Economic Update: Political Activism's Revival

Economic Update: Political Activism's Revival

welcome friends to another edition of economic update a weekly program devoted to the economic dimensions of our lives and I'm your host Richard wolf try to bring this program every week to give some other perspective on what's happening to the economy around us I want to give a belated shout out to the International Women's Day March 8th and to recognize both the old issues that women are still struggling with especially here in the United States the right to control their own body the right to get equal pay for equal work but also to recognize new important changes to American society that the women in the United States have taken the lead on achieving here's a couple 1 the wave of strikes by public schoolteachers that have really gripped this country over the last six months those have been the strikes of public schoolteachers overwhelmingly women who have shown that they are the leaders in fighting back against the neglect of education and the general neglect and cutback in the quality and quantity of public services they are leaders for changing the United States in a very important new direction and the same is true of the me to a movement an attempt to change the culture long overdue and again the women are in the leadership and we all need to take our hats off to those particularly who are doing that last but not least the flight attendants on our Airways again overwhelmingly women they had the courage to come out during the recent government shutdown and demand that the afl-cio call a general strike to show that working people don't want the political leaders to fight out their battles on the backs of working people denied their salaries good leadership from the women in this country it deserves recognition the first regular update I want to bring to you has to do with the University of California's decision to break its relationship with a commercial publisher Elsevier in favor of the open access Publishing of all research results stop putting a price on the research that is done at publicly supported universities who are trying to do something to benefit the human race in the research they undertake shouldn't be a profit-making enterprise that holds back the research let me read to you what the head of the University of California's Faculty Senate said in response to this new development quote knowledge should not be accessible only to those who can pay Bravo to the Robert may chair of the University of California's Faculty Senate the only thing I would say besides congratulating that University for doing that is to say there are a lot of other things that ought not to be limited to people according to their ability to pay I'm struck every time I go to a grocery store that now we have two kinds of groceries organic you know things that are healthy that are good for the human body that are less dangerous for cancer and many other things that we pay extra for and then the regular food that has been treated with God knows what that people who can't afford the organic food have to buy whoa is that a reasonable thing to do is that any more reasonable than limiting the research that we publicly support from being available to everybody come on folks my guess is most of you can imagine the housing and many other basic needs of a decent community ought not to be limited to those who can pay and denied to those who can good leadership from the University of California it just needs to go a lot further and then I want to also talk about Governor Cuomo who's back at it having been defeated in selling out the city of New York to the Amazon corporation in his combination of begging first for them to come and then bribing them on top of it with billions in money that could be used for the subways for the schools for all the other things we need more or than the headquarters for one of the richest companies on earth my goodness what kind of leadership is that what's good about the University of California is what's bad about Governor Cuomo and the others that he's dragooned in there Goldman Sachs Morgan Stanley and sadly the n-double-a-cp and others who want to continue this program of begging and bribing corporations to locate here rather than there so all the cities and towns can compete to give away the resources they don't have to make corporations even richer than they already are where's the leadership to stop that awful pattern not from Governor Cuomo and not in New York and this notion of selling out is of political leaders selling to corporations well we've just had two more examples Facebook has been exposed having spent money around the world bribing or whatever is politely supported as influencing politicians to not pass laws that protect people's privacy so that Facebook can make even more money than it already has I guess mr. Zuckerberg wants to be even more super-rich than he already is so they want to be able to violate privacy rules and so they need the politicians not to impose privacy rules just because their constituents wanted corporations versus Democratic control of things like our privacy of things like our communities tax resources and then you can see it again the selling out by politicians mr. Trudeau in Canada just got caught protecting a company that was being accused and it was clear that they were guilty of bribing other politicians the company in Canada SNC lavalla had bribed officials in Libya to get advantages and they were going to be prosecuted because Canada has laws until mr. Trudeau recognising that they are a big employer in the Quebec province he's from protected them and is now exposed and his government is in trouble politicians providing services and favours to corporations is the way our political system works and the results are uniformly awful for the country as a whole in order stop we need some leadership maybe women should step forward since there have been the better leaders in recent times and now another update that kind of exposes more hypocrisy the United States has told the UK government and Great Britain that it will sign a special treaty especially if the UK exits Europe as their Bridget crisis keeps boiling over they're gonna make a deal with the United States the exit ears say they don't need Europe well the United States