Economic Update: Marxism’s Contribution

Economic Update: Marxism’s Contribution

Welcome friends to another edition of
Economic Update a weekly program devoted to the economic dimensions of our lives,
jobs, debts, incomes, our own those looming down the road, those of our kids
I’m your host Richard Wolff, I’ve been a professor of economics all my adult life
and I hope that that has prepared me well to go over these economic changes
all around us as we do that each week. Let me jump right in by giving a shout
out to the city of New York where this program is produced. The city of New York
has taken remarkable steps in this last week or so and you should know about
them New York City is the first in the nation to do what I’m about to describe
two things one it has gone into court to sue the five major oil companies in the
world for lying about climate change and fossil fuels and damaging the city of
New York by doing so and the second thing they did was to declare in New
York that they are going to divest the city’s pension funds by getting rid of
selling five billion dollars worth of the shares of those fossil fuel
companies that they are also suing by the way the New York City pension fund
which has a hundred and eighty nine billion dollars in it is invested in 190
fossil fuel companies whose shares they are going to sell well let’s first
mention who the companies are so we all know them BP or British Petroleum,
Chevron, Conoco, Phillips, Exxon, Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell they
are being sued for billions and what is the point well nothing says it better
than to read the statement of Mayor Bill DeBlasio when he announced these steps
taken by the city of New York I quote New York City is standing up for
future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension
funds from fossil fuels at the same time we’re bringing the fight against climate
change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects
and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits as climate change
continues to worsen it’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed to put
us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York
safer and more resilient here’s what they plan to use the money for that they
get from suing the oil companies for damaging New York they want to repair
all the facilities that have been damaged by higher temperatures by higher
levels of seawater by the storms like sandy and others that were generated by
the climate changes caused by fossil fuel burning over all these years they
want to make New York City resilient they want to protect it from the
consequences in the future of the damage to the climate already done here is a
city proactively moving to deal with this problem not another conference not
another report not another well-meaning meeting of
politicians to say they are concerned and for heaven’s sake not another
meeting with these companies hearing about how committed they are to doing
something which the city of New York has now shouted them out for not doing at
all this is action taken by people at the local level when the state and
federal levels have let us down in this area so badly my next update has to do
with consumer debt in the United States it has been rising very very fast
since 2013 indeed to the degree that there’s been a so-called recovery in our
economy and that’s wildly exaggerated as I try to point out nearly every week but
to the degree that there’s been some recovery it has been highly dependent
once again on debt on the rapidly rising debt since 2013 which is about when this
recovery is said to have gotten underway which means that the well-being of the
American economy to whatever degree it has been reproduced has become again
debt dependent it now the totaled consumer debt exceeds its previous high
in 2008 just when our economy crashed let me say that to you again that total
consumer debt just went over at the end of 2017 just went over where it was when
the economy crashed in 2018 now it is true that there is less
outstanding credit per family now than there was then even though the total of
credit is larger we do have more families than we did 10 years ago in
this country but most of the reason that the debt per family is lower is not
because families haven’t taken on too much debt they have but it’s because we
wiped out the debt of the most indebted they were declared bankrupt and got out
of being counted in that way and so they’re not there and so the overall
results look a little bit better because we’re not counting the worst of them but
the bottom line is and this has been documented particularly by the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York that we now have fast rising consumer debt it’s
rising most quickly for credit cards secondly for auto loans, third for
student loans, and finally for mortgages, since Americans can’t buy houses
the way they once did, the mortgage indebtedness isn’t going up as fast as
the other forms, but Americans are relying on debt at a rising accelerating
rate and given what that meant 10 years ago it would be foolish not to
understand that this is an important economic reality
now the third economic update takes us back to Greece what is happening in
Greece as always is important on this program because it is an advance notice
of what is happening elsewhere in Europe what will be happening in those parts of
Europe where it hasn’t happened before and likewise for the United States
that’s why we talk about your Greece so what has happened to Greece now
well once again there are massive strikes and demonstrations across that
little country you might be astonished as I was to read, that since the crash of
2008, 2008 there have been count them no less than
50 general strikes in Greece the people have been active in that country
desperately trying to stop something what wage cuts service cuts that is
public services cuts in their pension selling off state property to both
domestic and foreign corporations and auctioning off the property of those
whose debts were so big that they’d had to basically fold the tent and sell off
everything that they owned the damage done to the well-being of the Greek
household and family is staggering it exceeds anything that has happened
elsewhere in Europe to date the latest strikes are about the latest action and
the latest action tells a big story the latest action is a law
