Economic Update: Capitalism Breeds Inequality

Economic Update: Capitalism Breeds Inequality

Welcome friends to another edition of
economic update a weekly program devoted to the economic dimensions of our lives
jobs debts incomes the growth of some parts of the world economy their
shrinkage of other parts and how it impacts all of us
I’m your host Richard Wolff I’ve been a professor of economics all my adult life
and in a way I hope that that has prepared me to provide these comments on
what’s going on in the economy today I want to begin by presenting to you some
of the findings of the World Wealth Report this very important periodic
document took time out this year to take a look at the last 40 years the period
since 1980 of looking at what has happened in the world economy and what
it tells us so important are these results that the Harvard Business Review
for the month of March 2018 devotes a long detailed article to this wealth
report and what I’m presenting to you is a mixture of what the report contains
and what the Harvard Business Review also has to say about it
let’s start at the top and then look at it with some detail inequality in the
world has sharpened Lee worsened over the last 40 years
let me explain there is actually been a shrinkage of inequality less inequality
when you compare countries to countries mostly that has to do with extraordinary
improvement in the economic performance of China and then also India and Brazil
they have gotten relatively richer fast and the rest of the world particularly
the older wealthy parts Western Europe North America and Japan have grown much
much more slowly if at all and so there’s been a little less inequality
country to country but the price of that has been a staggering in
in inequality inside countries literally all countries growing inequality in
China in India as I will come back to as well as in the United States Western
Europe and Japan and so on that’s what I want to talk to you about over the last
40 years the share of income of the top 1% of people in the world the top the
richest 1% in 1980 they together got 16% of the world’s income they were only 1%
of the world’s people they got 16% of the world’s income by
2016 that share of the top 1% had risen from 16 which is what it was in 1980 to
20% Wow that means the rich got much richer the
rich got a bigger share not only did their income go up but it went up faster
than everybody else so that everybody else had to do make do with a smaller
share let me look at this in some detail so you can see the most remarkable of it
from 1980 to the present the income of the top richest 0.001 percent that’s
really the richest of the rich in America went up by 600 percent you heard
me right from 1980 to 2016 the income of the richest point or 1% went up 600
percent the bottom half of the American people that’s a hundred and sixty odd
million people the bottom half saw no income increase at all over the last 40
years that is if you were just the money they earned for the prices they had to
pay they went nowhere I want to let that sink in the richest
people got an increase over 40 years of six
hundred percent and the bottom half of the population saw no increase at all in
Europe just to give you another kind of comparison that top point or one percent
that income grew but it grew five times more slowly than in the United States
the Europeans didn’t experience the level of growth of the top at the
expense of everybody else the way they did in the United States so that the
bottom half in Europe over 40 years grew by 26 percent over 40 years that’s not
much but it is better than zero which is what their American equivalent
the lower half in America was able to do compare China and India China grew much
faster than India but unlike India it didn’t have a growing inequality like
the Indians did yes inequality in China grew but it grew much more slowly than
the inequality of India and that tells you as much about what is happening to
divide Asia as any other statistic I can think of in the United States then the
bottom 50% income share decreased from 20% of total income to 10 percent let me
drive that home the bottom half of the American people lost half of the share
of total income produced in America compared to 1980 it has been a disaster
for the bottom half which is the biggest clue I can give all of you about how to
understand American politics right up through mr. Trump but where the Harvard
Business Review article falls down is to explain why did this happen what causes
this staggering growth but even before I do that I want to use these data to make
a powerful point we have been told for the last century
that capitalism is going to enrich the rich yes indeed but we’re all gonna
benefit because it’s all gonna trickle down the rich being better off will make
us all participate in their good fortune these statistics show for the last 40
years that is cold stone wrong that doesn’t happen it doesn’t trickle down
here in the United States even more dramatically than anywhere else in the
world the rich got much much much richer and the poor went absolutely nowhere
nothing trickled my friends if you want to help the people the majority the
bottom two-thirds of this country you’re gonna have to help them you’re gonna
have to deal with them the notion that you can make the rich richer and feel
good that it’ll all trickle down is revealed by the last 40 years to be the
phony oneis story it always was as to some of the reasons in 1980 the United
States had the highest minimum wage in the world but since then the minimum
wage again adjusted for prices how much the minimum wage actually pays you
versus the prices you have to pay the minimum wage has fallen by 30 percent
let me compare that to France where the minimum wage has gone from 1980 to the
present up by 300% it’s tripled let me drive it home again in the United States
the real minimum wage fell by 30 percent in France it rose by 300% we’re not
talking small differences here there’s a reason why the bottom half in Europe
didn’t fare as badly as the United States because they’re treated better
they have a National Health Service and a national health insurance program that
helps them higher education is becoming more and more costly in America
requiring families to take out in more and more European countries
higher education is becoming free no charge at all let me give you a little
example that struck me when Bavarian policymakers Bavaria’s the southern part
of Germany tried to introduce small university fees in recent years a
referendum was called in which the Bavarian people fundamentally and
