Richard Wolff: Price of coffee beans have dropped but the cost of your cup of coffee hasn’t

Richard Wolff: Price of coffee beans have dropped but the cost of your cup of coffee hasn’t

Over the last three years the price of
coffee (per pound, at the farm, the beans, the coffee beans) has gone from over
$1.20 per pound to $0.55 per pound. That’s a drop of more than 50%. It
destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of small coffee farmers all
through Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, you get the picture?
Those people could not survive, literally. There is one statistic that says over
60% of small coffee farmers reported in surveys that they were food insecure
over the last two years. Food insecure is the polite technical term for going
hungry. So they did what people, hurt by economic change, have done for 300 years:
come to the borders of the United States seeking entry so that they don’t starve
to death. The past of the United States welcomed these people, found the place
for them. Not always, but in general. But not now. Now we condemn these people to
concentration camps, cages for their children. And why? Because the price of
coffee. And who’s a major player in the price of coffee? Here, the United States.
Yeah, and big American corporations. Little footnote. Screwing those farmers
was one step. If you haven’t noticed a drop in the price of coffee that might
be because the company delivering your coffee drink is keeping the extra money
they get by not having to pay as much for coffee as they used to and using it
for their profits. It’s the system that works that way.


  1. Just another example of capitalism and its anti-worker tendencies. This is similar to the Fed giving banks money at 2%, and banks charging exorbitant interest rates.

  2. Ah, the invisible hand of the market once again getting the shit kicked out of it by the all too visible feet of the deep state.

  3. I just checked the stock market and coffee beans are at the highest price and been going up for the last 8 weeks. It stands at 122 from 90 a year ago. Maybe the coffee farmers are being duped.

  4. You are full of shit ! Honestly what would you know ??? You started school at 5 years of age , and your still there .
    You a bumbling dumbocrat ,
    I hate the system we are in , but you socialist who have never had a job , give me the shits with your free shit mentality ??

  5. Oh wolf i thought you're smarter than that, let capitalism run it's cause, hehehe a future world is more complex than bla bla from your comfort zone, hehehe, capitalism will rule the world, Except my way the only one way,

    Let live as a specie not nations sovereignty and defence.

  6. Yep they tell us competition is good, let the market ( inc the stock market ) sort it out, lets see it was sorted out in the 1930's 1987, 2000 tech crash, 2008 bank crash …………

  7. Market tolerance. An over dependence on credit for the past 40 years has means Americans don’t recognize value and tolerate higher prices. Fraud waste and abuse stand out when public agencies go over budget. Fraud waste and abuse in the private sector is simply passed on to consumers and isn’t talked about.

  8. Consumption has become a habit of addicts. Starvation and hunger makes use think and willing to work till depopulation.

  9. Yes, Kardashian Wolf please tell us how Obama built those cages for the illegal aliens trying to violate our laws and enter this country illegally.

  10. Is the United States the only country out there where people go to eat? IS there no other place for these starving coffee growers, because you know AMERICA grows a lot of coffee, has to go? I would think Coffee growers would rather go to other countries that have better opportunity to grow coffee than to the streets of LA.

  11. Maybe, the flip side of the coin, the great Economist Kardashian wolf does not discuss, the prices of Coffee was highly inflated. Not one word from Kardashian wolf on Saudi Arabias struggles as the price of a barrel of oil has dropped too. Maybe all those people in Saudi arabia should come to America too to pump oil.

  12. Most of the asylum seekers and fleeing immigrants to the US and also from the Middle East to Europe is CAUSED by US and US corporation's policies and war crimes. When will the populace wake up in the US? WE ARE NOT the greatest country in the world. WE ARE the biggest bully. Do you know what eventually happens to bullies? It's coming and it won't be fun and may cause more war. When the petrodollar and US Reserve currency status dies, so does the US. It's already happening. Their last resort will be to use our bloated giant military to try to secure the Empire. Scary shit indeed.

  13. Buy green bean, fair trade and roast your own. It taste better than any mass marketed crap and cost less money.

  14. Have any of you heard of that U.S. worker co-op Equal Exchange ?

    they buy and trade coffee, tea and foods with other co-ops across North and South America
    supporting them doesn't seem like a bad idea

  15. I'm in favor of paying farmers what they deserve for their crops. I'm not in favor of them moving over here and driving down wages for Americans. Immigrate legally.

