front lines of socialist and progressive movements.

    Love the work y'all are doing. keep up it up!

  5. Umm, I think the guest speaker might want to brush up on his ancient Roman history. Caligula, Nero and even Commondus we're all Roman emperor's during the pax Romana. That was the golden era of the Roman empire, not even close to the fall of the western empire in 476ad.

  6. After my world crashed in 2008, I bounced to two states trying to get my job on track. Did not work, so I bought 5 acres in the mountains and am creating a food forest with a tiny underground house. I grow much of my food. No debt. I grow medicinal herbs. Not all turned out bad, I like this life better, but I cannot pay trillions in federal debt.

  7. What can I do about this? My house is in pretty good order insofar as I am able to make it so. No drugs, no craziness (religious or otherwise), no debt, food production, small shelter easily kept warm. What else can I do?

  8. These two are as insightful as Don Lemon and Rachel Maddow…. pressing you to vote for Hillary Clinton not based on her own merits but because trump is so disgusting. How about demonstrating what your solution looks like in practice and substantiated in history and what trade offs are going to be required and what risks are associated in the past with your solution.

  9. Thank you for your channel, I think that people hear "fake news" and think its just on the right or on the left. It's all fake news.

  10. …on the other hand I remember hearing about the impeding downfall of capitalism since the time I learned to understand words with 3+ syllables, and that was back when a certain Jimmy Carter was POTUS. Yeah, the middle class is about to get screwed once more. It is called tuesday!

  11. There's plenty of feedback loops in Earth's own history. We don't need to really look at Venus, other than Venus is one extreme possibility (albeit one that's very very unlikely). Humans going extinct is very unlikely itself. It's not even likely that we'll end up bottle-necked (again). There's just so many humans on the planet that it's very very unlikely that we'll face those kinds of scenarios.

    Will millions of humans die unnecessarily? Most definitely. Will governments, economies, and societies collapse? Several probably will, if not more. But we can't really predict exactly how quickly those things will happen or the full extent of the damages to the planet, climate, plants, and animals.

    Life on Earth is extremely resilient and always finds a way to continue on. And humans are an extremely adaptable species capable of surviving far beyond their original habitat. The number one indicator of whether an organism will survive extinction events is adaptability. The more specialized an animal or plant is, the more likely it is to go extinct.

    Climate Change isn't the end of the world or humanity. But it is going to lead to a mass extinction event – and while Homo sapiens as a species will survive, that doesn't mean there won't be millions or even hundreds of millions that die in the process. Remember, there's 8 billion of us on this planet. 7 billion humans could die and our species would still be likely to survive. The fact that humans are likely going to make it through the coming feedback loop doesn't mean there won't be catastrophic losses of human life in the process.

    Will our species eventually go extinct? Of course. But that probably won't happen until the next geologic epoch or so – that's hundreds of thousands or millions of years away. Well, there's always the possibility that we'll get really really unlucky. That's always been a possibility.

  12. It would be very useful if you could add citations to any documents you mention in these videos and any relevant news articles

  13. The suicide rate in the USA is rising faster than any other developed nation, and this rise is lead by white, middle aged men, the very section of society who contributed more than any other demographic to the rise of Trump, and where racist and nationalist ideologies frequently reside. This links directly the hate and self-hate described by Chris, and supports his contention that the solution to the recalcitrant values of this troubled demographic lie in a program of engagement, inclusion and connection. The problem is that this demographic yearns for, yet has become constitutionally incapable of, emotional communication. That is why life becomes increasingly painful for them, as they know there is not another human being they'd dare admit their pain and weakness to, until the point that life becomes unbearable, and they become vulnerable either to ideologies and politics that might express their hate or acts of suicide, where the hatred is turned in on itself. And we can relate all this to the mass shootings in America which often end in suicide as well. And this is indistinguishable from the behaviour of the suicide bombers who react to forces of oppression and domination externally and, one might say, in the form of the ideologies which dominate their own minds (again, external, or externality internalised).

  14. Hey Wolf, your economic analyses does appear (I emphasise 'appear') like you are weaving events into a narrative, but perhaps you are perceiving and describing real world patterns, a real world narrative rather than hypostatizing one. I hope you are correct as I believe it is only through crisis that we can avoid the gradual, total ossification and reification of all existance, and total enslavement and domination of all of nature, a circumstance which would be worse, for both humans and all of nature, then an environmental catastrophe which wipes life off the face of the earth!