overwhelmingly rejected the imposition of fees the tooth parts of the world
Europe and North America are different and nowhere does it show in the less
serious inequality growth in Europe than in the United States but fundamentally
capitalism has shown itself in the last 40 years to be an engine of in equal
economic development unequal development it is not the alternative the only
reason capitalism temporarily after the 1930s made less inequality was the
massive uprising of people across the world demanding a better treatment than
what capitalism was giving them and they got it for a while the New Deal in
America social democracy in Europe but as soon as capitalism could recover and
resumed its normal moment momentum its normal way of development inequality was
the gift it is no trickle-down inequality is the cost of the capitalist
system for the majority I want to move next to an institution that isn’t part
of the normal capitalist arrangement here in the United States I want to talk
to you briefly about the YMCA this is a charitable institution been around in
the United States for a long time usually providing all kinds of services
to working people poor people athletic facilities social benefit programs of
various kinds but I want to talk to you about the problem of the YMCA but
it illustrates a larger point the YMCA in particular I’m gonna talk to you
about is the YMCA in Chicago one of America’s biggest cities the head the
CEO they call him which is already a hint the head of the YMCA a social
service organization is given the same title as the head of a capitalist
corporation chief economic officer CEO the CEO of the Chicago YMCA is dick
Malone in 2016 his total income salary and bonus came
to five hundred and eighty thousand dollars for the year that’s over half a
million dollars the workers at the Chicago YMCA the people who clean the
ymca buildings who make sure that the water in the YMCA swimming pool is safe
for children to go into etc Center earn in the range of get ready now eleven
dollars an hour to fifteen dollars and fifty cents an hour let’s do that again
the workers get eleven to fifteen bucks an hour the CEO gets half a million
dollars a year this grotesquerie led to finally after years to the workers those
earning eleven to fifteen to call a strike on March first of 2018 a one-day
strike to protest this grotesque inequality they were organized by the
SEIU the Service Employees International Union and that negotiations between the
two sides are continuing why did I bring this particular little strike to your
attention because the inequality of capitalism spreads beyond the
corporation it is replicated sadly in institutions that are not profit-making
corporate driven institutions the YMCA is a social service organization no one
expects it to run profit no one demands that it compete
against other social service organizations to earn a profit yet the
the infection if you like the disease of capitalism spreads and makes a YMCA
replicate what goes on in corporations wilde overpayment of the people at the
top gross under payment of those who do all the work until it’s unbearable they
contribute to the inequality because they allow the model of capitalism to be
reproduced in their own ranks the next economic update I want to bring to you
was stunning and I’m sure caught many of your attentions as well this has to do
with an event in Quebec Canada 700 physicians residents and medical
students rejected a pay raise that had been negotiated by the Federation’s that
represent them my goodness an organization of these doctors called mid
sacoby qua pool of a team in French because it’s Quebec of course said quote
we Quebec doctors who believe in a strong public health system opposed the
recent salary increases negotiated by our medical Federation’s my goodness in
February québec’s legislate legislature gave
another increase to the 1000 assumed me to the provinces 10,000 medical
specialists the average salary for a specialist in Quebec is already high
ready four hundred thousand dollars annually and so these doctors these
seven hundred out of those ten thousand said wait a minute there’s something
wrong we are already very well paid and this system is giving us an in
while there aren’t enough supplies there aren’t enough nurses there aren’t enough
other workers in the health system to provide a decent health system we don’t
want our increases we’d rather see the money go to make a better health system
now I want to explain to all of you what this means it’s very important it’s not
just about the generosity of these specialists it’s not just about the
wonderful model of workers who care more about the service they’re part of than
grabbing a little more money for themselves granted they’re already very
well paid but I want to talk to you about again the capitalist model you pay
the people at the top a great deal and part of that money is to keep down
everybody else because you know something it’s been learned by
capitalists that if you pay the top a lot you can avoid having to pay the mass
of your workers what they really ought to be paid it’s cheaper to pay those at
the top a lot more than it is to give everybody a fair shake and so your top
heavy with overpaid folks at the top and you know something this happens
everywhere outside of the corporation and in it corporate executives at the
top are paid enormous lee and part of their job is to manipulate and control
everybody else because the people who run the system understand
in the end it’s cheaper to pay the top a lot more if it avoids having to pay the
mass of people a decent salary you see it in the university with top heavy
folks at the top at the administrators you see it at the YMCA you see it in the
medical profession you see it everywhere messing up the average worker by
overpaying those at the top and telling them we’ll pay you extra you keep the
lid on all of those fellow workers well 700 courageous doctors and medical
professionals in Quebec understand this game and said
no as if to illustrate it here’s the next update the you UK which is a
organization of lecturers and other staffs in universities across the United
Kingdom started a two-week strike period on March 1st
why because again the conditions of their teaching and the quality of the
education they can bring to the people of Britain is being attacked and they
won’t have it another example Oklahoma Oklahoma in the is a state here
in the United States which has the following statistic it has to be ashamed
of it has the lowest paid public school teachers in the 50 states of the United
States they were so moved by the strike of public school teachers in West
