Richard D. Wolff

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#WolffResponds: Elon Musk, Twitter & Free Speech @profwolff discusses Elon Musk purchasing Twitter for $44 billion. Is free speech free if it can be sold to the highest bidder? Can democracy exist within a capitalist society?…
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Capitalism is moving faster and further in treating humans (employees) like robots than in having scientists make robots more like humans.
Abortion economics: birth/ adoptions cost $4.5K to $43K. Raise a child costs $14K/yr, total $234K. Costs, low wages, overwork among reasons US birth rate fell so much since 2007. Banning abortion forces huge costs on underpaid/overburdened working class
BP (British Petroleum) profits soar as markets drive up price of oil, fossil fuels. No wonder conservatives & corporations praise markets that serve them. Angry Britons demand "windfall/excess profits tax" to help people hurt badly by petroleum market
Cancel student debt? Conservatives want it limited to students who "need" it. Yet for Trump' 2017 corporate tax cut, no conservative proposed limiting it to those who "needed" it.
Western capitalism's colonial ripoff of Africa continues as a partnership of global capitalism w/ African capitalists & "independent" govts. African labor & resources enable huge capital outflows that subsidize global capitalism. System is the problem
Will continuing, loudly proclaimed pro-Ukraine/anti-Putin campaigns reverse poor prospects for Boris Johnson & Biden in upcoming UK & US elections? Bad inflation now after a failed Covid response plus economic crash (key 2020-2022 realities) suggest not
The ultimate absurdity of US oligarchs' control of means of communication: billionaires attack one another's controls over journalism. In the US "free speech" has been hijacked by the billionaires who buy it up as so many toys for their pleasure
How Did the U.S. Prevent Inflation During World War II? - #EconomicUpdate @profwolff gives an example of how the U.S. eliminated a market system when war time supply was low & collectively issued distribution, to each according to their needs, worked.
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Private capitalist firms profit from rising demand for their products by 1) raising prices or 2) selling more products. Doing 1) produces inflation. Doing 2) creates more jobs. 2) is better for society, but capitalism lets a tiny minority, employers, choose. Now they are doing 1)
4 left parties ally to defeat Macron in France's legislative elections in June. Historic left unity. Had their alliance existed in April's pres race, would have beaten LePen, made Macron face left unity's Melenchon. Will shifting political winds spread?
France working class fights inflation, pension cuts, gov't failures on ecology. 250 cities rally, 100,000+ marchers. All peaceful but for few tiny Paris street fires. Mass media focus on them to aid Macron, recently rejected by majority of eligible voters
In response to the global capitalist inflation, Kenya and Morocco - two of world's poorer countries - are raising their minimum wages from 10 to 16%. But not in Biden's America. No, there the minimum wage remains unchanged from $7.25/hr set in 2009. Shame
The leadership of the Democratic Party seems much more committed to fighting Russia "over there in Ukraine" than to fighting the GOP, Manchin and Sinema "over here in US." That strategy risks Dem election losses. For the US people, the risks are far greater.
Join us Thursday, May 5th at 11:00AM PDT for Global Capitalism and the Persistence of Cold War Ideology with @profwolff
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The Different Ways That the U.S. and Chinese Governments Use Their Power to Regulate Capitalism by Richard Wolff "The socialist left now, as during earlier centuries, advocates for an economic system that does not yet exist in any nation."…
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US oligarchs (Musk, Bezos, et al) threaten us far more than any Russian oligarchs could hope to. That's because the US gov't panders to US oligarchs. #HowCapitalismWorks
The Reality Behind Market Worship - #EconomicUpdate @profwolff offers a clear eyed assessment of the places we don't allow markets, and why we wouldn't. He warns us to be critical of what a "free market" really means and who benefits from it.
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Exploding gas, diesel prices invite users of gas, diesel to jack up prices too. Sellers everywhere raise prices, profit at buyers' expense. Market madness. Source:
Abbott Lab's baby formulas (similac and others) recalled after babies died. With disrupted supplies as excuses, some sellers jack up prices by 100%. How markets work.
Congratulations on another unionization win. Iowa's Grinnell College students win for all hourly student employees. First in US. Same drives at Kenyon, Dartmouth, Hamilton and Wesleyan. Grinnell students voted for the union 327 to 6.
Last week Macron "won" France's presidential election. He got 38.5% of eligible voters' support. The other 61.5% rejected him. Another "leader" whom the majority don't want.
Cancel student debt? GOP say not needed by non-poor (a sudden "fairness" concern). DEMs worry over cost. US wages too low + college costs too high force students to borrow. Capitalism's self-defeating failure.
#EconomicUpdate: Inflation - How Markets Fail @profwolff talks about Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, how US billionaires escape taxation at our expense & shares a long discussion about how and why the market system produces inflations like today’s…
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Trump loudly bashed China, blaming it for the US economy's growing problems. Biden bashes Russia more loudly, blaming it for Clinton's electoral loss, war in Ukraine, inflation, etc. Both bashings risk bad (for US) unintended consequences.