  15. I thing i don't like with Chris is that he really believes that the serbs were responsible for the outbreak of war in Yugoslavia, and the atrocities that occurred. He needs to learn from John Bosnic in this matter because he's swallowed to many lies from bribed journalists. The fact that the lying croats killed 178 UN-soldiers and the serbs none is very compelling. If you, say, offend someone on the street and he responds by knocking you down – then, who started it?

  16. Nice video and insightful information, HOWEVER, the entire channel lost its legitimacy when you started deviating from a neutral, solely empirical viewpoint on the topic. Sad.

  17. Hard Times Strong People
    Strong People Good Times
    Good Times Weak People
    Weak People Hard Times

    I welcome the collapse. The fourth era is getting tiresome…

  18. The reason conservatives accept the pissing onto the poor is because they believe that they are just temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

  19. Capitalism is zionistic being that Israel owns our govt& so many dual citizens& their integration in wall St& corporate circle's

  20. Smoot, Hawley precipitated the crash of 29. Looks like we are going to have to live the nightmare all over again.

  21. I want a world where consumerism isn’t our reason for being…. it’s an insane meta level reality we accept that goes far beyond what’s discussed here.

  22. Mr Wolff, I've been watching you for about 3 or 4 years now and I am grateful. Question for you, are you going to become a part of Bernie Sanders cabinet?

  23. The buffoon are the ones who elected Trump when they clearly know who he is and what he's capable of. Tariff is just a smokescreen for the elite to get "MORE MOONEH BABEH"

  24. https://youtu.be/1wUX84SnSv0?t=520 an example of "tax shopping" promoted by the program "doing business" of the World Bank

  25. The United States has the onus, not America/Amexem/Amaracapana/Amarukha/Maghreb Al Aksa, my home country, which has been held in trust(Waqf) by belligerent trustees and reprobates for far too long, Allah has already given the signs and seals of His coming and the Sultan awaits Allah’s judgment. Stand for the Five Principles and be saved. Pax et Amor

  26. root cause of all problems in the world is competition for resources. human has to control its population growth.

  27. Capitalism in a nutshell… Capitalism promotes greed and its greed that clobbers capitalism, so we'll make it easier to be greedier when capitalism is waning.

  28. You know, these videos are useless as economic commentaries, but, they are quite useful to calm the brain with the brand of literal mind-numbing idiocy it presents. It's a very neat feeling in the back of the eyes, kind of tingly and fluid. Sort of like ASMR, but not as drawn out.

  29. Decades ago the term “climate change” simply meant long-term changes in weather patterns. It was also understood that climate change was natural and cyclic. Nowadays, “climate change” has come to mean that humans, by burning fossil fuels, are causing global warming which is going to wreak havoc on our ecosystem. The term “climate change” is now associated with every extreme weather event, because mainstream media, certain politicians, and climate alarmists state that this is true, and that the “science has been settled.” If perchance these same people begin to insist that socialism is going to wreak havoc on the planet, that capitalism is the best system, and that the issue is settled, many might take umbrage. Personally, this alarm over climate change has been one of the most successful propaganda campaigns I have ever seen. It’s amazing and baffling to see so many people with degrees and decades of experience in their respective fields who actually believe these drastic claims about climate change without first investigating the issue for themselves. There are many Galileo-like independent climate experts with degrees and decades of experience who state that most of the claims made by alarmists are mainly hype, but their voices are not being heard. I highly recommend that all view a YouTube video, posted by The Epoch Times, titled “Climate Change Narrative is Driven by Agenda of Political Control.” Myron Ebell is interviewed. He is the Director of the Center of Energy and Environment, and his credentials are impressive.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRXzfJVcV6s

  30. I used to think that there are different kind of jobs like technician something, or engineer something, or carpenter, or what ever. In reality we all have one kind of job – to enrich share holders and CEOs! That's it. And we are paid crumbs to get along while we do that one job. The CEO of my company is going to retire after 8 years with the company. Her base pay was 5 million a year plus bonuses. So, for 8 years she received 40 million dollars, minimum. After 20 years of employment for the same company, I have 20K in the savings and that's that. Also, tens of millions are given to share holders each year. Jeez, I can't really figure out what's wrong with the system…

  31. So. How can it be that wealthy corporations can "buy" politicians? Perhaps politicians are compromised? How? Ask Jeffrey Epstein.