Virginia that they are now planning to do it themselves they’re going to have a
strike and their union unlike the one in West Virginia the affiliate of the
National Education Association is saying they will be part of this they saw the
writing on the wall in West Virginia once again teachers are saying you
cannot treat us as if we don’t matter because it’s an insult not only to us as
professional teachers but to the people of this state into whose care you have
entrusted their children what kind of a commitment to the future to children is
shown by paying your teachers less than any other state in the Union at this
point I want to make a usual break and remind you that we maintain two websites
that we urge you to make use of the first is rdwolff with two Fs dot com and
the second one is Both of them allow you to follow us
on Facebook Twitter Instagram both of them allow you to communicate what you
like about this program how you would like us to
change the program and so on and both of them provide you with extra material
they are available to you 24/7 no charge whatsoever ever for those of you that
are listening and would like to see this program instead as a video as a
television program we urge you please go to and to view this program as a television
program I also want to remind you as we did last week to take a look at these
two programs that we provide podcasts that you can find as well on our website
the first is left out a monthly podcast that does all kinds of interesting
interviews I think you will find extraordinarily interesting and also
another one called Puerto Rico forward that offers really extraordinary
insights into the history and struggles of the Puerto Rican people at this time
I encourage you to give them a listen we’re very proud of adding them to what
we do on our web sites and you can also find left-out and Puerto Rico forward on
iTunes Google Play as well as our website I think you will find them as
valuable and useful as I do my next update goes to Africa with the American
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson he gave a lecture recently in Africa warning
African countries to be wary of making commercial deals loans building projects
with China because he said the Chinese may take advantage of you if you make
those financial deals I blew my socks off here is the American Secretary of
State telling Africans who starting with the slave trade have understood that
dealings with the West Europe America in any ikan
amiquay is a long-term project of destroying Africa in many ways giving
advice that they should be wary of somebody else who might do that to them
there’s something horrifically absurd in the very spectacle and his inability to
recognize the absurdity of what he was doing tells you a lot about the Trump
administration if you didn’t figure it out already and just as mr. Tillerson
was giving us that little story what was going on right nearby in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo guess what Apple computers and other companies were
negotiating with the government a new set of deals what were the deals about
cobalt turns out that the Democratic Republic of Congo is a place where
cobalt is importantly located and can be mined and if you want to do anything
with modern batteries you need cobalt so the companies are calling the deals with
Congo exactly endangering the future of Congo the way mr. Tillerson was advising
African countries not to do that’s because what Apple does is what these
companies have always done and what mr. Tillerson does is the BS veneer as if he
didn’t know and understand as the former head of Exxon heaven help us exactly
what the realities here are the final economic update we have time for allows
me to introduce you all to the J CCU what does that mean
that’s Japan’s cooperative consumer Union or to be more accurate
Japan’s consumer cooperative Union it is one of the largest co-op associations in
the world it’s been going in Japan since 1951 it now includes 334 coops that are
members of that build it is servicing Kenny ready for this it’s a powerhouse
37% of Japanese households are members of the JCC you
they are a big powerful co-op organization they prove that in that
capitalist economy coops can become a very important part of the economy they
have a specialty in grocery stores in delivering grocery and other items
across Japan they are much bigger in delivery than Amazon has been able to be
they are bigger than Amazon and do not fear the competition with Amazon 90% of
their members of females who do the ordering for households in Japan here’s
the interesting thing with millions and millions of members with a very powerful
role in the economy of Japan they really are ready to take the next step because
a consumer co-op and this is so important to understand is a way for
people to cooperate in the act of consumption in buying things that they
need food clothing shelter and so on but it is not yet about being cooperative in
the production side in cooperatively producing as well as cooperatively
consuming what could be done by consumer coops is to say what we consume
collectively and cooperatively we also want to see produced in that way we want
to see a production side of the economy the enterprises where goods and services
are produced factories offices stores we want them to work cooperatively in the
same spirit that we have consumed cooperatively the millions and millions
of Japanese that are fiercely loyal members of their consumer cooperatives
want to get the same benefits of lower prices and better conditions for
consumption they want to see that also done for the
workplace better conditions better solidarity a better life
what they’re not willing to say yet but I’ll say it for them they want to go
beyond the capitalist workplace the top-down hierarchical inequality
producing economic system that we suffer under and they want to move to something
else they’ve already figured it out by cooperatively buying now they want to
take the next step which they are uniquely powerfully position to do in
Japan because they’ve done such a fine job of the consumer cooperation now we
can move on to cooperate izing the workplace or as we like to say here
democratize the workplace make it be a place that serves people not requiring
people to serve it listen up CEOs from corporations on over to the YMCA time
for change we’ve come to the end of the first half of this economic update thank
you very much for being with me we’re going to take a short break and then
we’ll be back with an interview I think you’ll find remarkably exciting and