has just given them a taste of what they're in for the United States demands that the British stop blocking chlorinated chicken and hormone stuffed beef turns out that the United States washes its chickens in chlorine I'm sorry to inform you of this if it's a problem for you you should have known and the British don't allow that they don't think it's safe and they don't think it's necessary and the British say we're not gonna lower our standards just so you can sell chickens that have been dipped into the swimming pool we're not gonna do that and we're not gonna take your beef either and the United States is outraged the ambassador to Britain issued a public statement rebuking the British for being wait a minute now you're not gonna believe this protectionist you're keeping us out you don't really care about chlorine and you don't really care about health you just want to protect your own chicken producers and that is protectionism says the United States after a year in which it put tariffs on steel tariffs on aluminium tariffs on automobiles tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars to protect the American economy that's this whole issue if each country protects we're not going to be trading much of anything with one another and that's exactly what the World Trade Organization and every major trade deal in the last 50 years was designed to avoid we are going backwards we're not making America great again we're making America at war with other countries over protectionism and that often leads to military war and we shouldn't forget it my next update has to do with the Bloomberg financial news service hardly a radical source of information they keep an index of the world's healthiest countries and they just released their 2019 index of the world's healthiest countries I thought you might be interested Spain is the number one healthiest country Italy is not far behind the countries around the Mediterranean it turns out seem to have a very good diet and they also have universal medical care and that also includes preventive care and primary care for children and all of those things which we don't have here in the United States and where does the United States rank by Bloomberg which is a US company we ranked get ready 35th Cuba is ahead of us Canada ranks 16th you know when you analyze the health of a society as bloomberg did you look at things like life expectancy use of tobacco obesity environmental factors such as access to clean water and sanitation you really put it together it's a measure of how well you're doing by that standard the United States comes in near the bottom of list of industrial countries Spain is number one Canada's number 16 Canada remember has a National Health Service that ensures everybody we don't and that's the result and that's what makes America great again or what I want to conclude by bringing everybody up to speed on a law that was passed in the United States recently they've got very little attention it used to be called the Main Street employee ownership Act it was passed on August 13th and it didn't get much attention because it was folded in under the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act about our defense budget but what this part of that law does it allows the Small Business Administration to much more easily make loans available to workers who want to become their own employers to set up a workers coop to bring finally some democracy to the workplace that is now easier to do than it was before it doesn't go as far as in UK Labour Party goes which promises to really make it much easier for worker coops to form and to lend them more money than the SBA is willing to do but it shows that this demand is building up so that even conventional politicians go along and now finally a number of Americans have been complaining that their tax refunds from the taxes they paid in 2018 that they expected to get this time of the year are either not there or much smaller than they expected in other words their taxes have gone up not down they're not getting the refunds that they've been getting in recent years and they're all up in arms and I want to explain why the tax reform so-called passed in December of 2017 with great hoopla by Donald Trump and the GOP lowered taxes for corporations lower taxes for rich people and gave a very small tax deduction for average people but what it didn't tell you was that it raised taxes let me say that again the GOP and mr. Trump raised taxes here's how they did it they took away the right of people to deduct from what they owe the federal government the taxes they paid in their state and the taxes they paid to their city there's a maximum of ten thousand dollars and whatever you pay to local and state taxes above that you can't deduct any more and that's why you have to pay more federal because this rule passed by Trump in the GOP when these people tell you they're cutting your taxes reach for your wallet because they're reaching in it and they're gonna beat you to it if you're not very careful we've reached the end of the first half of economic update as usual please stay with us for an interesting interview and remember follow us on YouTube it's an important service you can do for us and doesn't cost you a nickel make use of our websites our DeWulf with two FS calm and democracy at work dot info you can follow us on Facebook Twitter and Instagram and as always our thanks to the patreon community that is so important a supporter to what we do we'll be right back welcome back friends to the second half of economic update it is my pleasure to welcome today Eleanor Goldfield so let me say hello Eleanor to you very welcome Eleanor is a creative activist and a journalist she starred started rather and hosts the show act out which airs on free speech TV as we do on this program as well as in podcast form she also co-hosts the podcast common censored with Lee Camp Lee who was with us not very long ago her work covers people and topics that corporate media sensor or misrepresents she works in a variety of mediums and her performances blend music spoken word and visual protect projections she was also the co-founder and singer of rooftop revolutionaries a political rock band born from the fight against capitalism and all the evils that stem from it besides speaking and performing she