Whose military dominates the world? And the military struggle between the US and Nato versus Russia and China: how does that look in terms of military spending? Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (
The median (half get more, half less) CEO pay package last year was $ 275,000 per week for 52 weeks. It rose 20% over 2020 (during pandemic). The 2021 median employee pay package FELL from 2020 by 8.3% to $ 1,181 per week. Inequality sharply worsened.
Is Ukraine a proxy war for clashing empires? Russia's GDP is $ 1.5 trillion vs US GDP at $ 21 trillion. US "win" a sure bet? Or a David and Goliath replay?
#AskProfWolff: Why Employees Need a Seat At The Table A Patron of #EconomicUpdate asks: "Hi, @profwolff I work as a pilot in the airline industry... Is there anything In the USA specific work groups can do to hold Big Money owners accountable?"…
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"As defined by its core productive relation of employer/employee, capitalism is now developing its productive forces and its GDP growth faster in China’s public form of capitalism than in the US’ private form of capitalism." My latest article:
Wall St stock prices now more above US GDP than at 1999, 2007 peaks just before markets crashed. Stock prices rising since 2010 risk bigger crash. Capitalism's endless instability.
BRAVO Rep. Katie Porter: exposing McKinsey Corp worked for FDA on opioid crisis while also worked at same time for Purdue Corp. that profited off opioids. Gross capitalist corruption.
Stagflation - a mix of stagnant production and rising prices - stalks/haunts US, European capitalism. In US a 1.4% drop in GDP in 2022's first quarter as inflation nears 10%.
#WolffResponds: Deepening Class Struggle @profwolff calls attention to the class struggle going on in the US today, pointing to the myriad of signs of class struggle: mass resignations, large unionization efforts, inflation, rising interest rates & more.…
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Union leader Sara Nelson: 75 years of union decline left this generation of workers without protection/support. So now it rebuilds a powerful new labor movement.
DeSantis vs Disney: US laws/gov't policies used mostly to serve a rising capitalism. Capitalists cut deals behind closed doors. Now in declining capitalism, they disagree more, drawing their political servants into their splits & deepening the decline
When Marx wrote about capitalism digging its own historical grave, did he foresee today's Gen Z? It rejects labor/jobs as a life focus and goal. Has capitalism finally turned off the workers it needs to make its profits?
In inflations larger businesses have always raised prices faster/further than med/small biz. They use their wealth & power that way to grab still more wealth from workers but also from med/small biz. That's why gov't is so slow & weak against inflation
With insufficient wages, workers bought "hamburger-helper" to replace meat, marketed as "healthier" to hide truth. Next we are to get sliced bread packaged in "half loaves" & marketed as "avoiding food waste." How US capitalism hides costs of its decline
Billionaire, right-wing owner of United Metro Energy in New York City versus workers on strike for a year for their first union contract. NYC Mayor Adams continues to buy from United showing us again who most top politicians (including Democrats) serve.…
The Role of Capitalism in the War in Ukraine by @profwolff "The entire world is caught up in the decline of one capitalist empire & the rise of yet another. Conflicts between capitalist empires can occur anywhere where differences between them flare up."…
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Building a Movement to Beat Chevron - #EconomicUpdate Gayle McLaughlin joins the show to talk with @profwolff about building popular, progressive movements in her small town to beat big corporations with class politics.
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"Globalization" was always code for capitalist imperialism: it profited not only from relocating jobs to low-wage areas but also from wars and from controlling global migration by violating national "borders" everywhere.
Labor militancy/ unionization resurging in both US and UK. US empire's decline provokes economic instability and insecurity. The 1% try to offload decline's costs onto the 99% but workers fight back. Neoliberalism's effects turn around to end it.
Walmart's "solution" for growing US homeless problem. Thousands sleep in cars in Walmart parking lots. No need to pay workers more to afford housing. Plus sleepers may buy something from Walmart in the morning. How capitalists "solve" problems they cause
In round 1 of France's presidential election, 72% of voters voted against Macron. In round 2, a large majority of eligible voters once again refused to vote for him. Macron represents the collapsing middle of French politics.
The long, slow death of Britain's empire exemplified in Caribbean objections to the imperial "mess Britain left behind" & to "insulting", costly "royal" family visits now. There lies a cautionary tale for the US whose declining empire now follows Britain's
In UK--as in US--landlords use "inflationary environment" as excuse to profit from raising rents. Tenants squeezed/ evicted. Social inequalities worsen beyond what 40 years of stagnant wages + pandemic + econ crash did to working classes of both countries
Video-game testers will vote on unionizing to protect their jobs in ruling from NLRB. Struggle pits the $ billions of Microsoft (the video game producer) and against the CWA union that has no $ billions. Class struggle never was a fair fight.
New #WolffResponds in response to comments from @rustyrockets: Elon Musk, Twitter and Free Speech What does the Musk buyout reveal about our culture and economy? Is free speech free if it can be sold to the highest bidder? #TwitterSold
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