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

100 thoughts on “Economic Update: Capitalism Breeds Inequality

  1. Capitalism is no longer working for the majority of people in the world. Predatory capitalists and rationalists say that "inequality is innate in nature and will always exist." Yeah well, cancer also "exists nature," but that doesn't mean I want it!

  2. When constructing a house, one does not start by building the roof, you start with the foundation, the bottom. It is sad that there so many people who don't find this obvious.

  3. "Less inequality" has to do with technology, technology and science make life better. Capitalism its garbage that makes you work for shit that doesn't matter or pollute or make harm to people… Just look how many its expend in makeup and plastic surgery. Its a Joke.

  4. Mr. Wolff "forgets" to say that the reason why higher education is so expensive in the US is because it is heavily subsided by the government. If people had to pay out of pocket like it used to be back in the day, prices would have to be cut so people could afford to go, then the price of a degree would be way, way cheaper! In my local market, a gallon of milk costs $2,49, now just imagine if government started loaning money for people to buy milk. In that case, the milk company would increase the prices because no matter what, thanks to the government intervention, people would have the money in order to buy it! It is that simple!

  5. Economic equality of outcome was quite good under Roosevelt and the massive expansion of public Infrastructure…
    And that was Highly Competitive C A P I T A L I S M . The real inequality didn't start back up again until we became too dependent on Oil in the 70's and that's when Globalism really started creeping in, we went off the Gold standard that tethered our currency … and then Reagan's Union-killing & market deregulation completely converted our economy into a global Crypto-Currency.

  6. The Poor will always be with us. Most people do not consider it important to spend all their time working for money. Having a family, a career or trade and working with others in your community through religious fraternity or politics or volunteering are important. Most people will not spend the 80 hours a week it takes to run a business to get rich. Do you want to be a workaholic and sacrifice having a family to get rich? Not me.

  7. Globalization is only a symptom of the problem of inequality. The root cause is individualism and the deep seeded history of anti-egalitarianism in the USA. See below

    (C.B. Macpherson, 2011) The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism
    (Derber, 2015) Sociopathic Society: A People’s Sociology of the US
    (Howarth, 1994) Anti-libertarianism: Markets, Philosophy, and Myth

    (Bronstein, 2016) Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality
    (Thompson, 2012) The Politics of Inequality: A Political History
    (Isenberg, 2017) White Trash: 400-Year History of Class
    (Hofstadter, 1992) Social Darwinism in American Thought
    (Robin, 2013) The Reactionary Mind
    (Hirschman, 1991) The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy
    (Leonard, 2017) Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and Economics
    (MacLean, 2006) Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the Workplace
    (Zinn, 2015) A People’s History of the United States
    (Scheidel, 2017) The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality
    (Anievas, 2015) How the West Came to Rule: Origins of Capitalism
    (Williams, 1994) Capitalism and Slavery

    (Archer, 2010) Why Is There No Labor Party in the USA?
    (Sexton, 1992) The War on Labor and the Left: America’s Unique Conservatism
    (Hogler, 2015) The End of America’s Labor Unions
    (Gantz, 2017) Age of Inequality: Corporate War on Working People
    (Temin, 2017) The Vanishing Middle Class: Dual Economy
    (Brady, 2009) Rich Democracies, Poor People: How Politics Explains Poverty
    (Royce, 2015) Labor Law: The Assault on Unions and Workers’ Rights
    (Peters, 2008) Labour Market Deregulation and the Decline of Labour in NA and WE
    (Dahl, 2013) Wage Dispersion and Decentralization of Wage Bargaining
    (Lindbeck, 2001) Insiders vs. Outsiders
    (Hayter, 2015) Unions and Collective Bargaining
    (Hayter, 2015) Want to Tackle Inequality? Shore up Collective Bargaining
    (Freeman, 1985) What Do Unions Do?
    (Rosenfeld, 2014) What Unions No Longer Do
    (Gross, 2017) Rights, Not Interests: Resolving Value Clashes under NLRA
    (Bronfenbrenner, 1998) Organizing to Win: Research on Union Strategies
    (Pontusson, 2005) Inequality and Prosperity: Social Europe vs. Liberal America
    (Standing, 2016) The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class
    (Andersen, 2003) New Social Risks in Old Welfare States
    (Saint-Paul, 1997) Dual Labor Markets
    (Ehrenberg, 2012) Chapter 13: Unions and the Labor Market
    (Calmfors, 1993) Centralisation of Wage Bargaining and Performance
    (Roediger, 1999) The Wages of Whiteness

  8. "Dr wolf" For once you're exactly right, the inherit vices of capitalism are unequal distribution of blessings, and for socialism it's the equal share of misery.

  9. I always appreciate your take on things, Dr. Wolff, and I never miss an Economic Update if I can help it. Keep up the good work, comrade! <3

  10. Well, the wealth did trickle down, but to those in those countries that Dr. Wolff mentioned: China, India, etc. The manufacturing jobs and other jobs trickled down to them, increasing their income. This was partly the result of free trade plus the trade deals, and the opening up of China.

  11. I guarantee the socialists in America will be rounded up before it's all said and done. America is repeating the same mistakes as the Weimar Republic did in the early 1920's and 30's. Just keep in mind when nationalism rises in the US, there will not be a world army to come and save the day because we have nukes.

  12. It's strange that the "the bottom half" (poorest half) of the population and also the middle-class, worldwide I mean, doesn't react more to the inequality. I would expect furiously angry people attacking the richest population by now, but that's not what's happening. Hundreds of years ago people "did something" when the situation got very bad – but today, when we also have Internet (and we can get more information about corruption and inequality) we don't seem to react much…?

  13. “Learning from Emilia Romagna’s cooperative economy”

  14. Very good update.. keep ordinary mortals informed. Ordinary mortals please listen and then go to sleep… all will be well???