  16. Googled this in 5 seconds: What do they grow in Honduras?
    Rice, red and black beans, cabbage, carrots, onions, plantains, peppers, sweet potatoes and tomatoes are grown. Salsa is used to add spice to food. Fruit includes bananas, coconuts, mangoes, oranges, papayas and pineapples. Coffee is grown in Honduras.

    Can't survive economically as a coffee farmer? That's because there are TOO MANY coffee farmers. Grow another crop. Problem solved.

  17. The life of a small peasant coffee farmer in Central America and the dissolution of an entire social class of peasant producers in a variety of other agricultural products does not mean anything to the north American consumer of coffee and vegetables. The north American consumer would sooner point the finger at Starbucks for demise of coffee farmers as the exploiter than assume responsiblilty for creating the demand for that exploitation to take place to begin with. For reasons of denial, the American consumer is an easy target for manipulation that will gaurantee the re-election of Trump.

  18. That was ?! I read somewhere, few years ago, that the second most profitable good in economy is coffee. First is oil. I wish to be a part of an armed club that would kill all those CEO's that are killing me, people around me, the Planet and life on earth in general. They deserve nothing better. They are mass murderers!

  19. Meanwhile, "consumer" cans/bags of coffee (every brand) keep getting smaller, more expensive, and worse quality.

    The quality is getting so awful that I wonder if the big coffee monopolies aren't doing as they did during the Civil War, passing off industrial/agricultural waste as "coffee."

  20. This is sick coffee consumers don't need cheap coffee we need workers who can afford families that's more important over a cup of coffee same with chocolate

  21. Take it easy there buddy. Maybe you should go down to South America, invest in a farm, then work with the people, instead of sitting behind a camera, making the most vague, watered down evaluations of economics, which doesn't make an impact at all, considering most Americans have never heard of you or are watching this show.

    Oh wait, that's neoliberlism, the big bad thing we shouldn't do. Maybe we shouldn't buy coffee from other countries at all, since free trade is a terrible thing according to you and fanboy Michael Brooks.

    If they were paid more (which they should), the price of coffee would go up anyway, so it's a weird angle to take on an otherwise valid issue on the overproduction of coffee beans and the environmental effects of that. Paying them more wouldn't help in that regard.

    Again, what do we do, not buy as much coffee? If it's not us, it will be another country.

    Coffee prices are going up because the farmers are trying to set a minimum price so that they can get paid for their beans, particularly in Brazil where their currency devalued so much it lowered the cost of bean production (the Real is a free-floating currency)

    Nobody in America is going to scoff at prices rising a few cents for this. I did some quick math, it'll be about 10 cents a cup for bagged//canned coffee.

    I don't buy "premium" coffee so if customers want to shell out premium prices and can do so, not my business.

    "Just because the price of coffee is down, it doesn’t necessarily mean the price of your retail bag will go down,” Santuccio told MarketWatch. “You still need to cover costs of labor, roasting, processing and packaging.”

    Those people need to be paid a wage too, yeah?

    Wake up and smell the coffee.

  22. If you're hungry because somebody is screwing you over, the correct solution is not to quit & run but stay & fight. This is the exact reason the AK47 was invented. Simple, cheap & reliable.

  23. So the process of coffee dropping is the capitalistic paradigm for how to screw the little guy. Starve the coffee farmer and overcharge the coffee drinker. Make money on both ends and to hell with both farmersxand consumers. Lovely, no?

  24. The funny thing about not letting people into America is that it's the only thing keeping our demographics strong. Other countries are approaching a economic cliff in the next 5 years because both the consumer base and invester base will be too small to grow the economy. Canada lets as many people in as they can because they noticed the trends early and are doing their best, but are still far from the tipping point. From a capitalist perspective, the most effective policies are the ones that attract the most people and allows them to join the tax base, which can be used to argue for both the elimination of social spending/minimum wage and the doubling of both.

  25. These people aren't coming to the borders legally… they are coming across the border ILLEGALLY ….. comrade.

    This guy is such an ignorant communist tool!

  26. My friend explained to me today he paid the same price for semi tires now as he did five years ago before tariffs.
    This proves obviously proves president trump is right.
    He also said the GDP is far higher now than in the past. Obviously that's because trump is president also.
    Please explained to me why though I have a good idea it's because the people making the tires are putting the cost of the tariffs on their workers. And the GDP should be higher after all the natural disasters. But I could not possibly be right. Because only the president can be right no matter how wrong things seem.