like all these laws imposed on the Greeks by the Europeans as a condition
for getting the loans without we which Greece could not continue as a society
in other words they’ve made the Greeks dependent on foreign loans and the
foreign loans will not be given unless the Greeks take the steps that the
European Community the European Central Bank the European Commission and so on
the IMF impose on them the latest one is to increase the number of people in a
union that have to vote in favor of a strike before you can have a legal
strike okay it doesn’t take genius to understand that every single step
imposed on the Greeks since the crash of 2008 have increased the power and wealth
of the rich at the expense of the mass of people increased the power of capital
and diminished the power of labour every single one what is going on here is a
foretaste of what’s to come the Greek business community wasn’t
strong enough to get these things done the mass of the Greek people organised
in communist socialist parties and in very powerful trade unions simply made
it impossible for the Greek capitalists to impose this kind of austerity on the
Greek people it had to be done by something more powerful than the Greek
capitalist class and so it was the entire European capitalist class
organized into the IMF the European Union and the European Central Bank
together bailed Greece out of the crisis with loans made Greece dependent on
these loans because they did not have a what a crisis inside Greece
the mental change of the Greek economy to try to rebuild it on a better footing
no no no they didn’t do any of that instead they solved the problem by
borrowing from the Europeans who lent to them knowing full well that by making
them dependent on European loans the Europeans could dictate the conditions
for doling out bits and pieces of these loans and the conditions were to
reorganize the Greek economy not to go beyond the capitalism but to go
backwards to a harsher and more unequal capitalism far beyond what the Greek
capitalists could ever have imposed on the Greek people so now the Greek
capitalists can sit there saying our hands are tied
it’s those Europeans without whom we can survive who are insisting that we do
that and who’s doing it in Greece is just as important as what’s being done
the who is the syriza party the syriza party is a left-wing party it prided
itself on being more left-wing than the old Greek Socialist Party had been
before it and here’s what that means that the word socialist the meaning of
socialist the meaning of left-wing is being transformed in Greece it’s no
longer a political movement that stands against capitalism it’s no longer a
political movement that is a criticism of capitalism is an advocacy of a
fundamentally different system the Socialists have become the party that
Institute’s what the capitalist wants that makes it happen when the old
parties can’t do the job anymore because they’ve lost the support of the people
income someone who says I can do a different and better job cashing in on
what socialism used to mean getting into power and then turning out in the most
cynical way you could imagine to be more of the same old same old
mamie maybe even worse the reason this is important
to understand is that it’s a harbinger of what is scheduled for the rest of
Europe and North America as capitalism shifts its ascendancy to Asia
particularly to China and that makes that the growing Society what it’s
leaving behind is the West and as the West has to constrict itself the
question is who gets constricted the 10% at the top or everybody else and you
know the answer before I tell you the name of the game of those at the top is
to make sure that the adjustment to a declining Western capitalism is foisted
off on the rest of the people Greece is leading the way and that’s why
it’s important to pay attention. Before I go on with the remaining economic
updates, let me remind you, as I often do, we maintain two websites, and they are
available for your use. They are available without charge, and they’re
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like in that way. So let me return then to our updates the next update has to do
with a british corporation Carillion, i hope is the right spelling
Carillion corporation. It’s a 200 year old company employs 43,000 workers that
makes it a very big company out of those 43,000 20,000 little less than half are
in the United Kingdom that company has in fact collapsed it has been
negotiating for bankruptcy compulsory liquidation was announced on January
15th it may survive still there are negotiations but there’s some important
lesson in this collapse of a huge private construction company first the
United Kingdom government had employed Carillion on 450 projects including the
construction and maintenance of hospitals of schools of prisons of
defense sites and of high-speed railways the government uses tax money to make
all these contracts with Carillion corporation now the government has
promised to pay the salaries of many of these workers while they work out the
financial collapse of this company all kinds of other companies that provided
services and inputs to Carillion are being damaged by the collapse of this large
corporation. Why am I telling you this? The answer is for years we’ve been
hearing that outsourcing activities that the government used to do the government
itself used to build or at least run schools and prisons and defense sites
and railways in England these are outsourced we were told that
turning these over to private enterprises would give us a much more
efficient production of these sorts of things and is the logical thing to do
everybody knows if we heard all this we hear it in the United States just the
same well turns out it isn’t so it turns out
that one of the biggest beneficiaries of outsourcing to the private sector what
the British government does has been a disaster this company has failed this
company is leaving tens of thousands of people without work thousands of
companies without revenue it is a disaster for all of England and listen
now as I quote to you what to observers of it all have to say the first is the
Institute of Directors directors of companies these are the people that are
the kind of people that ran that corporation it has issued quote a
stinging rebuke to Carrillion’s top executives and directors. Wow! Roger
Barker, head of corporate governance at the Institute of Directors, was