assists in local action organizing and activist training and is based in Washington DC so Eleanor welcome again thank you so much tell me why you started an activist website TV project and what it is well so I came up with the idea for act-out really during occupy I was involved in occupy Los Angeles and I felt that something that was missing from media was because alternative media does this excellent job of telling us all what the real news is right but not so much how to address it so here's really how our wars are affecting people here's the real economics of capitalism but then it can almost feel very much like a downer like oh gosh now I'm gonna become an alcoholic because I just found out the truth so what's the next step the next step to me was okay how do we address this something that occupy really started to to foment in people and so I wanted to build a show that introduced folks to the work that's already being done you know because people are fighting on all of these issues across the nation and they're just not getting those platforms so one of the core pieces of act out is to give those people the platform and introduce folks to those fights so they can engage with them it's interesting so you are another one of the consequences of Occupy in other words a person activated stimulated supported I guess you could say that but I was actually activated before then probably even before 2002 I started doing environmental work and in Charlotte North Carolina where I lived and then leading up to the Iraq war in 2002 I became a very vehement anti-war activist so I think what happened with me with Occupy was what happened to folks I know that they were like oh wow people are activating around this just like I have been doing and we're giving voice to collective efforts that we're doing you know occupy did a great job of bringing together environmental anti-war and bringing it under the umbrella of capitalism so I think that's what that's what happened with me being funneled into top to the Occupy movement so how's it gone tell me about your your show tell me what it achieves tell me what you think is your next step well I'm gonna keep doing this until everything is fixed no I mean I think it's going as well as as well as it can be when you're dealing with these issues you know I think one of the things that that you also do is you bring the you bring awareness to these issues you pull back the veil that's been that's been swung in front of people through the education system and all through also suit through corporate media so that's what I'm doing and I'd say it's going well because I do think that people are waking up and distrust in government is higher than it's ever been as well as in corporate media and the important thing for for me to do is make sure that the the analysis is is not skewed right so that the analysis isn't an oh it's the immigrants fault but that the analysis really goes to the core the root problems of the issues that we all face tell me you know there's more and more signs that people in America are interested in socialism and when I look at that I get the sense that what they're really saying with that is that they're not happy with capitalism what exactly socialism is and where it's going that's a bit murky but that but there is this crucial opening to be able to be critical of capitalism and you do that so I want you to tell us why you do that and what you think that does for your audience this focus on the root as you put it in capitalism I'm intrigued to see because we try to do that to how that's working well I think like you pointed out I think a lot of young folks even younger than me you know I'm in my 30s I think a lot of young folks are really seeing that and that the core issue is capitalism and I think you know your show does a great job of doing that and alternative media and I think the fact that most people don't get their news from corporate media anymore means that they're being that folks are seeing that there's there is this growing the growing movement that's looking at capitalism and saying but that's not working you know and I think that I think that the importance of that is that all of our issues tie back to that whether that be the war machine whether that be environmental destruction women's rights immigrants rights what-have-you police brutality all of these things feed back into capitalism so I think on an organizing level as well as on a media level folks are seeing that this is how we can build that solidarity that's necessary to really address the problems and none of our none of our problems will ever be properly addressed unless we address the root cause which is capitalism do you have any thoughts about the connection between what you do for example and concrete examples of activism come to my mind listening to you the teachers around the country that for the last six months have really shown extraordinary leadership in a labor movement that a lot of people thought had kind of gone to sleep they're showing oh no we're not sleeping we're active the most recent one the real victory in Oakland California with a 12% wage increase I mean I know there were problems and there were a lot of teachers who wanted to stay out on strike further but that's really good it meant that the majority realized they made a gain and I'm a good big minority wants more to happen is there is something happening to activism that you're picking up on because of your direct interest in it I think so I think on an organizing level I'm seeing more and more people leave the systemic the systemic answer to the problem which is a vote Democrat I was recently at a meeting with some union leaders from across the country a wonderful a powerful meeting and the basic concept of the meeting was okay well the Dems aren't gonna help us so what do we do and that was really powerful to see because I think more and more people regardless of whether they're in the labor movement or not are coming to that understanding that okay well the system in and of itself is not going to save us because the system in and of itself is the problem so I think previously in activism you know when I joined the anti-war movement it was like let's just get a Democrat and let's get rid of Bush and we'll be ok and then you know Obama ramped up the war machine and so I think