  15. richard d wolff is an economic rock star. capitalism… they promise us "trickle down" and give us nothing. the rich get richer and the rest of us fight amongst ourselves. the dupes watch fox noise and blame immigrants, blame the poor, blame minorities, blame liberals, blame socialism, blame food stamps and welfare, blame everything but the billionaires feeding them their daily propaganda. ignorant fat lazy morons buying guns and playing army man in the woods, our 2nd amendment rights our nothing they say, meanwhile everything else is being stolen from them in broad daylight, and they even hold the door for the crooks… god bless america, let's start another war, let's give tax cuts to the wealthy, lets deny health care and retirement, fuck vacations and family leave cuz we're all about "family values"… i forget who said it but we get what we vote for. that may be true but i ain't going down without a fight.

  16. capitalists in the late 1970's realized it was a lot easier to just buy government, buy the people who pick the judges, buy the people who make laws, first they had to kill unions and the adhesive that made working people a formidable entity, bust unions, check, ship good paying jobs overseas, check, buy legislatures, check, cut taxes for themselves, check, deregulate laws designed to protect the general public from predator capitalists, check, keep wages low and the middle class occupied, check, buy the media, check, create a media that pushes their propaganda, check…. 40 years later the coup is almost complete, next up is the pesky social safety net, first we blow up the deficit, bankrupt the government, and create another financial meltdown, disaster capitalism… move in and destroy the rest and it will soon be all ours…

  17. "Capitalism Breeds Inequality" – Henry George debunked this in 1879. He showed that inequality is caused by the tax system. This can be fixed quite easily.
    There is a loophole in our tax system so massive that no one notices it. This loophole drives inequality, causes the boom bust cycle, funds the oversized parasitic financial sector, causes unemployment, necessitates a large welfare state, hinders enterprise and entrepreneurship .. and all of the things that follow.
    And all we need to do is shift taxes from labour and capital to land. No class struggle, no bloody revolution, just a tweak to the bureaucracy, a bug fix.

  18. the conservative business class doesn't give a shit about public school kids, they go to private schools and they are determined to dismantle the public school system into a private "profit driven" business. people need to wake up and realize their is a war on public education, there is a war on the social safety net, there is a war on working people, there is a war on civil and constitutional rights…

  19. economy based on debt and competition needs to die, economic growth means nothing if only the richest benefit from it

  20. Wolff lies again. Income has gone up but not by much. I have posted links to personal median income history charts that are adjusted for the CPI. I have posted two links that basically say the same thing on two different threads.

    The question I have for Wolff or others is why do you think personal income should go up? Are you more productive than 40 years ago? No! The machines may increase productivity but without the machines the productivity would be stalled to where is was 40 years ago. The companies of 40 years ago could not compete with the companies today.

    The CPI goes up because the gov over spends and prints too much fiat money.

    Higher education is not free in England.
    Here are some of the many EU countries where college is "free"
    College is not free. Someone must pay for it.

    Germany is going to hell. The continuing guilt from WWII will destroy Germany.

    College is not a means of production or the ownership of production. Again Wolff conflate every evil with capitalism.

    I don't understand why Wolff can't get it through his head. There will always be inequality. In sports there are always winners and losers. The same goes for business. Even the small companies will be unequal. Some will survive, half will not survive 5 years and the owner and employees of the losing companies will be hurt. There is incentive to not just look for a job but to look for a job in a winning company.

    Wolff likes to bitch about the top 0.001%. Bezos is one of the few. Why? People like to buy from Amazon. Why? because it is convenient and relatively cheap.
    No one is forcing us to buy from Amazon. Bezos is not ripping us off. Bezos provides a service that we can use or not use. It is OUR choice.

    The evils of the YMCA and Canada's socialized medical system, that has nothing to do with capitalism is conflated with capitalism. Wolff has to blame capitalism for this too.
    Britain's education is socialized too but some how that is blamed on capitalism too.

    Wolff seems to think a consumer co-op will not pit one producer co-op against another. What a joke.

  21. Interesting how the new emerging economic powers like Brazil, China, India also have the worst workers wages and conditions.. wealth built off the backs of the slave class.

  22. The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote a book called: Capital in the Twenty-First Century that proves through irrefutable data that Capitalism continually, constantly produces inequality. That's all it can do! The book is a huge 700 page tome packed full of historical data that argues that unless capitalism is reformed our entire democratic order will be threatened and destroyed. Piketty is a better economist than a writer, but the basic thesis of the book is easy to understand. When the rate of return on capital is greater than the rate of economic growth over the long term, the result is a concentration of wealth, and this unequal distribution of wealth causes social and economic instability. There are horrible consequences to living in a country with such staggering levels of inequality, we have crime, violence, hunger, the largest prison population on the planet, our roads are crumbling… America has become a third-world nation and the C.E.O. Class of Corporate scum that run the country could care less. They are traitors, they suck!

  23. Third world wealth divide everywhere. USA held on for a long time because the country was empty, no one controlling all resources. But eventually the inevitable end was coming around 1980, then credit cards, other debts had to be created to keep the game going and that debt meant money flowing to the wealthy. Your 401-K was not engineered to help the middle class, it was made to make the wealthy far wealthier.