particularly alarmed that the company changed its bonus rules to protect top
bosses. Turns out that over the last year as they were going down into collapse
they gave themselves big bonuses these directors oh goodness
maybe nobody thought about what it might mean if you outsource government
activity to private enterprise that the private enterprise are just as capable
of taking care of themselves at public expense as any politicians ever proved
themselves to be. Well if you didn’t think about it,
you can think about it now and here’s another comment Meg Hillier
chairwoman of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee fears that taxpayers
face quote a raw deal from this collapse here’s what she says
trillions collapse raises grave questions about jobs the delivery of
public services and the way government conducts its business we as a committee
have previously warned of the risks when contractors paid from the public purse
become too big to fail they get a pass they get too much money they mess up why
am I telling you this is it because I want you to believe that
private isn’t good and government is as the way to do business and the answer is
no that’s not what I’m doing liberals do that I’m no liberal I’m not
here to tell you have the private do it it’s better than the public cuz that’s
silly but I’m equally aghast at people who say no don’t have the private do it
have the public do it because putting a bureaucracy of politics in charge is
about as smart as putting a bureaucracy that’s private in charge which is what
you do when you outsource it to big private corporations. The solution to
these problems is not to have vertical controlled companies neither public nor
private the solution to this kind of failure and corruption is to have many
people involved in deciding what happens in a company not a few and that there
are, also make sure that there are people to sound the alarm when things
aren’t going well and to make sure that as things go badly we haven’t got a
handful of people taking care of themselves at the top while everybody
else suffers and the problem gets worse which is what happens either publicly or
privately let’s not once again go from the public
to the private followed by the private to the public we’ve been back and forth
this way for decades and it doesn’t solve the problem that’s what the Carillion collapse teaches us one more time my last
update for today is a little different but it raises so important a question
that I wanted to leave the time to develop it with you for a little bit it
has to do with an action taken by the CVS Pharmacy Corporation one of the
largest drugstore chains in the United States may indeed by now be the largest
one I haven’t kept track there’s only three or four and it’s one of the
largest ones for sure CVS was in the news this last week by telling us
something they are no longer they said going to be touching up the photographs
of women wearing beauty products on their facial on their faces and so on
turns out they touch these things up to make these women look unnaturally
flawless in terms of their skin and just so with their eyebrows their hair you
know you really do know what I’m talking about they’re not gonna do that they’ve
had so much protest particularly from women that they’re not going to be
touching up their advertising now let’s talk about touching up advertising why
would you do that in the first place why would you take a
picture remember the pictures that are taken are taken mostly of models models
are unusually attractive beautiful whatever words you want that’s why
they’re chosen that’s why they’re models so now you have an exceptionally
beautiful model of something male-female doesn’t really matter why would you then
touch it up why isn’t it sufficient that you found a beautiful example of
whatever it is you’re looking for here comes the answer and if it offends you
then you are offended by the way this system works this advertising is not
about celebrating beauty and it surely is not about making
beautiful more beautiful advertising let’s remind ourselves has a simple
basic function to sell more stuff the advertiser is a producer of something
and that producer wants to sell more of it and the way you do that is you
advertise the product how do you get beauty products to be sold more to be
purchased for example by women or men for that example here’s how you do it
you create an image of beauty that is precisely beyond what a human being can
produce flawless skin perfectly shaped eyebrows unbelievably fluffy hair or
whatever else it is you make it more by touching it up in the picture then any
human can achieve and then you make a none-too-subtle appeal look you say to
the individual buyer you fall short of this you’re not as beautiful as you
could be and you should be but there’s a way to solve the problem we’ve just
created for you by our product by this beauty object product this cream this
lotion this spray it will overcome how bad we’ve made you feel by creating an
image of beauty no human being ever achieved this is a cruelty every woman
who has reflected on growing up as a young lady knows about anxieties about
are you pretty enough are you beautiful enough are you attractive enough men
also increasingly go through this it’s important to understand you’re not going
through it because it’s normal to adolescence or puberty it isn’t that’s
normal to capitalism a system that systematically will use anything and
everything in your psychology to play on it
to get you to buy more stuff if it means suggesting you’re not pretty enough or
beautiful enough or good-looking enough or thin enough or whatever it is that’s
will be done you’ll be made to feel bad about some dimension of yourself so that
you will buy whatever that seller is selling capitalism needs to make money
by selling and advertising is its way and the social consequences have always
been awful yes it’s nice that CVS is going to be doing less touch-up on its
beauty products but that’s a tiny fraction of what the problem of
advertising has been and continues to be we need to understand that if we’re ever
going to get out of a society that puts that kind of cruelty out there as a
matter of course every day we’ve come to the end of the first half of economic
update thank you so much for being part of it please stay with us after a short
interlude we will be right back you