what folks are really grabbing on to is that ok well maybe it's not just a matter of which party maybe it's the two-party system and this whole structure that is perpetuating the ills that we're all suffering under yeah we're coming up to a presidential race that is gonna bring all of that to the fore literally inside the Democratic Party where you're beginning to see more and more of a tension that's not so clear if I understand correctly you also take very seriously the arts you come out of the arts you come out of the the possibility that art itself can be a mechanism to inform and to stimulate activism tell us a little bit about how the the arts play a role in what you're doing and the success you're having well put simply the art inspires you know art is not going to be that blockade on a street but it inspires the folks who then go to the street and I think that that's an in buy art I mean everything from a film to a poster to comedy to music and I think if you if everybody just sat and thought about it for a second what is it that inspired you to do something in terms of activism I'm sure most people could think of oh I saw that really amazing poster or I saw that really amazing banner or that song that got stuck in my head or what have you I think that that is a really powerful tool to bring people in and something that I used to do at my shows when I when I had a band was it was very insidious you bring people in and you're like hey you're going to a rock show isn't that cool and then you'd go up on stage and you'd start smashing capitalism and then you have there people are stuck they've got their beer in their hand they're like oh oh okay I didn't know that that was but cool and then on their on their way out you've got people tabling for various issues and you basically art is kind of the backdoor into people's minds because it hits them emotionally and then they start to to personally go over in their mind as opposed to handing them stats and being like hey here's proof that climate change is a problem stats are difficult to grab ahold of and sometimes people are like no no I don't want to but art is an emotional response first and then it becomes a mental response and I think that's a really powerful and indeed insidious way of getting to people and in these ways I couldn't agree more how do you do it though tell me how do you bring the the artistry into your own show in this show well I think that you should start dancing on your show personally I think that would be great so on my show I incorporate spoken word oftentimes and I also will highlight other artists and activists with it that be street artists or musicians that are doing creative activism as well but another thing that I do is I put on creative activism events so kind of like you know hey come see a show and of course it's you know the poster is gonna have something political about it but the point being that you're bringing people in to have a good time and I think that's the other thing that needs to be made clear is that activism can offer oftentimes people hear it they're like wow that sounds really depressing all you do is is research these heavy issues and and talk about how they're affecting people negatively but as Saul Alinsky wrote and his rules for radicals if you don't make it fun people aren't going to come back and I think that's the other part of using art is that it soothes the soul for those who are tired and worn down but it also brings people together to see oh wow caring about things and doing something about it that is really a good time and so I think those creative activism events are a big part of that as well is it fair to read you as a person and you as a personality doing this show as itself a sign that activism is coming back into the American scene into the culture I like to think so I mean when I was in my band we hit several walls in Hollywood when because we got to the point where we were having meetings with record execs and they told me that I needed to write more love songs I'd get rid of the politics and go up a cup size or two none of those things happened I've still yeah really explicitly oh yeah oh yeah bigger boobs please and and more love songs less politics they were afraid of politics and I think that what doesn't surprise me but that they were as blunt oh yeah maybe I shouldn't be surprised about that you know they got they got stuff to do on to the next we need to make yeah so I think what we're seeing now not that the music industry has changed it's still incredibly sexist and afraid of making a statement but I think what we're seeing now is that people are more interested in making a statement and so back when I was trying to organize in Los Angeles when I lived there and around Occupy even people were like I have a Prius I'm good I've saved the planet we're done but now you're seeing more and more people think okay maybe that's not all it takes maybe my own personal choice of a tote bag is not going to save the planet perhaps I need to do more I think that more and more people are looking at activism as a necessary part of their day-to-day lives last question we'll have time for how has the organized media in this country dealt with you do do you feel you have an opportunity is it still closed to people who are politically critical where's the media mainstream and other related in terms of your own experience I think alternative media is doing a great job of working in solidarity with each other corporate media will never they will they will die before they ever reach out of hand I've been censored heavily on Facebook and on Google and you know the the corporate social media as I call them so I think there's there's that as you know there's that break there's the alternative media like what you're doing and then there's the corporate media which will hold on to that state-sponsored perspective until they die which they will and I think that's what we're seeing as always I wish we had more time but I see in you a fellow struggler in this realm and I really do salute you the more people doing what you're doing the more this change that we're hoping for will come so thank you for the work you do as well as for joining us today thank you and I hope you all found this as important and interesting as I have and I will talk to you again next week