  32. Look no further than Japan. Asset values depleted never to recover. Negative interest rates fail to spur growth. Prisoners in capitalism, followed by America, surely the dumbest country on the planet

  33. Uff, can we please stop using the Roman Empire as an example for decline? A decline that lasts 1000 years, isn't a decline now, is it?

  34. Can we Create a different system that isn’t another scam. Cashless society will be another additive for controlling society.

  35. It's ok, we can just use that time tested fix for economic downturns – war. There are several types that could be used, i.e. cold war, world war, war on the poor, war on leftist, war on any group or thing the 1% wish to invent. Everything will be just fine.

  36. The last recession in 2008 saw unemployment in the UK rise by just 5%. 5 fucking percent. And it only lasted about a year and then recovery started and now it's gone. I really suggest that an economic model that has driven wealth for hundreds of years now as it has done in the UK, and where a 5% drop in employment is considered a crisis, doesn't need a radical Marxist revolution. It just needs a couple of little tweeks and it will be perfect. Marxism is a busted flush because capitalism is just far too good for it to compete with.

  37. The reason climate scientists are so terrified…complete extinction of the human species…and yet we're not responding.

  38. Please do more discussion like this, best team ever! Only this two man can save America, I say this sincerely. You need The New Deal v. 2 to avoid collapse before all the big corporations run out to other countries like Apple did to Ireland, Dyson to Singapore!

  39. Curious what system mr./comrade Wolf thinks would bring the utopian world that will NEVER EXIST? the Rothschilds, agenda 21/30 and the rest of the usurpers are a clue

  40. Chris Hedges: Capitalism is in a general state of crisis

    Also Chris Hedges: Lenin was an anarchist right-wing dictator

  41. Well …. let's just keep right on talking about it and see how much will get done to resolve the problems. They want you to just keep talking because they don 't care. Since when does a criminal care about the difference between right and wrong ?? It's sort of like watching Ted Bundy walk up to your door and think that it's enough to just ask him nicely to go away and leave you alone because what he has in mind is criminal. Do you think he cares? No, he doesn't. It's going to take more than just talk to get these people … these criminals, to do the right thing, folks.

  42. The middle class and poor are fed up with economic slavery. They know that capitalists will not pay a living wage as long as it's legal to pay slave wages. Either the Democratic Party gets off its ass and insists upon laws that make it possible for the disadvantaged to escape economic slavery or else the economically disadvantaged will not even bother to vote. This election cycle is critical. Democrats must insist upon laws that mandate employers pay a livable minimum wage. They must insist upon free college tuition for every American so that the lack of educational opportunities ceases to be the force driving poverty. And they must insist that healthcare be free and accessible to every American regardless of ability to pay for it. These are what the middle class and poor need. And they need it now. Democrats who perpetually kick the issue down the road to the next election cycle are not going to inspire the middle class or poor to support the Democratic Party on election day. I don't blame them for staying home. Go Bernie.

  43. Is there a rule or law in economics to Express the increase in political influence/power in correlation to wealth acquisition. Something like mohrs law in technology but for wealth/power? Does that make sense?

  44. System crash can be the best thing that could happen to ordinary humanity.

    Food sovereignty is real freedom.

    The rest is padding.

  45. the pyramid ⚠️ controls the dark state.. rot schild at the top..

    epstein and dacosta types ensnare and enable the blackmail book

    ensnared pervs do the illuminasty's bidding

    Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”
    Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom

  46. I love this motherfucker… "yeah you know that guy who won the Nobel prize? Well he ain't all that, I had to sub and teach his class when he wasn't up to snuff on the info. And the work he did to get the Nobel Prize? Utter nonsensical garbage. Let me explain how to really fix the problem"
    What a badass. Never change. Thank you for all you do sir.

  47. U.S. employers are on the verge of gutting the American workforce with quantum computers and A-I robots effectively destroying human workers wages. That's why there's talk of a recession; except that by 2030 there will be not a Great Depression II – it will be a Hell Depression.

  48. 17:30 Daily stress in the lives of the common people has been a deliberately designed effect of a hundred years of social engineering by the plutocratic ruling class.

  49. This professor thinks we have not recovered from 2008-9 recession, how stupid is this ? 3.8 % unemployment, another communist propaganda.

  50. Wow. I must say. Was pleasantly surprised by the flow and objective information given in this video. The comparison of caligula and trump was mind blowing 🤔

  51. You totally deny that borrowing is the problem, not incomes. People always live beyond their means, regardless of what they make. that is no the scourge of capitalism, but the choices of individuals.

  52. If Wolff has any balls he would have left the USA for a socialist country of his choice, but he knows his life would suck so he cowardly stays in the USA. Lol.

  53. Very profound: the market also buys politicians and politicians are for sale. Any one could deny that? Unless there is a pronounced law that forbids the market from buying politicians, there is a good reason to believe that politicians are also for sale, and that is by far the biggest flaw of the market solution.

  54. Be honest Professor…Trump has done wonders for your Youtube channel. Now that's capitalistic irony if I've never seen it! If Professor Wolff becomes a billionaire…we are all screwed…

  55. Triggered? by asking a socialist that hates capitalism how many jobs he has created? Triggered?

    Nope, just a fair question. Only those that have never actually created jobs, businesses, payrolls etc. critique the best system in the world. When you sit in an academic seat your entire life, you have no clue how the real world works, and what kind of effort and ingenuity it takes to actually create the commerce that keeps society going. All academics do is look at the outcomes of the few, and say they don't deserve what they have earned. And they overlook the millions that have a good life from the efforts of a few. And they discuss and highlight only the top efforts of the few and the bottom results of a few, without ever discussing personal choice or effort. Behind every result is a cause. Socialists and academics only look at results of effort and hide lack of effort to make a skewed conclusion. Triggered? No. just pointing out the truth that lacks in the bias of the socialist academic

  56. I have a simple and basic question to any economist in here: what precisely does it mean when we say that economy is rising (what precisely is rising), and why is the economy expected to always rise in this sense, as opposed to just working in a constant manner?

  57. To get the polluting corporations to stop polluting. governments will have to pay them. And the polluters are going to demand much too much to change their polluting machinery to cleaner systems.

  58. where the hell is this white violence u speak of hedges? Really? It seems to me that everywhere you turn their is someone gladly attacking white and blaming it all on them…Your association is to further a divide…There are drivers of hate everywhere, and not only exist within the white race…But all this focus on such is bullshit and creating more division…which transcends the madness….You will never bridge the division by misappropriating all the blame to the foot of the white man…You need the white man…and the black man…red man…and probably the greys too dammit to get this thing moving w the momentum needed to overcome the forces against…and granny, big momma, baby girl, boo and all women to get together…shut these mouths about issues that distract us and divide us and focus on the real enemy if u really are about what you say…now I'm game but I aint to blame and me and my brothers struggle just like my other brothers of a different color…Hell, I'm wondering if corporate has you on the payroll…I know u and wolf are not hurting and I imagine you have profited well from all this misery you speak of…It could be said they your exacting the same game with a different shot and different angle..both of y'all are ivy league…So what I wanna know is how real this shit is cause it kinda seems a bit distorted in regards to all the facts and so u must understand why I would question your resolve…the moneymen have their agents everywhere and scientists didn't manifest a wolf in sheep's wool yesterday…this oppression and this game has carried out and passed out its suffering since the dawn of civilization…for tens of millenia…this is not a new concept…

  59. Richard Wolff and Chris Hedges. Two of the greatest heroes of our modern age. Giving us truth, analysing and summarising complex situations and spoon feeding us crystal clear presentations and solutions. Thank you gentlemen!

  60. There was no excuse what happened in Germany in the early 20th century. Was there a lesson in history that the Germans could have learned from or any other way that would have given them the foresight that could have prevented Hitler from rising to power? not a rhetorical question. We do have the historical reference to give us the foresight to prevent our own fascist uprising. In other words, we have less than no excuse for Trump to become president, not one. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

  61. There is no single entity besides the United States responsible for more misery and suffering around the globe than the IMF.

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