72 thoughts on “Economic Update: Marxism’s Contribution

  1. I don't get it. If New Yorkers really think that fossil fuel is bad, why don't they just stop driving and heating their homes?

  2. Execllent show Dr. Wolff! Crony neoliberal capitalism has destroyed the major economies around the world. I LOVE NEW YORK! #ClimateChangeIsReal

  3. What is the rest of the 189 billion NYC pensions invested in? Geo Group, CCA, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, etc. How about govt just give people their money and let people decide how to spend/save it?

  4. On the Carillion failure 21:10 "… putting a bureaucracy of politics in charge is about as smart as putting a bureaucracy that is private in charge …The solution is to have many people involved in deciding what happens in a company, not a few … at the top…. "

  5. Hey, Mr. Wolff. For someone who claims to not really like capitalism, you really don't seem to mind when the government uses the wealth created in the free market to pay for socialist crap:) Weird, isn't it?

  6. I can't even conceive of the many millions the Koch industry oligarchs will spend to destroy the mayor of NY in the next election.  The fossil fuels destroyers will never allow the continuance of resistance to the carbon destruction forces that be.

  7. THANK you for your time and excellent contribution as usual professor Wolff. One slight disagreement. What you called advertising isn't quite that. It's said 'If a Lie is told repeatedly people eventually believe it'. In Politics it's called propaganda, But in Business it's called MARKETING. I would say advertising is letting people know what's for sale. MARKETING is actually Creating the NEED for a product or service people don't really Need.

  8. Professor Wolff reports on the decision by officials in New York City to take on the corporations producing fossil fuels (and that have used their financial strength to lobby against the development of alternative energy). It will be interesting to see whether the city can sustain its legal effort in face of rising litigation expenses that will be nothing to the corporations targeted.

    The action by New York City does reflect the fact that local government is that the most responsive level of government to the needs and interests of citizens (and voters). All across the United States in our towns and cities the needs of people are similar. That said, the dominant views held by residents regarding the role of government are quite different. In part, this is caused by the extent to which the population is or is not diverse. Another factor is that in the absence of a diverse economic structure, many community leaders given in to business interests for fear of the industry leaving.

    To be sure, there are some communities that would disappear if a natural resource becomes fully extracted. There are many instances of mining towns booming and then being abandoned. For most communities, however, creating a dynamic and diverse economic base is possible by establishing a system of public revenue that (a) rewards investment in job-creation; and (b) prevents the hoarding of and speculation in land. These objectives can be achieved by a system of property taxation that imposes a near-100% tax on the annual RENTAL value of every location in the community, and at the same exempting all property improvements from the tax base.

    Edward J. Dodson, Director
    School of Cooperative Individualism

  9. With respect to Professor Wolff’s commentary on the increasing level of debt incurred by both consumers and the public sector, the reasons for this problem are directly caused by how government at all levels has raised revenue needed to pay for public goods and services. This is a problem I have written about extensively.

    The result of our public revenue system is the escalating concentrating of income at the top, not because those at the top have earned this income but because they are in a position to claim the value of what others produced. Political economists going back to Adam Smith and even before Smith have understood that the productive capacity of people was being siphoned off by monopolistic rentier interests.

    The consumer debt described by Professor Wolff begins with the cost of leasing an apartment or of purchasing a residential property. The data on residential properties indicates that in regions where employment is strong the cost of land is so high as to be unaffordable to most working people. Appraisal reports indicate a median land-to-total-value ratio of 50% or higher. This means that when purchasing a residential property one-half or more of the purchase price is for the location alone. Rising land costs prevent the construction of affordable apartments. And, when demand is increasing faster than supply is provided (and, in many communities supply is falling not increasing, as public dollars are not provided to subsidize the cost of affordable housing units). Given the high cost of “housing” for such a large portion of our population, there is not much left over for other essentials let alone luxuries. Thus, people must borrow and borrow heavily just to try to meet ongoing expenses.

    Edward J. Dodson, Director
    School of Cooperative Individualism

  10. I worked for a Carillion-like company…they have been shafting the tax-payers of the UK for years and work hand-in-hand with politicians who are either on the payroll, end up on the payroll, have shares in the company or any combination or sum of the aforesaid!!

  11. OK. I get the complicity of Big Oil in all of this. And more. But how can the City ignore the stratospheric aerosol injections that have become the ‘debt bubble' of our living environment?

  12. Carrilion has stoten billions of tax payers money professor,most of it hidden off shore,in tax havens and it's still demanding bonuses for the CEO's and board as tens of thousands lose their jobs.A real Robin Hood story in reverse.

  13. Americans are – or have already became – quickly becoming like the French working class (proletariat and peasants) in Marx's last chapter of the 18th Brumaire: "the bourgeois order, which at the beginning of the century set the state to stand guard over the newly arisen small holding and manured it with laurels, has become a vampire that sucks out its blood and brains and throws it into the alchemistic cauldron of capital" (pp. 128)

  14. CO2 is only 5% of greenhouse gasses and, of that 5%, humans are responsible for only 5%. Oil is often pumped from below the rock strata in which there's a fossil record, so in those cases it comes from methane, not dead dinosaurs. The solar cycle is now entering a period of low sun-spot activity, which has always preceded a minimum in activity. Without activity, there's nothing to block deep-space cosmic radiation so that more moisture will be formed around ionized particle in the upper atmosphere, creating more clouds and blocking solar radiation. New York City's timing is terrible, because the Earth is entering a period of solar minimum and in a few years will be plunged into a mini ice age. Climate scientists are talking now about global cooling, and the preceding decades of global cooling didn't set it off.

  15. Beware of the fatalist tendency of dialectical materialism. What the European capitalist class has done to Syriza is not necessarily going to happen to the rest of the anti-capitalist left in Europe or anywhere else (and yes, the EU is a capitalist club, as it always was, as the old socialist left in Britain and elsewhere always called the EU, and is not a safe home for progress, particularly under the rentierist turn that capitalism has taken under the long term effects of neo-liberal economic theory and economic policy. The UK Labour party will be able to carry out more of a socialist program out of the EU than would have been the case within it). Philosophers of the past have described society, the point is to change it. The anti-capitalist/Marxian revival in western left politics is a departure from the incumbent neo-liberal ascendancy in so-called centre-left parties like the American Democratic party, the German SPD, the Greek PASOK and all the rest. That Syriza was defeated and is unable to advance its program does not mean they have acceptded neo-liberal ideology in the same way as the traditional so-called centre-left parties, and it certainly does not mean that Podemos has, or Die Linke has, or Momentum has. In terms of the underlying demographic effects of austerity and neo-liberalism, the tide is still flowing our way, no matter how great the obstacles the ruling class throws up, like the ECB, like the Troika, like the Remainiancs, like the current assault on independent and new media enforced through Google, Facebook and Youtube. We are not passive victims of material forces, we have the option to rebel, to break their hold, beginning with belief in their insuperability and that is what we must do. The critique of capital is inter alia the critique of materialism itself, including that kind of fatalistic passivity before the political machinations of capital and its chief servitors.

  16. It is the subscribers responsibility to spread Mr. Wolff's message to the conservative YouTube channels… Like it or not, we need them in the fight against the deep state/ Neo-Liberals/ shadow government/ what ever nicknames serves you best..

  17. Love Dr Wolff! If anyone knows who Stefan Molyneux is. I just made a video proving he is a fraud and he censors his critics. Feel free to share it with libertarians.

  18. My goodness, this sounds exactly like Hitler and the Nazis testing out Blitzkrieg in the Spanish Revolution with Fascist Franco destroying the Spanish Republic, using Nazi tanks and tactics.
    Now it's the oligarchs of the Western World testing out there Economic Blitzkrieg against the masses in Greece. Then they will soon turn this strategy on all of us.

  19. Dr.Wolff ,you should introduce the John Perkins 's novel '' The secret history of American empire''.I sure everybody will like it.

  20. Prof Wolff discusses the Greek economic failure and it's now forced dependence upon EC loans, with all the restrictions and hardship that may entail. However, his view seems rather one-sided because he does not outline what alternatives Greece may have had and what their associated alternative effects may have been for the Greek people.

    One obvious alternative would have been to abandon the Euro currency and revert back to the Greek drachma.
    The drachma route would not have carried an EC debt burden but the drachma may have rapidly become a near worthless currency with all the economic misery that normally goes with it. However, for example, Zimbabwe is still surviving as a nation state after years of mismanagement and hyperinflation.

    Prof Wolff provides criticism but no answers for solving the perennial Greek crisis.

  21. Wow!! Some truth bombs here!
    The internet is full of "fake news", we just have to know how to filter information. Thank you professor, you're a great filter.

  22. I think that Carillon got too big and diversified for its cash flow and balance sheet to be sufficiently transparent. Quite obviously the Government should constantly undertake continual financial monitoring of those companies to which it gives major and multi contracts as it has to be satisfied that the contracts will be completed satisfactorily.

    There was a failure in this case and if it has been caused by "creative accounting" then the directors should be made criminally responsible and at the very least should return their "unearned" bonuses to the administrators of liquidation.

    It should be illegal for any company to pay out any bonuses when its company pension fund is in deficit but still this practice goes on when it is clearly in all but name a form of fraudulent financial mismanagement or theft of funds that goes on without penalty.

  23. Bravo New York. Action is so desperately needed for the environment and the years of talk has been just a sop for the fossil fuel corporations who shrug it off by using their paid complicit lackey politicians to give them even greater power to pollute.

  24. Consumer debt in the USA may take the lead from DJ Trump, with bankruptcy following bankruptcy becoming an acceptable norm. However, Trump may be getting some sort of handle on this situation by his intention to slap import tariffs on foreign consumer goods thus putting them out of reach of the average American consumers not wishing to increase their debt ceiling.

    These consumers may instead buy American made goods, thus boosting American jobs. In theory it also provides another incentive for corporations using cheap labour overseas to invest in contiguous American businesses.

  25. Maybe Trump is actually right on this one: pharma advertising is fake news.

    Unfortunately too many gullible media-driven Americans are easily sucked into the maelstrom of beauty products, the illusions of beauty and heady consumerism

    Just like so many millions were suckered into the Trump snake oil phenomena.

  26. Starting at 13:24:

    "In comes someone who says I can do a different and better job, cashing in one what Socialism used to mean, getting into power, and then turning out — in the most cynical way you could imagine — to be more of the same old, same old. Maybe, maybe … even worse."

    Just replace "Socialism" with "Democrats," and you've got the United States, too.

    (To be clear, the Republicans are repulsive and horrible. I'm just saying that the Democrats are now controlled, fake opposition — much like he's describing in that other situation.)

  27. The republicans and the highly privileged position that naturally comes with the printing press is not all well.
    They are shoring themselves up to protect their industries from losing profits and markets to rectify the unhealthy balance of payments! The reason for the increased government spending of the kind that is spent on wars or aid for less fortunate situated countries are alleged to be dedicated to the elimination of poverty and for the spread of democracy are really the costs of empire.

  28. I am totally on your side Richard but where did you see the massive protests in Greece? Those riots and demonstrations belong to the past. People now just accept everything that is happening, after the SYRIZA government disappointment.

  29. My daughter of 14 just wrote a paper in the "perfect" – not obtainable, and how it ruins many teens life. I was impressed by the knowlege our teens have.

  30. same with the socialist party in Germany SPD whenever you need to change rules to be more extreme capitalist and against the interest of the people you have the parties that pretend to represent the workers do it.
    For instance When The SPD was in charge they freed banks from any taxes on profits from investments and to compensate for the loss they doubled taxes on profits by private citizens doing the same thing.

  31. Communists communists communists
    Worms worms worms worms worms;
    Liberals liberals liberals
    Worms worms worms worms worms.

  32. Richard…this is diheartening to say the least…if we organize and somehow escape mass incarceration and death…we lose all by standing up? The dollar falls but walton and bezos sell us to central bank? Who is owned by bezos …wtf – we cant even stop arguing about race and abortion…as we are homeless without rights…

  33. I disagree with the last bit being about "Capitalism". It's really a problem with any movement of money which results in this – increasingly something the market actually HAS TO do (push consumerism) in order to actually work. This would currently be the problem with ANY system, the fundamental values of which and foundation that's derived from money for exchange.

    Money + economists are a bad tool/mechanism by which to measure true demand or efficiency and state regulation/government + private enterprise are a poor way to manage it. The answers would be found in the intricacies which would factor into a Resource Based Economy.

  34. I am glad Dr. Wolff touched on the unbelievably unattainable standards of beauty imposed on women by the beauty industry. I increasingly see the use of contouring and highlighting, and other make-up wizardry, younger and younger women use in order to look like the models on these adverts. They simply do not look real any more. One must remember that not even the models look like the models in the heavily digitally altered pictures. I don't use filters nor photoshop on any of my pictures nor do I go to the excesses some women do in their make-up application. Women are constantly bombarded with the message that they are only as valuable as they are beautiful and if you don't comply to that standard you are essentially invisible.

  35. Marxism contribution to human civilization; > 100 million cold, bloated rotting human corpses.
    Get off of your fat American arses and get a life!

  36. 100% renewable energy worldwide isn’t just possible, it’s more cost-effective than existing system

  37. Marxism’s Contribution ????
    The Killing Fields??? 200 Million Dead ???
    The environmental wonder of Chernobyl???
    Endless Lies, deceptions, and political attacks???

    Oh yes anti-Semitic racism and attacking Judeo-Christian values that is the real contribution of Marxism!!!

    All these Marxists nuts can do is attack, critique, and complain about free societies – after all they have never never come close to establishing a successful Marxist society themselves , except of course North Korea their shinning exemplar and longest lasting model.

    The Oxford scholar Leszek Kołakowski an ex-marxist who escaped the from behind the iron curtain, exposed some of the hypocrisy of Marxist “theory” in his critical text Main Currents of Marxism, it provides an analysis of the origins, philosophical roots of Marxist “theory”.
    Kolakowski describes Marxism as "the greatest fantasy of the twentieth century", a dream of a perfect society, which became a foundation for "a monstrous edifice of lies, exploitation and oppression." From the torture gulags of the USSR and the killing fields of Cambodia to todays food riots in Venezuela, and the toxic self-righteousness of Antifata violence the appalling failures and cultural offensiveness of Marxist dementia can never be overstated.

    Karl Marx’s ego aggrandizing writings model a rhetorically closed self-justifying system, subjective definitions, an absence of natural economic or independent price signals, lack of internal consistency, the pagan wackiness of “historical materialism”, sectarian intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism a series of rather glaring epistemological problems and so on. It was just so much egocentric nuttiness- .

    But in all his " writings" it is difficult to miss his anti-Semitic bigitory, take this quote from his 1844 essay “On the Jewish Question,” or as it is also known " A world without Jews" which should clear things up regarding Karl Marx as an anti-Semitic racist.
    "What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. … Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man—and turns them into commodities. … The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange. … The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general." …….The words of Karl Marx a true anti-Semitic racist, words which underscores his obsession with Jewishness as a materialistic culture, at best an error.

    Bernard Lewis of Princeton University has as described Marx’s "On the Jewish Question" as "one of the classics of anti-Semitic propaganda”.

    Marx considered Jews to be the embodiment of capitalism and the representation of all its evils, his ‘critique” of capitalism is in reality anti-Semitism veiled in social /class /economic mumbo-jumbo. His theoretical mumbo-jumbo, is only useful in inspiring resentment and discord focused on those classes of society where Jews are highly represented, with the final “solution” absolute violence enforced social uniformity. As an economist, Karl was an unmitigated failure, as all countries that adopted his “theories” have found out, sadly after the demise of 200,million people.

    After writing " A world without Jews" Karl spent the rest of his life concocting screwy pseudo economic rationales for policies that inflicted disproportionate economic and social displacement on the Jewish people and culture followed by his own final solution of gradual “assimilation” and the elimination of the Jews as the answer to the “question” of the Jewish people. His mumbo jumbo, includes his ever- nutty “labour theory of value” , and his unique delusional utopianism as the eschatological “promised land”.

    Ardent Marxist have spent years covering up Karl Marx's racism, his raping the maid, his drinking, fraudulent “research”, deceitful politics, violent behavior, lack of personal hygiene, all to promote or defend his kooky ego aggrandizing theories.

    Marxism has always appealed to the wounded ego.

    Karl’s obscuring rhetoric of class, capital, bankers, false consciousness, and so on hid the anti-Semitic characteristic of his ‘theories” and how they impacted (particularly in the west) Jews more that others.

    Lenin the mass murder and close follower of Karl , loved the quote “ Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools” the inverse that “ Socialism is the anti-Semitism of the controlling class” is just as true. At the end of the day it is not possible to be a Marxist without being an anti-Semitic racist.

    Karl Marx’s multivariate hostility to Jewish and Judeo-Christian values that define open and free western societies (Christendom) is a manifestation of his explicit anti-Semitic racism, a racism as well documented as it is denied by his sadly deluded followers. It is the same left wing anti-semitic racism that pervades the cultural Marxists, and socialist to this day, and more recently in the anti Semitic racism expressed by the Labor Party of Great Britain,

    Karl Marx’s anti-semitism has been well documented.
    very sad but very true.

    A helpful reading list regarding socialism as an expression of racism and other problems with marxist "theory".

    The Socialism of Fools?: Leftist Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism by William I Brustein and Louisa Roberts
    Karl Marx, Racist, By Weyl Nathaniel ( Recommended)
    The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich von Hayek
    A World Without Jews. By (the racist) Karl Marx
    The Open Society and its Enemies, by Karl Popper
    Marx's Religion of Revolution: Regeneration Through Chaos
    by Gary North PhD.
    Communist Eschatology, by Francis Nigel Lee PhD.
    Socialism, by Ludwig Von Mises
    Main Currents of Marxism, by Leszek Kołakowski

  38. Capitalism is a corrupt system It takes money from the average citizens and gives it to the Rich and idiot people do no not see This! That is how stupid people are. Capitalism does not work that is why the United States of America economy collapsed in the years 1929 And 2008 because Capitalism does not work. It will fail again and the citizens will really feel this and the United States of America will not survive again. This capitalistic system will need the citizens to sacrifice again if this system is to be keep going. The only answer is Democratic Socialism, immediately changes are needed by all citizens input not just a few Rich people on top.

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