43 thoughts on “Economic Update: Political Activism's Revival

  1. Sorry, but you are wrong about organic food.
    It's no safer, or healthier or even better for the environment in most cases.
    It's just a boutique label really.

  2. Eleanor Goldfield "The corporate media will die before they offer a hand" To wit i would hope we collectively proclaim in a voice that rattles & shakes there foundations… LET THEM DIE!

  3. I love how she calls facebook, google, et al. corporate social media. Very true, and of course she's censored on them.

  4. Am I crazy for thinking that the only way to truly help Americans in the coming years is to enact UBI or create a wide-spread, well-marketed homestead act? Everything else just seems like empty talk that does not improve anything. More and more people are turning to suicide and drugs and crime because they are really suffering more than the media will admit. What can we do?

  5. no game dev would think its a good idea to have 1 currency, that can buy anything and everything this world has to offer, slaves? food? boats? houses? land? anything else? all with 1 currency…no wonder people go crazy and get addicted at gathering money

  6. The man is a moron. He thinks if your tax refund is smaller than it was last year, that proves your tax was raised. Actually, it just means you were not overwithheld as much as other years.

  7. Organic food does cost more but it's also just complete bullshit. It actually isn't healthier or any better for you and it more then likely is indeed worse. Natural fertilizers often used to grow organic plants is far more dangerous for human consumption then gmo plants.

  8. Fantastic Interview! Eleanor is great source of information about stories that the mainstream isn't really covering.

  9. The feedlots of America, because of deregulation, now feed the cows chemicals that cause their bodies to retain fat. Guess what, when that beef is processed into meat for you it still has those chemicals in it, works on you just like the cows.

  10. A sign of activist progress would be increasing trust in government and decreasing population density of oligarchs along with increasing trust in the ethics of private industry. Because until activism achieves those indicators it is only working on the negative side of destruction of the old order and not enough on the creative side of establishing a new society. Sounds like Goldfield is helping with both, tearing down the old AND building the new, so props to her.