  24. Dear Sir, I wanted to watch the second half of your segmet at but I was asked to pay for it. I understand you must finance your publications and i am deeply greatful for them, however i am homeless and i can hardly afford gas for my car let alone subscibe for $3 per month!. If anyone understands the ramifacations of capitalism it would be you. I will continue to watch you on youtube for free until that ends…

  25. Yet, despite the inequality, it's not the disgruntled people who are destroying America. Instead, it's the people who have had it the best that are ruining the country.

  26. Honestly, I've never understood the critics of trickle down econonics. It works perfectly. There's this giant mass of billions of people who work, and the wealth they generate trickles down to a couple dozen people. Perfection.

  27. Maybe Elon Musk is right and we need to go to Mars, lol, diversify our portfolio. Move Silicon Valley and Wall Street and K Street and lots of Streets to Mars ? Am right ? P.S. folks, Well keep Trump here for entertainment purposes as he's obviously comedy gold, send the little shit heads he spawned there obviously ( they would be best Martians , believe me)

  28. Case & Point, just look @ all the Tent Ctys springin up all ov the Place here in ameriKa. U know Ppl just luve'd leavin there Homes 2 wanna go & Liv Like That ?

  29. i have been thinking from watching your show that if the developed nations transfered the burden of education to developing countries then they also passing the burden of pollution to them. After watching your show, i realize that the good evironment of japan korea and the european the us has been paid by the worsen of environmental conditions of vietnam china africa and latin america and india. The pollution was not dealt with by the developed countries it was shifted to other nations. I do not admire them and the world media is fooling us by saying that we can have a good economy and good environment like some wealthy countries it distract us from the truth

  30. All I can Sai Prof is. Rite the F On ! Xcuse my "Sentence Enhancin," but these Greedy Oligarch's have been goin 2, 2, FAR with the live's of Every Dai Ppl. Startin in the Smr of 71 & thru out the 70's in Congress. Xample, the Creation of the Ways & Means Committee, which Opened up the doors 2 Lobbying. which ushered in the DECLINE by the 1%'ers ! ! !

  31. Look at the bright side, when you're elderly and can't make ends meet because you have no pension just social security the vulture capitalists will give you a reverse mortgage! just don't live too long.

  32. thank you for your hard work dr. wolff. i have a degree from youngstown state university. growing up in the rust belt in the 80s and 90s i have always felt the inequality of our system. but i am glad a fellow northeast ohioan is out there uncovering the bullshit. i share your videos as much as possible. soon i will be able to add my favorite youtube creators to a monthly patreon contribution and i will surely add democracy at work to the list.

  33. Professor Wolff, I was shocked to learn about the abuses going on in the Goodwill (I call it the Badwill), which survives on donations, many of which are corporate, interestingly enough.

  34. The Cobalt – Apple deal has nothing to do with a better price etc. It has to do with keeping the competition from advancing.

  35. it also proves that the European Union Superstate, or as we know them really as The New World Order, and all that is connected to it, as a Human Race, we are all getting stitched up!

  36. Dr. Wolff, you have inspired me to try to unionize my work place. I work for Securitas Security. I was called into the office about my union activity. I asked them for all the locations (security posts) that they have so I can talk to the employees. They replied "No that's your problem!" I then asked them that if they were so certain the employees lives are better without union representation than why hide them from me? Crickets…

  37. I love everything you do and I really appreciate it. I enjoy watching your lectures. However, some constructive criticism is in order. Most people, even if they started playing the video, would not watch more than a few seconds. It just needs to be more engaging, entertaining if you are to grow your audience. We want everyone to hear and learn from you but to do that we have to keep them watching and listening.

  38. Unregulated capitalism always turns into what we are experiencing right now extreme inequality and unnecessary suffering so that those at the top can horde unimaginable grotesque amounts of wealth which they use to further rig the system through buying our politicians passing laws that favor wall street and the corporations and rigging the tax code to favor those making there money through unearned income its disgusting thank god Mr Wolff and some others are out there speaking up trying to educate people about what is really happening to them during this awful economic time this courageous man and others like him should be on the major news networks every night screaming this message to the public but we all know that the corporations that now own all our media and there wealthy sponsors would never allow it so corrupt! and who are the ignorant assholes that gave this program a thumbs down? it really makes you wonder.

  39. I have just returned from a visit to Australia and New Zealand. Both of these countries have booming economies. Both have worsening concentrations of income and wealth. Both also are experiencing rapidly rising costs of a residential property or rental charges for living in an apartment. Sound familiar?

    As I have written previously, an overlooked source of this problem is the almost universally-low effective rate of taxation on the value of land, as well as other natural assets that have an inelastic supply (e.g., frequencies on the television and radio broadcast frequencies, licenses to exploit natural resources and even take-off and landing slots at airports). I urge Professor Wolff to think more deeply about the role of land markets in any society.

    Professor Wolff rightly points to countries that continue to provide a far richer system of social welfare than exists in the United States. An important question is how the expenses of universal health care or universal free higher education are absorbed. What does the tax structure look like in those countries? Is there a truly progressive individual income tax? Are there limits placed on executive compensation packages for corporations domiciled in those countries? Do these countries provide publicly-subsidized and publicly-owned housing at a cost that is based on household income.

    My own research into these issues indicates that where programs of social democracy (or, if you prefer, democratic socialism) achieve mitigation only rather than real systemic equality of opportunity. If societies would move to collect something close to the full potential annual rental value of all locations and all land-like assets, this would go a long way to ending the grossly unfair distribution of income and wealth.

  40. Great talk, but your captions need more punctuation, particularly periods and commas; periods only showed themselves in "mr."

  41. I work with folks who are all conservative and yet need universal healthcare, unions, pensions, etc. They could benefit with 30 days off per year but honestly, most Americans are not intelligent enough to know they can make employers to that. Most Americans truly consider themselves powerless by their actions. They would rather join a team that is against all that they need to hopefully join the ranks of the abusers.

  42. Hi professor, this is a famous book in China, though not well translated. can you leave some comments about it.

  43. he has a hammer and all he sees are nails. politics rules economics. if you want the general welfare, disperse power. the usa constitution was written to give legal foundation to the rule of wealth, and this will continue until a new constitution supersedes it.
    get democracy first. use citizen initiative to reshape the nation legally. or whine about capitalism all your life to no result.

  44. Thank you Prof. Wolff. I am inspired by you a lot. Will continue reading Marx.

    Someone mentioned Consumers'co-ops vs Workers' co-ops. I don't see how that is tangible. Firstly, it is about reforming the income distribution within a firm and that is what co-ops will do. Executives and managers are being paid too much more than workers who produce. Income increase will come from the negotiation of how to use the revenue, not like simply raising the price to get more income.

  45. Keep telling it like it is dr wolf an you can also talk about economy news and bring guests, keep up the good work professor

  46. I'm still waiting on a video where Mr. Wolfe refutes Capitalism. He refutes corpratism alot, I haven't seen him refute Capitalism yet, maybe one day.

  47. Capitalism deceives people into believing a 12 hour working day is a paid working day when it is not.
    If it were paid there would be no need for a minimum wage. The enormous output alone is enough to eliminate poverty in America.
    The minimum wage cannot go below the necessary expense of living but that does not mean the hired work cannot exceed the time to reproduce that cost of living expense.
    What causes the staggering growth and inequality. Here's how, that happens.
    The wage itself conceals how a working day is in part a value reproduced for the worker and a part excess value created for the employer.
    So the the entire 12 hours appears as a paid working day when they cut you a check. In reality you gave 12 hours worth of product and if the product can be turned out faster you gave them a higher amount of product to which they sell and recover an enormous profit their investment plus some.
    The corporations think they are slick by buying cheap labor-power and selling its output at a premium price.
    A person works 12 hours busting their hump everyday and the minimum wage is $120 gross pay per diem.
    The sale of the value product is likely around $120,000.00 a day.
    People see this as a fair deal, a fair exchange, because a person can live on that amount based on a how much it cost to live.
    What workers do not realize is that corporations depend on the duration of time labor-power must be in action longer to create the excess material wealth.
    Workers are looking at the exchange which conceals the trickery that happens after the exchange has taken place. The mystery of inequality emerging from two things being equal is solved.

  48. Trickle down economics was the supposed answer to stagflation. The neoliberal paradigm is failing and will not work long term.
    Capitalism is a model that only lasts so long in a practiced form and then chases another failed solution when against replacement.

  49. I love your show and I do go online to make use of your notes.     So, can you explain the new situation or policies about investment and fudiciary.   I have a 401 retirement plan – How will this affect me?

  50. When he says European countries, please all understand he is not including the UK in that. The UK is a little mirror of many of the failures of American economic policy. The UK is the 3rd most unequal major economy and the 6th greatest economy at creating low paid jobs over the last 40 years. We have 100,000 kids without a home, 17 million people don't have £100 in the bank. The bottom 50% hasn't seen a sustained above inflation pay rise in decades.

    Meanwhile the husbands and wives alone of the top ten richest people here saw their personal fortune rise by $6billion in 12 months. In total the top 1000 wealthiest UK people have over $1 trillion in wealth between them.

  51. The culture we defend

    Guns and violence is how the west was won
    Celebrity gossip is what keeps it dumb
    A society of zombie consumer drones
    That cannot function without iPhones
    Educated for conformity
    Stripped of their identity
    No capacity for independent thought
    Unquestioned obedience is what they are taught
    As theirs is not to reason why
    Theirs is but to do and die
    So kill well, because if you win
    They will honor you with a piece of tin
    For it is the Patriot who is willing to die
    That we soar as stripped eagles in the sky

    And so as our leaders rob us blind
    And arm us to the teeth for genocide
    We don’t have time to worry about that
    As Brad and Angie have had another spat
    What a tragic waste of life
    To have lived without ever being alive
    Marching to another’s drum
    Making you blind deaf and dumb
    Your life is zero, nothing to them
    You are merely a means to an end
    In a world of normalized insanity
    You are an expendable commodity

    This is "white man's legacy", genocide sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the "Doctrine of discovery" in papal bulls that form part of our law today. The precious culture we defend against the barbarian hordes on our very borders; insane with envy of our freedoms and
    superior way of life that is just intolerable and that must be destroyed at all costs.

    I wish them luck, they maybe our only hope


  52. I thought that the US minimum wage should be around $20 with inflation? So I'm surprised Prof.Wolff is saying it fell 30%, it should more than 50% since inflation had never been raised to match national growth since 1968. The true minium wage should be over $21.

  53. small business owners aren't wealthy to pay higher wages dickehead . socialism causes poverty morron

  54. I love how society is filled by humane philanthropy… Brutality and nasty unjustly built relations … I feel sorry for all the misery people get immersed in just because they don't. "Fit" "our stupid market needs"

  55. Okay, the YMCA is a huge organisation so you would expect the CEO to have a high salary. The lowest paid workers are doing a completely different job.

  56. It is not just the theories or systems, but it is depended on the quality of the leaders, all theories after the wealth and power, Communist, Socialist and whatever are no exceptions. It is moral economic and equal distributions, everyone gets the fair share, as simple as that. The world gets very screwed up because only a few elite corporations int he US, EU and the governments of poor nations are very corrupted.

  57. I left working the Boy Scouts and the YMCA respectively because of executive meddling and selfish decision making that was out of line with the values their organizations are allegedly built upon.

  58. Well…poverty also breeds capitalism for those who want to act and get out of misery by themselves.

    Marx's utopian folly:: Pareto (Power Law curve) distribution is the de facto 4th law of thermodynamics. Complex socioeconomic systems are inherently non linear and all progression (of being in the universe), from chaotic disorder to increasingly orderly state, manifests along a power law distribution. That means order (Yin) and disorder (Yan) are not equal in area. There is much more disorder than order – there is more mediocrity than competence, more sloth than rausch, more pessimism than hope.

    The oigin of a socialist's utopian folly lies in that it instills futile hope among naturally self-intersted men- that the power law curve can be bent into a straight line parallel to X axis! Bolsheviks and Maoists attempted that. They still wanna bend and break a cardinal law of nature! But Man's subjective will has no primacy over causalities-laws of the nature. Eventuality, confiscations only resulted in some commisars being more equal than others.

    Now, creative and deligent men create new valuable things which becomes 'new money' in the economy. There is scarcity of money simply because the ability to create new money among men is scarce. That variying ability is due to the laws of nature; not solely due to the oppression by other men. And any printed currency is for representing the produced value (Ricardo, Friedman).

    But the armchair socialist Prof. Richard Wolff doesn't wanna know this. He wishes govt to appropriate and redistribute Jeff Bezos money to create artificial equality. Surprisingly, Wolff doesn't want the redistribution of Usian Bolt's gold medals among masses to the address the prevailing issue of athletic-ability inequality.

    Nonethless, equitable is better than equality. Egalitarianism ('by arranging outcomes') by mooching would be injustice to the producers of value. Equality and justice don't go together. Bury your resentment and envy.

    However installing a fair justice system to provide equal "opportunity" for economic mobility of men is essential in a modern society.

  59. Well…poverty also breeds capitalism for those who want to act and get out of misery by themselves. Mail him 'Meaning of Money' essay by Ayn Rand.

    Marx's utopian folly:: Pareto (Power Law curve) distribution is the de facto 4th law of thermodynamics. Complex socioeconomic systems are inherently non linear and all progression (of being in the universe), from chaotic disorder to increasingly orderly state, manifests along a power law distribution. That means order (Yin) and disorder (Yan) are not equal in area. There is much more disorder than order – there is more mediocrity than competence, more sloth than rausch, more pessimism than hope.

    The oigin of a socialist's utopian folly lies in that it instills futile hope among naturally self-intersted men- that the power law curve can be bent into a straight line parallel to X axis! Bolsheviks and Maoists attempted that. They still wanna bend and break a cardinal law of nature! But Man's subjective will has no primacy over causalities-laws of the nature. Eventuality, confiscations only resulted in some commisars being more equal than others.

    Now, creative and deligent men create new valuable things which becomes 'new money' in the economy. There is scarcity of money simply because the ability to create new money among men is scarce. That variying ability is due to the laws of nature; not solely due to the oppression by other men. And any printed currency is for representing the produced value (Ricardo, Friedman).

    But the armchair socialist Prof. Richard Wolff doesn't wanna know this. He wishes govt to appropriate and redistribute Jeff Bezos money to create artificial equality. Surprisingly, Wolff doesn't want the redistribution of Usian Bolt's gold medals among masses to the address the prevailing issue of athletic-ability inequality.

    Nonethless, equitable is better than equality. Egalitarianism ('by arranging outcomes') by mooching would be injustice to the producers of value. Equality and justice don't go together. Bury your resentment and envy.

    However installing a fair justice system to provide equal "opportunity" for economic mobility of men is essential in a modern society.

  60. $50 bought a hard cover book when i was a kid…now it buys a tablet that gives me access to every book, every piece of entertainment, satelite navigation…its an oversimplification to see value as just money that moves around. Capitalism drives tech…technology makes wealthy people…but also makes everyones money posses more value.

Leave a Reply

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