  27. Wonder what happened to the full show "Economic Update" for this Monday? Error message said it was not found on the server.

  28. How about you scumbags give the Viewers the big long list of Socialist success stories. After 100 years of Communism ( Soviet Union, Cuba, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Venezuela etc ..) there must be an example of a Socialist Paradise that didn't end in Starvation & Death ? Right ? Enlighten us you Marxist scumbags ?
    Capitalism has given the world Everything ! Every major world changing contribution has come from the economic & political system of " Freedom " known as Capitalism.

    Capitalism's contributions to the world – ( The internet, airplane, car, cell phone, computer on and on and on ! Literally everything you have and will come in contact with throughout your entire Life.

    Socialists contribution to the World. its a short but distinguished list.

    1 ) The AK-47 – ( the most effective killing machine of all time and is still going strong )

    where would every Terrorists be without their Socialist automatic rifle ?

    2 ) The concentration camps – Stalin did a really good job but it was the National Socialists in Germany that really perfected them

    3) The Gas Chambers – Again .. another Marxist Special

    4 ) the Secret police – many countries have had them but nobody did it better than the Socialists. the famous " knock on the door in the dead of night " never to be seen again


  29. I agree. Same with Philippine rice prices. Rice price farmers sell to middle men (such as millers, etc.) also seen their prices drop. I see a parallelism with your topic on coffee beans.

  30. This is literally an example of increasing relative surplus value by reducing the amount of necessary labor (wages) going to the worker (or peasants in this case) just like Marx described in Capital. Interesting to see how capitalism really haven't changed at all in these past 150 years.

  31. When he said "so they did what people hurt by economic change have done for 300 years…" I thought he was going to say they planted a different crop that earned more at market and diversified their farm. Nope.

  32. It is a sad situation. The only solution is to pay those farmers more so that they can support their families. If the USA helps people in those poor countries by buying their products for a reasonable price they would not have to leave their countries.

  33. Talking about something else : The price of oil has also gone down considerably yet the oil companies have not lowered their prices for gasoline. The USA is now extracting more oil than ever before , we are even exporting petroleum products. Price of gas keeps going up.

  34. How much of a price drop should we expect to see here? The price of coffee beans isn't going to make transportation of the product cheaper, it's not going to affect the wages of employees, it's not going to affect the cost of maintenance on the coffee machines, and it's not going to affect the cost of rent/utilities for coffee shops. I get that this is supposed to be a hook to draw attention, but it's predicated on such a ridiculously flawed understanding of economics. I thought this guy was an economist.

    Rail against awful practices of corporations and our tight immigration policies if you want, I'll be right there with you. But don't insult my intelligence.

  35. NOTE. in the news real from SPLINTER is an article — the American Medical Association— all the hospitals — pharmaceutical Industry are raging a war against you the people and against Medicare for all they are terrified because the government with Medicare for all will regulate doctors regulate hospitals and regulate the cost of pharmaceutical drugs their worst enemy is Medicare For All. Government regulation means big profits losses for them means they will not be able to gouge the system any longer it means the insurance companies will not be able to turn you down for a medical need. it means doctors and insurance companies will not be in bed together they will not be able to bargain on the lives of patience with doctors which is going on right now. In plain English This crooked establishment wants to continue to reap the benefits of your suffering. With that I will cast my vote for Bernie Sanders❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  36. Is this considered economics? If everything you see about reality is filtered through a lens of contempt, maybe “economics” is not your thing. If emotions are effecting your view point to the point that it saturates your body language, tone of voice, choice of words, can you properly assess any economic concept?

  37. The documentary movie Black Gold (2006) tells the story of how companies like Starbucks and Nestle screwed the Ethiopian coffee farmers. The movie is well worth watching.

  38. Spreading the truth comrade. Getting extra protection will help you a lot. A lot of truth teller had been murdered by the corrupt elites or oligarchs, CIA for spreading the truth to the masses.

  39. Starbucks raised their prices in Canada. .10$ more for a vente which coincidentally brings it to $3. Too bad the staff never get a tip anymore

  40. And that's why cocaïne productiom has increased : to keep up with the people who wanna check out bc everything everywhere is shit.

  41. Screwing coffee growers then screwing coffee customers good ole capatliisim at work and the psycopath ceo s getting richer!!

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