  11. Nice point Evelynn, at 23:00, and in my opinion, the ultimate problem is not whether we have capitalism, communism, socialism, Republicans or Democrats, it's the fact that there are cheaters who have conducted deregulation in order to cheat, outsourcing, and corruption to the massive scale that none of those political and economic disciplines have much difference or definition anymore. Like many games and sports, they only have definition and meaning and function, if people play by the rules. No game is worth playing if some players are allowed to cheat and others aren't. The game instantly loses its purpose, and eventually becomes nonfunctional for everyone, except the cheaters. That is where we are now. And that is until they get caught and stopped. Then it's worth starting the game again, but only if everybody plays 100% by the rules, 100% of the time. When they said that all men were created equal, I think they meant, we all have an equal duty and responsibility to play 100% by the rules and laws, 100% of the time. And that includes the laws of nature and the laws of physics. Because if we the people can't stop the corrupt upper 10%ers, then the laws of physics will. And the corrupt 10%ers will have taken all life on earth down with them.

  12. I don't agree that organic produce is necessarily better than regular produce.

    I'm disappointed that you didn't mention less income tax was being withheld as well, which is another reason that many people are now owing.

  13. the young lady is a really good speaker. She doesn't stutter or use "uh". But one suggestion for her, drop the word folks and use people instead. It just sounds fake , she doesn't have the old person vibe to pull it off.

  14. Britain is ranked 19th in the bloomberg healthiest country index, aka one of the “most nature-depleted countries in the world” according to State of Nature 2016 report. Hardly surprising

  15. Free Speech is Being Banned in the United States–rrL8/
    March 2019

  16. Love you, scientist, Robert May, at UC Davis ! Interesting. Scientists at UC Davis were also the people that corroborated the science of the perpetually, vilified Dr. Andrew Wakefield in the MMR-Autism debate. Good on them. Open science and transparency is what it's going to take to blow a hole in this vaccine debate which is so steeped in corruption at the levels of CDC, FDA, HHS, NIH and the WHO along with Big Pharma (led by the 1 %).

  17. We need a new economic system. You don't need debt to have money. It's a way of allocating resources. There can be more than one way. Be creative!

  18. Capitalism rewards duplicity and is certainly not reasonable, especially with regards to matters that benefit humanity. Thanks for your work Richard.

  19. She doesn’t sound like an activist, nor a socialist.. she sounds like a failed singer trying to commodify socialism and activism, and create a fan base around it.. this is not real activism, on the contrary: it is harmful to real change and social progress in my opinion.

  20. Please Dr. Wolff, do not follow Goldilocks' advice on dancing on stage: your show is just perfect, different style, old intellectual school if you wish. You can still dance in her show… if you feel like.

    I like this format of 15 mins news w/commentary and 15 mins of interview. It's fine. If anything I'd give some few mins to international info, because I think it's important for all to realize how interconnected we are at global level and how other people are also doing interesting things or maybe suffering comparable abuses.

  21. With regard to our schools, all (or almost all) schools are hierarchically-managed, with the teaching professionals at the bottom of the hierarchy. Private schools are governed by appointed boards of trustees or boards of directors (if for-profit). Public schools are government by elected school boards. The boards then hire a superintendent or executive director, who hires principles or managers of individual schools, who then hire teachers. And, teachers, in order to achieve some level of economic security are forced to form unions and engaged in collective bargaining. Schools should be formed by and owned by teachers who share a common approach to providing education to students, organized as a professional partnership. Schools would then succeed or fail based on the ability of the school to attract and retain students. Parents could be provided with a household income based tuition voucher enabling them to choose the school they feel best meets the needs of their children.

  22. In the 60's we very nearly brought about a real revolution. The problem is that the Feds infiltrated, and made it divert and fail. All revolutionaries from that time remember this. It makes it hard for me to believe change is ever going to be possible. The machine devours it's advisaries. I wish it were otherwise. Capitalism is a hungry beast that will kill us all.

  23. Criticism of Redacted, I would not waste time on its own page breaching, is for them to please mention the name, HR????, when they discuss a bill like the recent banking re-deregulation, which was inserted as part of a parks and recreation privatization legislation, or something. <> This woman has a head of classic godess statue looks, besides brains.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *